Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and easy maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can become damaged over time and require resurfacing. Shaving down quartz countertops involves grinding down the top layer to remove scratches, etching, and stains. With some specialty tools and techniques, you can refresh your quartz surface and restore its original beauty.
What You’ll Need
- Safety gear – goggles, mask, ear protection
- Variable speed grinder or polisher
- 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 grit diamond polishing pads
- Water source
- Clean cloths and microfiber towels
Clean the Surface
Before shaving down the quartz, thoroughly clean the countertop to remove any debris, dirt or residue. Use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth/sponge. This prevents any grit from scratching during polishing.
Mark Damaged Areas
Inspect the surface and identify any problem spots – scratches, chips, etching. Mark these areas with painter’s tape. Focus your grinding and polishing on these spots.
Set up Work Station
Clear off the countertop. Have your grinder, pads, water source and towels easily accessible. Wear safety gear. Designate a work area that contains any dust/debris generated.
Grind Damaged Areas
Start with a 50 or 100 grit diamond pad. Working in a circular motion, grind down the damaged/etched areas just enough to remove the flaws. Apply steady, even pressure. Keep pads wet to minimize dust.
Smooth with Finer Grits
Progress through the polishing pads from coarse to fine grit – 200, 400, 800, 1500. Grind until previous scratch pattern is gone, then switch to the next finer pad. Always keep pads wet for best results.
Polish Entire Surface
Once damaged spots are smoothed, polish the entire counter with the 1500 grit pad to create an even, uniform appearance. Work top to bottom in overlapping passes.
When the quartz has a consistent polished finish, wipe away all residue with a clean damp cloth. Remove painter’s tape and inspect for any remaining dull spots. Address these with additional localized polishing.
Apply a quartz countertop sealant to protect the renewed finish. Follow product directions. Avoid surface until fully cured.
Tips for Success
- Work in good ventilation and wear a mask to avoid breathing dust.
- Keep pads constantly wet while polishing to minimize airborne particles.
- Apply even, consistent pressure. Don’t press too hard or dwell in one area.
- Always start with the least aggressive pad first, then step down grits.
- Spot polish damaged areas before addressing the whole counter.
- Pick a work time when the countertop can be completely cleared for several hours.
What causes a quartz countertop to look dull and etched?
Over time, normal wear and tear, abrasive cleaners, spills, and improper cleaning can damage the surface layer of quartz. This results in a worn, clouded appearance with etching and scratches.
How often should I shave down my quartz countertop?
It depends on usage and condition. Heavy use kitchen counters may need shaving every 2-3 years. More occasional use in a bathroom may go 5 years or more before resurfacing is needed.
Can I do this myself or do I need a professional?
With the right tools, safety precautions, patience and technique, an experienced DIYer can shave down and polish their own quartz countertop. However, for best results, hiring a professional stone fabricator is recommended.
What’s the benefit of shaving vs. replacing the countertop?
Shaving the quartz renews the surface at a fraction of full replacement cost. It removes damage but preserves the underlying structure. It’s an affordable way to refresh the look and get years more life out of your existing quartz countertop.
Will the countertop look the same as new after shaving?
In most cases, yes. Shaving removes scratches, dull areas, and etching to restore the countertop’s original factory finish. Proper polishing techniques should make the surface look brand new again.
Shaving down a worn quartz countertop by grinding and re-polishing the surface is an effective way to erase damage and restore beauty. With time and the right tools, homeowners can perform this resurfacing process themselves. Or, calling in a professional provides assurance of an expert job. Proper maintenance and re-sealing will help preserve the renewed quartz surface for many more years of durability and enjoyment.