Installing quartz countertops can give an IKEA kitchen a high-end, luxurious look. Quartz is an engineered stone that is non-porous, stain resistant, and easy to maintain. With some careful planning and proper installation techniques, you can have beautiful quartz counters on your IKEA cabinets.
Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers the look of natural stone without some of the drawbacks. Since IKEA cabinet boxes are a standard width and depth, quartz countertops can be fabricated to fit them perfectly. With a few tools and proper planning, you can install quartz in your IKEA kitchen for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
There are several reasons to choose quartz for your IKEA kitchen remodel:
- Durable and scratch resistant surface. Quartz is nearly indestructible under normal use.
- Non-porous so spills cannot stain.
- Wide variety of colors and patterns to match any style.
- Requires very little maintenance compared to natural stone.
- Resists heat and scorching better than solid surfaces.
- Can be fabricated into one piece with no seams.
- More affordable than natural stone.
Preparing IKEA Cabinets for Installation
Installing the cabinets is the first step in preparing for quartz countertop installation. Be sure to:
- Assemble cabinets per IKEA instructions and secure to wall studs.
- Level and shim cabinets so tops of boxes are even.
- Install filler strips if there are gaps between cabinets.
- Seal cabinets to wall and attach required bracing.
- Leave 1/8″ gap between cabinet boxes for countertop overhang.
Choosing the Right Thickness
Quartz countertops come in 3/4″ and 1 1/4″ thicknesses. Here are some guidelines on which to choose:
- For cabinets with doors and drawers below, 3/4″ is usually sufficient.
- For open cabinets or islands, 1 1/4″ provides more stability for the overhang.
- Thicker quartz is less likely to crack if cabinets settle.
- Check local building codes for requirements on thickness and overhang sizes.
Measuring and Templating
Precision is key to a perfect quartz installation. Here are some tips for measuring and templating:
- Verify all cabinet boxes are level before measuring.
- Carefully measure length and width of each cabinet section.
- Note downsized of cutouts needed for sinks and cooktops.
- Create cardboard templates to match cabinets exactly.
- Mark centerlines of sinks and other fixtures on the templates.
- Indicate location of repairs or uneven areas on the cabinets.
- Double check all measurements – mistakes can be costly!
Choosing the Right Fabricator
Not all quartz fabricators are equal. Be sure to select one experienced with IKEA cabinets by:
- Reviewing their portfolio of previous IKEA quartz jobs.
- Asking about their templating methods.
- Ensuring they own a Breton or Waterjet machine for precise cutting.
- Requesting 2-3 week turnaround from template to installation.
- Getting a written contract covering damages and fabrication errors.
Schedule the install when you can be home all day. Be sure to:
- Clear countertop area completely – no toasters or knife blocks!
- Turn off water supply to sinks and cooktops.
- Remove doors and drawers from cabinets below for access.
- Clean cabinets so tops are free of dust and grime.
- Have shims, fasteners, and silicone caulk ready.
Installing the Quartz Countertops
The fabricator should handle most of the installation, but here’s a quick overview:
- Check all quartz slabs for defects and match to template.
- Set slabs in place and shim from underneath if needed.
- Fasten slabs to cabinets with brackets and silicone.
- Fill any gaps with matching caulk for seamless look.
- Reinstall sink/cooktop by securing to underside of quartz.
- Use slow curing silicone for clean, neat caulk lines.
- Clean quartz thoroughly once caulk has set.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
Quartz requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking like new:
- Use mild soap and water for routine cleaning.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and pads which can dull the finish.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with sealant made for engineered stone.
- Don’t cut directly on quartz counters – always use a cutting board.
Installing quartz counters on your IKEA cabinets is very doable as a DIY project. With the right planning and preparation, you can upgrade your kitchen with beautiful, durable quartz countertops that will last for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install quartz on old IKEA cabinets or do they have to be new?
You can install quartz on existing IKEA cabinets as long as they are still in good condition. Make sure to check for levelness and repair any damage first.
What color grout should I use for quartz backsplash?
Use a matching colored caulk, not grout, to adhere quartz backsplashes. This allows for slight movement and prevents cracking.
What should I do if my quartz counters get scratched?
Minor scratches can often be buffed out with a polished compound made specifically for quartz. For deeper scratches, call a professional refinisher.
How thick of a quartz overhang can be supported on base IKEA cabinets?
Usually a 1″ front overhang and 6″ supportable overhang is safe for 3/4″ quartz on IKEA base cabinets.
Should I get an apron front sink or undermount for quartz counters?
Undermount sinks give a seamless look. Make sure to reinforce the underside where it will be secured to the quartz.
Do I need extra support brackets for a quartz island?
Yes, additional support underneath is recommended to prevent cracking with the overhang on all sides.
With some careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve stunning results by installing quartz on IKEA cabinets. Pay close attention in the measuring, templating, and fabrication stages. During install, take time to properly shim, fasten, and caulk the quartz for seamless results. The investment will be well worth it when you have a gorgeous, low-maintenance kitchen countertop that will last for decades.