Installing floating quartz countertops can transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom by adding a stylish and modern element. Quartz countertops are popular for their durability, ease of maintenance, and variety of color options. Choosing a floating installation, where the countertop rests on top of the cabinet with no visible support underneath, creates a sleek, contemporary aesthetic. While this look is striking, a floating countertop installation requires careful planning and execution to ensure the countertop is securely supported. Proper installation is key to preventing cracks or collapse. This guide will walk you through the entire process of how to install floating quartz countertops.
Getting Started with Floating Quartz Countertop Installation
Choose the right countertop material
Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments. It is harder and less porous than natural stone, making it very durable. Quartz is also non-porous, so it resists staining. Other countertop materials like granite or marble cannot be used for floating installation because they are too fragile. Quartz can withstand the installation method due to its strength. Select a reputable brand like Caesarstone, Cambria, or Silestone.
Select the edge profile
The edge of a floating countertop is highly visible, so the edge profile is an important design choice. Square, beveled, or eased edges give a clean, contemporary look. More ornate ogee, dupont, or triple pencil edge profiles provide a more traditional style. The edge can be finished smoothly or with a texture. Discuss options with your countertop supplier.
Choose the mounting hardware
Floating countertops are supported by a metal bracket system bolted to the wall. Many brands are available, but the basic mechanism is the same. Brackets attach to wall studs or blocking. The countertop rests on top. Look for corrosion-resistant brackets rated for the weight of your countertop material.
Gather your tools
Installing floating countertops requires basic DIY tools like:
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Drill and drill bits
- Wrench for tightening bracket bolts
You may also need a circular saw, router or angle grinder for cutting and finishing countertop edges. Have adhesive and silicone caulk on hand for the installation steps.
Prepare the existing countertops
If replacing an existing countertop, remove the countertop and clean the base cabinets so the new countertop can be installed directly on top. Make sure the cabinets are level and anchored securely to studs. Address any issues prior to installation.
How to Install Floating Quartz Countertops
Step 1: Measure and mark stud locations
Locate all wall studs and mark their center points along the length of the wall where the countertop will be installed. Studs are usually spaced 16 inches apart. Use a stud finder to detect them. Floating countertops must be fully supported by attachment to the studs.
Step 2: Determine bracket locations
Hold the countertop up to visualize placement. Mark where each bracket will go based on the stud markings. Brackets need to be spaced apart for optimal support. The distance varies by manufacturer, but 12 to 24 inches apart is typical. Mark at least 2 studs for each bracket for secure attachment.
Step 3: Install wall support blocking
For bracket locations that do not align with wall studs, you will need to install additional support in the wall. Cut 2×4 or 2×6 blocking boards to fit snugly between studs. Nail into place vertically at each marked bracket location. The tops of the boards should be level with the tops of the studs.
Step 4: Mark cutting lines
With a helper, hold the countertop against the wall over the base cabinets. Make sure the front face aligns evenly with the cabinet face frames below. Use a pencil to mark cutting lines on the back and side edges. Remove the countertop from the wall.
Step 5: Cut countertop edges
Take the countertop to a workshop or outdoors. Following your marked lines, carefully cut the back and side edges that will abut the walls. A circular saw with a diamond blade works best for straight cuts. Use a router or angle grinder to smooth cut edges.
Step 6: Dry fit countertop
Once cut, place the countertop back on the cabinets to test the fit. Check for any high spots on the cabinet tops preventing the countertop from sitting flush. Sand or plane small high spots as needed to level the surface.
Step 7: Mount wall brackets
Position a bracket against each marked stud or blocking board location. Use a level to ensure the brackets are plumb. Mark screw holes. Take the bracket down and drill pilot holes at each mark. Reposition the bracket and drive lag screws into the wall through bracket holes using a wrench.
Step 8: Install countertop
Apply a continuous bead of construction adhesive along the top edges of the base cabinets where the countertop will have contact. Carefully lift the countertop into place resting on the brackets. Push back until the front countertop edge is flush with the cabinet face frames.
Step 9: Secure countertop
From underneath, drive screws up through the brackets into the countertop bottom to securely attach them together. Avoid overtightening. Wipe away any excess adhesive squeezed out along the seam. Allow adhesive to fully cure per manufacturer instructions, usually 24 hours.
Step 10: Caulk seams
Run a bead of clear silicone caulk along the seam where the backsplash and sidesplash meet the wall. Use a wet finger to smooth the caulk for a clean look. Caulking the seams prevents moisture from getting behind the countertop. Allow caulk to fully cure before use, generally 24 to 48 hours.
Tips for a Successful Floating Quartz Countertop Installation
- Carefully measure and optimize bracket placement during planning. Proper support is key.
- Shim base cabinets to ensure they are plumb and level before installing countertop.
- Check countertop fit and alignment after each cut before moving to the next cut.
- Use painter’s tape along the walls during dry fit to prevent countertop scratching.
- Take time positioning the countertop on the brackets. Once adhesive is applied, repositioning is difficult.
- Tighten bracket screws just until snug. Over tightening can crack the quartz surface.
- Allow adhesives and caulk to fully cure before using the countertop. Avoid sitting or placing heavy objects on it before then.
FAQs about Installing Floating Quartz Countertops
How much overhang should there be for a floating quartz countertop?
An overhang of 1 to 1 1/2 inches beyond the cabinet face frame is typical for floating countertops. Overhang should not exceed 10% of the total countertop depth.
What tools do I need to cut and fit a floating quartz countertop?
A circular saw with a diamond blade is ideal for straight cuts. A router smoothed edges. Use a drill and hole saw to cut any needed openings for sinks. Finish edges with sandpaper.
What is the best way to mount the brackets to the wall?
Lag screws driven into wall studs provide the strongest support. 2 to 3 lag screws per stud evenly spaced vertically. Use wall blocking between studs to allow optimal bracket placement.
Should I use anything below the countertop besides the brackets?
Floating installation means the countertop is unsupported below. Do not place shims, spacers or other objects on the cabinet tops under the countertop. This could lead to cracking.
How much do floating quartz countertops cost compared to regular countertops?
Floating installation averages $100 to $200 more per linear foot due to the specialty brackets required. The material itself costs the same. Total costs depend on the size and grade chosen.
Can I install a floating countertop myself or do I need to hire a pro?
With good DIY skills, this project can definitely be a do-it-yourself job. The process is straightforward, but allowing room for error is advisable. Complex jobs or uncertain skill level warrant hiring a professional installer.
How thick should a quartz countertop be for floating installation?
Floating quartz countertops should be a minimum thickness of 2 cm (3/4″). Thicker 3 cm (1 1/4″) material provides even more strength and stability if it fits within your budget.
Can you cut the hole for an undermount sink in a floating quartz countertop?
Yes, undermount sinks can be installed in floating countertops. Use a router or hole saw to cut the sink opening before installing the countertop. Brackets at studs must still support the countertop on both sides of the sink.
Installing floating quartz countertops creates a sleek, modern look for your kitchen or bath. By using strong and durable quartz material and following essential installation steps like securing brackets to wall studs, a floating countertop can be a stunning yet functional feature. Floating installation does require careful planning and accurate cuts for a custom fit. If properly supported and leveled during installation, floating quartz delivers beautiful style that lasts. With some patience and DIY skills, it is possible to achieve this on-trend look on your own. Just be sure to fully research the process and gather all necessary materials and tools beforehand.