Changing your quartz countertops can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments, making it an attractive, durable, and low-maintenance option for countertops. With the right techniques and preparations, you can change your existing quartz countertop to give your space an updated, fresh look.
Preparing to Change Your Quartz Countertop
Changing out a countertop is a big project that requires planning and preparation. Here are some key steps to take before starting the countertop replacement process:
Choose the New Slab
The first step is selecting your new quartz slab. Visit local countertop suppliers to browse their quartz options in person. Bring home quartz samples to compare colors against your cabinetry, flooring and decor. Things to consider when selecting a new quartz slab:
- Color – Quartz comes in a vast array of colors from subtle whites and creams to bold blues and blacks. Choose a hue that complements your space.
- Pattern – Many quartz slabs incorporate veining and patterns for added visual interest. Decide if you want a solid slab or one with intricate designs.
- Finish – Quartz comes in polished, matte and textured finishes. Polished has a glossy shine while matte is smooth and velvety. Textured quartz adds dimension.
- Thickness – Standard quartz thickness is 3cm but thicker options like 4cm provide extra durability. Choose the thickness needed for your application.
Measure Countertop Dimensions
Carefully measure the length, width and any angled corners of your existing countertop. Include the dimensions of any seams if replacing multiple slabs. Take detailed notes and sketches to share with your countertop provider. Accurate measurements ensure your new quartz slab is cut to the precise size needed for your space.
Inspect cabinets to ensure they are level, securely fastened to walls and able to properly support the weight of a new quartz countertop. Make any needed repairs. Remove doors and drawers as needed to allow ample access for countertop installation.
Purchase New Accessories
Buy any new sink, faucet or other accessories that will be integrated into your new quartz countertop. Have these items on hand so they can be installed in conjunction with the new slab.
Choose an experienced countertop installer to handle the precise cutting and installation of your new quartz slab. Confirm a date for the swap out so your kitchen or bath is not left unusable for long.
Removing the Existing Quartz Countertop
Once preparations are complete, it’s time to remove the existing quartz countertop. This involves carefully disconnecting and extracting the countertop without damaging the underlying cabinetry. Here is a step-by-step removal process:
Disconnect Sink and Accessories
The first step is disconnecting the kitchen sink, faucet, soap dispenser and any other accessories from the countertop. Turn off water supply lines and disconnect drain pipes. Detach faucet and accessory mounts. Remove the sink, faucets and accessories and set aside carefully.
Remove Backsplash Tiles (If Present)
Use a putty knife to pry up any backsplash tiles present where the countertop meets the wall. Scrape away any remaining backsplash adhesive. Remove all backsplash tiles so the countertop can be lifted freely.
Cut Caulk Seam (If Multiple Slabs)
For a countertop made of multiple quartz slabs, take a utility knife and cut through the caulk seam where the slabs meet. This allows each slab to be removed separately.
Cut Adhesive Bead
Use the utility knife to cut through the adhesive bead attaching the countertop to the cabinetry. Cut along the entire perimeter of the countertop.
Lift Off Countertop
With the caulk seam cut and adhesive detached, the countertop should lift free. Carefully lift it off the base cabinets and maneuver it out of the kitchen or bath. Take care not to crack or chip the edges in the process.
Remove Adhesive Residue
Use a putty knife to gently scrape away any leftover adhesive or caulk residue from the cabinets so the new countertop can be installed on a clean base.
Prepping the Base for New Quartz
With the old quartz removed, inspect the underlying cabinets to ensure they are in good condition for supporting and securing the new countertop:
Verify Cabinet Stability
Ensure cabinets are level, plumb, and securely attached to the wall and floor. Reinforce as needed to prepare for the weight of the quartz.
Check for Level
Use a level tool on cabinet tops to identify any unevenness. Shim as needed so cabinets provide an evenly flat base.
Replace Damaged Areas
Inspect for water damage or any weakened areas in cabinet structure. Repair or replace damaged components before moving forward.
Use a mild degreaser and rag to remove any dirt, grease or debris from the cabinet tops and walls. Ensure adhesive will stick and seal properly.
Apply Adhesive Primer
Lightly sand cabinet tops and apply an adhesive primer using a small foam roller. This helps the new adhesive adhere firmly to the cabinetry.
Thoroughly prepping the cabinets ensures your new quartz countertop gets installed on a solid, secure base for longevity.
Installing the New Quartz Countertop
Once prepped, it’s time to install your beautiful new quartz countertop. Proper installation techniques will keep your countertop securely mounted and seamless for years to come.
Have your installation technician carefully place the quartz slab onto the prepared cabinet base. Use your measurements to ensure a tight fit.
Level and Shim
Level the slab and use shims to raise any low spots. Verify the underside makes solid contact with cabinets along the entire surface area.
Run a bead of adhesive along the top edges of the cabinets where the slab will make contact. Use 100% clear silicone for best adhesion and flexibility.
Lower and Press Slab
Slowly lower the slab into place, pressing down firmly to seat it into the adhesive. Ensure there are no gaps where the quartz meets the cabinets.
Clamp If Needed
For extra stability, apply wood clamps along the slab edges while the adhesive dries. This prevents any shifting. Remove clamps after 8-12 hours.
Seal Seams for Multiple Slabs
When working with multiple slabs, apply a thin bead of clear silicone into the joint gaps. Smooth for a flush seam. Wipe away any excess.
If removed previously, reinstall tile backsplash or other chosen backsplash material along the wall edges. Grout and seal for water protection.
With proper installation completed, your quartz countertop will be transformed into a stunning showpiece built to last.
Integrating New Sink and Accessories
The final step is integrating your chosen sink, faucet and accessories into the new quartz countertop:
Cut Sink Opening
Use the sink dimensions to measure and mark openings for undermount, drop-in or vessel sink types. Make cut-outs carefully using a diamond-tipped saw.
For undermount sinks, set the sink in place and attach with mounting brackets, clips and silicone adhesive sealant. Apply sealant around the rim for water-tightness.
Install Faucet and Accessories
Attach new faucets using manufacturer instructions, securing supply lines and drain attachments. Adhere soap dispensers, racks and other accessories in desired locations.
Connect water supply lines to faucets and turn on shut-off valves once sealant is dry. Check for any leaks and tighten fittings if needed.
Apply a final thin bead of clear silicone around sink and accessory edges. Smooth with a wet fingertip for a finished look.
With your new elements properly installed, you can complete the countertop renovation by unpacking dishes and accessories to bring your refreshed space fully back to life.
FAQs about Changing Quartz Countertops
Some frequently asked questions about changing out quartz countertops:
Can I install new quartz over existing quartz?
It is not recommended to install new quartz directly over your existing slab. The old quartz should be fully removed before installing replacement quartz.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No, quartz does not require regular sealing like natural stone. The resins make quartz non-porous, so it does not need sealing.
Can I cut or sand my quartz countertop?
It is not recommended. While possible, cutting or sanding quartz risks damaging the structural integrity or appearance. Leave custom cuts to professional installers.
How thick should my quartz countertop be?
The standard thickness is 3cm (1.25 inches). Go thicker (like 4cm) for heavy usage areas that need more durability.
How much does quartz countertop installation cost?
On average, expect to pay $50 – $100 per square foot for quartz countertop installation including materials and professional labor.
What tools are needed to install quartz?
Key tools needed include a diamond-tipped saw blade for cutting, adhesive and silicone sealants, wood clamps, shims, and adhesive primer.
A quartz countertop installation or replacement is a project best left to the pros, but you can save on cost by removing your old countertop yourself before the installers arrive. With some careful planning and elbow grease, you can achieve a successful quartz countertop changeover in your kitchen or bath. The payoff is a stunning new surface sure to become a focal point you will enjoy for many years.
Changing your quartz countertop provides an impactful upgrade that can modernize the look of your entire kitchen or bath. With the right preparations, proper removal techniques, a solid cabinet base, expert installation, and final accents, you can achieve a smooth, successful quartz countertop replacement resulting in a space that feels brand new. Use the tips and steps outlined here to tackle a DIY quartz countertop changeover and gain stylish, durable surfaces. With strategic planning and careful execution, your new quartz countertops can become a stunning centerpiece you will appreciate for decades to come.