How to Install a Quartz Countertop
Adding a quartz countertop to your kitchen is a great way to brighten the space with a surface that’s ideal for years of heavy use. Learn how you can install a quartz countertop even if you don’t have extensive DIY experience.
Select and Order the Quartz
With so many options to consider, choosing a quartz countertop for your kitchen won’t be easy. As you browse the dozens of possibilities, focus first on finding a color and pattern that works with your space. Quartz countertops range from basic blacks and whites with subtle marble detailing to intricately patterned surfaces that look just like stone.
Next, choose the right thickness. Most quartz comes in 1-1/4-inch slabs, which works well for kitchen and bathroom applications. Finally, choose between squared edges, curved edges, rounded edges, and waterfall edges. You’ll need unpolished edges to create seams between slabs, but your personal preference or the design of the space should guide the rest of your edging choices.
After selecting the right quartz countertop for your kitchen, you’ll need to find out how much material you need. Measure the tops of the cabinets where you’ll be installing the surface, and add an extra half inch or inch to each edge to account for the overhang. Be sure to note where you plan to install the sink, so the quartz slab will arrive at your home with the sink cutout already in place.
Gather Tools and Equipment
To do this DIY quartz countertop installation, you’ll need a few common tools and materials. Gather the following before you start the job:
- Quartz countertop
- Circular saw with diamond blade
- Silicone adhesive
- Painter’s tape
- Ledger boards
- Wooden shims
Prepare the Area
After ordering the quartz slabs and gathering all the tools and materials you need, take some time to prepare the area where you’ll be installing the countertops. First, remove any existing countertops or surfaces, so only the cabinets remain. Then use the level to check how the cabinet tops line up. To ensure a completely level surface across the entire countertop area, add wooden shims as necessary. Finally, paint, stain, or seal the cabinets before installing the countertops and allow the cabinet faces to dry.
Dry Fit the Quartz
When the quartz slabs arrive, unpack them and dry fit the countertop by carefully placing the slabs on top of the cabinets, right where you plan to install them. Ask at least one helper to assist you with moving the slabs, as quartz can be very heavy. Most quartz types weigh an average of 25 pounds per square foot.
If you ordered a single piece of quartz, make sure it fits neatly in the space without leaving large gaps. If you ordered multiple pieces of quartz for a more complex countertop, make sure they fit together correctly. Lower the sink into place to ensure it fits properly, too.
You can begin the installation process if the quartz slabs fit correctly. If the slabs need any adjustments, however, use painter’s tape and a pencil to mark where you need to cut. Then use a circular saw fitted with a diamond blade to make any necessary adjustments.
Install the Sink
To install the sink, you’ll need to remove the quartz slabs. Store them upright to keep them protected during the installation, and always ask a helper for assistance with lifting and moving these heavy slabs.
Once the surface area is clear, put the sink into place, taking care to ensure it has adequate support. Wait until after you’ve completed the countertop installation to add plumbing, however.
Unlike their granite counterparts, quartz countertops don’t need subcounters or underlayment for added support. Instead, you can place quartz counters directly atop the cabinets underneath. However, quartz counters are still relatively heavy and may need additional support in some areas.
Review the countertop setup, and look for areas where cabinet support is minimal. For example, if you’re installing a quartz counter over a large dishwasher or you’re adding a desktop to an area that doesn’t have sufficient support, install ledger boards as necessary. In most cases, screwing 1- or 2-inch ledgers into the wall or the cabinet siding adds sufficient support.
Protect the Cabinets
Before putting the quartz slabs in place, take a few minutes to protect the cabinet faces. Apply painter’s tape along the top edges of the cabinets to prevent silicone adhesive from touching the cabinet faces. Remember to pull off the painter’s tape before the silicone adhesive dries to make the removal easier.
Install the Countertop
Install the quartz slabs one at a time, starting with the section surrounding the sink. To secure the slab, apply beads of silicone adhesive to the tops of the cabinet’s underneath. Apply adhesive beads 6 to 12 inches apart to ensure the silicone will hold the counter in place securely.
While the silicone adhesive is still wet, ask a helper or two to assist you with lowering the slab into place. Press the slab gently to ensure it’s completely adhered to the cabinets below, and repeat the process for each slab.
If your countertop requires more than one slab, you’ll need to seal the joints to create a smooth surface that won’t collect moisture or crumbs. First, protect the surface by lining the top of each side of the seam with painter’s tape. Then apply silicone adhesive or the material the manufacturer recommends onto the joint. Fill the seam completely and allow the material to dry. Remove the painter’s tape before the silicone dries. Allow the countertop to set for a few hours or overnight before using it.
With their high-contrast pigments and eye-catching accents, quartz countertops have the power to transform your kitchen completely. Keep the surface in great shape for years to come by cleaning your quartz countertops daily with a microfiber cloth and a mild detergent, using hot pads to protect the surface from excessive heat, and avoiding cutting directly on the countertop.