Installing a quartz countertop can transform the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. With its durability, natural stone-like appearance, and variety of color options, quartz has become an increasingly popular choice for countertops. But how long does the installation process take? Generally, installing a quartz countertop takes 2-3 days from start to finish. However, the total time can vary depending on factors like the size of the countertop, layout complexities, need for removal of old countertop, and more.
In this detailed guide, we’ll walk through the key steps, timeline, and considerations for professionally installing quartz countertops so you know what to expect.
Overview of the Quartz Countertop Installation Process
Replacing your current kitchen or bathroom countertop with a stylish new quartz countertop involves careful planning and skilled execution. Here is an overview of the key stages:
- Evaluation and measurement – An installer will visit your home to evaluate the existing countertop space, take precise measurements, and address any installation challenges. This takes about 1 hour.
- Fabrication – The measurements are sent to a fabrication shop where the quartz slabs are cut to the specifications, edges finished, holes cut for sinks/faucets, and more. Fabrication usually takes 5-7 business days.
- Installation – The installers come to remove your old countertop, secure the new quartz countertop in place, caulk seams, connect sinks/faucets, and complete the installation. The installation takes 8-12 hours over 1-3 days.
- Inspection and cleanup – You can inspect the finished countertop installation and test appliances/faucets. Installers clean up dust and debris before the job is considered complete. This takes 1-2 hours.
So in total, you can expect the entire quartz countertop installation process to take 2-3 weeks from the initial in-home measurement to final cleanup after installation. The actual installation days span 1-3 days. Now let’s look at each of these stages in more detail.
Stage 1: Template and Measurement (1 Hour)
The first step is for an experienced installer or designer to come measure your existing countertop space. This in-home measurement visit takes about 1 hour.
The installer will evaluate important factors like:
- Dimensions of the countertop area
- Cabinet/wall layout
- Location of sinks, faucets, and other fixtures
- Countertop seams and edges
- Access points
- Potential installation challenges
They take extremely precise measurements to 1/16th of an inch to ensure the new quartz countertop will have a flawless fit. Most installers use laser measuring devices for accuracy.
Measurements are marked directly on the existing countertop using special tape and markers. The installer draws out the complete layout including dimensions, seams, edges, sink and faucet holes, and other details.
Some key measurements during this step include:
- Length and width of each section
- Diagonal corners
- Placement of sink and faucet holes
- Seam locations
- Edge profiles
The template is essential for the fabrication shop to cut the slabs and prepare the countertop pieces. During the measurement visit, don’t forget to ask your installer any questions and finalize design choices like edges and seams.
Stage 2: Fabrication of Quartz Countertop (5-7 Business Days)
With the measurements and template in hand, your information goes to a professional fabrication shop to manufacture your quartz countertop.
Skilled technicians will:
- Review the template
- Select the quartz slabs
- Cut the slabs to specifications
- Cut openings for sinks, faucets, and cooktops
- Finish the edges
- Buff and polish all surfaces
- Reinforce seams
Fabricating a quartz countertop is a meticulous process that requires specialized tools, experience, and training. It takes most shops 5-7 business days to fully fabricate your custom quartz countertop.
Since quartz slabs are heavy, the fabricated pieces may be further cut down for transportation to your home later during installation.
Stage 3: Installation of the Quartz Countertop (1-3 Days)
Once your countertop is fabricated, the installation team will schedule the actual installation over 1-3 consecutive days. Timing will depend on factors like the size of your kitchen or bathroom and complexity of the job.
Here is an overview of the quartz countertop installation process:
Removal of old countertop – The installers first remove your old countertop using power tools and manual prying. The demolition debris is taken away.
Inspect plumbing and electrical – With the old countertop gone, the installers can inspect and prepare the underlying plumbing and electrical. This includes inspecting underneath the kitchen sink, adjusting garbage disposals/drains, and more.
Dry fit countertop pieces – The quartz pieces are test fitted without any adhesive to ensure a proper fit. The installers make any final adjustments as needed.
Apply adhesive – Adhesive is applied to the bottom of the countertop pieces and/or on the cabinet base where the countertop will be secured. The pieces are carefully lifted back up.
Install backsplash – If you are replacing your backsplash, the new backsplash tiles are installed first before setting the countertop.
Install countertop – Starting at one end, the quartz slabs are lowered into place, aligned, and securely pressed down onto the adhesive. Weights may be added to keep pieces flush with the cabinets.
Connect seams – Once the pieces are installed, the installers work on connecting the seams. The edges are sanded to a precise fit, adhered together, and excess adhesive cleaned away.
Caulk gaps – Small gaps between the quartz, walls, and sinks are filled with a color-matched caulk for a seamless appearance.
Reinstall sinks and faucets – With the countertop in place, sinks and faucets are reinstalled and connected to plumbing and electrical. Appliances like cooktops are reconnected as well.
Inspect and clean – Installers inspect the countertop installation and edges. All dust and debris is thoroughly cleaned.
Day 3 (if needed)
For especially large or complex projects, a third day may be required to complete the quartz installation including:
- Finishing any remaining seams/edges
- Completing caulking
- Touching up gaps or issues
- Reconnecting remaining fixtures
- Thorough clean up
- Final walkthrough and inspection
So in summary, you can expect the hands-on installation process to take 1-3 days depending on the scope of your project.
Stage 4: Inspection, Use, and Cleanup (1-2 Hours)
Once the installation is complete, you’ll have an opportunity to:
- Visually inspect the new quartz countertop from all angles looking for any apparent flaws in fabrication or installation.
- Turn on faucets, garbage disposals, and appliances to ensure proper function.
- Ask the installers any final questions.
- Review maintenance requirements.
The installers should take care of any remaining dust, debris, tools, adhesives, or other remnants of the installation process before departing.
Be sure to thoroughly clean your new countertop and avoid heavy usage for 24-48 hours to allow adhesive and caulking to fully cure.
This final inspection and cleanup takes around 1-2 hours. Of course, you’ll enjoy your beautiful new quartz countertop for many years to come!
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Installation Time
While most quartz countertop installations take 2-3 days overall, several factors can impact the time needed:
- Size of the countertop – Larger and longer countertops naturally require more time for templating, fabrication, and installation.
- Layout complexity – Countertops with complex shapes, seams, edges, and built-in curves add time and challenges to the process.
- Removal of old countertop – If the existing countertop is especially difficult to remove due to unique fasteners, glue, or fragility, this can add hours to the installation.
- Access to the space – Tight spaces make staging, cutting, and maneuvering the heavy slabs more difficult and time-consuming.
- Appliance/fixture complexity – The more sinks, faucets, soap dispensers, and appliances involved, the longer their removal and reinstallation will take.
- Addition of backsplash – Adding a new backsplash tacks on more time for tile setting before installing the countertop.
- Special reinforcement – Some scenarios call for added structural support or framing which requires more time.
- Travel distance – Countertop installers may factor travel time between the shop and your home into the timeline, especially for remote locations.
Talk through these factors with your installation company so you can plan accordingly and set reasonable expectations for the full process.
DIY Installation vs. Professional Installation
While do-it-yourself (DIY) countertop installation is tempting for the cost savings, quartz countertops are extremely heavy, fragile, and difficult to work with. Attempting to install them yourself has risks:
Consistency – Professionals have far more experience accurately templating, fabricating, transporting, and installing quartz for consistent results.
Special Tools – The job requires special prying tools, adhesives, seam sets, precise cutting tools, and more that are costly for DIYers to purchase or rent.
Safety – Large quartz slabs weigh over 100 pounds. Improper handling risks injury and cracked slabs.
Damage – One mis measurement or crack during fabrication or installation can ruin the entire slab – a costly mistake for DIYers.
Time – DIY installation often takes significantly more time and energy versus hiring professionals.
Warranty – Many quartz warranties specify that professional certified installers must be used.
For most homeowners, professional installation is strongly advised to handle the quartz properly and get a flawless, long-lasting result. Leave it to the experts!
Hiring Professional Quartz Countertop Installers
Seeking qualified quartz countertop installation experts is recommended. Here are tips for hiring:
- Review examples of previous quartz installations in their portfolio.
- Look for natural stone certification and quartz-specific training.
- Ask about their templating methods and visit their fabrication shop.
- Inquire if they fabricate in-house or use a third party.
- Verify they follow safety practices when handling slabs.
- Request 2-3 client references to ask about their experience.
- Confirm they have liability insurance coverage.
- Get a written quote detailing what is included, timeline, warranties, and price.
Most reputable quartz installers have been trained by major brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone. Seek 2-3 quotes to compare options.
Quartz Countertop Installation Costs
On average, expect to pay $60-100 per square foot for quartz countertop installation. This includes:
- Template and measurements
- Fabrication of your custom quartz pieces
- Professional installation
- Basic edges and seams
However, many factors impact the total project cost:
- Quartz material – Premium quartz brands can cost $70-120+ per sq. ft. just for the slab.
- Countertop size – Total square footage determines materials needed.
- Edge profiles – Special edges like ogee and Bullnose cost more to fabricate.
- Thickness – Thicker 3 cm slabs are more costly than 2 cm.
- Backsplash – Tiling adds more labor and tile costs.
- Removal fees – Taking out existing countertop adds $200 or more.
- Complex job – Intricate layouts, seams, and installation areas cost extra.
- Regional labor rates – Prices are higher in expensive metro areas.
- Extra fabrication – Added holes for fixtures, polishing, etc. increase price.
- Appliance mods – Altering appliances for countertop height adds labor fees.
Most installers provide free in-home estimates to review pricing options specific to your kitchen or bath. Expect your total investment to be $2,500-5,500 for a larger kitchen.
FAQs About Installing Quartz Countertops
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about quartz countertop installation:
How long does it take to install quartz countertops?
The entire process takes 2-3 weeks from template to completion. The hands-on installation by professionals takes 1-3 days. Total time depends on size, layout complexity, need for removal, and other factors.
Is it cheaper to install quartz countertops yourself?
No, DIY installation often costs more after factoring in purchased/rented tools, learning curve mistakes, a higher risk of cracking slabs, lack of specialized techniques, and voiding the warranty without a certified installer.
Can you install quartz countertops over existing countertops?
It is not recommended. The existing countertop must be completely removed to allow proper adhesive bonding and prevent unevenness. The old countertop is usually discarded.
Do you need to seal quartz countertops after installation?
No, quartz does not need to be sealed. It resists staining and etching unlike natural stone. At most, reapplying a quartz-safe cleaner/polish yearly can help prolong its shine.
How long should you wait to use quartz countertops after installation?
It’s best to avoid heavy usage for 24-48 hours after installation. This allows adhesives and caulk enough time to fully cure and bond to avoid shifting or damage to seams.
Can quartz countertops be installed outdoors?
Outdoor installation is not recommended. Prolonged UV light exposure can damage the resin coating. Excessive humidity and temperature fluctuations can compromise adhesion. Quartz is designed for indoor use.
Installing new quartz countertops can completely transform the look and enjoyment of your kitchen or bathroom. By understanding the detailed quartz installation process, timeline of 2-3 weeks, cost factors, and more, you can ensure your investment yields beautiful, lasting results. Hiring professional installers experienced in safely handling quartz is highly recommended. With some patience during the templating, fabrication, and installation phases, you’ll soon be enjoying the elegance and luxury of natural stone-like quartz countertops.