What Can’t You Do on a Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are extremely popular in kitchens and bathrooms today due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, quartz is not indestructible. There are some things you should avoid doing on a quartz countertop to prevent damage.


Quartz countertops, often referred to by brand names like Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria, are engineered stone made from quartz particles bound together with resin. This man-made material is highly resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and impact. But quartz is not completely bulletproof. Certain substances and activities can potentially harm quartz. Being aware of the limitations of quartz can help you take proper care of your countertops.

Things to Avoid on Quartz Countertops

Cutting Directly on the Surface

Never cut or slice directly on a quartz countertop. The resin binders that hold the quartz particles together are not indestructible. Cutting directly on quartz can damage the surface over time with cuts and scratches.

  • Always use a cutting board for food preparation. Look for boards that are gentler on your countertops, like wood, plastic, or bamboo.
  • Invest in a cutting mat for craft projects involving rotary cutters and mat knives.
  • Never cut meats, vegetables, fruits, or other items right on the quartz.

Protecting quartz from sharp knives and cutters will help maintain its flawless appearance for longer.

Excessive Heat

While quartz is heat resistant, extreme heat from pots and pans can cause damage over time. The solid surface can withstand brief exposure to moderate heat. However, sustained high temperatures above 300°F can potentially cause cracks, marks, or discoloration.

  • Always use trivets and hot pads when setting hot pots, pans, or heat-generating appliances on quartz.
  • Don’t open the oven door and slide hot baking sheets directly onto a quartz counter.
  • Avoid using quartz near the stovetop or other high-heat cooking zones.

Being mindful of excessive heat will help prevent thermal shock or burning that can ruin the look of quartz.

Pounding, Banging, and Heavy Impacts

Quartz is touted as extremely tough and impact resistant. However, subjecting quartz to repeated hard blows can eventually cause damage. The countertop is durable, but not indestructible.

  • Avoid pounding meat with a mallet or hammering objects on a quartz surface. The solid impacts can harm the structural integrity over time.
  • Prevent heavy pots, appliances, or other objects from crashing onto the quartz. The drops can chip or crack the surface.
  • Refrain from climbing, standing, or sitting on a quartz countertop. The excessive weight and movement can loosen or break the slabs.

Treating quartz gently will preserve its flawless appearance for many years. Letting it absorb constant pounding is asking for trouble.

Harsh Chemicals and Cleaners

Quartz has excellent stain resistance compared to other countertop materials. However, prolonged contact with harsh chemicals can damage the surface. Strong cleaners, paint removers, battery acid, and more can all ruin quartz.

  • Read the product labels and avoid using corrosive, acidic, or alkaline cleaners. Stick to gentle soap and water for most cleaning needs.
  • Don’t let paints, thinners, nail polish remover, drain cleaner or other harsh chemicals linger on quartz. Blot up spills immediately.
  • Use trivets and mats under potential chemical-leaching items like toilet bowl cleaners. Don’t store them directly on quartz.

Avoiding prolonged chemical exposure will prevent etching, discoloration, and loss of shine.

Hot Pans and Curling Irons

Many people don’t realize that setting a hot pan or curling iron directly on quartz can damage the surface. While quartz can take brief contact with moderate heat, direct prolonged exposure to high temperatures can leave scorch marks, bubbles, or discoloration.

  • Always set hot cookware on trivets. Let pans cool before touching quartz.
  • Use heat protectant mats designed for hot appliances when using hair tools.
  • Never leave a flat iron face down on a quartz countertop!
  • Don’t set teapots, crockpots, coffeemakers, or other hot items directly on quartz surfaces.

Using protection from sustained high heat will prevent permanent marks on quartz countertops.

Prolonged Sun Exposure

Over time, excessive sun exposure can cause quartz countertops to fade or discolor. The UV radiation can slowly break down the resin used to bind the quartz particles together. This mainly affects lighter colored quartz.

  • Try to minimize direct sunlight shining on quartz, especially lighter marble-looking patterns. Use window treatments to control UV light.
  • Avoid installing light quartz near large sunny windows. Opt for darker solid patterns in sun-drenched rooms.
  • Limit the amount of time light quartz slabs sit in the open air during a remodel. Keep them covered when possible.

Shielding quartz from intense prolonged sunlight will prevent fading issues down the road.

Caring for Your Quartz Properly

  • Wipe spills up quickly to avoid staining.
  • Clean quartz regularly with gentle soap and water.
  • Use trivets, mats, and cutting boards to protect the surface.
  • Avoid exposing quartz to excessive impacts, chemicals, or heat.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance recommendations.
  • Reseal and polish quartz once a year to refresh the finish.

Quartz Countertop Care FAQs

Is it okay to cut pizza on a quartz counter?

No, avoid cutting foods directly on quartz. Always use a cutting board to protect the surface from knife damage.

Can I place a crockpot on my quartz countertop?

Only with a hot pad or trivet underneath. The prolonged direct heat from a crockpot can damage quartz.

What happens if bleach spills on a quartz counter?

Immediately wipe up the bleach. Prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals like bleach can etch or discolor quartz.

Can I set a 400°F skillet on my quartz kitchen counter?

No, that excessive sustained heat can damage the countertop. Always use trivets or hot pads under hot cookware.

Is it safe to cut fabric on quartz using a rotary cutter?

Never cut directly on quartz. Use a self-healing cutting mat designed for rotary cutters when cutting fabric.

Can nail polish remover hurt a quartz vanity countertop?

Yes, avoid letting harsh chemicals like nail polish remover linger on quartz. Blot up spills immediately.


Quartz offers unparalleled durability for kitchen and bathroom countertops. However, these engineered stone slabs are not impervious to damage when subjected to cutting, impact, chemicals, or extreme heat. Follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines and exercise common sense to safely enjoy quartz for years. Using cutting boards, trivets, and gentle cleaners is advised. With prudent care, your beautiful quartz countertops will maintain their stellar looks.