Quartz countertops are quickly growing in popularity for kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and customizability. If you’re considering quartz counters for your home, you may be wondering how long the installation process takes from start to finish. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect when you’re having quartz countertops made and installed in your home.
Selecting Your Slab
The process of having quartz counters made begins with selecting the right slab. There are many options for colors, patterns, finishes, and thicknesses. When you visit a stone supplier or quartz fabricator, be prepared to spend some time looking at slabs and gathering inspiration. Think about how the new counters will look alongside your cabinetry, flooring, appliances, and decor.
Some tips for picking the perfect quartz slab:
- Bring sample chips of your cabinet color to coordinate
- Look at full slabs in person to see overall pattern and consistency
- Consider thicker slabs (2cm or 3cm) for more durability in high traffic areas
- Choose a finish like polished, matte, or leathered based on your style
- Look for low maintenance options if you want to reduce cleaning needs
Once you’ve selected your slabs, the fabricator can take precise measurements and create digital templates of your countertops. This process can take approximately 1-2 days depending on the size of the project. The scheduler will then provide you with an estimated production timeline.
Fabricating Your Counters
Quartz countertops are made by blending approximately 90% ground quartz with resins and pigments. This creates a durable, non-porous surface. Complex quartz patterns and effects are often added during fabrication using state-of-the-art equipment.
The production phase takes an average of 7-10 business days, but can vary depending on the size of the job and specifics. Here is the basic fabrication process:
- Slabs are inspected and prepared for cutting
- Precise cuts are made using water jets or CNC technology
- Edges are shaped, finished, and polished
- Sections are bonded together seamlessly
- The backsplash and other custom elements are created
- Final quality control check is conducted before shipment
Reputable fabricators invest in the latest technology like robotic arms to ensure maximize precision and efficiency during quartz manufacturing. This helps streamline the process compared to working with natural stone.
Once your countertops are ready, the fabricator will contact you to schedule delivery and installation. Before the counters are permanently installed, it’s important to do a thorough inspection:
- Review all sides/edges for any damage or defects
- Look closely at seams to ensure proper fit and polish
- Confirm overhang size and positioning are as desired
- Verify that sink/cooktop cutouts and other special details are correct
Don’t be shy about asking the installers to address any issues at this stage. It’s much easier to make adjustments before finalizing. Some defects can be fixed on site, while others may require the fabricator to take a piece back for reworking. This pre-installation inspection generally adds less than one day to the process.
The installation itself often takes just 1-2 days depending on total countertop size and layout. The installers will remove your old counters if needed, then thoroughly clean the base cabinets. Here is how the installation process typically proceeds:
- Counters are carried in and dry fitted without adhesive
- Adjustments are made until each section fits correctly
- Silicon caulk is applied to seal any gaps and prevent moisture issues
- Adhesive is added and the counters are permanently bonded down
- The installers review for any final tweaks before concluding
Quartz is an extremely hard, dense material, so the installers must take care moving and securing the slabs. Most reputable fabricators will have 2-3 trained technicians working together on installation day to ensure a smooth process.
Once in place, your brand new quartz counters should be left undisturbed for 24-48 hours. This allows the adhesive used during installation to fully cure. Avoid placing anything heavy on your counters or using the sinks/faucets during this time.
It’s normal for some mild bonding fumes to be noticeable. Keep the space well ventilated. Do not try to wash or polish your new counters during the curing period. Once complete, you can start enjoying your updated kitchen or bath!
If you’re having quartz counters made, how long should you plan for from start to finish? Here is an overview of the typical total timeline:
- Slab selection: 1-2 days
- Digital templating: 1-2 days
- Fabrication: 7-10 business days
- Inspection: 1 day or less
- Installation: 1-2 days
- Curing time: 24-48 hours
This means you should expect 2-3 weeks total for a straightforward install. Larger projects with multiple slabs and complex details may require 3-4 weeks. Communicate your schedule needs to your fabricator/installer and build in some buffer time.
Factors That Can Add Time
While 2-3 weeks is standard, there are some variables that can extend your quartz countertop timeline:
- Special ordering slabs if you want rare colors or patterns
- Intricate edge profiles or built-up edges
- Full backsplashes with decorative inlays or designs
- Kitchens with multiple seating areas/countertop sections
- Tile or glass mosaic backsplashes
- Integrated sinks and custom cooktop cutouts
- Any mods/fixes needed during installation
Discuss factors like these with your fabricator early on. They can give you realistic time estimates and help you plan accordingly. Be flexible if possible should any delays arise.
Speeding Up The Process
For those wishing to expedite the timeline, a few options exist:
- Opt for widely available slab colors/patterns in stock
- Choose a simple polished edge profile vs. specialty edges
- Get digital templates quickly after slab selection
- See if the fabricator offers rush fabrication for added fees
- Arrange for the installer to come immediately once counters are done
- Have existing counters removed before new ones arrive
While it’s not always possible, some jobs can be condensed to 7-10 total days by optimizing each step. Talk to your pros about what’s feasible.
Is It Worth The Wait?
Although having quartz counters made does require 2-3 weeks from start to finish, the wait is well worth it. Few other surfaces can match the low-maintenance durability of quartz. Unlike marble or granite, quartz resists stains, scratches, and heat damage with proper care.
Take your time selecting a beautiful, unique slab for your space. Quartz offers limitless options to suit your personal style. With routine cleaning, your counters should maintain their like-new appearance for many years before considering replacement. Use the wait period to create decorative backsplashes, update lighting fixtures, or install new sinks and faucets to fully complement your new quartz counters.
FAQs About The Quartz Countertop Process
Get answers to the most common questions about having quartz countertops made and installed for your next kitchen or bath remodel.
How much do quartz countertops cost?
Quartz starts at $50 per square foot installed but can range $80-150 per square foot for premium materials and fabrication. The total cost depends on slab quality, edge details, size/layout of your counters, and more. Get an itemized estimate for your specific project.
Can I install quartz counters myself?
Quartz is extremely heavy, making professional installation highly recommended. DIY installation risks cracked slabs or inconsistent seams. Most manufacturers only honor their warranty when counters are installed by a trained fabricator.
Are there health risks with quartz?
Many reputable brands use bretonstone quartz which is naturally free of resins containing VOCs. Look for low VOC/formaldehyde-free adhesives as well. When standards are followed, quartz has very minimal air quality impact.
How thick should my quartz counters be?
A standard 2cm thickness is suitable for most residential uses. Opt for 3cm thickness in high traffic areas like sinks, ranges, islands, and seating counters that see heavy usage to prevent flexing.
Can you repair chips or cracks in quartz?
Minor chips can be sanded and polished out professionally. Large cracks require replacing the damaged section. Quartz is highly resistant to damage but accidents do rarely happen. Take care with heavy pots/pans.
Will my quartz counters stain?
Quartz resists most household stains, including wine, coffee, and oils. Some chemicals like paint stripper can damage the surface though, so wipe up spills promptly. Avoid direct heat exposure as well.
How often do quartz countertops need to be sealed?
Because it is non-porous, quartz never requires sealing. This makes maintenance much easier than natural stone counters. Simply wipe with a damp microfiber cloth and mild soap to clean.
Can you cut on quartz countertops?
Always use a cutting board to protect from dulling the surface. Quartz is extremely hard but knives can damage the finish over time without a proper cutting surface.
Is quartz a good choice for outdoors?
Quartz can work for some covered outdoor kitchens but is not recommended for direct sun and weather exposure. Overheating risks damage. Consider granite or concrete for alfresco dining areas instead.
We hope this overview gives you a better understanding of the quartz countertop process from selection to installation. Although it takes some patience, quartz delivers unparalleled quality, beauty, and durability when manufactured properly.
Use our guideline to help set realistic expectations for your timeline. With good communication and coordination between you, the fabricator, and installation crew, you can minimize delays and frustrations. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying easy-care, gorgeous quartz counters that elevate your space for years to come.