How to Install A Quartz Countertop (DIY)
Installation is Easy
DIY Quartz Countertop. Get professional results, no experience necessary.
Engineered in a factory, Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz, polyester resins, and pigments for coloring. The biggest advantage over natural stone products like granite and marble is they never have to be sealed because quartz countertops are nonporous. Installing a quartz countertop is something any DIYer can do themselves. The few specialty tools you’ll need can be purchased for less than the labor cost of a professional install.
First thing, build a simple workbench. The design doesn’t much matter as long as it’s sturdy and a little narrower than the quartz slab. This one was made from 2 x 6’s and fastened together with screws.
The Quartz Arrives
Now would be a great time to offer a couple of your strongest friends some beer and pizza to come over and help with the heavy lifting. You can purchase a Quartz slab that is 26” wide by 108” long with the long edge already polished. Not only does it save lots of your time polishing, a slab this size is pretty easy for 2 or 3 people to handle. Another advantage of quartz compared to granite is you can haul it lying flat in the back of a pickup, whereas granite should be transported in a vertical position to reduce the risk of breakage.
Cut the Quartz
Cut the Quartz
Use the straightedge clamping tool guide to run the saw against. Slow and steady wins the race here. Did I mention that you’ll want to put on your rain gear right about now?
Cut the Quartz
For cuts that are longer than your straightedge, you could clamp a straight piece of wood or a level to the slab. Here we are free handing the cut because it will end up against the back wall where no one will see it anyway. Use a garden hose to trickle water on the blade while making the cut.
Polish the Edge
Polish the edge with a wet polisher/ grinder. Just think of it like sanding a piece of wood, only a whole lot messier. Start with a 50 grit diamond pad and work your way up to 1000, removing the scratches from the previous grit as you go.
Ease the Edge
As you are polishing, ease the top and bottom corners to match the small round over that was put on the front edge at the factory.
Cut Out for the Sink
Use an angle grinder equipped with a diamond blade to cut the hole for the sink. If it’s an oval or round sink like this one, mark the hole about ½” smaller than the finished size that you want. During the process of cutting the hole it will get bigger as you work your way through the material. Here we’re using a top mount sink so the hole doesn’t have to be pretty. For under mount sinks, the process is the same but you’ll have to spend a fair amount of time grinding and polishing to make the hole look perfect. Note: the guard was omitted for clarity- never operate an angle grinder without the guard in place.
Dry Fit the Top
Get your friends to set their beers down and help you pack the countertop into the bathroom. Check to see that the outside edge of the top meets the wall without any gap. We aren’t concerned about any gaps along the wall that will be covered by the backsplash, but nothing is more amateur hour looking than having a gap between the counter and the wall where you can see it. If your walls aren’t square…
Trim the Wall
Use your oscillating tool to cut away the drywall so the countertop can slide far enough to have the front edge touch the wall tightly. It’s much easier to cut the drywall that cutting the quartz after all.
Install the Backsplash
Put a few dabs of silicone under the countertop to hold it to the cabinet and then you’re ready for the backsplash of your choosing. Here we’re using deco tiles with metal edge trim.
It’s ready for the sink and faucet.
Enjoy your new bathroom!
A Note About Safety
Safety is important. I can’t say it any better than my all-time favorite woodworker/ TV host, Norm Abram, so I’ll just leave you with his famous quote:
“Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these (Norm points to his glasses) — safety glasses.”
-Norm Abram, New Yankee Workshop