Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and wide variety of design options. However, as a manufactured stone, the installation process is a bit more complex than other countertop materials. If you’re considering quartz for an upcoming renovation, here is what you need to know about how long to install quartz countertops.
Factors That Affect Installation Time
Several key factors impact how long it takes to install quartz countertops:
Size of the Countertops
The total square footage of the countertop surfaces will significantly affect installation time. A small galley kitchen with 25 square feet of countertop will install much faster than a large open concept kitchen with over 75 square feet of surface area.
Number of Seams
Quartz countertops are made from slabs that are generally 30 square feet. For larger countertop installations, multiple slabs will need to be seamed together. The number of seams will increase installation time.
Complexity of Job
Simple countertop layouts with few cutouts or complex edges will install faster than kitchens with multiple intricate cutouts for sinks or cooktops. Bathrooms with elaborate vanity designs or custom shapes will also take more time.
Thickness of Material
Standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inch, but thinner 1/2 inch options or thicker 1 1/4 to 2 inch slabs are available. The thicker the material, the more time-consuming it is to cut and install.
Edges and Backsplashes
Fancy edges like ogee, bevel, or laminated edges take longer to fabricate and install than a standard bullnose. Integrated backsplashes also add time versus a simple countertop with no backsplash.
Skill of Installers
An experienced quartz fabrication and installation team will work significantly faster than amateurs. Knowledge of how to handle and install quartz properly makes a big difference in time required.
Average Installation Time for Quartz Countertops
With all these factors considered, here are some general time estimates:
- Small Kitchen (Under 40 SF) – 1-2 days
- Large Kitchen (Over 60 SF) – 2-3 days
- Medium Bathroom Vanity – 4-6 hours
- Large Bathroom Vanity – 6-8 hours
- Integral Sink – Add 1-2 hours
- Intricate Backsplash – Add 2+ hours
For especially large or complex jobs, installation may even take 4 or 5 days.
However, with an efficient and skilled installation crew, it is often possible to demo old countertops and install new quartz counters within a single day.
Step-By-Step Quartz Countertop Installation Process
To better understand the time involved, here is an overview of the full quartz installation process:
- Take measurements and create template
- Place order with fabrication shop
- Fabricator cuts slabs, fabricates edges, and polishes
- Confirm that the finished pieces match the design plan
Total Time: 1-2 weeks (Much of this takes place at the fabrication shop)
Demolition & Prep
- Clear countertops and remove old countertop surface
- Repair substructure and level cabinets if needed
- Build up substrate with plywood for seamless look
Total Time: 2-3 hours
- Dry fit countertop pieces and make final adjustments
- Apply adhesive to cabinets
- Set countertops in place, align, and press down firmly
- Clamp pieces together and to substrate while adhesive dries
Total Time: 3-6 hours
Seaming & Finishing
- Sand seams smooth
- Fill any voids with adhesive
- Apply cleaning solutions to remove residue
- Seal joints
- Clean quartz surface
Total Time: 1-2 hours
Edges, Backsplash & Final Details
- Install backsplash and adhere to countertops and wall
- Apply edge treatments
- Apply caulk along edges and walls
- Clean up work area thoroughly
Total Time: 2-3 hours
The actual installation time will vary based on the factors discussed above, but this gives a realistic overview of the full process. While the installation itself may only take one day, there are many steps before and after that impact the total time to completion.
Tips to Shorten Installation Time
If time is limited, here are some tips to help speed up the installation process:
- Choose a simple edge style like eased or minimal bullnose
- Opt for a cove backsplash instead of a full backsplash
- Avoid intricate inlays, curves, or mitered edges
- Select the most seamless layout possible
- Hire experienced, professional quartz installers
- Communicate project time constraints clearly
- Make sure cabinets and walls are prepared and ready
- Have all tools, adhesives, and materials on hand
Proper planning and communication can help avoid delays during installation. While rushing can compromise quality, an efficient installation team will work quickly without cutting corners.
What to Expect During Installation
Understanding what to expect during the installation process can make the experience go more smoothly:
- Noise – There will be some noise from demolition of old counters, cutting, grinding, and seaming the quartz. This is normal, but notify neighbors in shared buildings.
- Dust – Cutting and sanding quartz creates fine dust. The team should contain and clean up dust, but some residue is common.
- Disruption – The kitchen or bathrooms may be partially unusable during the 1-3 days of installation. Make arrangements for meals, washing, etc.
- Adhesive Odor – The adhesive used to mount the countertops has a strong smell during drying. Ensure proper ventilation.
- Setting Time – Adhesive takes hours to fully cure. Avoid direct pressure on countertops during this time. Some tasks may need to wait.
- Damage Risk – New countertops are vulnerable until completely installed. Avoid placing heavy objects on unfinished surfaces.
- Clean Up – Installers should thoroughly clean up all dust and debris after job is complete. Some minor final clean up may be needed.
Proper installation causes minimal damage or disruption to the home. Communicate any concerns clearly with the project manager.
FAQs About Installation Timelines
How much does quartz countertop installation cost?
The average cost to install quartz countertops is $80-100 per square foot, including materials and professional labor. Total costs for a medium sized kitchen often range from $4,000 – $7,000.
Should I DIY or hire a pro to install quartz?
Quartz is difficult for DIY installation due to the precise cutting, seaming, and handling required. Missteps can lead to cracks or damage. Using a professional installer is highly recommended.
How long should I wait to use new quartz counters?
It’s best to avoid direct pressure on countertops for at least 24 hours after install to allow adhesive to fully cure. Wait 3-5 days before placing very heavy objects. Normal use can resume after 1-2 days.
Can quartz counters be installed over existing countertops?
In some cases quartz can be installed over existing counters, but this is not ideal. The substrate must be completely even and secure. Demolishing old counters allows inspection of cabinets and leveling if needed.
When should I schedule installation in a kitchen remodel?
Quartz fabrication and installation is generally best scheduled towards the end of the remodel after cabinetry, sinks, and other elements are in place. New countertops are vulnerable to damage from other trades working.
Achieve a Smooth Installation Process
Installing new quartz countertops is a significant investment that can completely transform your kitchen or bathrooms. Being well prepared and having realistic expectations about the installation time required will help ensure a smooth process that results in stunning, durable countertops you’ll enjoy for decades. With proper planning and care, your quartz installation will be completed beautifully and efficiently.
The installation process for quartz countertops is more involved than other countertop materials, but the results are worth it. Now that you know what factors impact overall timelines, general time estimates, all the detailed installation steps, and tips for an efficient install, you can plan your quartz countertop project knowledgeably. With this information, you can set appropriate expectations, schedule contractors accordingly, and budget realistically. Quartz requires careful handling and professional expertise to install properly, but the natural stone look and durability make it a go-to choice for today’s homeowners. By understanding the time commitment and process ahead of time, you can ensure your new quartz countertops transform your kitchen or bath beautifully and smoothly.