How to Cut and Finish Quartz Countertops

Installing quartz countertops can transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom. With their durable, stylish surface, quartz countertops make an excellent choice for high-traffic areas that require easy cleaning and maintenance. However, proper cutting and finishing are critical to achieve a beautiful, long-lasting installation. Follow these key steps for how to cut and finish quartz countertops.

Selecting the Right Tools

Having the proper tools is essential for making accurate cuts and achieving a smooth, professional edge. These are the recommended tools for cutting and finishing quartz:

  • Circular saw with diamond blade – The diamond coating on the blade prevents excessive wear when cutting through quartz. Use a circular saw to make straight cuts.
  • Jigsaw with diamond blade – For curved or irregular cuts, a jigsaw with a diamond blade allows for precise control.
  • Router with diamond bit – A router creates rounded edges for a finished look. Select a 1/8” diamond bit.
  • Sandpaper – 180 to 220 grit sandpaper smooths cut edges.
  • Handheld grinder – For beveled edges, use a 4-1/2” grinder with a diamond cup wheel attachment.
  • Masking tape and painter’s tape – Tape protects the surface during cutting.
  • Safety glasses and ear protection – Wear proper protective equipment when cutting to guard against dust and noise.

Measuring and Marking the Material

  • Carefully measure and mark your cuts on the backside of the slab using a carpenter’s pencil. This avoids marks on the visible top surface.
  • For corners and seams where two pieces meet, make sure to measure the locations precisely to achieve a tight fit.
  • Mark sink and cooktop cutouts according to the dimensions specified by the manufacturer.
  • Double check all measurements before cutting to avoid costly mistakes.

Making Straight Cuts

Here is the process for making straight cuts with a circular saw:

  • Put on safety glasses and ear protection. The sawing process generates a lot of dust.
  • Position the slab on a steady, level work table or sawhorses. Use C-clamps to secure it in place.
  • Align the saw blade on your cut marks. Make sure the diamond blade extends just below the slab.
  • Set the saw blade depth so it cuts through the quartz but does not damage the table underneath.
  • Make several light passes along the cut line rather than one aggressive pass. Let the diamond blade do the work.
  • Cut slowly and steadily while maintaining firm pressure. Allow the saw to cut without forcing it.
  • After cutting, carefully lift and reposition the slab to make additional cuts as needed.

Cutting Curves and Irregular Shapes

For curved cuts, a jigsaw with a diamond blade allows you to closely follow rounded edges:

  • Clamp down the slab securely.
  • Align the jigsaw base right along the marked cutline.
  • Cut steadily, letting the tool do the work. Move the blade slowly around curves.
  • Use short, gentle strokes rather than long passes. Long passes can cause the blade to bend and wander.
  • For irregular freehand shapes, carefully guide the blade along the marks. Periodically stop to verify you are staying on the line.

Cutouts for Sinks and Cooktops

Measure and mark cutout areas for sinks, cooktops, and any appliances:

  • Drill a hole inside the cutout area to insert the jigsaw blade. This prevents chipping at the corners.
  • Cut out the opening steadily, staying just outside your lines. Leave some extra material.
  • Check that the appliance or sink fits properly within the hole.
  • Use a file and sandpaper to refine the cutout edges until the fit is accurate.

Smoothing the Edges

Give the cut edges a finished look by sanding and polishing:

  • Use 180 grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or saw marks along cut edges.
  • Rub the sandpaper over the edges using light, even pressure. Be careful not to round over the edges excessively.
  • Finish by smoothing the edges with 220 grit sandpaper, which gives a finer polished appearance.
  • Wipe away all dust using a dry cloth. Compressed air also helps blow away particles.
  • For a glossy polished edge, use a handheld grinder with a diamond polishing pad attachment.

Creating Seamless Seams

Getting a tight, seamless fit where two pieces join is key for a flawless look:

  • Dry fit the slabs together first to ensure proper alignment along the edges.
  • Once aligned, run masking tape along the seam. This keeps the joint tight when gluing.
  • Apply dabs of hot melt glue every 6 inches along the seam. Press the pieces together firmly.
  • Remove the tape carefully to prevent the slabs from shifting.
  • Allow the glue to fully set overnight before removing clamps.
  • Use seam adhesive to fill any remaining hairline gaps. This achieves an invisible joint.

With the right tools and techniques, DIYers can achieve professional-looking results when cutting and installing quartz countertops. Follow safety precautions and work carefully to end up with a beautiful, durable installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can quartz be cut with a wet saw?

No, wet saws are not recommended for quartz. The water cools the diamond blade, preventing it from cutting effectively through this material. Quartz dust also clogs up wet saws. Use dry cutting tools only.

What RPM blade speed should be used?

4000-8000 RPM is ideal. Lower RPMs can slow cutting and cause excessive wear on diamond blades. Higher speeds may create overheating. Refer to your tool’s manual for its optimal blade speed.

Is it okay to cut quartz outdoors?

Yes, cutting quartz outside is fine as long as you follow safety precautions. The sawing produces large amounts of silica dust, so wear approved respiratory protection. Have a helper spray water to keep dust levels down. Ensure the slab is securely clamped.

Can factory edges be reused, or does everything need cutting?

It’s best to cut all edges to achieve a consistent appearance. However, carefully inspected factory edges in excellent condition may be reused if needed to reduce labor time or material waste.

What blade is best for beveled edges?

Use a 4-1/2” angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel attachment. Tilt the grinder to the desired bevel angle and smoothly grind the edge at a steady pace. Apply masking tape and remove dust frequently.


With the right approach and tools, DIYers can achieve professional results when fabricating quartz countertops. Allow plenty of time for careful measurement, precise cutting, edge finishing, and polishing. Focus on steady hands, patience, and attention to detail. Thorough preparation and methodical work will result in a stunning custom quartz installation to enjoy for years to come.