How to Stick the Quartz Countertop on the Counter

Installing a quartz countertop can seem daunting, but with careful planning and preparation, it is an achievable DIY project. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to stick a quartz countertop onto your counter properly.

Choosing the Right Adhesive

When installing quartz, it is crucial to select the proper adhesive. The adhesive must be strong enough to firmly secure the heavy quartz slab but also allow for some flexibility. The three main options are:

  • 100% silicone: Provides a super strong, flexible bond that allows for expansion and contraction. Best for large quartz pieces. Ensure it is 100% silicone, not hybrid sealants.
  • Clear polyurethane construction adhesive: Bonds well to a variety of surfaces and offers some flexibility. Choose a brand designed for bonding stone/quartz.
  • Epoxy adhesive: Very rigid and durable adhesive. Use for smaller pieces or in addition to silicone for extra strength.

Silicone adhesive is highly recommended for most quartz countertop installations because of its incredible bonding strength and flexibility. Combine silicone with epoxy or polyurethane for added support when needed.

Preparing the Surface

Proper surface prep is vital for maximum adhesion. The substrate must be:

  • Clean: Free of dirt, grease, wax, or any debris. Clean with denatured alcohol.
  • Dry: Eliminate any moisture on the surface before applying adhesive.
  • Structurally sound: Any damaged areas should be repaired prior to installation.
  • Level: Use shims if the surface is uneven to prevent cracking stress.

Lightly roughening the surface also improves adhesion. Gently sand the substrate with 80-120 grit sandpaper to create some texture. Avoid over-sanding, which can weaken the structure. Wipe away all dust afterward.

Cutting and Dry Fitting

Before applying any adhesive, do a test fit of your quartz pieces to ensure proper sizing. Use a circular saw with a diamond blade to trim pieces as needed for an exact fit. Go slowly to avoid cracking or chipping.

Dry fit each piece to check alignments, overhangs, and gaps prior to permanently securing them. Having a tight seam is crucial. Adjust as required before moving onto adhesive application.

Applying Adhesive

With your materials prepped and dry fitted, you’re ready for adhesive application:

  • Carefully follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for setup, application, and curing times.
  • Apply a sufficient amount in a zig-zag or wavy pattern to fully cover the substrate. Spread evenly with a notched trowel.
  • Only apply as much adhesive as you can cover within the working time. Adhere one section at a time.
  • For larger pieces, apply adhesive to both the countertop underside and the substrate for maximum bonding.
  • With silicone, lay down caulk beads rather than spreading with a trowel.

Setting the Quartz & Clamping

Once adhesive is laid down, carefully lower your quartz piece into place. Press down firmly to ensure full contact with the adhesive.

  • Avoid sliding the quartz piece once placed, as this can compromise the adhesive. Lift entirely to reposition.
  • Use shims to keep the countertop level as you secure it. Remove shims once bonded.
  • Apply weighted clamps evenly across the surface. Clamping applies constant pressure as the adhesive cures for a superior bond.
  • Wipe away any excess adhesive squeeze-out once clamped. Remove completely once cured.

Curing & Sealing

Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations for curing time. Do not disturb the quartz piece while the adhesive sets. Once fully cured:

  • Inspect all seams and joints closely for any gaps or weak points. Re-apply adhesive as needed.
  • Use color-matched caulk to fill any remaining gaps for an inconspicuous finish.
  • Seal edges and seams with a clear waterproof silicone sealant designed for quartz.

With proper planning, surface preparation, adhesive selection, and installation technique, you can successfully install quartz countertops that will last for decades. Taking it slow and steady leads to the strongest bond.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of adhesive is best for quartz countertops?

100% silicone adhesive is highly recommended because it creates a super strong yet flexible bond that accommodates the expansion and contraction of quartz slabs. Polyurethane or epoxy adhesives can also be used.

How long does quartz countertop adhesive take to cure?

Cure times vary by adhesive brand. Most take 24-48 hours for a full cure. Do not disturb the countertops during this time and avoid excessive force on the bond. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Should I use adhesive on both the quartz and substrate?

For maximum bonding strength, especially for larger pieces, apply adhesive to both surfaces – the bottom of the quartz as well as the countertop substrate.

Can you install quartz countertops without using adhesive?

It is not recommended. Adhesive is required to create a permanent, waterproof bond. Installing without it risks the quartz detaching, cracking, or water damage occurring.

How do I cut a quartz countertop properly?

Use a circular saw with a diamond blade designed for cutting stone. Mark your cut line, go slowly, and wear safety gear. Make multiple shallow passes rather than one deep cut to avoid cracking.

What’s the best way to get a tight seam between quartz pieces?

Carefully dry fit the quartz pieces first before adhering them. Use shims during installation to keep the countertops perfectly level. Clamp the seams tightly while the adhesive cures for a tight joint.


Installing quartz countertops is an intermediate skill level DIY project that can save thousands over professional installation. With proper planning, preparation, materials, and technique, you can successfully stick quartz slabs onto your counters. Patience and care in following each step will lead to securely bonded countertops that will last for many years before needing replacement.