How to Cut Quartz Countertop Material

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, visual appeal, and low maintenance. When installing quartz countertops, precise cutting is crucial for proper fit and professional results. Learning how to properly measure, mark, and cut quartz slabs ensures your finished countertops have clean edges and seamless joints. This guide will walk you through the key steps for cutting quartz countertop material.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Cutting quartz countertops requires specialized tools to make precise cuts without damaging the material. Here is the essential equipment you’ll need:

  • Diamond-bladed wet saw – The diamond-coated blade on a wet saw is a must for accurately cutting quartz slabs. The water prevents overheating and cracking.
  • Jigsaw with diamond-grit blade – For internal cutouts like the sink. The jigsaw allows you to follow curved outlines.
  • Router with diamond bit – Use for edge profiling and smoothing cut edges.
  • Marking pens – White and black pens stand out on the quartz for marking cut lines.
  • Safety gear – Gloves, eye protection, ear protection, and an N95 dust mask when cutting.
  • Straight edge and square – For guiding straight cut lines.
  • C-clamps – To secure the quartz slab during cutting.
  • Rubbing alcohol and clean rags – For wiping off marks after cutting.

How to Measure and Mark the Quartz

Careful measurement and marking is the first step towards accurate cuts. Follow these tips for properly preparing quartz slabs:

Check Dimensions of the Countertop Area

Use a tape measure to double check the length, depth, and any interior angles of the countertop space. Make sure your measurements match the dimensions on your countertop template.

Mark the Measurements on the Quartz

Using a white marking pen, transcribe the measurements from your template onto the backside of the quartz slab. The backside is safer for marking so pen marks near cut edges can be removed later.

Draw Straight Cut Lines

Use a straight edge and square to draw straight cut lines following the marked measurements on the quartz slab. Plan any seams where adjoining countertop sections will meet.

Mark Interior Cutouts

Trace the outline of any interior cutouts like the sink using the measurements from your template. A jigsaw will be used to cut along these curved lines.

Cutting a Straight Edge

Straight cuts along the perimeter of the countertop are made using the wet saw. Here are some tips for clean, straight quartz cuts:

Secure the Slab Properly

Use C-clamps to fasten the quartz slab to the cutting table of the wet saw. This prevents vibration and slipping during cutting.

Align the Cut Line on the Blade

Position the quartz so the marked cut line follows directly along the path of the saw blade. Use the guide bar on the saw if available.

Cut Slowly and Steadily

Cut through the quartz slowly and steadily without stopping. Typical feed rate is 8 to 12 inches per minute. Rushing increases chances of cracks and chips.

Support Long Cuts

Long countertop pieces will overhang the cutting table. Support the underside using a second person or temporary supports.

Check for Straightness

Use a square to check cut edges for straightness. Re-cut if necessary to achieve perfectly straight quartz edges.

Cutting Curves and Interior Spaces

For sink cutouts and other curved interior spaces, a jigsaw with a diamond grit blade is used rather than the straight-cutting wet saw. Follow these steps for smooth curves:

Drill Corner Holes

Start interior cuts by drilling a 1⁄4” hole at each corner of the interior cutout space. This gives the jigsaw blade entry points.

Cut Roughly 1⁄4” Outside the Line

Running the jigsaw blade slightly outside the marked line prevents chip-out along the cutline edge. The extra will be trimmed off.

Go Slow on Curves

Reduce jigsaw speed around curves and corners to prevent cracks from developing at these high-stress points.

Use Steady Forward Pressure

Allow the spinning jigsaw blade to do the cutting. Avoid excessive side-to-side wiggling which can cause poor cuts.

Sand Curves Smooth

Use 100 grit sandpaper secured to a rubber sanding block to remove the extra 1⁄4” and smooth curves.

Smoothing and Polishing Cut Edges

The wet saw and jigsaw leave quartz edges slightly rough. Use the following steps for smoothing and polishing for flawless edges:

Clean Cut Edges

Wipe away marking pen lines and leftover debris near edges using denatured alcohol and clean rags.

Use a Router for Smoothness

A router with a diamond polishing bit removes saw marks and provides smoother quartz edges. Move the router steadily in multiple passes.

Polish with Sandpaper

Further smooth and polish edges using 220 to 400 grit sandpaper, gradually increasing fineness. Use a sanding block and water.

Buff Edges to Shine

Applying buffing compound with a fine buffing pad and drill polishes edges to a glossy shine. Remove compound residue thoroughly.

Tips for Cutting Quartz Countertops

Follow these additional professional tips when measuring, marking, and cutting quartz slabs:

  • Always double check measurements and cut lines before making final cuts.
  • Use painter’s tape rather than marks if cutting quartz with a highly patterned surface.
  • For built-in backsplashes, allow 1/8” clearance from the wall for expansion.
  • Cut quartz face down whenever possible to avoid chipping the visible surface.
  • Periodically inspect diamond blades and bits for sharpness. Replace as needed.
  • Work slowly and patiently for best results. Rushed cuts can crack, chip, or shatter quartz.
  • Keep water tray filled on wet saw and allow blade to fully stop before adjusting quartz piece.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some differences when cutting quartz versus natural stone?

Quartz is more brittle and prone to chipping and cracking compared to granite. Extra care must be taken when cutting and handling the slabs. Slow feed rates and diamond-coated blades are especially important.

What should I do if the quartz cracks during cutting?

Immediately turn off any cutting tools to halt further cracking. Note the extent of the damage and whether the piece is still usable. Consult your countertop retailer about replacement quartz slabs if needed due to extensive cracks.

Is it possible to cut quartz countertops on site rather than at the fabrication shop?

On-site quartz cutting is not advisable unless you have the necessary professional tools and training. The quartz pieces are very heavy, difficult to maneuver, and prone to damage if improperly cut. Leave it to the experts at the fabrication shop whenever possible.

What are some signs my wet saw blade needs replacement when cutting quartz?

Indications of a worn diamond wet saw blade include slow cutting speed, rough cut edges, burn marks on the quartz, and excessive blade vibration. Inspect blades regularly and replace when worn to maintain cutting accuracy and efficiency.

How should I dispose of quartz dust and debris after cutting?

Quartz dust contains crystalline silica and requires special handling. Avoid sweeping or blowing the dust. Instead use a HEPA vacuum and wet wiping methods. Place dust and debris in sealed bags for disposal per local regulations. Wear an N95 mask when cleaning up.

What safety precautions should I take when cutting quartz slabs?

Wear eye protection, hearing protection, an N95 dust mask, and cut-resistant gloves when operating saws and routers to cut quartz. Keep fingers away from cutting blades. Prevent slipping or tipping of the heavy quartz slabs during cutting. Allow cutting tools to fully stop before handling quartz.


Cutting quartz countertop slabs is a job best left to experienced professionals with the right tools. For DIYers willing to take the time to learn the techniques, measuring, marking, and cutting quartz carefully yields professional looking results. Patience and the proper cut protection will help prevent expensive mistakes. Be sure to use specialty diamond-blades, make precise marks, support heavy slabs properly, and cut slowly. With practice, your custom quartz countertop joints and edges can have the smooth factory finish your project deserves.