Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance requirements. However, some homeowners wonder if they need to seal their quartz countertops to protect them. Here is a detailed look at whether you should seal quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%. Other compounds like polymers, resins, and pigments make up the remainder of the material.
The combination creates a durable, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, cracks, and heat damage better than many natural stone options. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a hard, solid slab.
Quartz offers the look of natural stone but with more consistency in pattern and color. It comes in a wide range of styles from solid colors to patterns mimicking granite and marble.
The Benefits of Quartz Countertops
There are many reasons why quartz makes an excellent choice for kitchen countertops and other applications:
- Durability – Quartz has high hardness and density, making it very resistant to chips, cracks, and scratches. It can withstand heavy impacts.
- Low Maintenance – Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require regular sealing. It resists stains, etching, and water damage. Simple cleaning with soap and water keeps it looking like new.
- Non-Porous – Quartz has a non-porous surface that prevents liquids and bacteria from penetrating into the material. This makes it very hygienic and easier to keep clean.
- Stain Resistance – The material is highly stain-resistant against wine, oil, juice, and other liquids. Any spills can be easily wiped away.
- Heat Resistance – Quartz holds up well against hot pans and does not scorch. However, using trivets is still recommended.
- Consistent Appearance – Slab mined natural stone can have variation while quartz offers uniformity in patterns, colors, and veining.
- Low Maintenance Costs – Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require regular sealing, polishing, or special cleaners, saving time and expense.
With all of these advantages, it’s easy to see why many homeowners opt for quartz for heavy use areas like kitchens. Its durability and stain resistance keep it looking like new for years.
Does Quartz Need To Be Sealed?
Sealing is often touted as an essential maintenance step for natural stone countertops like granite and marble. But what about quartz? Here are the key facts:
- Quartz is non-porous – Unlike natural stone, quartz has an impervious, non-porous surface that resin seals together. Liquids cannot penetrate the solid surface.
- No risk of staining or etching – The lack of pores means quartz has innate stain and etch resistance. Sealers provide no added protection.
- Warranties do not require sealing – Major quartz manufacturers like Caesarstone and Cambria do not require regular sealing as part of their warranties.
- Can actually damage surface – Surface sealers use chemicals that may interact poorly with quartz’s resin binders and cause deterioration or discoloration over time.
- Simply not necessary – As an inherently non-porous material, quartz lacks the pits, crevices and permeability that make natural stone like granite and marble prone to staining.
In summary, sealing quartz countertops not only provides no real benefit but also poses risks of damaging the surface. The leading manufacturers unanimously agree that quartz does not require sealing under any circumstances.
Proper Care and Maintenance of Quartz
Though quartz requires little maintenance, following some basic care guidelines will keep your countertops looking pristine:
- Use a gentle soap and water to clean quartz. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent staining.
- Disinfect surface occasionally with diluted bleach cleaner.
- For stubborn stains, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad.
- Always use cutting boards rather than cutting directly on the quartz.
- Use trivets and coasters under hot pans to prevent burns.
- Apply silicone pads under appliances to prevent scratches.
- Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains from setting.
With simple care and maintenance, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and enduring for decades. Sealing is not needed.
Applying Sealers to Quartz Can Damage the Surface
Homeowners should think twice before applying a sealer to quartz counters. Sealers often use chemicals like silanes, silicones, silicates, and oxalic acid to induce penetration. However, quartz relies on resin binders to hold the material together. Chemical sealants can negatively interact with these adhesives.
Potential problems include:
- Discoloration or blotchy areas
- Alteration of the glossy finish, resulting in a dull look
- Breakdown of resin binders, weakening the structural integrity
- Pitting, flaking, or cracking of the quartz surface
- Damage to other materials like caulk or grout near the quartz
Any signs of sealer interacting poorly with the resin binders indicates the quartz surface is being damaged at a molecular level.
In some cases, the effects are immediate. Often though, the damage occurs slowly over time as sealers repeatedly applied. By the time issues are noticeable, the countertops may require extensive repairs or replacement.
Since quartz is non-porous, applying a sealer is an unnecessary risk. Your safest bet is following the manufacturer’s recommendations, which across the board warn against using sealers on quartz under any circumstances.
How Quartz Differs from Natural Stone
It’s understandable why some homeowners think they need to seal quartz counters. Sealing is commonly recommended for natural stone materials like granite, marble, slate, travertine, and sandstone. But quartz has distinct differences that eliminate the need for sealers:
- Natural stone is porous with small holes that allow spill penetration
- Quartz is non-porous due to its resin binders filling space between particles
- Natural stones form naturally over time through geological processes
- Quartz slabs are engineered in factories under controlled conditions
- Natural stones have unique veining patterns with irregular specks and swirls
- Quartz has uniform speckling and a consistent appearance across the slab
- Natural stone is prone to staining, etching, and discoloration without sealing
- Quartz’s non-porous surface resists staining and damage without sealers
- Natural stone requires periodic resealing to fill pores and prevent stains
- Non-porous quartz never requires sealing due to its impervious surface
The characteristics that make natural stone porous and prone to damage are absent in quartz. This eliminates the need for protective sealing of quartz surfaces.
Answering Common Questions on Sealing Quartz
Many homeowners have additional questions about sealing their quartz countertops. Below are some frequently asked questions with answers:
Should I seal my quartz countertop before or after installation?
Neither. Quartz should never be sealed before, during, or after installation. The non-porous material does not need or benefit from sealing.
Can sealing quartz help make colors pop?
No, sealers do not enhance quartz’s appearance. The pigments run through the entire slab. Sealers merely sit on the surface and can cause discoloration. The vibrant colors come from the manufacturing process.
I etched my quartz countertop. Will sealing it help?
No. Sealers cannot repair etching or damage. Etching is usually visible but not detrimental. You can try resurfacing options but avoid sealers which may worsen the issue over time.
My installer recommends sealing the grout lines in my quartz backsplash. Is this okay?
Yes, sealing the grout between quartz tiles is fine and often recommended. Avoid getting sealer on the quartz surface itself. Use masking tape around the countertop edges if needed.
Should I reseal my quartz countertops annually?
No. Unlike natural stone, quartz never requires resealing. Annual sealing risks long term damage and offers no benefits. Follow your manufacturer’s guidance, which warns against using sealers.
How can I add a shine back to my quartz countertops?
Sealers are not recommended. A gentle buffing with a soft pad may help restore some gloss. Or consider professional refinishing services that use compounds designed specifically for quartz.
Quartz countertops do not require sealing due their non-porous, stain-resistant qualities. In fact, sealers can potentially damage quartz surfaces over time. Following the manufacturer’s care guidelines is the best way to maintain the beauty of your quartz counters for years to come without unnecessary and risky sealing. Keep the surface clean, prevent scratches, and promptly wipe up spills to avoid stains. With simple care, your quartz countertops will retain their like-new appearance and durability.
Should You Seal Quartz Countertops?
Sealing quartz countertops is an unnecessary step that provides no real benefit. In fact, sealers may actually damage quartz over time and void warranties. Here’s a closer look at the facts on sealing quartz counters.
Why Quartz Doesn’t Need Sealing
There are a few key reasons why quartz countertops do not require sealants:
Quartz surfaces are non-porous, so liquids cannot penetrate the material. Natural stones like granite are porous, so sealants plug the small holes. But quartz is impervious without pores to fill.
Innate Stain Resistance
The lack of porosity gives quartz innate stain resistance. Sealers can’t improve the stain resistance of quartz’s solid surface.
Warranties Don’t Require Sealing
Major quartz manufacturers like Silestone don’t require sealing as part of their warranties. This shows it’s unnecessary for protection.
No Added Benefit
Since quartz can’t be stained or etched due to its non-porous nature, sealers provide no extra protection or benefit.
Sealers use chemicals that may negatively react with quartz’s resin binders, damaging the surface over time.
Quartz lacks the characteristics that make natural stone prone to staining. So it requires no preventive sealing.
The bottom line is quartz countertops are impervious non-porous slabs that don’t need sealing. Let’s look closer at how quartz differs from natural stone.
Key Differences from Natural Stone
It’s understandable to be confused about sealing quartz counters because natural stone countertops like granite require regular sealing. Here are the key differences:
- Natural stone has microscopic pores that allow stains to penetrate.
- Quartz has no pores due to its resin binders filling space between particles.
- Natural stone forms naturally over centuries through geological processes.
- Quartz slabs are engineered under factory conditions.
- Natural stones have unique uneven patterns and speckling.
- Quartz has a more uniform appearance across the slab.
- Natural stone requires sealing to prevent staining and etching.
- Non-porous quartz resists staining without sealers.
- Porous natural stone needs periodic resealing.
- Quartz never requires sealing due to its solid surface.
These differences demonstrate why quartz countertops simply don’t require sealants.
How Sealers Can Damage Quartz
Rather than provide protection, applying sealers to quartz can actually damage surfaces:
- Chemicals may react with resin binders and weaken quartz’s integrity.
- Can dull and discolor quartz over time with repeated applications.
- Risk of flaking, cracking, and pits forming across the surface.
- Once issues arise, the quartz may require replacement.
Quartz relies on resins to stay strong and impervious. But sealers often use chemicals that break down adhesives. This compromises the structural stability of the slabs.
Since quartz can’t be penetrated or stained, avoid unnecessary risks by never applying sealers.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
Though quartz is low maintenance, follow these tips to keep it pristine:
- Clean with mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Blot spills quickly to prevent setting.
- Use trivets for hot pans to prevent burning.
- Cut only on designated boards, not the counter surface.
- Apply silicone pads under heavy appliances to prevent scratches.
With routine care, quartz will stay beautiful and like new for decades without sealing required.
The Bottom Line
Quartz countertops do not need to be sealed as manufacturers clearly advise against it. The non-porous material cannot be penetrated by stains. Sealers offer no benefits and pose risks of damaging quartz over time. Follow the simple manufacturer recommended care guidelines to maintain your quartz counters for a lifetime of beauty and durability.
FAQs: Sealing Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have questions about whether they need to seal their quartz countertops. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Should I seal my new quartz countertop?
No, do not seal quartz counters. Manufacturers agree sealing is not required or recommended. The non-porous material is impervious to stains without sealants.
Can sealing give added protection?
No added protection is needed. Quartz’s solid surface can’t be penetrated by stains so sealers provide no benefit. Save your money and skip sealing.
Do I need to reseal my quartz counters annually?
No annual sealing is required. Unlike natural stone, quartz never needs resealing since liquids cannot penetrate the solid surface.
Will sealing help colors pop?
Sealers do not enhance quartz’s appearance. The vibrant colors come from pigments throughout the slabs, not a surface coating. Sealers can cause discoloration over time.
Can I seal just the grout lines on my quartz backsplash?
Yes, sealing grout between quartz tiles is fine as long as you avoid getting sealer on the quartz surface. Use painter’s tape around the edges if needed.
I etched my quartz counter. Will sealing help?
No, sealers cannot repair etching or damage. Consider professional resurfacing options instead. Avoid sealers which may worsen the issue.
Should I seal before or after installing my counters?
Never seal quartz before, during or after installation. Quartz manufacturers clearly advise that sealing is unnecessary and can damage surfaces.
How do I restore shine to my dull quartz?
Don’t use sealers to restore luster. Try buffing gently with a soft pad. Or consider professional refinishing services designed for quartz.
Is it okay to seal just the edges?
No, avoid sealing any part of a quartz countertop. The edges are part of the slab surface and sealing risks damage over time.
What about sealing recycled glass quartz?
Recycled glass quartz like Vetrazzo has resin binders so sealing is still not recommended by manufacturers.
Sealing is simply unnecessary for quartz since it cannot penetrate the non-porous surface. Any sealers applied will merely sit on the exterior and can potentially damage the material. Avoid the risks and follow the manufacturer’s advice against sealing quartz counters.
Maintaining the Beauty of Quartz Countertops Without Sealing
Quartz offers long-lasting luxury and beauty without the maintenance hassles of natural stone. Unlike granite or marble, quartz never requires sealing. Here’s how to keep your quartz counters pristine.
The Low-Maintenance Appeal of Quartz
Quartz delivers upscale aesthetics combined with easy care:
- Non-porous surface resists stains without sealing.
- Does not require periodic resealing like natural stone.
- Repels water, oil, and other liquids.
- Stays beautiful with simple cleaning methods.
- Durable against cracks, scratches and impacts.
- Maintains consistent polished look over time.
- Resists damage from heat, UV rays and chemicals.
- Cleans up easily with just soap and water.
Thanks to these qualities, quartz offers low-maintenance luxury ideal for busy kitchens.
Why Quartz Should Never Be Sealed
Many homeowners mistakenly think they need to seal quartz counters. However, sealants are unnecessary and potentially damaging:
- Quartz has no pores unlike natural stone, so cannot absorb stains.
- Non-porous surface already resists stains without help of sealers.
- Adding sealants poses risks like discoloration, gloss reduction, and streaks.
- Manufacturer warranties advise against using sealers.
- Quartz lacks the characteristics that make natural stone prone to staining.
Sealing can’t improve the innate stain resistance. Save your money and time by skipping unnecessary sealers.
Simple Care Guidelines
Though quartz requires little upkeep, follow these basic practices:
- For routine cleaning, use a soft sponge or cloth with mild soap and water.
- Blot spills immediately before they have a chance to set.
- Disinfect surfaces occasionally with diluted bleach cleaner.
- Use trivets or mats under