How to Hide Plywood Under Quartz Countertops

Installing quartz countertops can give your kitchen or bathroom a beautiful, high-end look. However, quartz is an expensive material, so many homeowners opt to cut costs by using plywood as the substrate instead of higher-quality materials like stone. While plywood can work under quartz, the edges may look unfinished. Fortunately, there are ways to hide the plywood edges for a seamless look.

Prep the Plywood

Before installing the quartz, take time to ensure the plywood is properly prepared:

  • Use marine-grade plywood that is free of voids and knots on the surface. Avoid using regular construction-grade plywood, as it may warp or deteriorate over time with exposure to moisture.
  • Seal all sides and edges of the plywood with waterproof wood glue to prevent moisture damage. Allow the glue to fully cure overnight.
  • Sand the plywood until smooth, filling any imperfections with wood filler. The surface should be even for proper quartz installation.
  • Prime and paint the plywood edges that will be exposed with a moisture-resistant primer. This protects the wood from water damage.

Proper plywood prep provides a stable, smooth substrate for the quartz to adhere to.

Choose Thick Quartz Material

The thickness of the quartz material impacts how well it hides the plywood edges. A standard quartz thickness is 3/4″, but opt for a 1 1/4″ thick slab. The extra thickness means the quartz overhangs the plywood further, concealing more of the side edges.

Thicker quartz is more expensive, so use it strategically on areas where the plywood edges will be most visible, like near the sink. Use standard thickness quartz on sections that will be flush against walls or other surfaces.

Add Buildup Layers

For areas where the plywood side edges are still partially visible behind the quartz overhang, add buildup layers:

  • Apply thinset mortar to build up the plywood so it sits flush with the quartz surface. This covers more of the side edge.
  • On top of the mortar, add filler strips cut from scrap pieces of the quartz. This adds extra thickness to further mask the plywood side walls.

Take care to evenly build up the plywood so the finished quartz surface remains level. Allow materials to fully cure before installing the quartz.

Use Decorative Edge Profiles

Creative edge profiles along the countertop edges can help draw the eye away from imperfections where the quartz meets the plywood. Options include:

  • Ogee: An elegant S-shaped curve profile that provides shadow lines to obscure the plywood seam.
  • Eased: A slightly rounded edge that gives a softer finish compared to a blunt straight edge.
  • Beveled: Angling the quartz slab edge helps hide the side wall transition line.
  • Bullnose: A rounded, protruding edge that fully covers the plywood side seam.

Decorative edges add visual interest, while helping creatively disguise the underlying plywood edges.

Apply Edge Banding

For a seamless look, apply iron-on edge banding strips along the exposed plywood edges before installing the quartz. Choose edge bands made of PVC or veneer that match the thickness of the quartz material.

Carefully trim and adhere the edge bands so they sit flush, then use transition adhesives or caulking to fill any gaps between the plywood and quartz. Finished properly, the eye won’t notice the transition.

Use Decorative Supports

Creative corbels, trim pieces, or legs installed along the counter edges can completely hide the underlying plywood:

  • Wood corbels add rustic support while concealing quartz seams. Stain or paint them to coordinate with cabinetry.
  • Ornate metal brackets lend antique flair as they disguise the counter sides. Opt for polished brass, satin nickel, or iron finishes.
  • Decorative legs mounted intermittently along the countertop visually break up the edges and draw attention away from imperfections.

Decorative supports installed directly over the edges act as a distraction while fully covering quartz seams, making edges almost magically disappear.


Can you use just plywood for quartz countertops?

Plywood alone is not suitable as a substrate for quartz countertops. It can warp and crack over time. Always attach the quartz to a stable substrate like MDF, particle board, or stone slabs.

What thickness of plywood should be used under quartz?

3/4 inch exterior-grade plywood is generally recommended, as it provides a stable base without adding too much weight. Be sure to prep and seal the plywood properly before quartz installation.

Should you attach plywood to the cabinets before quartz install?

Yes, securing the plywood directly to the cabinets creates an anchored surface to adhere the quartz slabs to. Use screws and construction adhesive to attach the plywood.

Can you use pre-made quartz strips to hide plywood edges?

It is possible, but may result in a visible seam. Custom cutting the quartz allows you to get a seamless look. Pre-made strips are ideal for quick backsplashes, not Quartz countertops extending to the edges.

How much overhang should there be with quartz over plywood?

Aim for a 1-2 inch overhang if possible. Anything under 1 inch may expose too much of the plywood edge. Go thicker on sink cutouts and raised bar areas.


While plywood can technically be used as a base for quartz countertops, its edges may detract from the elegant quartz surface. Take steps to build up and disguise the plywood sides with thicker quartz, edge profiles, banding, and creative supports. With careful prep and strategic design choices, you can enjoy the durability of plywood paired with the flawless beauty of quartz.