How to Drill Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects thanks to their durability, ease of maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, many homeowners wonder if it is possible to drill into quartz to install fixtures or make custom cutouts. Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, drilling quartz countertops is totally doable as a DIY project.

What You Need to Drill Quartz Countertops

Drilling into quartz requires patience and the proper equipment to avoid cracking or chipping the material. Here is what you need to successfully drill into quartz:

Diamond-Tipped Drill Bits

Ordinary twist drill bits will not work on quartz. You need special diamond-tipped drill bits designed for drilling through engineered stone. Carbide drill bits also work. Select a bit diameter suitable for your project.

Spray Bottle with Water

Keeping the drill bit wet while drilling reduces friction and heat buildup which can damage the stone. Have a spray bottle on hand filled with water.

Masking Tape

Tape around the anticipated drill area to prevent the drill from wandering.


Have a damp rag ready to wipe away any stone dust or debris.

Safety Goggles

Protect your eyes from flying stone fragments when drilling.


A high torque drill is required to power through the dense quartz material without the bit getting stuck. Use a corded drill for best results.

Marking Pen

Use a permanent marker to denote the drill location.


In case of drill skidding, use 100 grit sandpaper to smooth any uneven edges.

How to Drill Into Quartz Countertops

Follow these step-by-step instructions for smooth drilling into quartz:

Step 1: Mark the Drill Location

Use a permanent marker to draw an X where you want to drill the faucet hole or other opening. This will prevent drill wandering.

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Clean the area to be drilled with denatured alcohol to remove any dirt or grease. Then place strips of masking tape around the planned hole area. The tape will prevent drill skidding.

Step 3: Start Drilling

Place the diamond drill bit perpendicular to the quartz surface and begin drilling slowly at first. Let the drill do the work, applying only light pressure.

Step 4: Cool the Drill Bit

Frequently stop to spray the drill bit and stone surface with water to keep it cool. The quartz dust also needs wetting to stay out of the air.

Step 5: Drill through Quartz

Maintain steady pressure and speed. Drill partway through, stop to allow the bit to cool, spray water, then continue drilling. Slow progress is key to prevent overheating.

Step 6: Finish the Hole

Once you break through the underside, carefully rotate the drill to slightly enlarge and smooth the opening.

Step 7: Clean Up

Remove all masking tape and use a rag to wipe away any excess moisture and stone dust. Check the hole edges for any needed sanding.

Tips for Drilling Quartz Countertops

Follow these tips when drilling into quartz to get clean, precise holes:

  • Go slow with steady pressure – no more than 500 rpm for the drill. High speeds create excess heat which damages quartz.
  • Frequently pause to spray the drill bit and quartz surface with water – at least every 30 seconds. This cools the stone and drill bit.
  • Use masking tape around the drill point to prevent skidding. Check under the quartz to avoid hitting reinforcement rods.
  • Bore through laminated edges in one pass to avoid chipping the quartz surface. For thicker areas, drill halfway then flip to complete from the underside.
  • Apply firm pressure when first starting to drill until the carbide grips then ease off. Too much pressure can crack the quartz.
  • If drill skidding occurs apply 100 grit sandpaper to smooth out any small ridges around the hole.
  • After drilling faucet holes, use a stone file to shape the opening and remove any rough edges. Start small then widen to the needed size.
  • For cutouts use a diamond blade wet saw for best results. Holes larger than 1 inch should be cut with an oscillating tool.
  • Wear safety goggles, drill slowly and clean up debris as you work to keep your quartz drilling project safe.

Drilling Holes for Faucets

The most common need for drilling quartz countertops is to install kitchen faucets and bathroom vanities. Here are some tips:

  • Confirm the exact faucet hole size needed before drilling. Measure your faucet base plate.
  • Standard holes are 1 1⁄4” but some faucets require 1 1⁄2” or larger openings. Check your faucet specs.
  • Mark the precise faucet location on the quartz before drilling to avoid placement errors.
  • Drill a pilot hole then use a ceramic stone bit to gradually increase the size to the needed diameter.
  • For three-hole faucets, measure and mark the spacing between each hole for uniformity.
  • Cut holes perpendicular to the countertop. Angled holes can leak and prevent gaskets from sealing.
  • Smooth all hole edges with a file or sandpaper so there are no chips or cracks for leaks to start from.
  • Follow the faucet manufacturer instructions for hole drilling depth. Usually 1 1⁄8 inches is sufficient.
  • Prevent cracking by placing a scrap wood block underneath when drilling through.
  • Clean away all quartz dust before installing the faucet. Check fit then caulk around holes.

With the proper tools and techniques, drilling smooth holes for faucets through quartz countertops is totally achievable. Just remember to go slow and keep the drill bit wet.

Drilling Tips for Quartz Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sink cutouts require special drilling considerations:

  • Check the sink dimensions and marking the cutout area precisely before drilling.
  • Follow the sink manufacturers cutout instructions for size and shape.
  • Drill a starter hole inside the cutout area then use a diamond blade wet saw to cut along the marked outline.
  • For rounded sink corners, drill pilot starter holes then use a reciprocating saw with fine-tooth blade along the curved cuts.
  • Make sink cutouts 1/8” larger than the actual sink rim to allow a gap for caulk and adjustments.
  • Cut quartz around sinks in a single pass when possible to prevent visible seams.
  • A silicone sealant designed for quartz adheres best for waterproof sink installation. Smooth with a plastic spreader for a neat finish.
  • Use sink clamps underneath the countertop while the caulk dries for a secure bond.

With patience and the proper cutting tools, drilling a custom sink cutout in quartz countertops can create a beautiful integrated look.

Drilling Drain Holes for Quartz Sinks

Once you’ve cut the sink opening, you need to drill for the drain:

  • Locate the exact drain hole position underneath per the sink specifications. Mark the location.
  • Protect the sink rim area above with masking tape before drilling to prevent cracking.
  • Drill a 1 1⁄2” hole for a standard sink drain using a carbide-tipped masonry bit.
  • Drill slowly through the quartz into the cabinet space underneath for cleanest results.
  • The average countertop thickness is 1 1⁄4”. Drill through laminated edges in one pass.
  • Place a wood block beneath the drill area as you cut through to prevent damage below.
  • Smooth the drain hole edges with 100 grit sandpaper to remove any small fractures or unevenness.
  • Clean away all debris before installing the sink drain. Check fit then apply plumber’s putty around the drain flange.

With the proper precautions, drilling for sink drains can be accomplished without damaging your quartz countertop. Just take it slowly.

Cutting Out Holes for Appliances

Quartz countertops can be cut to accommodate appliances like soap dispensers, filtered water systems, and hot water taps:

  • Verify needed hole size and location requirements per the appliance manufacturer.
  • Mark the appliance footprint with masking tape to guide the cutting.
  • For small openings under 2”, use diamond drill bits to bore holes then shape with files.
  • For larger holes a diamond blade wet saw is needed. Cut carefully following outlines.
  • Make sink cutouts 1/8” larger than the actual sink rim to allow a gap for caulk and adjustments.
  • Cut quartz around sinks in a single pass when possible to prevent visible seams.
  • A silicone sealant designed for quartz adheres best for waterproof sink installation. Smooth with a plastic spreader for a neat finish.
  • Use sink clamps underneath the countertop while the caulk dries for a secure bond.

With patience, the latest quartz cutting tools, and proper measurements, appliance cutouts can be made cleanly. Just take your time.

Drilling Tips for Electrical Wires

Quartz should be drilled to install electrical components like outlets, switches, and under-cabinet lighting:

  • Determine wiring locations based on appliance placements and lighting needs.
  • Mark wire holes on the underside or backside of the countertop to hide.
  • Use a long 1⁄4” masonry drill bit to accommodate electrical wires when drilling.
  • Drill wire holes perpendicular to the countertop to prevent cracking on the top surface.
  • Place scrap wood underneath and drill through quartz into open space to prevent damaging cabinets.
  • Plastic grommets in holes protect wires from chafing against rough quartz edges.
  • Seal around wires with silicone caulk to prevent moisture ingress and stone dust.
  • Avoid drilling near the quartz edges or in laminated sections which can crack more easily.

With proper precautions, drilling wire holes will allow installing electrical components in your quartz countertop. Just be sure to mark locations carefully.

Cutting Recessed Areas in Quartz

For a custom look, sections of quartz can be cut out to create recessed areas for appliances, utensil storage, and other unique designs:

  • Map out the exact dimensions for the recessed space with masking tape.
  • Clamp a straightedge as a guide for your cutting tool to follow.
  • Use an oscillating multi-tool with fine-grit carbide blade to cleanly cut along edges.
  • Or utilize a diamond blade wet saw for best control when cutting into quartz.
  • Angle the cutting tool into the quartz at 45 degrees to carve out the recessed bed.
  • Use 100 grit sandpaper to smooth any uneven edges left after cutting.
  • Clean away all debris then seal the cutout edges with color-matched caulk.

With the right tools and techniques, recessed spaces can be carved into quartz to create one-of-a-kind designs. Just take it slowly and smooth edges carefully after cutting.

Cutting Quartz Countertops for Cooktops

Integrated cooktops require special cutouts in quartz countertops:

  • Verify the dimensions of the cooktop before marking the cutout area. Leave an extra 1/8” gap.
  • Protect surrounding countertop areas with masking tape before cutting.
  • Use a diamond blade wet saw for best control cutting the opening. Follow outlines precisely.
  • Cut laminated front edges in one pass to avoid uneven seams on cooktop edges.
  • For curved and corner cooktops use an oscillating tool to carve around profiles neatly.
  • Sand cut edges smooth with 100 grit paper to prevent cracking originating from corners.
  • Clean away all debris before placing the cooktop. Seal edges with silicone caulk.
  • Install Cooktop according to manufacturer instructions for proper clearance and ventilation.

With care and the right tools, quartz countertops can be modified to beautifully integrate cooktop appliances. Just take it slow.

How to Smooth Rough Edges after Cutting

It’s important to smooth any rough quartz edges after drilling or cutting holes to prevent cracks from forming:

  • Inspect hole edges for any small fractures or uneven areas. These weak points impact durability.
  • Use 100 grit sandpaper to lightly smooth fractured areas and blunt sharp corners or burrs.
  • For small sink cutouts an oscillating tool with a sanding head can sand smooth difficult to reach spots.
  • Finish by wiping away all dust with a dry rag. Check edge feel to confirm smoothness.
  • Apply clear silicone caulk to exposed openings and cuts to seal the quartz. Tool caulk for a neat look.
  • Avoid using the countertop for at least 24 hours after sealing to allow caulk to fully cure.

Proper post-drilling and cutting treatments will keep your quartz holes, cutouts, and edges intact for the long term.

Preventing Cracks and Chips When Cutting

Quartz can crack or chip if not drilled and cut properly. Follow these preventive measures:

  • Always drill pilot holes before attempting larger openings to avoid fracturing.
  • Tape around drill areas to prevent skidding that leads to chipping on edges.
  • Use diamond-tipped bits and blades specifically designed for engineered stone. Carbide works too.
  • Cut laminated edges in one slow pass rather than multiple passes that weaken seams.
  • Keep drill bits and cutting blades wet to reduce heat buildup that can crack quartz.
  • Place scrap wood underneath when drilling to prevent blowing out the underside.
  • Smooth all cut edges with sandpaper to remove points where cracks can form.
  • Clamp a straightedge guide when cutting with power tools to prevent shifting.
  • Fill any seams between laminated pieces with flexible caulk that allows slight movement.

With proper drilling and cutting techniques, it is possible to modify quartz countertops without any cracking or chipping. Just take your time.

FAQ about Drilling into Quartz Countertops

Many homeowners have questions when needing to drill into quartz. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can I use a regular drill bit to drill quartz?

No, normal high-speed steel twist drill bits designed for drilling metals do not work well on engineered stone. You need special diamond-tipped or carbide-tipped masonry drill bits.

What size hole do I drill for a kitchen faucet?

Standard kitchen faucets use 1 1⁄4” diameter holes. However, check your specific faucet as some models require slightly larger 1 1⁄2” holes. Drill a smaller pilot hole first.

How fast should I drill quartz?

Drill quartz at 500 rpm or less. High speeds create excess heat and friction which can crack quartz. Take it slow with steady gentle pressure.

Can quartz crack when drilling?

Quartz can crack if the drill bit overheats, you apply too much pressure, or drill speed is too fast. Always work slowly and keep the bit wet to prevent cracking damage.

What’s the best way to cut a sink hole in quartz?

Use a diamond blade wet saw for best results cutting sink openings. Cut any rounded corners with an oscillating tool and carbide blade. Frequent water prevents overheating.

Is it hard to drill through quartz yourself?

Drilling quartz requires patience but is not difficult with diamond-tipped bits meant for stone drilling and keeping the bit constantly wet. Take your time and use masking tape guides.

How thick are quartz countertops?

Most quartz countertops are 1 1⁄4” thick. Thicker edges or laminated sections may be up to 1 1⁄2” to 2”. Check your countertop thickness before drilling.

Can any drill be used for quartz?

No. You need a high torque drill, ideally corded, to provide sufficient power when drilling through dense quartz. Avoid low-powered battery operated drills.


Drilling into quartz countertops allows for installing sinks, faucets, appliances, and other custom openings. With diamond-tipped drill bits, the proper techniques, and safety precautions, DIYers can successfully drill quartz themselves. The key is working slowly, keeping holes wet, and smoothing all cut edges to prevent cracking. With patience and the right tools, you can drill polished openings in quartz to upgrade your kitchen or bath.