Quartz countertops are popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, even quartz requires occasional sealing to prevent stains and damage. Sealing quartz countertops is relatively easy, but it’s important to use the right products and techniques to get the best results. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about sealing quartz countertops.
Why Seal Quartz Countertops
Sealing is an important part of quartz countertop care and maintenance. Here are some key reasons to seal your quartz:
- Prevent stains: Quartz is non-porous, so it resists stains better than natural stone. However, it is still prone to staining from spills like wine, coffee, and oil. Sealing creates a protective barrier that repels stains.
- Avoid damage: Exposure to acidic foods and cleaners can etch or dull quartz over time. Sealing shields the surface from damage.
- Retain shine: Quartz has a beautiful glossy finish when new. Sealing helps maintain the shine and luster over years of use.
- Refresh appearance: Periodic sealing removes dirt buildup, scuffs and reveals like-new shine.
- Easier cleaning: Sealing makes quartz less prone to smudges, fingerprints and splatters that can be hard to remove. Daily cleaning is quicker and easier.
- Prolong life: Regular sealing maximizes the lifespan of your investment in quartz countertops. It’s an inexpensive way to keep them looking pristine for 10-15 years or longer.
How Often to Seal Quartz Countertops
Most experts recommend sealing quartz about once a year. However, the frequency depends on use and condition:
- Light use kitchens: Every 1-2 years
- Moderate use: Annually
- Heavy use: Every 6-12 months
- Bathroom vanities: Annually
Signs it’s time to reseal include:
- Water beads no longer form on the surface
- Increased stains and etching
- Loss of shine and luster
- Visible dirt buildup in pores
Sealing more often than needed won’t harm the quartz but is unnecessary. For heavy use areas like kitchen prep zones, doing touch up seals every 6 months helps maintain protection.
What You Need to Seal Quartz Countertops
Sealing quartz requires just a few simple supplies:
- Quartz sealer – Look for a sealer specifically designed for quartz. Stone sealers for marble or granite may damage the resin binder in quartz.
- Microfiber cloths – Use lint-free cloths to apply sealer evenly and buff off excess.
- Paint edger – A tool with a foam pad helps seal backsplashes and edges neatly.
- Low-adhesion painter’s tape – Protect adjacent surfaces like walls or tile.
- Damp paper towels – For final buffing and removing sealer residue.
- Rubber gloves – To avoid getting sealer on your hands.
- Respirator mask – If working in an enclosed space.
- Eye protection – Sealers are mildly acidic.
How to Seal Quartz Countertops Step-By-Step
Sealing quartz countertops is a relatively quick and simple DIY project. Follow these step-by-step instructions:
1. Clean the Quartz
Quartz must be thoroughly clean before sealing for the product to bond effectively.
- Remove all items from the countertop. Clear nearby walls and tile of any decor.
- Use a pH-neutral quartz cleaner and wipe down all surfaces. Rinse away any residue.
- Pay special attention to any etched, stained or problem areas. Use a non-abrasive scrub sponge if needed.
- Let the quartz dry completely. Sealer won’t adhere well to damp surfaces.
2. Tape Off Adjacent Surfaces
Use low-adhesion painter’s tape to protect walls, tile backsplashes, cabinets and appliances. Preventing sealer drips now saves clean up work later.
3. Shake the Sealer Well
Vigorously shake the quartz sealer bottle for 30-60 seconds before using. This mixes up any ingredients that may have separated.
4. Apply Sealer Generously
Working in 3×3 foot sections, pour a generous amount of sealer directly onto the quartz. Spread and smooth the sealer evenly over the surface and just over the edges using a dampened microfiber cloth.
- Maintain a wet edge as you work to prevent unevenness in the sealant layer.
- Overlap sections to ensure full coverage. Go over the entire surface twice.
- Take care sealing any etched/damaged areas and the grout lines along backsplashes.
- Use a paint edger covered with a microfiber pad for best results sealing vertical edges and hard to reach spots.
5. Allow Sealer to Soak In
Let the sealer soak into the quartz for 5-10 minutes. This allows the sealing components to fully penetrate the surface. Resist wiping away excess during this time.
6. Thoroughly Wipe Off Excess Sealer
Once soak time is up, vigorously wipe the entire surface using clean, dry microfiber cloths to remove all excess sealer.
- Wipe parallel to countertop edges – not in circles. Fold cloths frequently to avoid reapplying excess.
-Aim to leave just a thin coat of sealer on the quartz.
- Pay special attention to edges and vertical surfaces to prevent drips.
7. Buff Surface to Finish
Use another clean, dry microfiber cloth to give a final buffing to the quartz. Wipe gently parallel to the countertop edges. This removes any remaining residue and evens out the sealant layer.
- Dampen a paper towel slightly if needed to remove stubborn sealer residue. Avoid overly wetting the surface.
- Turn cloths frequently to prevent redepositing residue you’ve buffed up.
- Visually inspect from all angles to ensure no drips or unevenness remain.
8. Remove Tape and Reinstall Items
Carefully peel off all painter’s tape from adjacent surfaces. Reinstall any decor and items you removed from the countertops.
9. Allow Sealer to Cure
It takes 12-24 hours for the sealer to fully cure and form a protective bond with the quartz. Avoid spills and abrasive cleaning during this time.
Tips for the Best Quartz Sealing Results
Follow these tips and tricks to get a flawless seal on your quartz countertops:
- Only apply sealer to quartz at room temperature. Cooler temps inhibit proper curing.
- Work in the shade if possible. Direct sunlight causes sealer to dry too quickly.
- Avoid drafts which can lead to uneven sealer application. Shut vents and fans temporarily.
- Don’t seal counters under time pressure. Rushing leads to mistakes.
- Wipe slowly and methodically when buffing off excess sealer.
- Make sure all tape edges are firmly pressed down. Run a damp sponge along them after application.
- Have plenty of clean microfiber cloths ready to facilitate buffing.
- Less is more when it comes to sealer amount. Too much is harder to remove.
- Wipe up any drips immediately with a damp paper towel.
Quartz Sealing Mistakes to Avoid
While sealing quartz countertops is fairly straightforward, inexperienced DIYers make some common mistakes:
- Using the wrong sealer – Household sealers for concrete, granite, and tile can damage quartz. Always use a branded quartz-specific sealer.
- Applying sealer too thin – Failing to create a thick enough sealer layer leaves the quartz inadequately protected.
- Not allowing enough soak time – The sealer needs a few minutes to penetrate. Premature buffing reduces effectiveness.
- Leaving excess sealer – Any visible residue should be thoroughly buffed off. Tacky or shiny spots indicate excess sealer.
- Rushing the job – Work methodically in sections, giving the sealer time to bond. Rushing causes mistakes.
- Forgetting edges and backsplashes – Special care should be taken to seal vertical surfaces and edges completely.
- Touching freshly sealed counters – Wait the full curing time before putting items back and using the quartz.
Being aware of these common errors will help you avoid them and get pros-like sealing results.
Quartz Countertop Sealing FAQs
For those new to the process, sealing quartz countertops raises many questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Is sealing quartz countertops necessary?
Sealing is highly recommended by manufacturers and installers. It helps prevent stains, etching, and loss of shine. Unsealed quartz will gradually degrade over time. Sealer preserves the as-new look and feel.
Can I use any sealer on quartz?
No. Household sealers for tile, concrete, and stone will damage quartz which has a resin binder. Only use reputable sealers specifically made for quartz like Dry-Treat SEQ and Miracle Sealants 511-Impregnator.
How long does quartz sealer last?
A professional quality quartz sealer will typically last 6-12 months with moderate use. High traffic kitchens may need more frequent touch up applications every 3-6 months.
How do I know when to reseal quartz?
Signs it’s time for a maintenance seal include water no longer beading on the surface, deposits in small pits and pores, increased stains, and loss of luster. Annual sealing is recommended regardless of condition.
Does sealingquartz make it completely stainproof?
No sealer provides 100% stain protection, but high quality sealers provide excellent resistance against accidental spills. Some deeply pigmented substances may still stain if left for prolonged time periods.
Can I seal just part of myquartz countertops?
It’s best to seal the entire surface uniformly. However, you can just seal heavy use sections like food prep zones every 3-6 months as needed. Do full seals annually.
Are there toxicity concerns with quartz sealers?
Quartz sealers are mildly acidic and should only be used with good ventilation. Open windows and use gloves and eye protection. Once cured, sealed surfaces are completely safe for food contact.
Maintain a Beautiful Quartz Countertop
By taking the time to properly seal your quartz countertops each year, you can keep them looking like new for decades. Quartz is durable, but proper care is essential. Along with sealing, be sure to:
- Use trivets and cutting boards to prevent hot pans and knives from damaging the surface.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent possible staining.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub pads which can dull the finish.
- Use a granite & quartz cleaner for daily upkeep.
Sealing provides an added layer of protection for your investment. Follow these steps and tips to seal your quartz countertops like a pro!
So in summary:
- Seal quartz annually to prevent stains, etching and maintain the glossy shine
- Use quartz-specific sealers to avoid damaging the surface
- Thoroughly clean counters and allow to fully dry before sealing
- Apply sealer generously using overlapping strokes
- Let sealer soak in 5-10 minutes before buffing off thoroughly
- Carefully seal edges, backsplashes and vertical surfaces
- Avoid common mistakes like rushed sealing or leaving residue
- Allow full 12-24 hour cure time before using quartz
- Proper sealing together with daily care keeps quartz pristine for years
Sealing quartz countertops is a simple do-it-yourself project that pays off. Take a weekend to seal your quartz counters and keep them looking like new for years of beauty and enjoyment.