Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, proper measuring is crucial for a successful quartz countertop installation. Accurate measurements allow for a perfect fit, efficient use of materials, and a stunning finished project. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to measure for quartz countertops correctly.
Gather the Necessary Materials
Before starting the measuring process, make sure you have the following materials on hand:
- Measuring tape – Use a metal tape measure that is at least 25 feet long. This allows you to measure long spans without having to piece multiple measurements together.
- Pencil and paper – Have a notepad and sharp pencil to mark down measurements as you go.
- Laser measure (optional) – A laser measure tool can make it easier to measure longer distances and around obstacles. But a standard tape measure works fine too.
- Spray paint or chalk – To mark layout lines on the cabinets and walls. Choose a color that contrasts with the existing finishes.
- Masking tape – To mark measurements directly on the countertops if you are replacing existing tops.
- Safety gear – Gloves, dust mask, eye protection. Safety should always come first during DIY projects.
Prepare the Work Area
Before measuring, make sure the workspace is clear and ready for action.
- Remove everything from the countertops. This includes small appliances, kitchen tools, dishware, and any other items that may get in the way.
- Clear a pathway around the entire perimeter of the countertops. This allows easy access when taking measurements.
- Clean countertop surfaces so measurements can be marked clearly.
- Have adequate lighting in the kitchen. This lets you see measurement markings precisely.
Preparing the workspace helps prevent inaccurate measurements and makes the process quicker.
Measure Straight Countertop Sections
For straightforward, linear spans of countertop, the measuring process is uncomplicated:
- Stretch the tape measure across the front edge of the countertop section, positioning it flush against the wall.
- Extend the tape until it reaches the other end of the countertop span. Use pencil and paper to note the measurement.
- For extra precision, take measurements at the backsplash as well. This allows you to determine if the cabinet run deviates from square.
- At each end of the countertop section, measure from the front edge straight back to the wall. Mark down these depth measurements.
- For overhangs, measure from the cabinet edge instead of the wall. Make notes if overhangs vary across the section.
- Measure depth in multiple spots along the length of the countertop as well. This verifies consistency.
Once you have accurate length and depth measurements, you have all the info needed for straight sections. Just be sure to measure at both the front and back edges for precision.
Measure Angled and Irregular Sections
For countertops that turn corners or have unique shapes, measuring gets a bit more intricate:
Break Into Segments
- Mentally divide the countertop into distinct segments. Look for where the shape changes direction or form.
- Measure each segment individually as if it were a straight section. Note the precise length and depth.
- Also measure any interior angles between the segments. This allows the pieces to join correctly.
Watch for Problem Areas
- Check for inside and outside corners. Make sure to measure both legs of the corner accurately.
- Look for bump-outs, peninsulas, or other irregularities. Take extra measurements to capture the details.
- For curved countertops, measure the total running length along the curve. Also note the depth at multiple points.
Measuring angled sections takes more time and focus. But breaking things down into smaller segments helps get it right.
Transfer Measurements to the Install Location
Once all measurements are taken, transfer them to the actual countertop installation area:
- Use a sharp pencil to outline the footprint of the countertop directly onto the cabinets. Mark the length and depth.
- For existing countertops, use masking tape to indicate the measurements right on the countertop surface.
- Alternatively, use spray paint or chalk to outline the size and shape on the cabinets and walls. This creates a clear visual guide.
- Make sure to measure any openings for sinks, stoves, or other appliances. Indicate these openings in your outline.
Transferring the measurements provides a full-scale drawing of how the new tops will fit into the space. It’s an excellent reference point during template creation and installation.
Create a Rough Template
For extra assurance, make a rough cardboard template based on your measurements:
- Use large pieces of cardboard or poster board to cut out templates for each countertop section.
- Make the templates a few inches smaller than the final size to allow room for adjustments.
- Cut the cardboard to match any measured angles or irregular shapes.
- Lay the templates in place and verify they align with your measurement outlines. Adjust if needed.
Making templates lets you visualize how the countertops will fit. It also provides a hands-on way to double-check your measurements.
Carefully Measure Any Obstacles
Pay close attention when measuring countertops that need to fit around obstacles like walls, appliances, and plumbing:
- Measure the location of each obstacle in relation to the countertop edges. Note if obstacles are off-center or angled.
- Make sure to measure plumbing stub-outs precisely. Even small measurement mistakes can prevent proper cutouts.
- For corners and edges butting against walls, measure any irregularities in the wall shape.
- Use a threshold gauge to outline the dimensions of appliance openings like cooktops and sinks.
It’s crucial to capture exact obstacle measurements. So take your time and measure obstables from multiple angles for accuracy.
Consult Your Countertop Fabricator
Don’t forget to involve your countertop fabricator during the measurement process:
- Ask what methods they recommend for measuring quartz countertops. Follow any special instructions they provide.
- Find out if they need any additional measurements beyond the basics covered here.
- See if they have limitations on how small pieces can be cut if you have many seams.
- Ask when you should schedule the pro template measurement and material specification appointment.
Your fabricator has extensive experience measuring and fitting countertops. Their input can help avoid issues and create a flawless finished product.
Below are some common questions about measuring quartz countertops:
Should I measure multiple times?
Yes, it’s always wise to measure twice to verify accuracy. Recheck measurements if something seems off or if the countertops have complex angles and shapes.
What’s the best tool for measuring long countertop runs?
A laser measure is great for longer distances because you can take measurements by yourself. But a standard 25-foot metal tape measure works fine too.
Should I account for overhangs when measuring?
Yes. Note any overhang lengths in your measurements. Standard overhang is about 1 inch beyond the cabinet frame, but confirm what overhang you want.
What if my walls aren’t perfectly straight?
This is very common in most homes. Make small notations on your drawings anytime the countertop edges don’t run perfectly parallel with the walls.
Can I measure while existing countertops are still installed?
In some cases yes, but remove them first if possible. Existing countertops may not be installed square or the correct dimensions.
How precise do the measurements need to be?
Quartz fabrication tolerances are +/- 1/8 inch. So aim to measure at least that precisely, if not more exactly.
Can I measure for diagonal shaped corners?
Yes, quartz can be cut to almost any angle. Make sure to measure the precise degree of the diagonal corner.
Should I account for the thickness of the quartz material?
No, your measurements should capture the top surface dimensions only. Your fabricator will account for the quartz thickness based on the material you select.
Measuring for quartz countertops involves carefully recording all length, depth, angle, and obstacle measurements. Breaking the countertop into individual segments makes the process more manageable. Double check all measurements, transfer them to the actual installation area, and make cardboard templates to test fit. Involving your professional fabricator also helps ensure success. With attention to detail and the right techniques, you can get perfectly fitted, beautiful quartz countertops that will last for years to come.
How to Select Quartz Countertops
Selecting quartz countertops involves balancing performance, aesthetic options, and budget. As an engineered stone, quartz is one of the most durable and low-maintenance countertop materials. It also comes in a wide array of colors, patterns, and finishes. This guide covers the key factors to consider when choosing quartz countertops for your home.
Understand Quartz as a Material
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, are composed of ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The exact specifications vary by brand, but quartz typically contains over 90% crushed quartz aggregate. The resins bind the material, while the pigments add color and pattern.
Compared to natural stone options like granite and marble, quartz has higher durability, more consistent patterning, and greater stain and scratch resistance. And unlike solid surface countertops made from acrylic or polyester resins, quartz retains the natural beauty and veining found in stone. Knowing the composition helps narrow the selection.
Consider How Quartz Is Used and Produced
There are a few ways that quartz countertops are fabricated:
- Slabs – Countertops are cut from large slabs just like natural stone. This provides a uniform look.
- Tiles – Smaller quartz tiles are also available, usually 12 inches square. Useful for accent areas.
- Fabricated – Some quartz is mixed with resins at the installation site to create custom cast countertops.
Quartz slabs are most common. They offer consistent quality and a wide selection of styles. Keep usage in mind when selecting quartz.
Review Quartz Brands
There are several major quartz manufacturers to consider:
- Caesarstone – One of the first engineered quartz brands. Known for reliability and variety.
- Cambria – More focus on emulating natural stone aesthetics in their quartz.
- Silestone – Good durability ratings and wide array of bold colors and patterns.
- LG Viatera – High-end quartz with unique vein patterns and large slab sizes.
- Hanstone – Budget-friendly quartz importer with solid performance.
- Quartz Master – Consistent quality and affordable pricing make them a value choice.
Research different brand options online and view their color palettes and styles in person. This gives a feel for the range of looks available.
Compare Quartz to Other Countertop Materials
How does quartz stack up against other countertop options on key factors?
- Durability – More scratch and stain resistant than marble or granite. Tougher than solid surface too.
- Maintenance – Never needs sealing like natural stone. Easy cleaning with soap and water.
- Cost – Generally $50-100 per square foot installed. More than laminate but less than stone.
- Styles – Huge selection of patterns from stone looks to modern solid colors.
- Longevity – Estimated lifespan of 10-15 years with proper care. Comparable to most materials.
Quartz provides the best balance across all considerations compared to alternatives. This explains its popularity.
Determine Color and Pattern Preferences
Quartz comes in every color imaginable, ranging from pure whites to bold blues and blacks. Patterns also abound:
- Solid – Uniform, even color without veining or mottling. Provides a modern look.
- Stone-like – Mimics granite, marble, soapstone, etc. Great for traditional aesthetics.
- Abstract – Artsy patterns like swirls, bursts, and geometric shapes.
- Veining – Delicate veins of various colors add depth. Inspired by natural stones.
Viewing actual samples is the best way to get a sense of the vast options. Then narrow down colors and patterns that align with your overall design vision.
Decide on Finishes and Edges
Quartz slabs can be finished and edged in various ways:
- Polished – Glossy glass-like finish that highlights the color and pattern details. Most popular choice.
- Honed – Matte, soft, low-sheen finish. Helps minimize signs of use over time.
- Textured – Adds dimension and traction. Ideal for bath and outdoor applications.
- Bullnose – Rounded polished edge for a soft, contemporary look.
- Bevel – Angled edge that provides definition. Varies from thin to wide.
- Miter – Precisely angled edge joining for a refined appearance.
Combining different finishes and edges lets you customize the look. Mix glossy, sleek sections with textured finishes for contrast.
Identify Technical Factors
Some special technical considerations include:
- Thickness – Most common is 3/4 inch to 1 1/4 inches. Thicker tops add heft and stability.
- Backsplashes – Can be created from matching quartz for a cohesive look.
- Jointing – Seams virtually disappear with precise fabrication.
- Cutouts – Quartz can be precisely cut for sinks, faucets, and appliances.
Discuss factors like these with your fabricator to ensure the final product has the right construction.
Here are some common questions that arise when selecting quartz:
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No. Quartz resists staining far better than natural stone and does not require regular sealing.
Can quartz have seams?
Yes, seams may be necessary depending on the size of the slabs. Experienced fabricators can make seams practically undetectable.
Is quartz susceptible to etching and scratching?
Quartz is very resistant, but not totally immune to damage over time with heavy use. Using cutting boards helps.
Does quartz feel different than stone?
The resins make quartz less prone to temperature variations. Quartz also has a less porous surface than natural stone.
Is quartz eco-friendly?
Most brands contain high recycled content. And quartz itself is one the most abundant minerals, making it sustainable. Look for green certification.
Can quartz mimic marble looks?
Yes, many modern patterns closely recreate the beauty of marble. Veining technology provides realistic effects.
With the right research and planning, you can select the perfect quartz countertops to match your interior design, performance needs, and budget. Focus on choosing an appealing brand, color, finish, and edge design. Compare quartz to other materials and weigh the pros and cons. Get samples of top contenders to see how they look in your space. With quartz, you truly have an unparalleled combination of quality, beauty, and value.
How to Care for Quartz Countertops
As an engineered stone, quartz counters are highly durable and require minimal maintenance. But to keep your quartz countertops looking like new for years to come, proper daily and routine care is essential. This guide covers the key steps for cleaning and caring for your quartz surfaces. Follow these best practices and your countertops will maintain their flawless beauty and performance.
Use Preventative Measures
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when caring for quartz. Here are some habits to avoid damage:
- Always use cutting boards. Never cut or chop directly on the counter.
- Place hot pots and pans on trivets, not directly on the quartz surface.
- Clean up spills quickly before they have a chance to soak in or stain.
- Limit pressure and friction by using soft-bristle or microfiber cleaning tools.
With simple preventative measures, you can keep your quartz pristine and minimize heavy-duty cleaning down the road.
Know What to Avoid
Certain cleaners and substances can damage quartz:
- Avoid abrasive cleaners like Comet powder and Soft Scrub.
- Don’t use bleach, ammonia, alkaline, or acidic cleaners.
- Prevent stains by not letting grease, oil, wine, and hair dyes sit.
- Never apply sealants, wax, or furniture polish which could dull the finish.
Sticking with recommended cleaners is key to preventing etching, scratches, and clouding of the quartz surface.
Clean Quartz Safely and Effectively
For routine cleaning, follow these steps:
1. Wash with Warm Water and Mild Soap
- Use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe the counters. Avoid scrubbing.
- Dish soap, hand soap, or a mild all-purpose cleaner work well.
- Make sure to rinse off all soap residue thoroughly after washing.
2. Disinfect with Diluted Bleach Solution
- Mix 1 tablespoon bleach into 1 quart of water. Wipe counters with this solution.
- Let the diluted bleach sit on the surface briefly before rinsing.
- Bleach solution removes stains and kills germs without harming quartz.
3. Dry Completely with Soft Cloth
- Prevent water spots by making sure quartz dries fully.
- Use a soft microfiber cloth and buff in a circular motion.
- Change drying cloths frequently for maximum streak-free results.
With this simple routine cleaning process, you can keep quartz counters