How to Cover Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, quartz is not indestructible and requires some care to keep it looking pristine. Knowing how to properly cover and protect your quartz countertops is key to preserving their beauty. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about covering quartz countertops.

Selecting the Right Cover Material

When it comes to protecting quartz countertops, you have several material options:

Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are essential for preventing knives from damaging the surface of your quartz counttops during food prep. Look for boards made of wood, plastic, or rubber that are gentle on your knives. Bamboo and teak cutting boards are attractive options that can also be left out as part of your decor.

Hot Pads and Trivets

Hot pots, pans, and bakeware should never be placed directly on quartz. The heat can damage the solid surface material. Use hot pads or trivets when removing items from the oven or stove. Opt for trivets with rubber feet to prevent scratches.


Setting the table? Use placemats to protect the dining area of your quartz countertop. Choose plastic, cork, or fabric placemats that can handle spills and are easy to clean.

Quartz Sealers

Special quartz sealers add an extra layer of protection against stains and etching. Sealers help repel oil, water, and dirt. Reapply sealers regularly per manufacturer instructions.

Wax Paper

Cover areas of the countertop where food prep will occur with wax paper. The paper takes the brunt of the slicing, dicing, and juice drips. Simply toss away when done.

Proper Usage Habits

In addition to using the right cover materials, developing proper usage habits is key to preventing damage.

Use Cutting Boards

Never slice, chop, or cut any items directly on the quartz surface. Always use a cutting board to protect against deep scratches and grooves.

Employ Heat Protection

Place trivets or hot pads beneath hot pans and baking sheets. Leave cookware to cool completely before placing it in the sink or on the quartz.

Clean Up Spills

Immediately wipe up spills, especially oils, wines, and acidic substances like lemon juice that can stain and etch quartz.

Avoid Dropping Heavy Objects

Quartz is durable, but subjecting it to impact from heavy objects can chip the edges. Handle glassware and cookware with care.

Lift Appliances When Moving

Dragging appliances like a toaster oven or stand mixer across the countertop risks scratching. Always lift and set down gently.

Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Follow these best practices for keeping quartz surfaces pristine:

Daily Cleaning

Wipe down countertops at the end of each day using a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild soap. Rinse well and dry with a soft towel.

Deep Cleaning

Once a week, clean thoroughly with an alkaline-based quartz cleaner to remove stuck-on grime. Rinse and dry completely.


Disinfect every few days using an EPA-registered disinfectant or bleach solution. This kills harmful germs.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

Do not use abrasive cleansers, scrubbing pads, or powders that can dull the finish. Stick to soft cloths, sponges, and nylon brushes.

Remove Stains Properly

For stains caused by wine, coffee, juice, etc. blot immediately and clean with a alkaline quartz cleaner. Avoid scrubbing aggressively at stains.

Inspect for Damage

When cleaning, inspect for signs of damage like cracks or chips which can harbor dirt and bacteria. Repair minor damage as soon as possible.

Protecting Against Everyday Damage

Quartz is remarkably resilient, but you’ll want to guard against possible damage from daily wear and tear:

Grocery Bags

Avoid setting plastic or paper grocery bags on the countertop. The dyes can leach out and stain the surface.

Hot Pans

As mentioned earlier, always use trivets. Leaving hot pans directly on the quartz risks burning and cracking.

Oil and Grease Stains

Clean up food prep messes promptly. Oil and grease can seep into the pores of natural stone.

Harsh Chemicals

Keep nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide, paint removers and other harsh chemicals off the quartz.

Applying Pressure

Don’t apply excessive pressure on one area of quartz when chopping, cutting or rolling out dough. Distribute pressure evenly.

Sun Exposure

UV light can eventually cause quartz to fade or yellow. Limit direct sunlight where possible.

Protecting Against Cracks and Chips

Chips and cracks compromise the structural integrity and appearance of quartz:

Use a Cutting Board

The #1 cause of damage is failing to use a cutting board for food prep. The impact of a knife blade directly on quartz can chip and crack it.

Heat Protection

As noted before, hot pans and bakeware directly on the surface can crack quartz. Always use trivets and allow cookware to cool before setting it in the sink.

Handle with Care

When placing glassware, pots, and appliances on the quartz, set them down gently to avoid cracking the surface.

Inspect Regularly

Check for any hairline cracks which can expand over time, especially around sinks and cooking areas. Seal minor cracks immediately with epoxy resin to prevent further damage.

Support Heavy Objects

When placing heavy objects on quartz, always set them on a trivet or dish to better support the weight and avoid cracking.

Hire Professionals

Leave tricky jobs like sealing cracks and repairing chips to the experts. Improper DIY repairs can compromise appearance and durability.

How to Disguise Existing Damage

If your quartz already has some minor damage, there are ways to downplay it:


For light scratches or etching, gently buff the area with 00 gauge steel wool. This softens the appearance of imperfections. Avoid polishing the entire surface.

Small Chips

Carefully clean out the chipped area and fill with a quartz repair resin, matching the color as closely as possible to the surrounding areas. Let cure completely.

Cracks Near Edges

For hairline cracks along the edges, thoroughly clean the area and fill in the gaps with a quartz repair putty. Allow time to cure before using the countertop. Monitor for expansion.


Surface stains can often be minimized by cleaning with a mix of alkaline cleaner and 35% hydrogen peroxide. For deep stains, a professional quartz restoration specialist may be needed.

Uneven Appearance

If the overall countertop develops an uneven, dulled appearance over time professional resurfacing is recommended. This involves stripping and refinishing the top layer to restore the gloss.

When to Call in a Professional

For some quartz countertop damage, it’s best to hire a professional for repairs:

Cracks in Center of Counter

Cracks away from the countertop edges signal structural instability. This requires a pro to determine if the substrate has been compromised and full replacement is needed.

Large Chips and Gouges

Deep gouges, large broken off sections, and obvious impact damage should be evaluated by a specialist. The area may need to be patched with resin or completely replaced.

Warping or Cracking From Heat

If quartz cracks, bubbles, or warms due to excessive heat exposure, a pro may have to remove and reinstall portions, or replace the entire damaged section.

White Marks and Discoloration

For unresponsive staining or sudden appearance of white marks, blotchy areas, or color changes, a professional quartz restoration is recommended to determine the cause and restore appearance.

Faded or Yellowed Quartz

If sections of your countertop lose their luster and pigmentation from sun exposure, professional resurfacing is recommended to buff out the damage and re-polish the material.

How to Remove Difficult Stains

Certain stubborn stains may require special treatment:

Dried Food, Grease, and Resin

Gently scrape off what you can with a plastic putty knife, then use a degreaser and nylon brush to work away the remainder. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Wine, Coffee, and Juice Stains

Liberally apply alkaline quartz cleaner or mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Let sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth.

Mold and Mildew Stains

Create a cleaning solution of 2 cups water, 1/4 cup bleach, 1 tbsp mild dish soap. Apply to the stain and allow to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing clean. Allow to fully dry.

Dye Transfers

Dampen a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and gently wipe the stain. Avoid excessive rubbing. Rinse with water and dry completely. Monitor area in case stain persists.

Hard Water Marks

Wipe on some straight white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a soft cloth dampened with water to wipe away the stain. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry.

Scuffs and Adhesive

Place a small amount of mineral spirits on a soft cloth and gently rub the affected area. Take care not to spread the scuff. Rinse clean and dry thoroughly.

How to Seal Quartz Countertops

Sealing quartz countertops provides added protection against stains, etching, and moisture damage:

Clean Thoroughly First

Before sealing, clean your entire countertop with quartz cleaner to remove any dirt, oil residue, and debris that could interfere with sealer effectiveness.

Choose a Quartz-Safe Sealer

Look for a sealer specifically designed for natural stone that offers protection against both oil and water-based stains. Sealer types like epoxy resins and polyurethanes work well.

Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Read the product directions carefully to understand correct application technique, number of coats needed, and drying time required.

Use Thin Even Coats

Pour a small amount of sealer directly onto the quartz surface. Use a clean cloth or foam applicator to spread a thin, even coat across the entire countertop.

Allow Proper Cure Time

Allow the sealer coat to fully cure per manufacturer guidelines before use, often 24-48 hours. Insufficient curing can compromise durability.

Reapply as Needed

Expect to reseal your quartz countertops every 1-2 years depending on usage and sealer quality. Reapply sooner if you notice water no longer beading on the surface.

How to Remove Existing Sealers

If you wish to remove your existing quartz sealer, either to reseal or just have an unsealed countertop, you’ll need to strip it properly:

Try a Sealer Remover First

Look for a commercial natural stone sealer remover and apply liberally to the quartz surface. Let it sit per product instructions, then wipe clean. Repeat as needed.

Mix Mildly Abrasive Solutions

If commercially available removers fail, try mixing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or ammonia and scrubbing gently with a soft cloth or nylon brush.

Use a Hot Water Soak

Boil a large pot of water. Pour the hot water over the countertop surface. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes to help soften the sealer. Blot dry and check if sealer is stripped.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Steer clear of acetone, mineral spirits, harsh solvents or alcohol which could damage the finish of natural stone surfaces when attempting to remove sealers.

Hire a Professional

For a thick sealer layer, engraving, or countertops made of softer natural stone, hire a professional to safely strip the sealer and avoid damage to the countertop itself.

Maintaining Quartz Around the Kitchen Sink

The area around a kitchen sink sees a lot of use and needs special care. Here are some quartz countertop maintenance tips specific to the sink:

Disinfect Frequently

Wipe down surfaces around the sink with a disinfecting cleaner or bleach solution daily to prevent germs from building up.

Rinse Thoroughly

Do not allow soapy water or cleaning product residue to sit on quartz around the sink. Always rinse thoroughly after washing dishes.

Stay Vigilant For Drips

Promptly wipe up any water drips, splashes, or spills around the sink before they have a chance to stain.

Inspect for Damage

Carefully inspect quartz surfaces adjacent to and behind the sink for any cracks, chips, or eroded areas that allow moisture seepage.

Check Plumbing Fixtures

Examine sink plumbing fixtures regularly for leaks that could drip water onto the countertop resulting in damage. Act immediately to fix any issues.

Consider a Backsplash

Adding a backsplash can help protect the wall edges near the sink basin from water exposure leading to swelling and warping.

Caring for Quartz Kitchen Island Countertops

Kitchen islands see a lot of meal prep and dining use. Give island quartz countertops extra care:

Use Placemats and Runners

Protect surfaces from dining ware abrasion and hot plates by using placemats, coasters, and table runners.

Clean After Food Prep

After prepping ingredients and rolling dough, immediately clean flour, sugar, grease messes before they have a chance to stain.

Handle Appliances with Care

When plugging in mixers, blenders and other appliances avoid dragging them across the surface to prevent scratching.

Limit Direct Sunlight

Bright direct sunlight can eventually cause fading or discoloration. Close drapes or blinds to limit sun exposure on island countertops.

Apply Sealers

Since islands tend to have increased use and wear, keep them well sealed with an approved quartz sealer to fortify against stains.

Inspect for Damage

Islands are prone to chips and scratches from rolling carts, serving ware, and food prep. Routinely inspect and address any minor damage discovered promptly.

Caring for Quartz Bathroom Vanity Countertops

The way you care for bathroom vanity countertops varies slightly from kitchen counters:

Disinfect Daily

Disinfect bathroom countertops daily, including around the sink basin, using an EPA-registered antimicrobial cleaner to prevent the spread of germs and mold.

Limit Chemicals

Take care to avoid prolonged contact or spills of hair coloring and other harsh bath and beauty products on quartz vanity tops. Quickly clean any drips.

Inspect Plumbing Fixtures

Check for any leaky plumbing fixtures in or around the bathroom sink which could leak and damage the countertop. Repair any identified leaks immediately.

Soften Closing Doors

Install door bumpers on nearby vanity or medicine cabinet doors to soften the impact when closing them, preventing possible vibrations that could crack quartz.

Check Behind Counters

Inspect areas of the countertop pushed up against the wall for moisture damage or buildup of grime and soap scum residue which can degrade quartz over time.

Limit Curling Iron Heat

Take care not to place powered-on curling irons or other heated tools directly on quartz vanity tops. Use a heat resistant mat or allow to fully cool first.

FAQs About Covering Quartz Countertops

What is the best way to protect quartz countertops when painting?

When painting near quartz countertops, cover them completely with plastic painters sheeting taped down on all sides to protect from paint drips, splatter, and wall paint smears during roller application.

Should you cover quartz countertops when not in use?

It’s a good idea to cover quartz surfaces when not in use for an extended period. Dust them first, then cover with a specially fitted heavy paper or plastic countertop cover to protect from construction dust, dirt, paint, and other contaminants.

How can I protect my quartz counter while using a crockpot?

Place your heated crockpot on a trivet or hot pad rather than directly on the quartz countertop. This prevents excessive concentrated heat from potentially cracking or discoloring the surface.

What should I use to cover my quartz countertops for extra workspace?

Cork trivets or boards make ideal extra workspaces atop quartz countertops when extra area is needed for holiday cooking and baking. Avoid plastic mattes which could scratch.

Is wax paper ok to cover quartz countertops when rolling out dough?

Yes, wax paper makes an ideal surface protector when rolling pastry dough on quartz countertops. Flour the wax paper instead of the countertop. The paper takes the mess and is easily replaced between batches.


Quartz countertops are naturally strong, but still prone to damage when not properly cared for. By using the right coverings during food prep and cooking, establishing smart usage habits, cleaning quartz safely, and inspecting regularly for any chips and cracks, you can keep your quartz surfaces looking like new for years. Being diligent about using trivets, cutting boards, hot pads, and sealers prevents costly damage. With some basic care, your kitchen and bath quartz countertops will maintain their good looks and perform beautifully.