How to Work with Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from engineered stone, quartz is an attractive, durable, and low-maintenance material. Here is a detailed guide on how to work with quartz countertops.

Selecting Quartz Slabs

When selecting quartz slabs, consider the following:

Color and Pattern

  • Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns to fit any style. Look at quartz samples to choose the right aesthetic for your space.
  • Lighter quartz colors show less scratches and stains than darker colors.
  • See quartz slabs in person before making a final selection, as color can vary from samples.


  • Standard thickness is 3/4 inch, but 1 1/4 inches offers more durability for heavily used areas.
  • Thicker quartz is less prone to damage and sagging over time.


  • Inspect each slab carefully for any flaws in color or pattern before accepting.
  • Go with reputable brand name quartz for optimal quality control.


  • Measure your space carefully to determine exactly how many square feet of quartz you need, leaving room for mistakes.
  • Purchase 10-15% extra to account for overages during templating and fabrication.

Working with a Fabricator

Choose an experienced quartz fabricator for proper templating, cutting, edging, and installation:

  • Verify they are certified by the quartz manufacturer before hiring.
  • Discuss all details like seams, edges, backsplashes, and sink or stove cutouts.
  • Schedule templating with the fabricator once cabinets are installed but before counter area is finalized.

Preparing for Installation

Take the following steps to ensure successful quartz installation:

Clear Countertops

  • Remove everything from existing countertops before templating and install.

Allow Access

  • Have a clear pathway through entry doors and to the kitchen/bathroom.

Clean Up Area

  • Clear a workspace around the perimeter to set down tools, adhesives, and materials.
  • Sweep and vacuum the area to prevent debris interfering.

Turn Off Appliances

  • Turn off and unplug any appliances situated in the countertop area.

Stay On Site

  • Remain on-site during the entire installation process to resolve any issues immediately.

Cure Time

  • Avoid using freshly installed quartz for at least 24 hours to allow proper curing of adhesives.

Caring for Quartz Countertops

Follow these tips for maintaining quartz countertops:


  • Use a mild soap and water to clean quartz. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
  • Blot spills quickly to prevent stains setting in surfaces.
  • Sanitize periodically with diluted bleach to kill bacteria.

Preventing Damage

  • Use cutting boards and trivets for hot items to prevent scratches and burns.
  • Apply sealants regularly to inhibit stains, following manufacturer instructions.
  • Avoid placing extremely heavy items on countertops that could crack the surface.

Repairing Damage

  • Small nicks and scratches can often be buffed out using fine grit sandpaper.
  • Consult a pro for chip repairs, seam issues, or cracks as quartz can be challenging to mend.


  • Commercial sealants may need reapplying every 1-2 years for optimal effectiveness.

Routinely Inspecting

  • Inspect sealant condition, seams, and surfaces every 6 months to catch issues early before major damage occurs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Working with Quartz Countertops

How long do quartz countertops last?

With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can last decades. The resins binding the stone make quartz very durable and resistant to scratching.

Does quartz need to be sealed?

Sealing quartz is optional but recommended to prevent stains, especially for darker colors. Ask your fabricator if the quartz was pre-sealed or if you need to seal it yourself 1-2 times per year.

Can you cut on quartz countertops?

Always use a cutting board to protect the surface of quartz countertops. The resin binders make it difficult to refinish quartz if it gets scratched or damaged.

How do you clean quartz countertops?

For routine cleaning, use a mild soap and water or stone cleaner. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could dull the finish. Disinfect quartz periodically with a diluted bleach solution.

Can you install quartz countertops yourself?

Quartz countertop installation is best left to professional fabricators and installers. The slabs require special tools for cutting, edging, and securing properly to cabinets. Improper DIY installation often leads to cracks or alignment issues down the line.

How thick should quartz countertops be?

The standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inch, although some manufacturers offer 1 1/4 inch slabs for added durability and reinforcement. Go with the thickest quartz you can afford for high use areas like kitchen counters.


With the right selection, care, and maintenance, quartz countertops are an excellent investment that can enhance your home’s style and function for many years. Pay close attention to details like surface finish, edges, seams, and thickness when choosing quartz. Prepare your space thoroughly for templating and installation to prevent issues. Once installed, keep quartz looking like new with regular cleaning, prompt spill removal, sealants, inspections, and trivets to protect the surface. Professionally addressing any damage right away will help your quartz countertops withstand the demands of daily life for decades.