As gorgeous and sturdy as quartz countertops are, they still need proper care. After all, they hold most things in your kitchen, whether it’s your waffle maker or coffee cup. So, to prolong their life span, it only makes sense to learn how to protect quartz countertops.
Read on to learn everything about quartz countertops, how to protect them, and common mistakes to avoid. See which method can provide the best protection for your quartz!
What are Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops mix the natural stone with cutting-edge manufacturing processes. As a result, you get a durable and gorgeous stone surface, completing any kitchen! Most manufacturers make quartz countertops with 90% loose quartz. And they fill up the rest with resins and pigments. Once combined, they mold these into 120 x 57 inches slabs.
After making the slabs, they apply 100 tons of pressure to each with a vacuum and vibration technique. When molded, they cure, polish, and double-check each quartz slab for quality. And once satisfied, they label them all.
Making quartz countertops differs from making natural stone counters. As a result, most manufacturers cut extensive blocks of stone into smaller slabs. Due to that, they don’t have as much flexibility as quartz and often come with many shortfalls.
For a better insight into quartz countertops, here are its many upsides and downsides:
✅ They’re Versatile
Due to quartz countertops using resins and pigment, they’ve naturally become more flexible. Unlike other stone surfaces, quartz can do several things. And most notably, quartz can have multiple appearances. So, you’re never getting the same countertop with this beautiful stone.
Quartz can resemble materials like granite, marble, granite, or concrete. But the best quartz countertops come with unique designs following their format.
✅ They’re Durable
Quartz countertops aren’t only appealing to the eyes, but they’re also firm! Although they aren’t the best under extreme temperatures, they’re ideal for all-around sturdiness. And unlike other stone surfaces, quartz doesn’t need regular resealing. They can stay durable even without sealants.
Not only will that keep your quartz countertop pristine, but it can also save you money over time. After all, quartz doesn’t need maintenance and can even outlive your home!
✅ They Boost Home Value
Since quartz countertops are more appealing in the real estate market, it only makes sense for them to boost your home’s resale value. And this, alongside the minimal maintenance requirements, offsets their high upfront costs. Even if it’s expensive at first, it’ll provide long-term value that you can enjoy for years.
So, invest in some quartz countertops if you want to resell your home.
✅ They’re Cozier and More Inviting
Unlike the hard and cold vibe natural stone countertops have, quartz feels cozy and inviting. After all, other stones such as granite extracts heat from the surroundings. And this is incredibly tedious if you live where the cold dominates.
Keep your home warm and cozy with quartz countertops! And despite its larger size, quartz won’t feel as hard or cold as other stone surfaces.
❎ They Can Be Expensive
As mentioned earlier, quartz countertops can be pricy upfront! Generally, they exceed most natural stone surfaces alongside laminate. But even so, quartz offers a more significant ROI. After all, the material requires little maintenance, is durable, and keeps more value. Not to mention, quartz looks fantastic!
Therefore, even if quartz countertops are expensive upfront, you get what you pay for — and more.
How to Protect Quartz Countertops?
Here are five proven ways to protect quartz countertops from spills, stains, or damage:
✔️ Add an Extra Protective Layer On Top of the Quartz Countertops
Adding a layer of protection to your quartz countertop keeps it good as new. Whether you’re using fancy coasters or a makeshift potholder, the added layer helps! These serve as a barrier between your kitchenware and your quartz countertops. Although simple, this extra layer helps better protect your precious quartz.
Moreover, adding this extra layer to your quartz countertop is vital when handling hot pans or dishes. After all, this stone isn’t as heat-resistant as others, making its surface prone to burning. So, to avoid burning your quartz, be preemptive and add coasters or dishcloths.
Meanwhile, when drinking any hot or cold drink, use a coaster. It prevents stains, which can be tough to remove from a quartz countertop. And though the material isn’t vulnerable to ring marks like wooden surfaces, citrus-based beverages can damage quartz! So, be especially careful when drinking citrus drinks.
✔️ Wipe All Spills ASAP
Although engineered stone surfaces like quartz countertops are stain-resistant, be wary of spills. It would be best if you still never let any mess, whether liquid or jelly-like dry up. Allowing these to set can damage your quartz, regardless of the spilled substance! So, to protect your quartz countertop from stains or smudges, wipe all spills ASAP. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve spilled coffee, wine, or spaghetti sauce — clean them!
When you encounter spills or other messes, grab your go-to cleaner and wipe it off. No matter what happens, never let spills and other messes dry up on your quartz.
But if you have no other choice, here are efficient and safe cleaners you can use on your quartz countertops:
- Alcohol. If you’re dealing with ink stains, grab your rubbing alcohol and wipe it down. It’s potent yet gentle enough for your quartz to handle. But never let it dry out; follow it with some warm water.
- Glass cleaner. Although there are niche products for countertops, glass cleaner is an excellent alternative. After all, not every store will have Windex formulated for quartz countertops. So, settle for the next best thing for quartz — the glass cleaner!
I recommend picking up the pace if you’ve spilled wine, tea, or coffee on your quartz countertops. After all, these can leave unsightly permanent stains than other liquids.
✔️ Use a Chopping Board On Quartz Countertops at All Times
Although quartz countertops are durable and scratch-resistant, they’re not indestructible. So, when cutting things, never do it onto the quartz counter. Doing this can lead to scratches and nicks, worsening over time. I recommend using a chopping board or any protective layer when cutting with a razor-sharp knife.
Not only will that protect your quartz countertop, but it will also help preserve your knives. And this, in turn, stops them from becoming dull too fast. So, as fun, as it may seem to slice away on your quartz kitchen countertops, don’t. Regardless, it’s not worth permanently damaging the gorgeous stone surface.
Debunking those notions is crucial. And nothing great comes from using sharp blades and similar tools on a quartz countertop!
✔️ Regularly Clean and Disinfect
Cleaning and disinfecting your quartz countertops protect them from permanent damage. After all, as durable as the stone surface is, it’s still prone to staining. And when you leave these unaddressed, they can leave unsightly spills and stains for good.
Aside from that, microscopic dirt and other debris are also a thing to worry about with quartz countertops. And these won’t only ruin the countertop’s condition but also create a haven for germs! Therefore, always remember to disinfect after cleaning your quartz countertops.
As a result, you can confidently serve food on your quartz!
Regardless of the cleaning items you use, here’s the best way to clean a quartz countertop:
- Mix mid dish soap and lukewarm water and soak a soft microfiber cloth with the mixture.
- Start wiping your quartz countertops following circular motions.
- Remove residues with plain, warm water and wipe with a dry cloth.
If you’re dealing with stubborn stains that even the mild soapy mixture can’t remove, use a non-abrasive sponge instead of a microfiber cloth. Meanwhile, you can replace the soap with rubbing alcohol to remove buildup. Doing this gives the cleaner an extra nudge without damaging your quartz countertops.
But as simple as cleaning and disinfecting countertops may seem, it’s not. After all, you’re working on quartz. This material requires milder solutions, such as non-abrasive cleaners. Here are a few things to note when cleaning and disinfecting a quartz countertop:
I recommend using soft dishcloths soaked with mild detergent when cleaning quartz countertops. It helps you maintain your counters’ pristine condition without the risk of damaging them. And this is especially vital for hustling and bustling kitchens, whether at home or in a restaurant.
Aside from that, cleaning your quartz countertops every day prevents excess dirt buildup. In short, cleaning every day lets you remove all debris that accumulates on your quartz. With this, no stain or spot will have the chance to harden and stay on your counters for good.
Go for Plastic
Scraping metal on any quartz countertop is never a good idea. So, when dealing with piled-up gunk, always go for plastic! This way, you won’t don’t need to worry about leaving unwanted scratches on your quartz kitchen countertop. And despite its flimsy looks, a plastic scraper is strong enough to remove dried-up super glue!
Still, removing any gunk ASAP is better than waiting for them to harden. Therefore, it would be best always to have a plastic scraper on your kitchen counters.
Invest in a Quartz Cleaner
Buying cleaners formulated for quartz countertops is always an excellent idea. After all, it guarantees thorough clean-ups and minimal to no risks! But whatever quartz cleaner you choose, ensure it doesn’t contain any bleach as it can cause discoloration. So, when shopping for Windex wipes, check if it’s for quartz countertops, as these have less bleach.
Cleaners and wipes aside, getting a quality degreasing agent is also ideal for removing hardened stains on your quartz countertops. And as long as it doesn’t contain bleach, it should be safe to use on your kitchen counters. If you’re still uncertain, check for the label info on quartz countertop safety and protection.
✔️ Never Smash Things On Top of a Quartz Countertop
Smashing things on top is never a good idea, even if quartz countertops are durable. So, I recommend toning down the force you put on your kitchen counters. After all, banging things down won’t help in retaining their durability. And with enough repetition, this can lead to cracks and overall brittleness.
What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid When Protecting Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops are among the priciest stone surfaces you can get! And damaging them can be one massive, expensive mistake. So, avoid paying for unnecessary repairs on your counters and avoid these common mistakes:
❗Not Addressing Spills ASAP
No spill will ever be good news for a quartz countertop. After all, if you let any substance on the stone surface for extended periods, it may leave a stain. So, even if manufacturers claim quartz to be stain-resistant, remember, it’s not stain-proof! Although the chances are low, your quartz countertop can still get stained.
Therefore, you must always wipe and clean after any spill on your quartz countertops. It’s best to do all these once the spill happens. After all, even if there are many ways to get rid of stains, it requires more time and effort. So, the best thing to do is to stop them from invading your quartz countertop in the first place!
So, avoid leaving spills to dry and keep your quartz countertops pristine!
❗Using the Wrong Cleaner
Using any cleaner not recommended for quartz countertops may lead to permanent stains. Generally, it’s best to avoid alkaline and acidic cleaners as they can break down the resin in the quartz. And that may eventually lead to damage alongside the stains. Meanwhile, potent acidic cleaners such as lime or vinegar are especially damaging.
Acidic cleaners can weaken or dissolve a quartz countertop’s surface in the long run. As a result, you get a kitchen counter more vulnerable to staining.
Luckily, there are many cleaners safe to use on quartz countertops. And some of these include dish, hand, or antibacterial soaps. These cleaners are safe and gentle, but they’re also very efficient for quartz! Using a mixture of water and any soaps daily can keep your quartz countertops squeaky clean.
❗Using Abrasive Cleaning Pads
Never use abrasive cleaning pads when wiping quartz countertops, as they can leave scratches. And though these aren’t noticeable at first, they can still make your kitchen counters shine and luster.
❗Putting Hot Items On Top of Quartz Countertops
Quartz, though heat-resistant, isn’t as strong as other stone surfaces. So, avoid placing hot pots, pans, or coffee cups on the countertop, as it can weaken the resin. And that eventually leads to discoloration. Unfortunately, you can’t fix that, and when it does happen, you’ll need to replace the whole quartz slab.
Also, exposure to the heat can cause thermal expansion on your quartz countertop. As a result, your kitchen counters may begin to weaken and crack. So, remember, never put anything hot on your quartz! Always use thick cooking pads or a trivet when placing something hot on the stone. Doing so protects the material against exposure.
❗Chopping Up Food Items without a Cutting Board
As durable as quartz kitchen countertops are, they’re not scratch-resistant. And with the proper force, anything sharp can lead to permanent scratches on the material. That’s why you mustn’t forget to use a chopping board when cutting food on top of the counter.
❗Using Metal to Scrape Off Stains or Smudges on Quartz Countertops
Like how you should avoid cutting food on top of your quartz countertop to prevent scratches, never use metal scrapes too. When you spilled something on your counter and didn’t notice it, scrape the gunk off with a plastic scraper. Whether a plastic knife or fork, these are better than anything metallic! These can help you remove the gunk well without the risk of leaving any scratches.
❗Using Scorching Water to Clean
Always use lukewarm or room temperature water when cleaning quartz countertops. Doing so helps you avoid damaging the counter’s resin.
How to Prevent Quartz Countertop Damage?
Although there are ways to fix damages on quartz countertops, like most things, preventing these from emerging in the first place will always be better. Here are a few tried-and-tested ways to prevent quartz countertop damage:
👉 Don’t Forget to Chopping Board
One of the best ways to prevent damaging your quartz countertops is by always using a cutting board. Whether you’re cutting watermelon or a tiny red onion, never cut them on the surface. Instead, use a cutting board to protect the quartz from scratches, nicks, and other damages.
But aside from preventing damage to your quartz, using a cutting board also ensures edge retention! But whichever kind of chopping board you go for, I recommend placing a pad underneath it. Doing this stops it from scratching the quartz surface. And you can use any fabric such as kitchen rags.
👉 Always Use Hot Pads
As sturdy as quartz countertops are, they aren’t the most heat-resistant. So, even exposure to a piping hot cup of coffee can lead to cracks and other damages. Never place any hot pot or baking sheets on your quartz kitchen counters. Doing this simple yet efficient change can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs in the long run for your quartz countertops. After all, it prevents extreme heat damage on the stone surface.
So, be cautious about pots, pans, or utensils, and always use hot pads!
Cookware aside, you may also need to avoid using countertop appliances on top of the material. And yes, that includes small kitchen gadgets like toasters and waffle makers. But if you must, ensure you put a protective layer like a trivet beforehand.
Moreover, don’t forget to use hot pads and oven mitts to protect your quartz when removing something from your oven. And never leave any pots or pans on your stovetop as they might bubble over the surface, causing heat damage.
Any excess exposure to these different heat sources can weaken the quartz resin that seals the material. And this, in turn, can lead to the built-in adhesives and sealants failing over time. As a result, you may face countertop chipping, nicking, and an expensive repair!
Making these simple adjustments to avoid direct heat contact can help your quartz countertops stay pristine for years.
👉 Never Put Heavy Things On Quartz Countertops
Unbeknownst to most, exposure to constant weight and pressure can damage quartz countertops. It can cause chipping or may even lead to fractures. So, when designing your kitchen counters, use lightweight decorative items. You can use glassware and smaller vases to bring the best out of your quartz!
So, as you learn how to protect quartz countertops by preventing damage, see how you can distribute the weight across the kitchen counters. Avoid putting too much weight on one spot of the surface, as it can lead the area to cave in. You can determine which place on the countertop is withstanding the heaviest weight by checking the edges or adhesives used. These often crack or chop when exposed to heaviness for a while.
Aside from that, it’s also best to avoid placing heavy pans, pots, or other cookware on the stone surface. And not only will their weight cause issues, but it may also leave scratches.
But besides cookware, kitchen appliances, and utensils, be careful how YOU act around your quartz countertops. Never mount or stand on your kitchen counters, as it can cause the material to chip or split. So, never how light you think you are, never abuse your quartz countertop and stay seated.
👉 Never Place a Heating or Cooling Vent Under Quartz Countertops
Although it can be convenient to place heating and cooling vents underneath your quartz countertops, please don’t do it. After all, the constant exposure to cold, heat, and excess humidity can lead to damage over time. So, always leave a gap between heating or cooling vents and your kitchen counters! Making this simple change prevents damaging the stone surface over time.
So, even if you can’t see the direct impact of the temperature damage caused by cooling and heating vents on your quartz countertops ASAP, it’ll eventually cause cracking and chipping. Hence, don’t wait for disaster to ensue and preemptively add a gap between the vents and your quartz.
The longer you leave your quartz kitchen countertops exposed to the heating and cooling vents, the more damage they will receive over time. They’ll likely chip, crack and nick more in the long run, costing you more in repairs.
That’s why do your best to be proactive and practice preventive measures to help keep your quartz countertops pristine and damage-free!
👉 Avoid Using Harsh Cleaners to Protect Your Quartz Countertops
Using potent cleaners is never a good idea for your quartz countertops. After all, alkaline or acidic solutions can worsen any spill or stain on your counters. So, use mild cleaners, no matter how much gunk your quartz countertops have. Aside from that, you may also use non-abrasive cleaning products.
Aside from cleaners, I suggest keeping nail polish, turpentine, bleach, and other similar agents away from your quartz countertops. These are corrosive enough to dissolve away sealants and resins on your quartz kitchen counters. And when these materials holding the quartz together disappear, only expect disaster to ensue!
But if you’re facing a severe stain and need something more robust, test out a tiny sample of the cleaner on one spot before you try it on the rest of the countertop.
👉 Never Expose Your Quartz Countertops to Extreme Temperatures
Finally, never expose your quartz countertops to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Nothing great can ever come to your quartz from overexposure to heat and cold. And whatever source it comes from, whether on hot cookware, vents, or the weather, it can damage your quartz kitchen counters.
Exposure to weather conditions can lead to thermal expansion or contraction. And that can cause your kitchen counters to expand or contract, destroying your quartz. For instance, constant exposure to sunlight won’t only cause the stone surface to fade, but it can also create chips and cracks.
So, if possible, never expose your quartz kitchen counters to extreme weather conditions.
You can see why quartz isn’t the best stone surface for outdoor countertops. After all, even if you try your best to block off the sun’s rays, your quartz will still fade over time. So, if you’re not prepared to do all these extra measures to protect your countertops, opt for other stones instead!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to protect quartz countertops against coffee and tea stains?
A: The best way to protect your quartz countertops against coffee or tea stains is by preventing the spills in the first place. Although removing these stains is possible, they often leave unappealing smudges. After all, coffee and tea have pigments that leave stains over stone surfaces like quartz. So, never leave their spills to dry on your quartz countertop and address them ASAP.
Q: Is adding sealant to protect my quartz countertops necessary?
A: Quartz countertops don’t need to get sealed. They can stay strong even without the help of one due to quartz’s natural durability. So, don’t waste your money and time sealing your quartz countertops. After all, a sealant may also damage the material!
Q: How can I protect my quartz countertops from getting stained?
A: Never use chemicals with solvents like beach, detergent, oil soap, or paint thinner. So, to keep your quartz countertops stain-free, use a gentle soap. You can use regular dishwashing liquid, which you may already have at home. Meanwhile, you can use non-abrasive cleaners for tougher messes.
Q: Is using Clorox wipes to clean my quartz countertops safe?
A: You can use these disinfecting wipes to clean your quartz countertop. They’re often bleach-free, so using them as a last resort is fine. But never use these on your quartz countertops too much as they still contain citric acid. So, only use Clorox wipes on your quartz counter if you’re out of your daily cleaner.
Q: How long can quartz countertops last?
A: With proper care and maintenance, a quality quartz countertop can last over a decade. But sometimes, these counters may also outlive your home! And this isn’t surprising, considering quartz doesn’t break with time.
How to protect quartz countertops? From cleaning up after spills to adding an extra layer — these are tried-and-tested techniques to explore. So, even if your quartz countertop doesn’t seem like it needs protection, provide it! Preemptively doing this ensures your quartz lasts for a long time. And with enough time, it should be able to outlive your home!