Replacing your laminate countertops with quartz is a great way to update the look and feel of your kitchen. Quartz countertops are durable, low-maintenance, and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. With some planning and effort, you can swap out laminate for beautiful quartz countertops.
Assessing Your Current Countertops
Before doing anything, assess the current state of your laminate countertops. Check for any damage, staining, warping, or peeling laminate. This will help you determine if the countertops need repairs or full replacement.
Thoroughly clean the countertops to get a better sense of their condition. Use a gentle cleaner and inspect for scratches, burns, or other imperfections. Severely damaged areas may need patching or extra reinforcement when installing the new quartz.
Also, confirm the dimensions of your existing countertops. Measure the length, width, overhang, and any seams. This info will be needed to custom-cut the quartz slabs. Carefully document each section of counter and sink or stove cutouts.
Choosing Your Quartz Countertops
When selecting quartz, consider your budget, kitchen style, and preferences. Quartz pricing depends on brand, pattern, and edge treatments. Generally expect to pay $50-100 per square foot installed.
Visit showrooms to see quartz options in person. Leading brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone offer hundreds of colors and patterns. Quartz can mimic looks like marble, granite, and concrete.
Narrow your selection down to 2-3 contenders. Bring home samples to compare next to your cabinetry and floors. This ensures your new countertops complement your overall kitchen aesthetic.
Preparing for Installation
Installing quartz countertops requires careful preparation and precision cutting. Leave this challenging job to professional countertop installers. Ask potential contractors about their experience with quartz specifically.
Schedule the installation at least two weeks in advance. Thoroughly clear your countertops and protect appliances or backsplashes that will remain. Plot out a temporary kitchen setup if your main counters will be unusable during the process.
Purchase any supporting accessories ahead of time as well. This may include sink mounting hardware, new edge trim, backsplash tile, caulk, and sealant. Communicate appliance requirements to your installer.
Replacing Your Laminate Countertops
When installation day arrives, be prepared for a process that typically takes one to two days. Exact steps may vary, but generally:
- Old countertops are removed in sections. Cut caulk lines and separate from walls carefully.
- The installer measures again and makes any final custom cuts to the new quartz pieces.
- Quartz is secured to the cabinet bases using brackets, adhesive, and other supports. Sections are bonded together.
- Edges and seams are carefully polished for a seamless look. New sink and appliances are installed and integrated.
- Backsplashes and accent details like trim are added for a finished appearance. All surfaces are cleaned, caulked, and sealed.
Closely follow your installer’s recommendations for curing and caring for new quartz counters. Avoid sitting or placing heavy items on them for 1-2 days.
Caring for Your Quartz Countertops
Quartz requires very little maintenance. Follow these tips to keep your new counters looking like new:
- For everyday cleaning, use a soft sponge or cloth with mild soap and warm water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads.
- Blot spills quickly to prevent staining, especially oil, wine, or acidic liquids. Disinfect as needed.
- Reseal quartz once a year with a stone sealer, focusing on edges and seams. This prevents moisture damage.
- Use cutting boards to protect from knife scratches or nicks. Don’t cut directly on the counter surface.
- Avoid placing hot pans or baking sheets directly on quartz. Use trivets to prevent burns.
With proper care, your quartz countertops will stay beautiful for many years of cooking and entertaining! Replacing outdated laminate with durable and stylish quartz can make your whole kitchen feel fresh and updated.
Frequently Asked Questions About Replacing Laminate Countertops with Quartz
Is quartz more expensive than laminate?
Yes, quartz countertops are generally more expensive than laminate. However, many homeowners find the investment worthwhile for the beauty, durability, and maintenance ease of quartz.
What thickness should I choose for quartz countertops?
The standard thickness is 3 cm (1.25 inches). Go thicker if you need more support for a longer span. Thinner 2 cm options are available but may be prone to cracks.
Can I install quartz countertops over existing laminate?
Unfortunately no. Existing laminate countertops must be fully removed before installing new quartz counters. The quartz needs a smooth, sturdy base of wood or cement to adhere to.
Should I hire a professional or install quartz myself?
Definitely hire a professional countertop installer. Quartz is heavy, needs perfect seams, and any mistakes will be costly. Leave this specialized job to the experts.
How long does it take to install quartz?
The entire countertop installation process takes an average of one to two days. Complex jobs with specialty edges or built-in details will take longer. Schedule accordingly.
What are signs my laminate counters need replacement?
Signs include warped seams, bubbles or holes in the laminate, staining that won’t clean up, mold or mildew growth, and burning or cutting damage beyond repair.
Can quartz get scratched or damaged over time?
Quartz is very durable but not 100% scratch-proof. With proper care and avoiding abuse, it resists scratches and damage well. But some seams or surface marks may develop with age.
Can I install a new sink when I replace my countertops?
Yes!installing a new sink is one of the best times to upgrade your faucet and sink. Coordinate with your countertop installer to remove the old sink, customize the quartz cutout, and install the new sink.
Replacing laminate with quartz countertops takes effort and investment, but pays off for years in impressive durability, beauty, and convenience. To achieve success, carefully plan all steps of the process – from selecting the right quartz style to hiring professional installers. With some patience during the installation process, you can soon be enjoying upgraded kitchen counters that will stay looking beautiful year after year.