Quartz countertops are becoming increasingly popular for home kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, visual appeal, and ease of maintenance. But who actually installs these countertops? Finding the right installer is key to ensuring your quartz countertops are fitted properly and built to last. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about who installs quartz countertops and how to find the best installer for your project.
How To Find A Quartz Countertop Installer
When searching for who installs quartz countertops, you have several options:
Use Your Countertop Supplier
Many quartz countertop distributors have their own network of certified installers they work with regularly. When you purchase your slabs from a supplier, ask them to recommend installers they trust to handle the job right. Going through your supplier helps ensure good coordination and accountability between the distributor and installation crew.
Look For Specialized Quartz Installers
Seek out contractors who specialize in quartz fabrication and installation, as they will have the experience, skills, and tools needed to properly cut, polish, and mount your quartz countertops. Look for installers accredited by the Quartz Institute to ensure proper training.
Use a General Remodeling Contractor
General contractors who handle kitchen and bath remodels will often subcontract out countertop installations to a qualified installer. Make sure your contractor has experience with quartz specifically and inspect their subcontractor’s work thoroughly.
Attempting a DIY quartz installation is not advisable unless you have past experience with stone fabrication and installation. The cutting and polishing of quartz requires specialized tools and knowledge. Improper DIY installation can result in cracks, uneven seams, and other defects in your countertops.
Qualities of a Good Quartz Countertop Installer
Regardless of which type of company or contractor you use, make sure they exhibit these traits for a successful quartz installation:
Proper Training and Certification
Look for installers accredited by the Quartz Institute, which provides training courses and certification for proper quartz fabrication and installation. The accreditation ensures they have the required expertise.
Specialization in Quartz
Since quartz is an engineered stone, it requires different techniques than natural stone like granite. Find an installer that specializes in quartz and has extensive experience.
Attention to Detail
A good installer pays close attention to properly aligning seams, cleanly cutting edges, and creating smooth polished finishes. Look for neat, detailed work in their past jobs.
Strong Reviews and References
Verify their reputation with reviews from past clients. Check their references to confirm their claims about experience, quality of work, and service.
Good Communication Skills
The installer should answer all your questions knowledgeably, provide clear timelines, and keep you updated on the progress during the job. Poor communication can cause frustration and problems.
Reliability and Punctuality
Look for consistent on-time performance and commitment to scheduled installation dates when checking references and reviews. Lack of punctuality or reliability can derail your renovation timelines.
Since each kitchen or bath layout presents unique challenges, you want installers who think creatively to problem-solve tricky situations. Look for can-do, positive attitudes focused on achieving quality final results.
What To Expect During Quartz Countertop Installation
The installation process will vary based on your counters’ size and layout. Here is a general overview of what to expect:
The installer will come measure your existing countertops and cabinets to create a template for the slab fabrication. Digital templates may be used instead for greater accuracy.
The measurements are used to precision-cut the slabs to the specifications for your kitchen or bathroom at an offsite fabrication facility. Edges will be finished and polished.
The polished slabs are installed using adhesive, clamps, and seam sealers. Installers will check for proper alignment, minimize seams, integrate sinks and cooktops, and attach any backsplashes or finishing edges.
The installers should clean up any excess adhesives or dust, caulk all seams and edges neatly, test appliances for fit and function, and address any final details or tweaks.
Inspection and Sign-Off
Carefully examine the finished install for any flaws in seams, polish, or alignment. Review all details with the installer and provide sign-off approval once satisfied with the final results.
Expect the templating, fabrication, and installation to take several days to weeks in total, depending on the size of your job. Be sure your installer provides a detailed timeline so you know what to anticipate.
5 Key Questions To Ask A Prospective Quartz Installer
Screen potential quartz countertop installers thoroughly by asking these key questions:
How long have you been installing quartz countertops specifically?
Look for at least 5-10 years of specialized experience with quartz fabrication and installation. Newer installers may lack the expertise needed for a flawless finish.
Are you certified by the Quartz Institute?
Quartz Institute accreditation ensures comprehensive training in best practices for quartz. Verify their certification is current.
What tools and techniques do you use for fabricating and installing quartz?
Look for vacuum suction cups for moving slabs, diamond-tipped saws for precision cutting, edge polishers, and adhesives designed for quartz.
What do you do to minimize and hide seams?
Listen for proper techniques like minimizing corner joints, strategically placing seams in less visible spots, expert adhesive use, and meticulous sanding/polishing for smooth, invisible seams.
Can you provide references from past quartz installation jobs?
Call the references to inquire about the installer’s quality of work, timeliness, service, and knowledge. Verify their satisfaction with the finished results.
Red Flags When Hiring A Quartz Installer
Avoid installers exhibiting any of these concerning traits:
- Lack of experience specifically with quartz
- No training, certification, or accreditation for quartz installation
- Vague answers about their process and tools used
- Shoddy or misaligned seams in examples of past work
- Negative reviews regarding quality, timing, or poor service
- Difficulty providing references from past quartz jobs
- Lack of liability insurance and license to operate
- Pushy or abrasive attitude
Work only with installers who offer detailed, knowledgeable answers about quartz and provide evidence of their expertise through training, proper process explanations, and positive reviews. Rushing to hire an underqualified installer can jeopardize your project’s success.
Red Flags During The Installation Process
While your new quartz countertops are being installed, keep an eye out for these red flags:
- Rushed or careless work mentality
- Sloppy seam alignment
- Cracked or chipped edges
- Messy adhesive work or visible globs of caulk
- Using wrong tools like razor blades that can scratch quartz
- Poor communication or lack of updates on timeline
- Arguments or lack of coordination with other trades
- Pieces that fit poorly or have fabrication defects
Halting work to get issues fixed immediately is better than accepting flawed results that you’ll have to live with later. Don’t be afraid to speak up about problems as they occur.
How To Care For Your Quartz Countertops After Installation
Once your quartz installation is complete, follow these care tips to keep them looking pristine:
- Use cutting boards and hot pads to protect from knives and hot pans that can damage surfaces.
- Clean up any spills quickly to prevent staining, especially wine, coffee, and oils.
- Routinely clean with a mild non-abrasive stone cleaner and microfiber cloth.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners that can dull the finish.
- Reseal with a quartz sealing product annually to refresh water-resistance.
- Inspect for chips, cracks or indication of needed re-polishing.
- Don’t place extremely hot items like pots from the oven or stove directly on your counters.
With proper care and maintenance, your quartz countertops should retain their like-new appearance and withstand decades of use.
Recommended Cleaners and Sealers for Quartz
Follow your specific quartz manufacturer’s care guidelines, but these products are generally safe for routine cleaning and maintenance:
- Warm, soapy water
- Stone soap
- Dish soap
- Vinegar and water solution
- Hydrogen peroxide cleaner
- Granite Gold Sealer
- Miracle Sealants 511 Quartz Sealer
- Bellinzoni Quartz Sealer
- Laticrete Stonetech Sealer
Check labels to avoid ammonia, bleach, acid, or alkaline-based cleaners which can damage quartz. Avoid abrasive pads and cleaning tools as well.
FAQs About Quartz Countertop Installation
How long does quartz countertop installation take?
Most installs take 1-3 days depending on the size of the project. Total time from templating to complete installation averages 2-4 weeks.
How durable are quartz countertop seams?
Quartz seams can be virtually invisible and are very durable when properly fabricated and installed. Quality adhesive and meticulous seam treatment minimizes the visibility.
Do quartz countertops need to be sealed?
Sealing is not necessary for quartz like it is for natural stone. However, annual sealing helps enhance stain resistance and water repellency.
How often should quartz countertops be cleaned?
Clean spills promptly as they occur. For routine maintenance, wipe down your quartz weekly or so with a damp microfiber cloth and a mild soap or stone cleaner.
Can you repair chips or cracks in a quartz countertop?
Minor chips can be sanded and re-polished but deeper cracks may require professional patching. Prevent damage by avoiding direct impact and using cutting boards.
Installing quartz countertops requires specialized expertise, quality tools, meticulous technique, and experience with engineered stone fabrication. Pay close attention when hiring your installer, vet them thoroughly, and don’t ignore any red flags during your project. With a highly trained quartz professional handling the job, your new counters should serve you flawlessly for decades to come. Use this guide to find the ideal installer who will make your dream kitchen or bathroom a reality.
Who Installs Quartz Countertops? Key Considerations
Installing quartz countertops is a job best left to trained specialists. While quartz’s engineered composition makes it an easier stone to work with than natural granite or marble, proper cutting, fitting, and installation techniques are still essential for a quality finished product. As you evaluate who installs quartz countertops for your upcoming project, keep these factors in mind:
Specialized Fabrication Equipment Needed
Quartz slabs require diamond-tipped saws, water jets, edge shapers, and polishers at an offsite fabrication facility to be cut, finished, and prepared prior to installation. Not just any stone mason has access to the specialized tooling needed. Seek out fabricators that specialize in quartz specifically to ensure the proper fabrication.
More Forgiving Material
Thanks to its flexible resin binders, quartz is less prone to cracking and chipping during fabrication and installation compared to natural stone. The non-porous material also resists staining. This room for error makes quartz a great choice for DIY’ers – but experience is still key.
Seamless Appearance Takes Skill
Achieving tight seams with no lippage issues requires meticulous technique. The slabs must be cut precisely to fit your space and installed seam-side-by-side using color-matched adhesive for the most seamless visuals. Trained pros know the tricks to hide seams.
Less Demanding Install Process
Quartz slabs come pre-finished so no staining or sealing is required post-install like with natural stone. The installation itself is also simpler than other materials – but proper support, overhangs, and anchoring are still a must.
Accreditation and Training Matters
Seeking accredited fabricators and installers trained through programs like the Quartz Institute ensures the best results. Look for the IQ logo to identify quartz specialists. Self-taught and uncertified installers often lack the expertise for flawless finishes.
Regardless of whether you hire a dedicated quartz pro, general contractor, or fabricator/installer team, be sure to vet their experience, training, and accreditations to avoid quartz installation problems down the road.
Hiring a General Contractor vs. Specialized Quartz Installer
Two strong options for who installs quartz countertops are:
General contractors handle entire kitchen or bath renovation projects, including subcontracting installers for the countertop fabrication and installation portion. Their oversight across all trades can streamline coordination. However, confirm they have relationships with legit quartz specialists.
Specialized Quartz Fabricators/Installers
These professionals focus exclusively on quartz (and sometimes other engineered stones). They have the right tools, training, and expertise to properly fabricate and install your slabs. Fewer communication links typically exist, allowing direct supervision of their workmanship.
There are pros and cons to both options. Make sure you vet whoever will be physically installing your counters to confirm they have the experience, accreditations, and examples of quality work required, even if hired through a general contractor.
Red Flags When Hiring Quartz Installers
Avoid quartz installers exhibiting any of the following:
- No specific quartz training, accreditation, or certifications
- Vague about their fabrication equipment and techniques
- Spotty portfolio with visible seam or alignment issues
- Poor communication and coordination skills
- Negative reviews and lacking satisfied customer references
- Pushy sales tactics and inflexibility
- No license, insurance, or bonded status
You want qualified, communicative pros with a proven specialty in quartz installation and consistently satisfied customers – don’t settle for less.
Key Questions to Ask Your Prospective Installer
Thoroughly vet candidates by asking:
- How long have you been working with quartz specifically?
- What training or accreditation do you have for quartz fabrication and installation?
- What tools do you use to cut, polish, and install quartz countertops?
- What do you do to achieve clean, tight seams between slabs?
- May I see examples of past quartz installation projects you’ve completed?
- Can you provide references from recent quartz jobs?
Dig into the details of their experience, education, process, and capabilities to gain confidence in their expertise with engineered stone.
Ensuring a Quality Installation
Follow these tips for the best results:
- Inspect their portfolio and read reviews to verify quality work.
- Check quartz seams and polish in past jobs for telltale signs of mishandling.
- Request references and call them to confirm positive experiences.
- Ask detailed process questions and look for reassuring, knowledgeable answers.
- Seek Quartz Institute installer certification and accreditation as reassurance of proper training.
- Examine your new counters thoroughly before signing off to approve the completed installation.
- Address any issues immediately to ensure satisfaction.
Doing your homework when choosing who installs quartz countertops in your home minimizes the chance of problems down the road. Invest time upfront to ensure your new counters meet your expectations and last for years to come.
Installing New Quartz Countertops? How To Prepare Your Kitchen or Bath
Getting your space ready before your new quartz countertops are installed takes some planning and work. Follow these steps to ensure the installation process goes smoothly:
Clear Counters and Remove Decor
Completely empty existing countertops by removing everything from the surface, including small appliances, cookware, and décor items. This allows installers full access.
Use soap and warm water to thoroughly clean your cabinets, walls, and backsplashes where new countertops will be placed. Remove grease, dust and debris to help new adhesive adhere properly.
Disconnect Plumbing and Appliances
Shut off water supply lines to sink faucets, soap dispensers, and other fixtures. Unplug and pull out dishwasher, sinks, and range cooktops to enable fitting new countertops around or over them.
Remove Existing Countertops
If replacing current countertops, use power saws and pry bars to dismantle and haul away old surfaces for disposal or recycling. Be sure to disconnect any lighting built into the underside as well.
Evaluate Cabinets and Walls
Inspect cabinet bases for levelness, damage, and needed repairs. Fill any holes in walls and address uneven drywall or backsplash issues to ensure a proper fit with new countertops.
Make Layout Decisions
Decide on your layout including number of seams, grain direction, and cabinet overhang. Communicate preferences to your fabricator and installer to coordinate the slab cutting approach.
Schedule Other Trades
Ensure electricians can reinstall lighting and outlets in the backsplash during or after countertop installation. Plumbers may be needed to adapt existing plumbing as required.
Make sure to be home during templating and installation. Provide parking for installers near the entrance they’ll use to move heavy slabs in and out efficiently and safely.
Set Realistic Timeline
Discuss timing of each phase in detail with fabricators and installers. Build contingencies into your schedule in case of delays obtaining slabs or fabrication taking longer than projected.
Prepping both yourself and your space thoroughly prevents surprises and frustrations during the quartz installation process. With proper planning and coordination, your kitchen or bath renovation should proceed smoothly.
What To Expect During Your Quartz Countertop Installation
If you’ve purchased new quartz countertops, understanding the full installation