Is a Quartz Countertop Porous?

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. Often touted for their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance, quartz counters are now found in many modern homes. But one key question often comes up during the research process – is quartz porous? Understanding the porosity of quartz has important implications for maintenance, durability, and your enjoyment of your new countertops.

What is a Porous Material?

A material’s porosity refers to how permeable it is to air, liquids, and other substances. Porous materials have many tiny holes throughout their surface that allow outside elements to seep in. Non-porous materials, on the other hand, have a dense structure that prevents absorption of moisture and stains.

Examples of porous materials include natural stone like marble or granite, concrete, wood, and cork. Liquids and gasses can penetrate into these materials, making stains and damage more likely. Porous surfaces usually require specialized sealing treatments to help protect them.

Non-porous materials are typically man-made and engineered to resist water and stain absorption. Popular non-porous countertop options like quartz, solid surface, laminate, and tile do not easily allow liquids and gasses to pass through them. This makes them inherently more stain-resistant and lower maintenance compared to porous natural stone counters.

So is quartz a porous or non-porous material? Read on to find out!

Is Quartz Porous? The Short Answer

The quick answer is no, quartz countertops are non-porous. The resin binders and density of a quartz slab prevent moisture, stains, and other substances from penetrating into the material. This makes quartz an ideal choice if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, stain-resistant countertop.

While quartz has extremely low porosity, it is not completely impervious. Under certain conditions, some absorption can occur. But overall, quartz offers excellent resistance to liquids, foods, and typical kitchen stains. Unlike porous natural stone, quartz rarely needs sealing and is easy to keep clean.

Below we’ll explore why quartz has such low porosity and how its non-porous nature impacts maintenance and durability.

Why Quartz Has Low Porosity

Quartz countertops are engineered from two key ingredients: crushed natural quartz mineral combined with polyresin binders. It’s the resin that gives quartz its non-porous qualities.

Natural quartz on its own is porous. But in countertops, quartz particles make up only about 90% of the material. The remaining 10% is polymer resins that bind the crushed quartz together into solid slabs.

The resin fillers create a tight seal between quartz particles. This makes the surface resistant to moisture and stains. It also gives quartz its signature smooth, continuous appearance that lacks the pits and cracks found in natural stone.

In some quartz lines, the resin percentage may be higher than 10% to achieve certain aesthetic effects. But generally, the resin binder is key to quartz’s non-porous nature across brands.

How Non-Porous Quartz Impacts Maintenance

One of the main reasons homeowners choose quartz is for easy maintenance. The non-porous surface has important everyday maintenance benefits:

  • Resists staining: Spills like wine, coffee, juice, and oil that can permanently stain porous counters will not absorb into quartz. The surface wipes clean.
  • Low sealing needs: Unlike porous natural stone, quartz rarely needs reapplication of sealants over time to stay stain-resistant.
  • Does not harbor bacteria: Liquids and debris don’t penetrate to allow bacteria growth. Proper cleaning prevents mold or mildew.
  • Easy cleaning: Simple soap and water is enough for most cleaning. No need for special stone cleaners or implements.

The non-porous quality of quartz also makes it resistant to more severe damage:

  • Crack/scratch resistant: Everyday wear and scrapes do not penetrate or damage the dense resin surface.Microscopic notches may occur, but the overall appearance stays smooth.
  • Heat resistant: Hot pots or baking pans may mar but won’tdamage a quartz counter. The surface stands up to temperatures up to about 300°F.
  • Acid-resistant: Quartz surfaces resist damage from acidic foods and cleaners.

For typical kitchen tasks, the non-porous nature of quartz requires little more than wiping spills as they occur and cleaning with soap and water. This keeps the surface free of stains and bacteria without need for resealing over time.

Are There Any Porous Aspects to Quartz?

While the resin content gives quartz excellent non-porous properties overall, it is still possible for some absorption to occur under certain conditions:

  • Prolonged Exposure: Given prolonged exposure to spills, some liquid penetration may occur over time. But the absorption is only at a superficial level.
  • Seams: Natural variation between slabs can mean seams are slightly more porous. But manufacturers fill gaps during fabrication. Proper sealing ensures seams don’t absorb.
  • Cracks/Chips: Any damage that allows moisture into the layers under the resin surface increases absorption. Cracks and chips should be repaired quickly.
  • Manufacturing Defects: Flaws in the resin bonding can potentially lead to absorption in some very rare cases.

Daily spills wiped up quickly will not penetrate or stain a quartz counter. But leaving moisture sitting for prolonged periods may allow some absorption over time. The good news is that any absorption is minor and remains near the surface. Overall porosity of quartz is still extremely low compared to natural stone and other building materials.

Does Quartz Countertops Need to be Sealed?

Sealing is an essential maintenance step for porous natural stone countertops. But what about quartz?

In most cases, sealing is not necessary for quartz counters. Manufacturers design the resin content to make quartz counters stain-resistant without additional treatments. Sealing agents cannot penetrate into the non-porous surface anyway.

However, sealing may be recommended in certain situations:

  • Upon installation to protect seams
  • If any cracks or chips occur
  • For lighter quartz colors more prone to showingmarks
  • In bathrooms where moisture exposure is higher

Ask your fabricator if they recommend sealing, especially for bathrooms. Make sure to use a sealant designed for quartz rather than stone. Also reseal if you notice the counter developing any new stains over time. But for most quartz counters, sealing is unlikely to be needed very often, if ever.

Durability of Quartz as a Non-Porous Countertop

Quartz offers excellent durability thanks to its low porosity and stain resistance. A few keys to the long-lasting nature of quartz include:

  • Doesn’t require refinishing: Unlike wood or laminate that need sanding/resurfacing over time, quartz maintains its smooth finish.
  • Resists wear: Everyday use does not degrade the dense quartz surface. No sealing needed to prevent damage.
  • Easy to keep clean: Non-porous quartz only requires mild soap and water to maintain its clean appearance.
  • Stand up to impacts: Quartz can resist chipping and cracks better than natural stone. But any damage should be repaired quickly.
  • Stain warranty: Most manufacturer warranties cover permanent staining, though not impact damage. Keep spills wiped up.
  • Long lifespan: With proper care, quartz counters can last for many decades in the home.

While no material is truly indestructible, quartz offers excellent durability for demanding kitchen environments. Following manufacturer care guidelines will keep your non-porous quartz counters in great shape for years.

Can You Make a Porous Quartz Countertop?

Given quartz’s non-porous nature, you may wonder if it’s possible to make it more porous. Homeowners sometimes prefer the look of porous stone and want similar performance in quartz.

There are a few options to make quartz act more like porous stone:

  • Lower resin content: Some specialty quartz manufacturers focus on a more natural stone look. They use the minimum amount of resin needed for structural integrity. This results in a more porous end product.
  • Regular sealing: Applying sealant every 3-6 months increases porosity. Frequent sealing lets you achieve a matte look while minimizing stains.
  • Honing: A honed quartz finish has more exposed surface area than a polished look. This increases stain absorption without altering resin content.
  • Matte finish: Certain quartz lines come factory-finished with a porous-like matte texture. The Borghini Matte series is one example.

If you prefer the honed, matte aesthetic of limestone, concrete, or soapstone but want quartz durability, these options can help. Be aware though that increased porosity also means more frequent sealing and careful maintenance. Most buyers opt for regular non-porous quartz.

FAQs About Porosity of Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the porosity of quartz:

Does quartz stain easily?

No, quartz does not stain easily. The non-porous resin binders prevent most spills and liquids from being absorbed into the surface. For any minor marks that do occur on the surface, quartz can be cleaned with a little soap and water.

Can oil soak into quartz?

Because quartz is non-porous, oil does not soak in and leave permanent stains. The surface of quartz resists absorption. Oils and greases can leave a visible film, but wipe away easily with degreasing cleaners.

Is marble or quartz more porous?

Natural stone like marble is far more porous than quartz. Marble and other stones have tiny pits and cracks that allow liquids to readily soak in, leaving stains. The resin in quartz closes these spaces, making it non-porous and stain resistant compared to marble.

Does quartz etch like marble?

Acidic foods and cleaners can etch and corrode the surface of porous marble. But quartz’s non-porosity makes it highly resistant to etching from acids. No need to worry about lemon juice or tomatoes damaging a quartz counter.

Can hot pans damage a quartz counter?

Quartz can withstand brief exposure to normal cooking temperatures up to about 300°F. Direct sustained heat may mar the finish, but won’t penetrate or damage the material underneath due to its non-porous nature. Allow hot cookware to cool before setting it on quartz.

Is Quartz Worth It for a Non-Porous Countertop?

For those seeking an attractive yet low maintenance countertop, quartz provides excellent value:

Stain and water resistance: Liquids stay on the surface rather than soak in permanently.

Doesn’t require constant resealing: Maintains its integrity without frequent sealant applications.

Easy cleaning: Soap and water remove most marks. No need for special stone cleaners.

Durability: Stands up well to scratches, impacts, heat damage, and general wear and tear.

Wide range of colors and styles: From sleek monochromatic to bold patterns, quartz offers endless design flexibility.

Hygienic: The non-porous surface doesn’t harbor bacteria growth.

Long-lasting: With proper care, quartz counters maintain their beauty for decades.

While no material is completely impervious to damage, quartz offers an unparalleled combination of stain resistance, durability, and hassle-free cleaning, all with a beautiful polished aesthetic. For most homeowners, the minimal maintenance required for quartz is well worth the investment.


It’s clear that quartz countertops offer non-porous performance that outshines many other natural stone and solid surface options. The key takeaways about the porosity of quartz include:

  • Quartz is essentially non-porous due to its resin binders that fill spaces between mineral particles.
  • Non-porous quartz resists stains, harboring bacteria, and heat damage.
  • Low porosity makes quartz a low maintenance option requiring little more than routine cleaning.
  • While not totally impervious, any absorption in quartz is minor and remains near the surface.
  • Most quartz counters do not require sealing like natural stone. Consult your fabricator.
  • Durability quartz comes from stains and damage being prevented from penetrating the solid surface.
  • Options like lower resin content and honed finishes can increase porosity if desired.

With its elite combination of resilient stain resistance, durability, and hassle-free maintenance, quartz remains the gold standard non-porous countertop. While no material is indestructible, quartz’s incredibly low porosity and all-around performance make it an ideal surface for kitchens and bathrooms.