Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, when doing a kitchen or bathroom remodel, you may end up with leftover pieces of quartz countertop that seem too good to throw away. Fortunately, there are creative ways to reuse leftover quartz to reduce waste and costs.
Reasons for Leftover Quartz Countertop Pieces
There are a few common reasons why extra quartz pieces may remain after a renovation project:
- Accurate measurements – When the countertop company takes measurements, they add an extra 1-2 inches on each side to allow for adjustments during installation. This extra material gets cut off during fitting.
- Seams and corners – Most quartz countertops cannot be made from a single slab. Multiple pieces need to be cut and seamed together. The seams and corner pieces leave behind unused sections.
- Cutouts – Openings get cut out of the quartz for sinks, faucets, and cooktops. The cutout scraps often go unused.
- Errors – Mistakes in measurements or cuts during fabrication will result in unusable quartz pieces.
Ideas for Using Leftover Quartz Pieces
Rather than ending up in a landfill, consider these options for leftover quartz:
Use as Backsplashes
Cut pieces of quartz make attractive backsplashes in kitchens or bathrooms. They coordinate perfectly with the countertop and give a cohesive look. The non-porous surface also withstands splashes and cleans easily. Backsplashes can be applied directly to the wall or mounted on boards. Use leftover adhesive or construction adhesive to attach the backsplash.
Create Trivets or Hot Pads
Quartz’s heat resistance makes it perfect for a trivet or hot pad. Simply cut the stone into a square, rectangle, or circle to hold hot pans or dishes on a counter or tabletop. Leave the edges natural or sand and polish them. You can engrave it or adhere felt pads on the bottom to prevent scratching surfaces. Quartz trivets can withstand temperatures up to 450°F.
Build a Mosaic Tile Wall Art
Use small leftover pieces of quartz to assemble unique mosaic tile artworks for the wall. Glue the fragments onto a plywood or cement board base. Grout between pieces and seal. You now have personalized wall art that accentuates a room with the same quartz colors and patterns as the countertop.
Craft Drink Coasters
Leftover quartz makes durable and stylish drink coasters that coordinate with counter surfaces. Cut pieces into circular or square coaster sizes. For a softer base, glue cork or felt on the underside. Or, leave a roughened bottom to prevent slipping. You can also etch fun designs or engrave names into the quartz drink coasters.
Quartz Cutting Boards
With its strength and bacteria-resistant properties, quartz works wonderfully as a cutting board in the kitchen. Cut uniform pieces into sizes you desire for food prep. Round off the edges and corners. The nonporous quartz will not absorb stains, odors, or germs. Avoid damaging knives by not chopping directly on the quartz; use a cutting mat on top.
Make Jewelry Trays
Cut thin slivers of leftover quartz to fashion into stylish trays for jewelry and small items. The color and pattern already add interest. Use a tile saw to cut the pieces. Adhere strips in wood frames using construction adhesive or epoxy. Felt glued on the bottom keeps the trays from scratching furniture. Etching patterns or messages into the quartz is also an option.
Create Serving Trays
Larger pieces of leftover quartz work well for unique serving trays. Simply cut into sizes you need. Use diamond hole saw drill bits to add carved handles. Buff the perimeter and round over sharp edges. The stone’s durability helps the trays support heavy serving dishes while resisting stains. Use them to serve snacks, charcuterie boards, or drinks in style.
Make Candle Holders or Vases
Quartz scrap pieces can be drilled to hold candles securely. A diamond core drill bit makes a hole the perfect size to nestle pillar candles or small vases. Smooth the cut edges for a finished look. The quartz coordinates beautifully with the countertop and provides flickering ambiance on a tabletop or shelf.
Build a Desk Organizer or Pen Holder
Make customized office accessories like a desk organizer, pen holder, or paper tray from leftover quartz pieces. Cut them to desired shapes and sizes. Smooth and polish the edges. Utilize a diamond drill to add holes if needed for pens and pencils. Keep desk items tidy but also show off the coordinating stone.
Use for Shelves or Door Stops
Have some long, linear leftover pieces? Put them to work as mini shelves on vanities, next to beds, or on window ledges. You can also make a handy door stopper by cutting a block and adhering a felt pad to the bottom. This takes advantage of the thickness and weight of quartz.
Make Dinner or Side Tables
Large square and rectangular pieces of leftover quartz can become gorgeous drink, side, or laptop tables. Use them individually or build a table by adhering pieces together. Combine multiple colors and patterns for interest. Adhere felt floor pads on the bottom to avoid slipping. The ultra-hard stone stands up to spills, scratches, and daily use.
Craft Storage Jars or Planters
Quartz yard and garden planters make a stunning statement. Glue or adhere pieces into the shapes and heights desired. Use adhesive safe for outdoor use. Match your countertop stone for a cohesive aesthetic. The planters won’t chip or deteriorate outdoors. You can also adhere pieces into vases, drinking glasses or jars.
Use as Stair Treads
Got some outdoor steps needing an upgrade? You can cut leftover pieces of quartz to use as stair treads. This brings the stone into an exterior space with a polished upgrade. Use construction adhesive to firmly attach the pieces. Make sure edges are rounded for safety. The quartz withstands all weather conditions in outdoor settings.
FAQs About Leftover Quartz Countertops
What are the best ways to cut and shape leftover quartz?
Use a diamond blade wet saw to accurately cut quartz. For polished edges, use a stone polisher and diamond polishing pads. Make holes with a diamond drill bit meant for stone. Always wear safety gear when cutting.
How should I adhere quartz pieces together or onto surfaces?
Construction adhesive works well for most quartz projects. Epoxy resin can also be used for a strong bond. Make sure surfaces are clean before adhering. Clamps may be needed to hold pieces in place while bonding.
Can I use leftover quartz from a kitchen project in a bathroom remodel?
Absolutely! As long as the colors and textures complement the design, reused quartz adds cohesiveness between rooms. Using leftover stone also saves significantly on costs.
Is it possible to cut quartz with regular power tools?
It’s not recommended. Quartz contains crushed quartz crystals that quickly dull and damage metal blades. Always opt for diamond-tipped tools to successfully work with quartz stone.
What kind of cement or grout works with quartz tile?
Unsanded grout is best for quartz tile less than 1/8 inch thick to avoid scratching. Match the grout color to the quartz. Use any non-acidic grout recommended for natural stone tiles.
Can I have my leftover pieces sent back home if I don’t use them all?
Most countertop companies won’t agree to ship home unused pieces due to liability. Negotiate ahead of time if you want leftovers sent to you. There may be an additional fee for packing and shipping.
How can I smooth and round the sharp edges of my cut quartz pieces?
Use a stone polisher/buffer with increasingly finer diamond sanding pads. Apply moderate pressure and keep the tool moving constantly. Wet pads work best to smooth and bevel quartz edges. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Next time you renovate with quartz countertops, hold onto the leftover pieces! With some creativity and craftiness, you can reuse scrap quartz in many practical and beautiful ways throughout your home, garden and workshop. Quartz is simply too valuable to discard, both financially and environmentally. Hopefully these ideas have sparked inspiration for you to reduce waste while adding custom décor with leftover quartz.