Polishing the edges of a quartz countertop can help restore its beauty and prevent damage. With a little bit of effort, you can make those countertop edges look brand new again. Here are some tips on how to properly polish the edges of quartz countertops.
What You’ll Need
- Sandpaper – Start with a coarse grit like 80 or 100 and work up to at least 400 grit. You’ll need a few different grits.
- Polishing compound – Look for a compound designed for use on engineered stone/quartz.
- Buffing pad – Use a soft pad or wheel that can attach to a variable speed polisher.
- Variable speed polisher – Use a polisher that allows you to adjust speeds from around 600 to 3000 RPM.
- Clean cloths
- Eye protection
- Dust mask
- Ear protection
Step 1 – Clean the Edges
Before polishing, make sure the countertop edges are clear of any dirt, grease or residue. Use a degreasing cleaner and scrub with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse well and let dry completely. This prevents contaminants from damaging the polish.
Step 2 – Sand the Edges
Start sanding with a coarse 80 or 100 grit sandpaper to remove any deep scratches or pits. Sand in the direction of the grain making smooth, even strokes. Don’t press too hard or you may create new deep scratches.
Work your way up by switching to finer grits like 150, 220 and then 400. Always sand in the direction of the grain. Thoroughly wipe away all dust between sandpaper changes using a damp cloth.
Sand until the edges feel smooth and glossy. Inspect closely to ensure all previous scratches are gone before moving to polishing.
Step 3 – Polish the Edges
Apply a small amount of quartz polishing compound directly onto the buffing pad. Spread it evenly across the surface.
Keep the polisher speed on the lowest setting to start. Hold the buffing pad flat against the countertop edge. Move slowly in the direction of the grain, applying light even pressure.
Once the compound starts to dry, increase the polisher speed a setting or two to keep the pad moving. Cover the entire edge, periodically wiping away any built up residue.
Continue polishing until you restore the desired glossy shine. Use a buffing pad between each grit change to check the gloss.
Step 4 – Clean Up and Re-Seal
When satisfied with the polish, thoroughly clean the edges using a damp cloth to remove all residue. Follow up with a granite cleaner and sealant to protect the freshly polished surface.
Allow the sealant to fully cure before using the countertops again. Proper sealing prevents stains and makes the countertop edges easier to clean.
FAQs About Polishing Quartz Edges
What causes quartz countertop edges to look dull?
Dull looking edges on quartz countertops are usually caused by:
- Etching from acidic foods and cleaners
- Build up of minerals in hard water
- General wear and tear from use over time
Can I use a household polish on my quartz edges?
It’s best to avoid generic household polish products on engineered stone like quartz. They may contain abrasives, oils or chemicals that damage or stain the surface. Use only compounds specifically formulated for use on quartz.
How often should I polish the edges?
For regular maintenance, polish the edges once or twice per year to keep them looking like new. Quartz edges can lose their luster from everyday use. More frequent polishing may be needed in kitchens that see heavy daily use.
What grit sandpaper should I use on quartz edges?
Start with 80 or 100 grit to remove deep scratches. Then use 150, 220, and 400 grits to smooth out the countertop edge in preparation for polishing. Always sand in the direction of the grain.
Can I use my bench grinder to polish quartz edges?
Bench grinders are too aggressive for polishing delicate quartz surfaces. The high speed and lack of variable speed control can quickly damage quartz. Use a variable speed polisher at low speeds instead.
Polishing quartz countertop edges is a straightforward process that anyone can do at home. By following these sanding and polishing steps, you can restore the factory finish shine that makes quartz look so attractive. Be sure to prep the edges properly, work through the appropriate grits, and use polishing compounds designed specifically for engineered stone. Taking the time to polish those edges makes a big difference in keeping your quartz countertops looking like new.