Sealing a quartz countertop is an important maintenance step that helps protect its beauty and durability. With the right products and techniques, sealing quartz countertops is a straightforward process that anyone can do. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through all the steps for properly sealing quartz.
What is a Quartz Countertop?
Before jumping into sealing, it helps to understand what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops are engineered stone slabs created from natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a durable, attractive, and low-maintenance surface perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.
Unlike natural stone slabs, quartz is non-porous, so it does not require regular sealing. However, sealing helps provide an extra layer of protection, keeps the surface looking pristine, and prevents staining. It also makes cleaning and maintenance easier.
Benefits of Sealing a Quartz Countertop
There are several advantages to sealing your quartz countertops:
- Adds a protective barrier that repels stains, moisture, and dirt.
- Helps prevent etching and dulling of the surface over time.
- Allows for easier cleaning and maintenance between deep cleanings.
- Helps maintain the glossy, like-new appearance.
- Can reduce the frequency of deep cleanings and resealing.
When to Seal a Quartz Countertop
Though quartz does not require sealing as often as natural stone, it should still be sealed regularly for optimal results. Here are some guidelines on when to seal:
- Every 1-2 years for routine maintenance.
- After deep cleaning or repolishing the surface.
- If water or other liquids start to bead rather than sheet across the surface.
- If the quartz appears stained, etched, or loses its shine and luster.
- When noticeable dirt, grime, or soap scum begin to accumulate.
Trust your eyes and hands – if the quartz does not seem as smooth or resistant to spills as it should, it’s time for a fresh seal.
Sealing quartz does not require any special tools. Gather these basic supplies before starting:
- Quartz sealer – Select a high-quality sealer specifically designed for quartz. Look for water-based silicone sealers.
- Microfiber cloths or pads – For applying sealer and buffing.
- Rubbing alcohol – To clean and prep the surface. Choose 91% isopropyl alcohol.
- Painter’s tape – To mask off edges and borders. Pick low-tack tape that won’t damage surfaces.
- Cotton swabs – For hard to reach areas.
- Bucket of clean water – For rinsing rags between application.
Optional handy supplies:
- Powdered cleaner – Helpful for deep cleaning before sealing.
- Plastic wrap – For covering freshly sealed areas.
- Polishing pad – Can further buff out streaks after application.
How to Seal a Quartz Countertop
Sealing quartz countertops involves careful preparation, product application, and curing time. Follow these step-by-step instructions for best results:
1. Clean the Surface
Thoroughly clean and degrease the quartz with a powdered quartz cleaner or rubbing alcohol. This helps the sealer fully bond to the surface. Pay special attention to high-use areas around the sink and stove.
Rinse any cleaner residue and let the surface fully dry before continuing. Look for any remaining dirt or stains to hand clean before sealing.
2. Tape Off Borders
Use painter’s tape to mask off any edges, backsplashes, walls, or borders you want to avoid getting sealer on. This keeps the job neat and contained. Press the tape firmly to create a tight seal.
3. Shake & Apply Sealer
Shake the sealer bottle vigorously before starting. Apply a thin, even layer of sealer directly onto the quartz surface using a clean microfiber cloth or pad. Use circular motions to spread and rub in the sealer.
Work in small sections of 2-3 square feet. Thoroughly coat the area before moving onto the next section. Avoid excessive rubbing or pressure. Pay special attention to crevices and seams.
4. Allow Sealer to Penetrate
Let the sealer sit for 5-10 minutes so it can fully penetrate the pores of the quartz. This dwell time helps the sealer properly bond and cure. Set a timer to keep track.
Use this time to quickly rinse out application cloths in your bucket of clean water. This prevents drying or streaking later on.
5. Buff Surface
Once the sealer has penetrated, use a fresh microfiber cloth to gently buff off any remaining excess. Rub in wide circular motions. Take care not to rub too aggressively.
Rinse and replace cloths as needed to prevent redepositing sealer residue. Inspect closely for any streaks or uneven sheen and rebuff if needed.
6. Allow Sealer to Cure
It takes 12-24 hours for the sealer to fully cure and bond to the quartz. Prevent any use of the countertops during this time. If possible, cover freshly sealed areas with plastic wrap to avoid dust.
Once cured, your quartz will look glossy and restored. The enhanced protection will help keep your countertops looking pristine.
7. Cleanup & Remove Tape
As a final step, do a thorough cleanup to remove any sealer residue or overspray. Use a bit of rubbing alcohol if needed on any problem areas. Remove all painter’s tape once cured.
Rinse out all application cloths andpads thoroughly in hot, soapy water to remove buildup before reusing or storing.
Tips for Sealing Quartz Countertops
Follow these pro tips for the best quartz sealing results:
- Test sealer on a small inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your specific quartz.
- Work in sections and rinse/replace cloths often to prevent streaking or residue buildup.
- Avoid excessive pressure or rubbing when applying and buffing sealer.
- Make sure quartz is completely clean and dry before sealing for proper penetration.
- Check for any pretreatment or maintenance requirements for your specific quartz brand.
- Reseal 1-2 times per year for optimal protection, especially in heavy-use kitchens.
- Consider hiring a pro for especially large or intricate quartz surfaces. Pro techniques deliver superior results.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
In addition to regular sealing every 1-2 years, follow these care tips to keep quartz looking like new:
- Blot spills immediately to avoid staining, especially oil and grease.
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from scratches and impacts.
- Clean with a gentle quartz-safe cleaner and soft cloth or sponge.
- Avoid abrasive pads, powders, or bleach that can dull the surface.
- Periodically use a quartz polish to maintain the glossy finish.
- Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
- Reseal after any deep cleaning, etching, or noticing diminished water beading.
FAQs About Sealing Quartz Countertops
Sealing quartz countertops properly does take some care and precision. Review answers to these common questions:
How long does quartz sealer last?
- On average, quartz sealer lasts 1-2 years with proper application and curing. Reapply annually for best protection.
Can I use a granite sealer on quartz?
- It’s best to use a sealer made specifically for quartz. Granite and quartz sealers have different formulations. Always check manufacturer guidelines.
What happens if I don’t seal my quartz countertops?
- Unsealed quartz is more prone to etching, dulling, and stains over time. Sealing provides an added layer of protection and easier cleaning.
Can I seal just part of my quartz countertop?
- It’s best to seal the entire surface at once for an even appearance. But spot sealing high-use areas is better than nothing.
How long after installation should quartz be sealed?
- New quartz should be sealed after about a month when any residual installation dust and debris is gone. Then seal annually after that.
Can I use wax or polish on quartz instead of sealer?
- Sealers actually bond to the surface, while waxes and polishes only coat the top. Sealers offer deeper protection.
With the right sealing products and techniques, it is easy to keep your beautiful quartz countertops looking pristine for years. Be sure to clean thoroughly, apply an even layer of specialized quartz sealer, allow time to cure, and properly care for the surface in between sealings.
Following this guide, you can confidently seal your quartz countertops and maintain their durability, shine, and visual appeal. Just be sure to reseal every 1-2 years for optimal protection. Your counters will look amazing with just this simple regular maintenance.