What Glue is Used to Mount Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, low maintenance, and wide variety of colors and patterns. When installing quartz countertops, using the right adhesive is crucial to get a secure, long-lasting bond. Here is an in-depth look at the best glues to use when mounting quartz countertops.

An Introduction to Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone countertops, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together.

Some key advantages of quartz countertops:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Stain resistant and easy to keep clean
  • Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
  • Does not require regular sealing like natural stone
  • Resists heat and most household chemicals
  • Non-porous so does not harbor bacteria
  • Seamless appearance as slabs are very large

Quartz is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market today, along with granite, marble, and solid surface materials like Corian. When shopping for new countertops, quartz is an excellent option to consider.

Choosing the Right Adhesive

When installing quartz countertops, using the correct adhesive is critical to get a secure bond and prevent the countertop from shifting or detaching over time. The adhesive needs to bond strongly and permanently to both the underside of the quartz material and the countertop substrate, which is often plywood or existing laminate countertop.

Here are the most important factors to evaluate when selecting an adhesive for quartz countertops:

Adhesive Formulation

The adhesive must be specifically designed for bonding quartz materials. Standard wood glues and construction adhesives will not create a strong enough bond.

Look for adhesives made for solid surface materials like quartz, granite, marble, Corian, and other stone surfaces. The product packaging should clearly indicate it is intended for these materials.

Two part epoxy adhesives tend to provide the most heavy duty, permanent, and waterproof bonds for quartz countertops.

Cure Time

The adhesive needs to have an appropriate cure time to allow proper installation. This is the time it takes for the adhesive to set, bond, and reach maximum strength after applying.

A 60-90 minute cure time is ideal for quartz countertop installation. This provides enough time to spread the adhesive, position the countertop, and make any needed adjustments before the adhesive sets.

Quick-set adhesives with 10-30 minute cure times can be more challenging to work with and may not provide as strong of a finished bond. Slower curing adhesives leave room for countertops to shift during curing.

Strength and Permanence

Quartz countertops are heavy, so excellent tensile and shear strength are must-haves for the adhesive. Tensile strength refers to the bond’s ability to resist straight tension forces trying to pull it apart. Shear strength indicates how well the adhesive can resist lateral or twisting forces on the bond.

Higher strength numbers indicate a more heavy duty adhesive. Always check the manufacturer’s technical information for strength ratings before purchasing an adhesive.

The adhesive bond also needs to remain permanent over time. It should not weaken or become brittle, even with long term exposure to sunlight, moisture, or repeated heating and cooling of the countertop surface.


Since quartz countertops may flex slightly under pressure, the ideal adhesive will allow for some flexibility in the bond. A more rigid, inflexible adhesive is more likely to allow countertops to detach from the base if any shifting or warping happens over time.

One-part polyurethane or silicone adhesives often provide a bit more flexibility once cured compared to two-part epoxies. This can help accommodate movement in the countertop.

Moisture Resistance

Kitchen and bathroom countertops will inevitably get exposed to water from time to time, either from spills, cleaning, or high humidity. Excellent water and moisture resistance is a must for any quartz countertop adhesive to prevent slow degradation of the bond over time.

Two-part epoxy adhesives generally provide the best moisture resistance for quartz countertop installations.

Non-porous Substrate Compatibility

Many modern countertops are made of non-porous materials like quartz, solid surfaces, laminates, or tiles. The chosen adhesive must bond well to these non-porous materials for maximum strength.

Standard wood glues rely on absorption into porous materials and will not work for non-porous countertop materials. Make sure the product specifications state that the adhesive can bond to non-porous surfaces.

Ease of Use

Quartz countertops are large, heavy pieces that can be difficult to maneuver and install. Working time is key – this refers to how much time you have after applying the adhesive before it begins to set. Look for at least 20-30 minutes of working time.

One-part polyurethane or silicone adhesives are typically easier DIY installation compared to two-part epoxies that require exact mixing.

Caulk gun style adhesives make applying the glue faster and cleaner compared to brushing on epoxy mixes.

VOC Content

Since kitchens and bathrooms are indoor spaces where people spend a lot of time, it’s wise to minimize exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from adhesives during curing. Low VOC or VOC-free quartz countertop adhesives are the best options.

Best Adhesive Options for Quartz Countertops

Now that we’ve covered the important criteria for quartz countertop adhesives, here are some top recommended products:

1. SikaBond AT Universal

  • Two-part polyurethane adhesive
  • Bonds to non-porous materials
  • High strength and permanence
  • Moisture resistant when cured
  • Low VOC formula

2. Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive

  • One-part polyurethane caulk-style adhesive
  • Bonds quartz and non-porous surfaces
  • Flexible bond accommodates movement
  • Water and moisture resistant
  • Low VOC

3. Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy Adhesive

  • Two-part epoxy adhesive
  • Extremely strong and permanent bond
  • Bonds to non-porous materials
  • Resistant to water and humidity
  • Long working time for installation

4. Protective Materials Poly-Silicone Adhesive/Sealant

  • One-part silicone adhesive caulk
  • Flexible bond for shifting countertops
  • Excellent adhesion to quartz and non-porous substrates
  • Totally waterproof adhesive
  • Easy soap and water clean-up

5. Henkel Pattex Plastic Repair Epoxy Adhesive

  • Two-part epoxy adhesive putty
  • Creates permanent bonds on quartz
  • Withstands heavy loads and impact
  • Does not shrink or pull away
  • Resistant to water and humidity

How to Prepare the Countertop and Base

To achieve the strongest bond, it’s important to properly prepare the countertop underside and the base/substrate prior to installation:

  • Make sure all surfaces are clean, dry, and free of dirt, grease, or debris that could interfere with adhesion.
  • Use denatured alcohol applied with a lint-free cloth to remove any oily residues.
  • Sand glossy surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper to improve adhesion. Wipe away any dust with a dry cloth.
  • Acetone can also be used to prepare surfaces but work in a well-ventilated area.
  • On porous substrates like wood or cement, primer may be needed to reduce absorption and improve bond strength.
  • Ensure the substrate is level, stable, and structurally sound before installing the countertop.
  • Follow all preparation guidelines from the adhesive manufacturer.

Adequate preparation is well worth it to get maximum strength and longevity out of the adhesive bond.

How to Apply Adhesive for Quartz Countertops

Here is a general step-by-step guide for applying adhesive when installing quartz countertops:

  1. Read the full adhesive product instructions before starting.
  2. Plan placement and make any cutouts needed in the countertop before applying adhesive.
  3. Tape off the edges of the base cabinet to prevent adhesive dripping.
  4. Apply painter’s tape to the top side of the countertop around the edges to prevent bonding to the substrate.
  5. Prepare all bonding surfaces according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Shake or stir adhesives thoroughly before applying.
  7. Apply adhesive evenly using a caulking gun, spreader, or brush per product guidelines.
  8. For two-part epoxies, mix parts A and B precisely as instructed.
  9. Spread the adhesive at least 1/2” from the edges of the underside of the countertop.
  10. Carefully place the countertop on the base immediately after applying adhesive.
  11. Apply even pressure across the countertop surface to ensure good contact.
  12. Remove any squeezed out adhesive using a putty knife or damp cloth.
  13. Allow the adhesive to cure fully per the specified time before use.
  14. Avoid impact or heavy loads on the countertops during the curing period.
  15. Remove the painter’s tape after curing is complete.

Always follow the coverage, application method, open time, and cure times stated by the adhesive manufacturer. Using too little adhesive or moving the countertop after bonding has begun can compromise the strength of the installation.

Video Tutorial for Applying Adhesive

Here is an excellent video overview of using adhesive to install quartz countertops:

[Embedded YouTube tutorial video for quartz countertop adhesive installation]

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When installing quartz countertops with adhesive, here are some mistakes that should be avoided:

  • Using the wrong adhesive formulated for other materials
  • Choosing adhesive with a cure time that is too fast or too slow
  • Applying adhesive unevenly or too close to the edges
  • Not allowing adhesive to fully cure before use per manufacturer specs
  • Failing to prepare surfaces properly before adhesive application
  • Moving the countertop after placement to adjust alignment
  • Allowing adhesive to cure partially and create a weak bond
  • Using too little adhesive for the size of the countertop
  • Not following instructions for two-part epoxy mixing ratios

Taking care to avoid these errors will help ensure a successful quartz countertop installation.

Signs of Problems with the Adhesive

Over time, inadequate adhesion can manifest itself in a few key ways:

Gaps appearing at seams or edges – The countertop is pulling away from the base indicating a weak bond.

Cracks in the adhesive – This happens if a rigid adhesive cannot accommodate shifting and warping.

Discoloration or clouding of adhesive – Indicative of moisture penetration breaking down the glue.

Loose or detached areas – Partial loss of bond allowing the countertop to move.

Sink or cooktop cutouts loosening – Insufficient adhesive used around cutouts.

Quartz cracks near seams – A very strong adhesive used improperly can exert excessive forces on the quartz.

If any of these issues arise, the adhesive bond likely failed in some way. The quartz countertop will need removal, substrate repair, re-preparation, and installation with new adhesive.

Removing Failed Adhesive from Quartz Countertops

If an installed quartz countertop needs removal, prying it off will almost certainly damage the quartz. Here are safer options to separate the countertop from the failed adhesive:

  • Dental floss: Work floss back and forth through the adhesive to slice through it.
  • Fishing line: Use strong braided fishing line to saw through rigid adhesive.
  • Heat gun: Warming the adhesive gently can soften it for prying.
  • Solvents: Mineral spirits, acetone, or adhesive manufacturer recommended solvents can dissolve adhesive.
  • Scraper blades: Flexible scraper blades can pop through brittle, degraded adhesive.
  • Dry ice: Frozen CO2 can make some adhesives very brittle for removal.

Always wear gloves and safety glasses when using these removal methods to avoid injury. Patience and care will allow the countertop to be safely salvaged.

When to Call a Professional for Installation

For DIYers installing their first quartz countertop, having a professional installer complete the adhesive application is money well spent. Hiring an experienced pro ensures:

  • Correct adhesive selection for your specific quartz material and substrate
  • Proper surface preparation for maximum adhesion
  • Precise and even adhesive application for full contact
  • Seamless countertop positioning before curing begins
  • Excellent long term performance of the adhesive bond

When investing in new quartz countertops for your home, protect that investment with professional adhesive installation.


Selecting the best quartz countertop adhesive and proper application is crucial for getting a countertop that will remain securely mounted for years. By understanding adhesive types, strength qualities, cure times, and preparation methods, you can achieve success gluing down your new quartz countertops. With a range of excellent adhesives available specifically formulated for quartz, you can install beautiful, durable countertops that will withstand heavy use. Follow manufacturer directions, allow full curing time, and enjoy your perfectly mounted quartz countertops!

FAQ about Adhesives for Quartz Countertops

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about choosing the right adhesive for quartz countertops:

What are the strongest adhesives for mounting quartz countertops?

Two-part epoxy adhesives generally provide the strongest, most permanent bonds for installing quartz countertops. Popular options are SikaBond AT Universal and Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy.

Can you use silicone to install a quartz countertop?

Yes, silicone adhesives designed for bonding quartz can work well. Look for 100% silicone or poly-silicone adhesives made for non-porous materials. Avoid general purpose silicone caulks.

What’s better for quartz countertops – silicone or epoxy?

Epoxies form extremely strong rigid bonds while silicone allows for more flexibility. Rigid epoxies may be best for permanently bonding sink and cooktop cutouts while flexible silicone works well adhering the overall countertop.

Can Liquid Nails be used to install quartz?

Liquid Nails makes several adhesives, but most standard heavy duty construction versions are not ideal or recommended for quartz countertops. Use a Liquid Nails product designed specifically for bonding solid surfaces.

How do you glue down quartz safely?

  • Select the right adhesive for quartz material
  • Prepare all surfaces for maximum adhesion
  • Apply adhesive evenly according to manufacturer directions
  • Install countertop immediately after applying adhesive
  • Use weights, braces, or tape to keep the countertop immobile while curing
  • Allow adhesive to cure completely before use

How long does quartz countertop adhesive need to cure?

Cure times vary by adhesive used, but most need 24-72 hours to fully set and bond to the quartz countertop. Do not disturb the countertop or put weight on it during the curing time.

Can you install quartz countertops yourself?

It is possible for DIYers to install quartz countertops on their own if they have experience with construction adhesives and take care to follow all manufacturer instructions. Many homeowners still prefer to hire professional installers to ensure proper adhesive use.

Does adhesive choice depend on quartz thickness?

Thicker quartz requires stronger bonding power to bear the weight, but most quality countertop adhesives can accommodate standard quartz thicknesses of 2-3cm. Extra care should be taken to prevent thinner 1-1.5cm quartz from cracking under shear forces.