Is It Easy to Install Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. But is installing quartz countertops an easy DIY project or best left to the professionals? Here is a comprehensive guide on what’s involved with quartz countertop installation.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a highly durable, non-porous surface that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.

Quartz offers the look of natural stone but without some of the drawbacks. It does not require ongoing sealing, is less prone to staining, and is unaffected by acids or alkaline cleaners. This makes quartz an excellent choice for busy kitchens.

Benefits of Quartz Countertops

There are several reasons why quartz has become a popular countertop choice:

  • Durability – Quartz is incredibly strong and scratch resistant. It can withstand heavy usage and maintain its beauty.
  • Low Maintenance – Unlike natural stone, quartz does not need regular sealing. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all that is required.
  • Stain Resistance – Quartz resists stains from wine, coffee, and other liquids that may tarnish natural stone.
  • Heat Tolerance – Quartz can withstand heat up to 212°F making it safe to place hot pans on.
  • Customizable – Quartz comes in a wide array of colors and patterns allowing for a customized look.
  • Nonporous – With very low porosity, quartz does not harbor bacteria growth.

Considerations Before Installing Quartz

Installing quartz countertops is a bigger project than simply placing the slabs on top of your cabinets. There are several factors to consider:

  • Skill Level – Experience with cutting, fitting, and installing large pieces of stone is needed. DIY is possible but can be tricky.
  • Special Tools – A wet saw with a diamond blade is required to cut quartz. Other supplies like adhesive and silicone are also needed.
  • Seams – Seams between quartz slabs are often necessary. Placement needs to be planned carefully.
  • Weight – Quartz is very dense and heavy. Cabinets must be able to support the weight without sagging.
  • Cost – Quartz is an investment. Prices vary but expect to pay $80-150 per square foot installed.

If you are up for the challenge, the steps for installing quartz countertops yourself are outlined below.

Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Installation

Installing quartz countertops requires careful preparation and precision cuts. Here is an overview of the process:

1. Gather Supplies

You will need:

  • Quartz slabs
  • Wet saw with diamond blade
  • Adhesive or thinset mortar
  • Trowel
  • Silicone caulk
  • Shim
  • Rags
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Ensure you have all necessary supplies before beginning.

2. Prepare the Cabinets

Cabinets must be level, securely fastened, and able to support the weight of the quartz. Apply painter’s tape along the top of the cabinets to prevent adhesive drips.

3. Make Template

Make a template from heavy paper or cardboard to follow for your quartz cuts. This ensures your measurements are precise.

4. Cut the Quartz

Using the wet saw, cut your quartz according to your template. Cuts should be made face down with slow, steady passes of the saw.

5. Dry Fit Pieces

Dry fit each piece, shimming if needed, to ensure a good fit before attaching adhesive. Look for any gaps that need adjusting.

6. Apply Adhesive

Follow adhesive instructions for application. Apply evenly to cabinets and back of quartz pieces.

7. Set Quartz in Place

Carefully lay pieces in place, following your template. Apply pressure to create a good bond with the adhesive.

8. Cleanup Adhesive

Remove any adhesive squeeze-out with a putty knife. Wipe area clean. Allow adhesive to cure fully.

9. Apply Silicone Caulk

Run a bead of silicone caulk along all seams and edges. Smooth with wet finger for a clean finish.

10. Clean Surfaces

Once installed, wipe quartz clean with a soft cloth. Use soap and water to remove any residue.

Hiring a Professional

While a DIY quartz installation is possible, the complexity of the project makes hiring a professional installer advisable for many homeowners.

Benefits of hiring a professional include:

  • Expertise – They are trained and experienced with safely handling and cutting quartz.
  • Precision cuts – Cuts are made with specialized tools to exact measurements.
  • Proper installation – Professionals know all the intricacies of proper quartz installation.
  • Warranties – Many companies provide installation warranties for peace of mind.
  • Save time – A professional team will complete the job much faster than a DIY project.

The increase in cost for hiring a professional is often worth it when you consider the expertise, speed, and warranties included. Get quotes from 3-4 local companies before deciding.

Maintaining Quartz Countertops

Once installed, quartz requires very little maintenance to keep looking like new for years:

  • For everyday cleaning, simply wipe down with a soft cloth and mild soap and water.
  • For stuck-on messes, use a non-abrasive cleaner designed for stone.
  • Avoid exposing the surface to strong chemicals like paint removers or oven cleaners.
  • Use a cutting board to protect from deep scratches and nicks from knives.
  • Be aware that prolonged heat exposure can potentially cause minor damage. Use trivets when setting hot pans on your quartz.

With proper care, your quartz countertops will stay beautiful and functional for decades after installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult for a beginner to install quartz?

For a beginner, quartz installation can be very difficult. The cutting requires specialized tools and experience. Ensuring a proper seam fit and adequately supporting the heavy slabs are also tricky for novices. Hiring a professional is recommended unless you have experience with similar projects.

What causes chips or cracks in quartz?

Quartz is remarkably strong but can be damaged by significant impact. Dropping heavy objects on the edges or surface can cause chips or cracks. Cracks can also form if the underlying cabinets bend or flex too much under the weight.

Can you cut quartz countertops yourself?

It is possible to cut quartz yourself using a wet saw with a diamond blade designed for stone. However, quartz dust is dangerous to breathe, so precautions must be taken. Improper cuts and measurements can also lead to a poor fit or weakened areas. Hiring a professional with the right tools is recommended.

Does quartz have special cleaning requirements?

Quartz requires very little maintenance. For daily cleaning, only water and mild soap are needed. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads. Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals. Quartz does not require resealing like natural stone.

How thick should quartz countertops be?

A standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inches or 2 cm. Thicker options like 1 1/4 inches can provide even more durability for heavier use areas. Thickness does not affect stain or scratch resistance. Cabinets must be sturdy enough to support heavier thicknesses.


Installing quartz countertops allows you to enjoy their unmatched durability and low-maintenance care. With proper planning and preparation, a DIY quartz installation is achievable. However, due to the specialized tools and skills required, hiring a professional offers benefits for many homeowners. If you decide to tackle it yourself, be sure to carefully follow each step of the process for the best results. With a stunning new quartz countertop, you can transform your kitchen’s function and beauty for years to come.