Replacing dated Formica countertops with luxurious quartz can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Quartz countertops are durable, attractive, and easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for modern kitchen upgrades. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change Formica countertops to quartz.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
Before we get into the installation process, let’s look at some of the key advantages of quartz countertops:
- Durability – Quartz is non-porous and stain, scratch, heat, and impact resistant. It can withstand years of daily use.
- Low Maintenance – Unlike natural stone, quartz needs very little ongoing maintenance. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all it requires.
- Stylish Appearance – Available in a vast array of colors and patterns, from sparkling aggregates to marbleized looks. The options are nearly endless.
- Hygienic – Quartz does not harbor bacteria or mold growth, making it safe and hygienic.
- Consistency – Since it is engineered, quartz has a uniform appearance without natural stone’s variations.
- Value – Although more expensive than Formica, quartz offers great value for money given its durability and longevity.
Step 1: Remove Existing Countertops
First, all existing countertops and backsplashes need to be removed. Start by clearing the countertops of everything on them. Take out drawers and detach sinks and cooktops if possible. Using a utility knife, score along the caulk lines to detach backsplashes. Cut through countertops with a circular saw just inside corners and edges. Lift and remove cut sections, taking care not to damage base cabinets. Finally, scrape off any remaining caulk, adhesive, or laminate pieces.
Step 2: Prepare the Base Cabinets
With the countertops removed, the base cabinets need to be prepared to support the new quartz:
- Inspect for any damage or issues and repair as needed
- Sand and clean tops of cabinets to remove debris and imperfections
- Check for level and make any adjustments
- Fill gaps between walls and cabinets with wood shims
- Reinforce heavy duty cabinets with additional plywood for support
Step 3: Make Template and Measurements
Since quartz is fabricated for custom fitting, the next step is creating a template to get accurate measurements:
- Create a template out of cardboard, plastic sheets, or 1/4 inch plywood
- Trace the exact shape and dimensions of the cabinets on the template material
- Mark locations for the sink and cooktop by tracing or measuring for openings
- Indicate measurements for seams, edges, overhangs, and backsplashes
- Double check all measurements for accuracy before finalizing
Having accurate template measurements ensures your quartz countertops will fit perfectly.
Step 4: Select Quartz Slab and Finalize Details
With measurements in hand, visit a countertop supplier to select the quartz material. Important choices include:
- Color/Pattern – View all the color and pattern options available to find the perfect look for your kitchen.
- Edge profiles – Choose from rounded, beveled, eased, or modern angular edges. This affects the appearance and feel.
- Thickness – Standard is 3cm, but thicker options add heft and durability for years to come.
- Seams – Minimize seams for a seamless appearance. Discuss layout to optimize this.
- Backsplash – Matching backsplash creates a uniform, streamlined look.
- Finish options – Matte, polished, textured and other finishes are available.
Be sure to ask about lead times as fabrication and installation may take several weeks.
Step 5: Fabrication and Installation
With all details decided, the fabricator will cut and polish the slabs and fabricate your countertops and backsplash according to the measurements.
When ready, the installation process involves:
- Removing any existing backsplash and disconnecting plumbing/electrical
- Carefully transporting the quartz pieces into the kitchen
- Setting them in place on the prepared base cabinets
- Fastening pieces from underneath using brackets
- Seaming and bonding any joints
- Reconnecting plumbing and electrical
- Applying any caulk, grout or finishing touches
And finally, the sparkling new quartz countertops are ready to enjoy! With proper care and maintenance, they will serve you well for decades in your kitchen.
How much does it cost to change Formica to quartz?
The cost can range from $80-150 per square foot installed. The total depends on the grade of quartz chosen, edge profiles, thickness, and the overall size of the project.
Is it worth changing to quartz?
For most homeowners, investing in quartz pays off long-term thanks to the durability, aesthetics, and added home value. The resale value boost often offsets much of the upfront cost.
Is quartz better than granite?
Quartz and granite each have pros and cons. Quartz offers more consistency and requires less maintenance. Granite is more heat and scratch resistant. Overall, quartz provides better durability for the cost.
Is quartz cheaper than granite?
In general, mid-range quartz tends to cost about 20-30% less than mid-range granite. However, high-end quartz can approach luxury granite in pricing.
How long does quartz countertop installation take?
If using an experienced installer, the installation process typically takes 1-2 days. Total time from order to install is about 3-4 weeks for fabrication and shipping.
Does quartz add value to kitchen?
According to real estate agents, upgraded countertops like quartz recoup about 70% of their cost in added home value for resale. Luxury kitchens can further boost value.
Upgrading your outdated Formica to beautiful, durable quartz gives your kitchen a modern facelift that will stand the test of time. By following the key steps outlined above, you can successfully handle this project and enjoy your new counters for decades to come. With the right research, planning, and skilled installer, the process is very manageable. Before long, you can have an eye-catching kitchen space you adore spending time in.