Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. Unlike natural stone, quartz is non-porous, so it does not require regular sealing. However, quartz is not entirely maintenance-free. Over time, quartz can develop minor scratches, etching, and dull spots from daily wear and tear. Fortunately, there are polishing options available to restore the luster and appearance of quartz countertops.
What Causes Quartz Countertops to Lose Their Shine?
There are a few common culprits that can lead to a quartz countertop losing its glossy finish:
- Minor scratches – Items like keys, utensils, and appliances can cause light surface scratches over time.
- Etching – Acidic foods and cleaners can eat away at the surface, creating etched marks. Citrus, vinegar, and even repeated cleanings with glass cleaner can cause etching.
- Water spots/mineral deposits – Hard water and mineral deposits left after water evaporates can leave behind cloudy spots and stains.
- Dulling – Normal wear and tear from daily use can gradually cause quartz to lose its polished glow.
Polishing Options for Quartz Countertops
There are a few DIY and professional solutions available to renew the sheen and appearance of worn quartz:
DIY Quartz Polishing
For minor surface issues, DIY polishing kits can help improve the appearance of quartz:
- Quartz polish – Specialized quartz polishes are formulated to fill in micro-scratches and scuffs. Apply with a soft cloth using circular motions.
- Cleaner wax – A cleaner wax can add a protective layer and mild shine back to the surface.
- Baking soda – For water spots or etching, make a paste with baking soda and water and gently scrub.
However, DIY options have limitations in the level of shine they can restore. For best results, professional refinishing is recommended.
Professional Quartz Polishing/Refinishing
Professional quartz technicians have specialized tools and polishing compounds to fully re-finish damaged quartz:
- Wet polishing – Using a hand-held polishing machine with diamond-impregnated polishing pads and water, the surface is ground down to remove scratches and etchings. This exposes a fresh layer of quartz.
- Resurfacing – For significant damage, some thickness of the quartz may need to be removed to reveal a new surface layer. This is done using calibrated machinery to evenly resurface the top.
- Protective treatment – To prevent future damage, an industrial-grade sealant is applied. This adds gloss and acts as a barrier.
- Color enhancement – If discoloration is an issue, pigmented enhancement compounds can be used to restore an even color and appearance.
Professional refinishing yields the best results in terms of shine, smoothness, and longevity. Effects can last for many years with proper care.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
To minimize the need for polishing quartz, caring for it properly is key:
- Wipe up spills immediately, especially acidic substances like juice or wine.
- Use mild cleaners and avoid abrasive pads/products.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from knives, pots, etc.
- Apply a quartz sealant every 1-2 years for added protection.
How Often Does Quartz Need Polishing?
With proper care, quartz may never need polishing. However, for surfaces with moderate use, professional polishing every 3-5 years can keep quartz in like-new condition. Areas with heavier wear may need polishing more frequently.
Well-maintained quartz countertops can easily last 15-20 years or longer before needing replacement. Keeping quartz clean and polished allows you to enjoy its benefits for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Polishing Quartz Countertops
Can I polish quartz countertops myself?
Light polishing with a DIY quartz polish or baking soda can help improve minor issues. But for deeper scratches, etching, and dullness, professional refinishing is recommended to get the best results.
How long does a professional quartz polish last?
With proper care, a professional polish can last 3-5 years or longer before needing to be redone. Avoiding harsh cleaners and heavy impact is key to maximizing results.
How much does it cost to get quartz countertops polished professionally?
Costs vary based on service provider and the extent of damage. As a rough estimate, expect to invest $200-500 to have a professional renew the finish on an average sized kitchen of quartz countertops.
Can you get quartz countertops completely refinished?
Yes, professional resurfacing can remove several millimeters of thickness to reveal fresh quartz underneath for a fully renewed appearance. This can be done every few years as needed.
What happens if you don’t polish quartz regularly?
Without occasional polishing, the surface will gradually become duller, etched, and scratched over time. But this is mainly an aesthetic issue – untreated quartz is still sanitary and functional.
While quartz countertops are low-maintenance compared to other surfaces, polishing is occasionally needed to maintain their pristine shine and appearance over the years. For light surface issues, DIY options can provide a quick fix. But for more significant damage, professional quartz refinishing every few years is recommended to keep your counters looking like new. With the right care and polishing when required, quartz countertops can stay beautiful for decades.