Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz combined with resins and pigments, these engineered stone surfaces are praised for their durability, low maintenance, and wide range of colors and patterns. However, despite their resilience, quartz countertops still require some care and caution when it comes to exposure to liquids. Many homeowners wonder – is water okay on quartz?
An Overview of Quartz Countertops
Before diving into the specifics of water and quartz, it’s helpful to understand what quartz countertops are and what makes them different from other countertop materials.
- Quartz countertops are engineered stone, made from approximately 90% ground quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments.
- The resins bind the quartz particles together and allow the material to be molded into slabs. The pigments add color and pattern.
- Key features of quartz countertops are their hardness, non-porousness, scratch resistance, and stain resistance. They require very little maintenance compared to natural stone.
- Brands of quartz countertops include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and LG Viatera. Many colors and patterns are available.
- Quartz is one of the more expensive countertop options but is an investment that can greatly improve your home’s aesthetics and functionality.
Is Water Safe for Quartz Countertops?
The simple answer is yes – water is generally fine on quartz surfaces. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:
Having liquids briefly on your quartz countertops is no problem. Things like a glass of water, wet groceries, or mixing a recipe will not harm quartz. Just wipe up spills when they occur to keep the surface clean and sanitary.
Leaving any type of liquid – water, juices, etc – sitting on quartz for extended periods can be an issue. Prolonged exposure can lead to erosion of the resin binders. Try to wipe up spills within 20-30 minutes.
Quartz can withstand brief contact with hot pots or pans. But letting extremely hot liquid sit directly on the surface could potentially cause damage. Always use trivets and hot pads when setting down hot items from the stove or oven.
With undermount sinks, the quartz countertop is exposed to near-constant water contact. Most quartz manufacturers say this direct exposure will not harm their products with proper care. Blot dry any excess water and clean regularly.
Quartz has excellent chemical resistance. However, highly acidic or alkaline liquids could degrade sealants over time with continuous exposure. Clean up lemon juice, vinegar, and soap scum quickly.
Best Practices for Water and Quartz Countertops
Follow these tips and your quartz surfaces will stay looking beautiful for years:
- Wipe up spills promptly, don’t let moisture linger
- Use coasters under glasses and cups
- Avoid direct high heat on the surface
- Clean undermount sink areas thoroughly and frequently
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years for added protection
- Know which cleaners are quartz-safe to avoid damaging sealants
Can You Damage Quartz Countertops with Water?
With routine care and caution, water should not cause any real damage to quartz. However, problems can occur if proper maintenance is not done:
- Long-term saturation from a leaking sink or appliance can deteriorate sealants.
- Poor cleaning methods like excessive scrubbing or harsh chemicals may ruin the finish.
- Hot pots/pans left directly on the surface may scorch.
- Prolonged UV light exposure can discolor and dull the surface over time.
Thankfully these issues are preventable with simple care. The key is to avoid prolonged moisture exposure, only use quartz-approved cleaners, use trivets for hot items, and reseal as needed.
Can Quartz Countertops Be Repaired from Water Damage?
In most cases, minor water damage like surface erosion or discoloration can be repaired:
- Re-polishing using specialty quartz polishing kits can restore the smooth finish.
- Re-sealing adds a protective coat to prevent further damage.
- For white or very light quartz, bleaching may be done to remove stains.
- Severe damage may require spot repair by a countertop professional.
- Complete replacement is the only option if damage is beyond repair.
While quartz is less susceptible to water damage than marble or granite, issues can still occur without proper care. Thankfully it does not require full replacement as often as other materials when damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions about Water and Quartz Countertops
Can I leave glasses of water on my quartz countertop?
Yes, but wipe up any condensation ring and spills promptly to avoid potential long-term damage from moisture exposure. Use coasters when possible.
What about using quartz around the kitchen sink?
Quartz works well for kitchen sinks with proper care. Be diligent about drying any water around the sink and avoid letting soap or grime build up. Reseal the area around the sink 1-2 times per year.
Is it okay to prep food directly on my quartz counters?
Certainly! Quartz provides an ideal smooth, sanitary surface for food prep. Just avoid prolonged exposure to acids from citrus, tomatoes, vinegar, etc. Clean up any spills quickly.
Can hot pots go on quartz counters?
Brief contact with hot pots or pans is fine, but always use trivets and hot pads to avoid potential heat damage. Never put baking sheets directly out of the oven onto the counter.
How can I get water spots off my quartz?
For dried water spots, use a gentle quartz cleaner and non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth. Avoid excessive scrubbing. Resealing annually can also help prevent buildup of hard water deposits.
Quartz offers superior water resistance compared to many other countertop materials. While not impervious, it can withstand routine and cautious water exposure with proper care. Avoid prolonged moisture contact, clean spills quickly, use trivets, and reseal regularly. With this simple routine, quartz countertops can stay luminous and damage-free for many years of beauty and function in your home.