Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops require proper care and sealing to keep them looking pristine. Selecting the right sealer and applying it properly ensures your quartz counters remain protected for years to come.
Why Seal Quartz Countertops?
Sealing is an essential step for quartz countertop maintenance. Here are some key reasons to seal quartz:
- Prevent stains: Quartz is non-porous, so spills don’t soak in. However, sealing provides an extra layer of protection against stains from coffee, wine, oil, and other liquids. This keeps your counters looking like new.
- Resist etching: Quartz is scratch-resistant, but acidic substances like citrus juice can etch the surface over time. A good sealer makes quartz more resistant to etching.
- Block moisture damage: Liquids that get below the surface can cause damage by seeping into cracks and joints. Sealing minimizes this risk.
- Enhance shine: Sealing fills in micro-abrasions and pores, leaving quartz with a glossy, showroom sheen. It enhances the rich colors and patterns.
- Extend lifespan: By preventing stains, etching, and moisture damage, sealing helps your quartz counters last for many years before needing replacement.
What to Look for in a Quartz Countertop Sealer
Not all sealers are created equal when it comes to protecting quartz. Here are the key characteristics to look for:
The sealer must soak into the microscopic pores of the quartz to provide optimal staining protection. “Topical” sealers merely coat the surface and wear off quickly.
Since acids can etch quartz, choose a sealer designed to stand up to acidic foods and drinks like citrus, vinegar and wine. Acid-resistant sealers provide better etching protection.
Ensure any sealer you use is non-toxic and FDA-approved for food contact surfaces once fully cured. This ensures it won’t compromise the safety of your quartz countertops.
Look for a sealer that goes on evenly without leaving residue or requiring extensive buffing. Easy application minimizes hassle and ensures maximum coverage.
A quality sealer will enhance the glossy sheen of quartz, making patterns and colors pop while minimizing water spots and blemishes. Improved appearance should last 6 months or more.
Top Sealers for Quartz Countertops
Based on the criteria above, here are some of the top sealers recommended for quartz countertops:
1. Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator
This water-based, penetrating sealer is designed for maximum staining protection on quartz and other surfaces. The formula resists moisture, stains, and etching while enhancing natural beauty. It’s food-safe once cured and easy to apply.
2. StoneTech BulletProof Sealer
This reliable sealer soaks in to provide durable protection against stains, moisture, and acids. It’s formulated to preserve the natural look of quartz. Just a few coats will provide long-lasting protection for busy kitchen counters.
3. Dry Treat Stain Proof Premium
This industry-leading sealer protects against oil, water, and acids through a nano-sized molecules that won’t alter quartz’s natural look. It’s completely food-safe, easy to apply, and makes cleaning easier.
4. Black Diamond Nex-Gen Natural Stone Sealer
Formulated for natural stone but safe for quartz too, this water-based sealer guards against stains and etches through chemistry and nano-technology. It’s long-lasting, simple to apply, and enhances shine.
5. Granite Gold Sealer
A bestseller for granite that also works on quartz, this sealer protects against moisture, oils, acids, and alkalis. It’s non-toxic, easy to apply, and safe for food prep when cured. Helps maintain the factory sheen.
6. Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Sealer
This sealer provides premium protection on quartz using “active silicone micro-barrier technology.” It resists stains from water, oils, and acids while retaining natural color and shine.
7. Aquamix Sealers Choice Gold
A natural look penetrating formula made for granite that also works on quartz. It protects against stains and etching for up to 15 years while enhancing gloss with a showroom shine.
How to Apply a Quartz Countertop Sealer
Sealing quartz counters isn’t difficult, but proper application is key. Follow these steps:
- Clean the surface: Remove all debris, rinse thoroughly, and let dry completely before sealing. This allows maximum sealer penetration.
- Mask off areas: Use painter’s tape to cover walls, floors, and other surfaces not being sealed. This prevents messy drips and overspray.
- Ventilate the area: Open windows and use fans to ensure good airflow. Some sealers have strong fumes. Proper ventilation keeps the air safe to breathe.
- Read the instructions: Don’t skip this! Each sealer has specific directions for best results. Following them carefully prevents problems.
- Apply sealer thinly: Using a foam roller, microfiber cloth or sponge, apply a thin, even layer according to the product directions. Avoid puddling.
- Allow time to penetrate: Let the sealer soak in fully before wiping away excess or applying another coat. This ensures maximum protection.
- Remove excess: Completely wipe off extra sealer with a clean, dry cloth. Residual sealer left on the surface can appear blotchy when dry.
- Apply additional coats: For optimal protection, 2-3 thin coats are better than 1 thick coat. Allow proper drying time between coats.
- Remove tape & residue: Carefully remove all painter’s tape. Clean any sealer residue from surrounding surfaces with alcohol or acetone.
- Cure time: Avoid using the counters for at least 24-72 hours while sealer fully cures. This ensures food-safe protection.
How Often Should I Seal Quartz Countertops?
Most quality quartz sealers provide 6-12 months of protection with proper application. However, frequency depends on several factors:
- Traffic: Counters in busy kitchens or commercial settings need more frequent sealing than residential ones. Heavy use wears down sealers faster.
- Usage: Quartz around stoves or sinks see more spills and staining risk, necessitating more regular sealing. Low-use areas need less.
- Quality of sealer: Premium sealers often last longer than bargain options before needing renewal. Following application directions also extends lifespan.
- Appearance: Reseal when quartz loses its glossy sheen or seems to staining/etching more easily. Don’t wait until damage occurs to refresh the sealer.
A good rule of thumb is to seal quartz counters every 1-2 years in most residential kitchens. However, it’s smart to check the counters more frequently and reseal at the first signs of wear for maximum protection.
Will Sealing Quartz Countertops Change the Look?
When properly applied, sealers won’t significantly alter the appearance of your quartz countertops. The best ones are formulated to penetrate into the material without leaving a cloudy film or residue on the surface. However, sealing can enhance the look by:
- Enhancing sheen & color: Sealing fills in micro-abrasions and makes glossy surfaces even shinier. It also brings out the vibrant colors in quartz patterns.
- Reducing blemishes: By filling pores, sealing minimizes the visibility of fine scratches, water spots, and other imperfections. This leaves a flawless appearance.
- Preventing damage: Keeping moisture, stains, and etches at bay helps maintain the like-new beauty of quartz counters for longer.
In most cases, the only visible difference you’ll notice after sealing quartz is that the counters look better than before! The natural appearance remains unchanged.
Can You Seal Just Part of a Quartz Countertop?
It’s best practice to seal the entire continuous surface of your quartz countertops. This provides uniform protection across the whole installation. However, it is possible to just seal a portion, such as:
- Sealing around the stove or sink where spills are common
- Applying sealer only to high-use areas like drink prep zones
- Spot sealing scraped, etched or stained areas
When sealing just part of a countertop, tape off the area to keep sealer only where desired. Remove any drips immediately from unsealed sections to avoid uneven blotchiness. Touch up with sealer if needed for consistent coverage.
While spot sealing can be done, sealing the full quartz installation gives more complete protection. And since sealers are relatively affordable, doing the whole counter isn’t much more expensive than small sections.
Common Myths and Mistakes about Sealing Quartz
Despite the benefits, some misunderstandings still exist about sealing quartz. Here are some common myths and mistakes to avoid:
Myth: Quartz doesn’t need sealing since it’s non-porous.
Truth: Non-porous doesn’t mean stain proof. Sealing provides an added layer of protection and stain resistance.
Myth: Sealers will alter the look of quartz and make it appear shiny.
Truth: Quality sealers penetrate without changing the surface appearance, just enhancing it.
Mistake: Using a low-quality topical sealer that merely coats the surface.
Better Practice: Choose a penetrating sealer formulated for natural stone.
Mistake: Applying too much sealer so it puddles on the surface.
Better Practice: Apply thin, even coats following the product directions.
Mistake: Not allowing enough time for sealer to cure before using the counters.
Better Practice: Wait at least 24-72 hours before regular use of sealed counters.
Professional vs. DIY Quartz Sealing
You can either seal your own quartz counters or hire a professional for the job. Here are the pros and cons of each approach:
- Experts properly prepare the surface and apply the ideal products for your specific quartz.
- Professionals have specialized tools and expertise for a quality job.
- Often includes a warranty or guarantee for their sealing work.
- More expensive than DIY options.
- Have to schedule appointment and wait for service.
- Very affordable using common household sealers available at home improvement stores.
- Can seal on your own timeline and schedule.
- Satisfaction of completing the project yourself.
- Results often don’t last as long as professional products.
- Easy to make mistakes on surface prep and application.
- No professional advice on best sealer for your quartz.
For most residential kitchens, DIY sealing can provide adequate protection if done properly using quality products. But for important commercial installations, a professional job is worth the investment.
Enhancing Your Quartz Countertops
Proper sealing is the most important step in protecting quartz counters. But you can further enhance their beauty and longevity by:
- Using trivets and cutting boards to prevent hot pots and knives from causing chips and scratches.
- Cleaning up spills immediately to minimize staining risks. Avoid harsh cleaners.
- Applying mineral oil occasionally to enhance the sheen and color vibrancy.
- Avoiding using quartz counters as step stools to prevent cracking and damage.
- Using caution with fragile glassware and ceramics around sinks to prevent etching if shattered.
With regular sealing and proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops will maintain their good looks and performance for many years before needing replacement. Investing a little time and effort goes a long way!
Frequently Asked Questions about Sealing Quartz Countertops
What do you use to seal quartz countertops?
Use a penetrating sealer formulated for natural stone that provides long-lasting protection against moisture, stains, and etching. Popular options include Miracle 511 Impregnator, Dry Treat Stain Proof Premium, and StoneTech Bulletproof.
Does new quartz need to be sealed?
Yes, it’s wise to seal quartz counters within a week of installation for maximum protection under real-world kitchen conditions. Factory sealing prior to fabrication helps but isn’t enough.
What’s the cost to have quartz countertops sealed professionally?
Professional quartz sealing typically costs $1 to $3 per square foot depending on your location and the specific sealer used. Most full kitchen installs cost $150 to $500 range.
Will sealing quartz change the finish or make it look different?
A good quartz sealer penetrates below the surface and won’t alter the natural appearance. It can actually enhance sheen, color, and make flaws less noticeable.
How long does a quartz sealer last before reapplying?
With quality sealers applied properly, quartz counters won’t need resealing for 6-12 months in residential kitchens. High-traffic commercial areas may need more frequent applications.
Is there a quartz sealer that needs reapplying less often?
Yes, premium sealers like Dry Treat Stain Proof Premium can provide up to 15 years of protection when applied correctly. However, they cost more than typical 1-year sealers.
Can you apply a quartz sealer over an existing sealer?
Yes, reapplying a compatible sealer over an existing one can refresh protection and extend longevity. Be sure the surface is clean and the previous coats fully cured first.
How soon can I use my quartz counters after sealing?
It’s crucial to avoid use for 24-72 hours after sealing quartz to ensure the sealer fully penetrates and cures. This prevents issues with food safety or bonding.
Will sealing prevent all stains and damage on quartz counters?
No sealer can provide 100% protection under all conditions. But regular sealing greatly improves stain resistance and prevents most common food and household spills from leaving marks. Be sure to wipe up acidic substances quickly.
Regular sealing is critical for maintaining the pristine factory beauty of quartz counters in busy kitchen environments. Investing in a quality penetrating sealer formulated for stone surfaces provides an affordable and effective safeguard against stains, moisture damage, and etching over months or years of use.
With proper sealing, your beautiful quartz counters will retain their like-new sheen, vibrancy, and resistance to wear over time. Just be sure to apply the sealer properly, reapply on schedule, and take basic precautions in your kitchen habits. With this small effort, your counters can stay looking fabulous and avoid permanent damage.
So give your quartz the protection it deserves by regular sealing! Your counters will thank you, and you’ll enjoy their durability and easy-care qualities for many years before needing replacement.