How to Cut Quartz Countertop – A Step-by-Step Guide

Quartz countertops are popular in kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, stain resistance, and modern aesthetic. However, cutting quartz requires specialized tools and techniques to get clean edges and proper fit. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process of cutting quartz countertops for DIY installation or fabrication.

What Tools Are Needed for Cutting Quartz?

Cutting quartz countertops requires using the proper cutting tools to get neat edges and avoid cracking or chipping the material. Here are the essential tools you’ll need:

  • Circular saw with diamond blade – The diamond-tipped blades are designed to cleanly cut through engineered stone. A 10-inch saw is ideal.
  • Straight edge or cutting guide – Used to guide the saw for straight cuts. Get an aluminum straight edge at least a few feet long.
  • Face mask and eye protection – Wear a N95 mask and safety goggles to protect from dust.
  • Ear protection – Wear ear plugs or muffs as cutting will be loud.
  • Gloves – Protect your hands from sharp edges. Get cut-resistant gloves.
  • Clamps – To securely hold the countertop and saw guide in place. Spring clamps are very helpful.
  • Wet stone or belt sander – For polishing cut edges smooth. Get a medium grit.
  • Tape measure and marker – For measuring and marking the cutting lines. Use a Sharpie.

Having the right quartz cutting tools is crucial for getting clean cuts, so invest in quality diamond blades and safety gear. Never cut dry as water cools the blade preventing overheating.

How to Cut Quartz Countertops with a Circular Saw

Follow these steps to properly cut quartz slabs using a circular saw with a diamond blade:

1. Mark the Cut Lines

Carefully measure and mark cut lines on the top and bottom of the quartz using a marker. Mark the lines about 1/8” wider than the needed size to allow for the blade thickness. If making multiple cuts, number the cut marks.

2. Align the Cutting Guide

Clamp a straight edge guide securely in place lined up precisely with the cut marks. This cutting guide keeps the saw steady.

3. Setup Saw & Safety Gear

Fit the circular saw with a sharp diamond blade meant for stone. Set the blade cutting depth to go just slightly deeper than the quartz thickness. Wear eye, ear, hand, and respiratory protection.

4. Create a Wet Cut

Continuously spritz water on the area being cut to cool the blade and prevent overheating. A “wet cut” avoids chipping. Never cut quartz dry.

5. Cut Slowly Along Guide

Hold the running saw flush against the guide and slowly cut along the marked line. Let the blade do the work without forcing the saw. Go over cut lines twice for best results.

6. Make Multiple Cuts If Needed

For larger countertops requiring multiple cuts, make each cut consecutively following the steps. Always cut the longest edges first.

7. Smooth Any Rough Edges

Use a wet stone or belt sander with fine-to-medium grit to polish and smooth any small rough spots on cut quartz edges. Prevent breathing dust.

Proper circular saw technique with a diamond blade, water, and saw guide results in perfect quartz cuts. Take your time and don’t rush the process. Now the quartz pieces are ready for installation!

Cutting Quartz Countertops with a Jigsaw

For curvy edges and cutouts in quartz like around sinks, a jigsaw with a diamond blade allows for detail work that a circular saw can’t achieve. Follow these jigsaw cutting steps:

1. Outline Detailed Cuts

Use a marker to draw the specific shape needed for sink cutouts or any curved edges on the quartz. Follow a template if available.

2. Setup Tool & Gear

Fit a fine-toothed jigsaw blade designed to cut engineered stone without chipping. Cover eyes, hands, ears, and wear a mask to control dust.

3. Cut Slowly with Light Pressure

Cut very slowly and gently ease the jigsaw along the outlines. Let the specialty blade do the work. Don’t force the saw.

4. Keep It Cool & Lubricated

Continuously mist the cut line with water to prevent heat buildup and lubricate the blade. Cut wet, not dry.

5. Make Relief Cuts If Necessary

For tight corners or curves, drill small relief holes inside the lines so the blade can turn. This prevents cracking at sharp angles.

6. Polish Any Roughness

Smooth out any small irregular spots on the cut edges using a wet stone rubbing at medium grit. Don’t breathe the quartz dust.

With the proper specialty blades, gentle saw control, and lots of water, jigsaws allow for intricate quartz countertop cuts. Relief holes are key for tight turns. Finishing by sanding produces smooth edges.

How to Cut Holes in a Quartz Countertop

Cutting holes in a quartz countertop for sinks or appliances requires careful hole saw use. Here is the best technique:

1. Mark Precise Hole Locations

Measure twice and use a marker to mark the exact center point where holes need to be drilled through the quartz. Use an opening template if available.

2. Start With a Pilot Hole

Use a masonry drill bit to drill a pilot hole perpendicular at the marked center point. This allows the hole saw to align properly.

3. Setup the Hole Saw

Select a diamond-grit hole saw 1/4” larger than the needed hole size. Attach to a drill on slow speed with water feed.

4. Cut & Cool

Begin cutting the hole slowly with steady pressure while misting water on the saw continuously. Small holes take only seconds, large holes a few minutes.

5. Clean Up & Smooth

Use a file or sandpaper to remove any unevenness on the hole edges. Check fit and open hole more if undersized.

6. Make Additional Holes as Needed

Repeat the process to make all necessary holes following the measurements. Double check each location first for accuracy.

With the right diamond hole saws, starter holes, a steady hand, and lots of cooling water, perfect holes can be cut into quartz countertops. Just take it slow and easy.

How to Cut L-Shaped Quartz Pieces

Fitting quartz countertop seams around corners requires cutting precise L-shaped pieces. Follow these steps:

1. Measure & Draw Cut Lines

Determine the dimensions needed for the L-shaped piece. Carefully measure and mark the length and width cuts needed on the quartz slab.

2. Clamp Straight Edge Guides

Securely clamp aluminum cutting guides matching the length and width cut lines marked on the quartz.

3. Setup Tool & Gear

Use a circular saw with diamond blade, water sprayer, eye and ear guards, gloves, and respiratory mask. Adjust blade depth just below quartz thickness.

4. Cut Along Guides Slowly

Cut first along the length guide, then repeat along the width guide. Keep water steadily flowing on the blade during cuts.

5. Inspect Corners

File down any small irregularities on inside and outside corners so they connect seamlessly. Test fit the L-shaped piece.

6. Dry & Polish All Edges

Allow edges to dry fully. Use fine grit sandpaper or stone to polish and smooth all sides and corners. Wipe clean.

With precise line marking, steady straight edge guides, slow cutting, and sanding, clean 90 degree inside/outside corners can be cut on quartz countertops.

Cutting Laminated Quartz Countertops

Quartz slabs are often bonded with a plastic laminate backing. This helps support the stone and prevents cracking during fabrication. Here are tips for cutting laminated quartz:

1. Mark Top Side Lines

Make cut marks only on the top laminate side. Don’t mark the bottom backing side or residual marks can show through.

2. Setup & Adjust Blade Depth

The saw blade needs to be set to cut through the full thickness including the laminate backing. Extend blade to about 1/2” below quartz.

3. Use Good Support

Provide ample support beneath the overhang when cutting to prevent cracking as the piece separates. Cut off pieces may shatter.

4. Expect Blade Wear

The plastic laminate is abrasive and will wear diamond blades faster than cutting natural stone only. Replace blades as needed.

5. Smooth Laminate Edges Also

In addition to sanding the top quartz edges, also smooth and polish the exposed laminate sides to prevent delamination or peeling.

Factor in the laminate backing when marking cut lines, setting blade depth, and edge polishing for a clean professional cut. Support overhangs well and expect faster blade wear.

Tips for Cutting Thin Quartz Countertops

Thinner 3/4” quartz countertops require finesse when cutting to avoid cracking or breaking compared to thicker slabs. Follow these thin quartz cutting tips:

– Support Material Fully

Use a rigid foam insulation board underneath to support the entire length being cut and prevent bending stress cracks.

– Mark Top Only

Put cutting guide marks only on the top side. Marks on the bottom can telegraph through thin material.

– Fine Tooth Blade

Opt for a circular saw blade with very fine diamond grit to slice cleanly rather than chipping the thin quartz.

– Cut Slow & Easy

Move the saw across gently and steadily without forcing it. Prevent the blade from binding to control cracking.

– Precut Partial Pieces

Consider scoring the underside first partway through rather than cutting all the way through thin pieces prone to breaking.

With ample support, light hands, and the right blade, thin quartz can be cut successfully. Partially cutting thin pieces first makes separating easier. Work carefully to avoid cracks.

Cutting Quartz Countertops With No Chipping

Chipping is a common problem when cutting quartz. Here are great tips to prevent chipped edges:

  • Always use a saw with diamond-edged blade designed for cutting stone. Carbide blades chip quartz.
  • Cut very slowly with light steady hands. Rushing causes chips and cracks.
  • Keep the quartz piece supported near the cut to minimize vibration causing chipping on the separated edge.
  • Continuously spray water on the blade when cutting to prevent overheating that can cause chipping on exits.
  • For circular saws, align a guide with the cut marks to prevent slipping which chips edges. Make relief cuts in tight curves.
  • On curved jigsaw cuts, use an old blade with finer teeth rather than an aggressive fast-cutting blade to reduce chipping.
  • Make sink cutouts slightly undersized and use a rasp or file to open them up gradually to prevent edge crumbling.
  • Use a belt sander or rubbing stone on finished edges at a medium grit to remove small chips or rough spots.

Quartz chipping is no fun after all that hard cutting work. With the proper tools, techniques, care, and patience, you can get perfectly smooth non-chipped edges.

How to Cut Quartz Countertops YouTube Videos

Cutting quartz yourself can seem daunting, but there are some excellent YouTube videos demonstrating professional techniques step-by-step:

Quartz Countertop Cutouts & Seams

This video shows making precise circular sink cutouts using hole saws and straight seam cuts with a circular saw:

Cutting Thin Quartz Countertops

Special care must be taken when cutting 3/4” thin quartz material to avoid cracking. This video provides great tips:

Cutting Outlets & Notches in Quartz

Small cutouts like for electrical outlets require plunge cuts and chisels. This video demonstrates how to do it right:

Cutting L-Shaped Quartz Counters

Making precise 90 degree inside and outside corners is crucial. This video shows how:

Minimizing Chipping Cutting Quartz

This quick tutorial focuses on using proper tools and techniques to prevent those frustrating chips in finished edges:

With the right instructional videos, you can gain knowledge and confidence to take on cutting quartz yourself. Taking it slowly and carefully is key.

FAQs About Cutting Quartz Countertops

What are the best quartz cutting tools?

A 10-inch circular saw with high quality diamond-tipped blade designed for stone cutting is essential. A jigsaw with similar diamond blade is great for curvy cuts. Use a drill with diamond hole saw for sink openings. A belt sander or wet stone polishes edges smooth.

Can you cut quartz with a table saw?

It is not recommended. The lack of water cooling will likely cause chips and cracks. Quartz should be cut wet with a circular saw. Dry cutting risks burning and fracturing the material.

What grit sanding pad smoothes cut quartz edges?

Use a medium 80 to 120 grit sanding belt or wet stone rubbing block to smooth the cut edges of quartz countertops. Higher 220+ grit can polish them to a glossy shine. Always sand wet to minimize quartz dust.

How thick of quartz countertop should be used?

The standard thickness is 3 cm or 1-1/4 inches. Long spans or overhangs should be at least 2 cm thick for proper support. For heavy use kitchen islands, 3 cm is ideal. The thinnest option is 0.75 cm (3/4″) but requires careful cutting and maximum support.

Is cutting quartz dangerous?

Yes, cutting quartz produces extremely fine dust containing crystalline silica that can cause lung disease with prolonged exposure. Always use wet cutting methods along with a respirator mask, eye protection, and disposable coveralls that contain the dust.

Cutting quartz to create countertops has risks, but with the proper gear and techniques, you can safely fabricate edges to fit your space perfectly. Patience and letting the tools do the work makes all the difference.


Cutting quartz countertops to create custom pieces requires specialized diamond-edged tools, detailed measurements, careful handling, and lots of cooling water. Rushing leads to cracking, chipping, and broken corners. Thinner 3/4” quartz requires extra finesse and support to cut safely. Proper technique prevents ragged edges needing extensive smoothing after.

With the right circular saw, jigsaw, hole saws, drill, guide bars, and sanding equipment, you can cut quartz successfully yourself. However, the process generates dangerous silica dust, so wearing PPE is critical along with containing slurry mess. For DIYers new to cutting quartz, instructional YouTube videos offer great visual guidance. Patience and letting tools work slowly leads to professional results installing quartz countertops in your home.