Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can become scratched and damaged over time. Small scratches are inevitable, but there are ways to minimize and even repair this damage to keep your countertops looking like new. This article will provide tips on preventing scratches as well as easy methods for fixing existing scratches in quartz countertops.
Preventing Scratches in Quartz Countertops
Taking some simple precautions can help prevent scratches from forming on your quartz surface:
Use Cutting Boards
Never cut directly on the counter. Always use a cutting board to protect the surface from knives or sharp objects. Plastic, wood, or bamboo boards are best as they are softer than the quartz.
Use Hot Pads and Trivets
Place hot pots, pans, or baking sheets on trivets or hot pads. Heat can damage the resin coating and cause marks or scratches.
Clean Spills Quickly
Clean up food spills, oils, or liquids immediately to prevent staining. Acids like lemon juice or vinegar can dull the finish over time.
Avoid Abrasive Cleaners and Pads
Do not use scrubbing pads, abrasive cleaners, or scouring powders on quartz. They can wear down the protective finish.
Install Bumpers on Cabinets
Self-adhesive bumpers on the bottom of cabinets can prevent them from scraping the counter when opened.
Fixing Minor Scratches in Quartz
If scratches do occur on your quartz countertop, there are some effective DIY solutions. Here are some of the best methods for fixing minor scratches:
Sand the Scratch
Gently sanding can reduce the appearance of superficial scratches. Use a fine grit sandpaper (400 grit or higher) and sand in the direction of the polish lines, taking care not to scour too aggressively.
Polish the Surface
Use a polish specifically designed for quartz to buff out fine scratches. Apply a dime-sized amount to the area using a soft cloth and rub in a circular motion.
Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
These melamine foam cleaning pads can erase some light scratches. Dampen the pad and gently rub over the scratch. This helps smooth the surface.
Apply Putty Stick Filler
For deeper scratches, use a putty stick designed for quartz countertops to fill in the marks. Press the putty firmly into the scratch, let dry completely and then sand flush.
Heat the Scratch
A heat gun can minimize the appearance of scratches by re-melting the quartz resin. Carefully hold the heat gun 3-4 inches away from the surface and pass over the area for 20-30 seconds until it smooths out.
Repairing Significant Damage
For more severe damage like chips, gouges or cracks, professional help may be needed:
- Consult a countertop fabrication company to see if they can cut, sand and re-polish the damaged section of your quartz countertop.
- Hire a professional repair service specializing in quartz countertops. They have experience with filling larger defects.
- If the damage is beyond repair, a full quartz countertop replacement may be necessary.
FAQs About Fixing Quartz Countertop Scratches
How can I tell if a scratch can be repaired or not?
Minor surface scratches less than 1/32 inch deep can often be smoothed away with sanding and polishing methods. Deeper scratches exposing the substrate below the quartz cannot be repaired DIY.
Will DIY scratch repairs look obvious?
With shallow scratches, the home remedies like sanding and polishing will minimize the appearance so they are less noticeable. But expect some evidence of the original damage.
What household items can fix quartz scratches?
Mr Clean Magic Erasers, very fine (400+) grit sandpaper, a buffing pad and polish made for quartz, and sometimes a plastic putty knife can repair minor marks if used carefully.
Can I use automotive buffing compound on my quartz?
No, auto polishes are too abrasive for quartz. Use a polish specifically formulated for quartz surfaces. Look for a product labeled as a restorer, renewer or polishing cream.
Is there a scratch filler I can apply to my countertop?
Yes, there are specific putty sticks and scratch repair kits for quartz countertops that contain fillers you can apply. The filler is meant to be sanded flush with the surrounding surface.
Will sanding a quartz countertop ruin the finish?
Light sanding with fine 400+ grit in the direction of the polish lines will not ruin the finish. Sanding evenly and avoiding scouring will enhance the appearance. But aggressive sanding can damage the surface.
While quartz countertops are remarkably resilient, scratches and abrasions can occur over time. But there are many effective options for repairing minor damage yourself and restoring the appearance of your countertops. With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can stay looking fresh and scratch-free for many years before needing a professional restoration or replacement. Implementing preventative measures, addressing scratches promptly, and utilizing the right methods can keep your quartz counters in impeccable shape.