Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. One common question that arises is whether quartz countertops need to be sealed like natural stone. The short answer is no – quartz countertops do not require sealing. Here’s a more in-depth look at why quartz countertops don’t need sealing and how to care for them.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%. The remaining 6-10% consists of polymer resins that bind the quartz particles together and provide color and pattern.
Unlike natural stone countertops such as granite, marble or slate, quartz is non-porous. The resin binds the quartz particles together to create a dense, impervious material. This non-porous quality is the key reason quartz does not require sealing.
Do Quartz Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
Because quartz lacks the microscopic pores and crevices found in natural stone, there are no gaps that need to be filled in with a sealant. Liquids and stains have nowhere to seep into or absorb with quartz. The pigments that create the color and pattern run throughout the full thickness of the slab.
Without pores to clog, quartz never needs to be sealed. In fact, attempting to seal a quartz countertop provides no benefits and can even damage the surface. Quartz manufacturers expressly advise against sealing their products.
Proper Care for Quartz Countertops
Even though sealing is unnecessary, quartz still requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking like new. Here are some tips for maintaining quartz countertops:
- Clean frequently with a mild soap and water. For routine cleaning, a simple wipe down with a soft damp cloth is all that’s needed.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent staining, especially oil, wine and fruit juices that can discolor the surface.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and scouring pads as they may dull the finish. Use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically formulated for quartz.
- Some quartz patterns have more texture than others – scrub gently in those textured areas to remove residue.
- Disinfect the surface periodically with a cleaner safe for quartz. This prevents bacteria growth in areas like the kitchen.
- Re-apply quartz sealer as needed around sinks and faucets to refresh watertight seals that prevent moisture damage.
Signs Your Quartz May Need Professional Attention
In most cases, quartz countertops will retain their original beauty with regular cleaning. But accidents can happen. Here are some signs your quartz may need professional help:
- Etch marks from highly acidic liquids like lemon juice or drain cleaner
- Micro-scratches from cutting directly on the surface
- Hard water scale buildup around faucets
- Stains from red wine, oil or grease that don’t come out with cleaning
- Damage from excessive pressure, impact or heat
- Cloudy appearance or worn areas near sinks and high use zones
- Loose or separated seams where countertop meets backsplash
A qualified stone restoration professional can address any damage or wear issues and restore the quartz to like-new condition. Refinishing and re-polishing procedures can often repair quartz blemishes without needing a full replacement.
One of the appeals of quartz countertops is the lack of maintenance required compared to natural stone. Since quartz does not need to be sealed, it avoids the hassle and expense of annual or bi-annual sealing appointments. With routine cleaning and prompt attention given to spills and stains, a quartz countertop will stay looking fresh and clean for many years of heavy use. Talk to a countertop specialist if you have any concerns about specific stains or damage on your quartz.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertop Sealing
Does quartz need to be sealed when it is installed?
No, quartz does not need to be sealed at installation. Quartz is non-porous and lacks the natural pores found in stone that require sealing. Any attempt to seal a quartz countertop is unnecessary.
Should I seal my quartz countertop annually?
No, there is no need to seal a quartz countertop on any time schedule. Quartz manufacturers expressly advise against sealing their products. Quartz never requires sealing during the lifetime of the countertop.
Can sealing quartz improve stain resistance?
No, sealing will not make a quartz countertop more stain resistant. Since quartz is non-porous, liquids cannot penetrate the surface, so seals provide no added protection. Proper cleaning is the best way to prevent stains.
Does sealing quartz countertops make it shinier?
Sealing does not enhance the shine or appearance of a quartz countertop. In fact, sealants can create a hazy, foggy look on quartz. For added shine, use a quartz-safe polish but avoid wax sealants.
Should I seal around the edges of my quartz countertop?
Sealing the edges is not required for quartz. If properly installed, the countertop edges should be completely sealed with silicone caulk preventing moisture ingress already.
Can I use a granite sealant on quartz?
No, you should never use a granite sealant on quartz counters. Granite sealants contain chemicals that can interact with the surface resin and cause etching or discoloration in quartz. Always use cleaners designed specifically for quartz.
How can I tell if my quartz countertop needs sealing?
On a properly installed quartz counter, you will never need to seal it. The only sealants used should be around sinks and faucets to prevent water damage, not on the main surface. Quartz maintains its non-porous quality for life.
Quartz countertops are virtually maintenance free when it comes to sealing. Their durable non-porous composition means liquids and stains cannot penetrate the surface, eliminating the need for protective sealing. While quartz requires daily cleaning and care to look its best, annual sealing appointments are one maintenance task homeowners never have to worry about. With proper cleaning habits and prompt attention given to spills, quartz countertops will stay beautiful for many years without sealing required. Talk to your countertop provider if you have any concerns about finishes, stains or damage on your existing quartz.