Quartz is one of the most popular countertop materials due to its fantastic durability and wide range of color and pattern options. It can fit into and elevate any space it is installed in due to its versatility. It is an engineered stone mix of natural stone quartzite and resins and pigments.
Homeowners and interior designers alike favor quartz for its excellent qualities. But how is quartz made into countertops? How is it measured and prepared? Hot to cut countertops?
These are all questions we will answer in this article, and we suggest you keep reading to learn all the tips, tricks, and necessary safety measures.
Tools for Cutting Quartz Countertops
Cutting tool: To start the process, you will, of course, need quartz cutting tools. A circular saw is a usually recommended tool for the job.
You can use a wet-cutting tool as it lessens the dust clouds that will occur during the cutting process. If you don’t have access to one, you can also pick a dry circular saw. However, you should prepare beforehand for the mess it will create.
This isn’t to say wet circular saws prevent the dust completely, but it will decrease it. Whether wet or dry, it must be one with a diamond saw blade, as quartz is an incredibly hard stone that requires an even harder material to cut through.
Gloves: During the cutting process, having proper protective gear is imperative for your health and the success of the cutting project. The first one on the list is the gloves.
You need gloves to protect your hands during the cutting and to have a better grip on the saw. Don’t forget that the circular saw can cause serious injuries. Therefore, having good control over it while it is working is vital. Moreover, the saw will vibrate when it is on, making it possible to lose control of it.
Mask: Whether you are using a wet circular saw or not, without a doubt, there will be a lot of quartz dust. As quartz is an engineered stone, resin, pigments, and binders are mixed into it.
None of these ingredients are stuff you want to breathe into your lungs. Therefore, you should pay close attention and wear an N95 mask approved for construction work. Breathing in the dust can cause short and long-term health complications.
Protective eyewear: The same dust that can get into your lungs can get into your eyes too. This might cause severe damage to your eyes as these particles are severed from a very hard material and are hard and sharp themselves.
Moreover, they can impair your vision during cutting, causing you to lose control of the saw or cut where you weren’t supposed to.
Earplugs: A saw is a loud tool that can cause temporary or long-lasting damage to your hearing ability. The cutting will take a while and is not a very short process. Therefore, the saw will be on for a while. Subjecting your ears to loud noise in such proximity for an extended period of time is not recommended.
Ruler and measuring tape: You need to measure exactly where you need to cut the slab to fit perfectly on top of the cabinets. To do that, you need a measuring tape. You will need a ruler to check the orientation of the line to make straight cuts.
Masking tape and marker: Masking tape where you will be cutting is a trick many professionals use. This keeps the surface of the slab together, thus preventing chips on the surface.
Otherwise, pieces of quartz might come loose while cutting. After taking the measurement, mask the entire line you will be cutting. Then use a marker and mark the line on top of the tape.
Clamps: The saw will vibrate during the cutting, thus making everything it touches, including the slab, vibrate too. This can cause things to move around and fall to the ground.
Furthermore, it can cause the slab to move and cause you to make cuts that aren’t straight or where you have marked. To prevent all of this from happening, you should use strong clamps and secure the slab on the worktable you are using. Generally, it is recommended to use a clamp in one-foot intervals.
Secure and stable workspace: Quartz slabs are incredibly heavy. To support it, you need a strong and stable work surface to support the weight and the movement caused by the saw.
An isolated area you can work in: You will need an isolated area you can work that disallows children or pets from wandering in and causing distractions. You will need your undivided attention during the cutting process.
Grinder: After cutting, the cut line will be jagged, which is why you need an angle grinder to smooth the edge. Otherwise, you will be left with countertops will a sharp and raw cut line.
How to Cut Quartz Countertops (Step-by-Step Guide)
Step 1: Make the measurements
Measure the width and length of the surface to make a precise cut. You can use a piece of paper to mark where the cut should be and label it accordingly.
Step 2: Consider the overhang
After measuring exactly the size of the countertops, add 1.5 inches of overhang for a refined appearance and stability. With this allowance, the countertops will hang better, and the edges will be properly aligned with the edges of the cabinetry. Moreover, this will also act as a seam allowance and prevent discrepancies in size.
Step 3: Mark where the sink will be
Before moving forward with the steps, make sure to consider the sink. Draw a line on top of the cabinets to mark where the sink will be. Make sure the line is even, and the measurements are correct. Do all of your marking on the underside of the slab so that they cannot be seen once the kitchen remodel is done.
Step 4: Make a template
You can make a template using cardboard as a guide when cutting the edges and the holes for the sink. You can place the cardboard on the cabinets and trace the edges and where the sink will be. Afterward, use a grease marker to trace along the lines on the slab.
Once this step is complete, double-check the measurements and markings on the slab to ensure they are correct.
Step 5: Put on protective gear
Before you start cutting, ensure your safety and that of those around you. Put on protective eye, ear, and breathing gear. Moreover, pay attention to what you are wearing. It is not a good idea to wear clothes that can get stuck or tangled during this process.
You should wear solid clothing that you will be comfortable in and isn’t likely to cause any trouble. Secure the area so that kids or pets can’t wander in while you are using the saw.
Step 6: Clamp the slab to the surface
Secure the slab onto the work surface using the clamps. Ensure that the clamps are holding onto the slab strongly. If you find some give, use more clamps with shorter intervals.
Step 7: Turn on the saw and start cutting
Place your hands on the handles of your saw and pull the trigger. Allow the saw to reach full speed, then gently push it onto the quartz.
Don’t put too much pressure onto the saw; allow it is cut through on its own. If you notice pushback or smoke emanating from the saw, release the trigger and give it a few minutes to rest.
If you use a diamond blade to cut quartz, it can successfully cut the slab without trouble. Therefore, you do not need to try cutting it using elbow grease. Don’t forget that quartz is a very hard stone, and cutting through it will take some time. Let the saw do the work and guide it gently and accordingly.
Step 8: Smooth the jagged edge
Once all the edges are cut, you will be left with edges that aren’t smooth. At this stage, you will need an angle grinder to grind the edges so they are no longer sharp. This will give it an aesthetic appeal and make it safe to be around.
In short, cutting your quartz countertops can be a long and intricate process. However, as long as you take all of the safety precautions, ensure that the measurements are correct, and pay attention to the instructions to use the saw, there is no reason for you to end up with an undesirable outcome.
If you are still unsure or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team for a consultation.
Here at Keystone, our primary objective is to help make your dream house a reality.
What to Know More?
What is the best tool to cut quartz countertops?
The most recommended tool for cutting quartz countertops is a wet or dry circular saw with a diamond blade. This tool has the strength and force necessary to cut one of the hardest countertop materials.
Cutting quartz with an angle grinder is also possible and can be an easier option for someone who doesn’t have any prior experience in similar remodeling projects.
Can you cut the quartz countertop after installation?
Although cutting quartz countertops after they are installed is possible, it is a very challenging procedure requiring specialized expertise and tools. For this reason, it is recommended that it is cut before installation.
What is the best way to cut quartz countertops?
The best way to cut quartz countertops is by using a circular saw with a diamond blade or an angle grinder equipped with a diamond cutting wheel. Make sure to do this in a safe environment while wearing protective gear. You can opt for a wet circular saw to decrease the dust clouds that will come up during the cutting process.
Can I cut my quartz countertop?
You can cut quartz to your desired shape and size using a circular saw or an angle grinder. Although this can be intimidating if you don’t have any prior experience, as long as you practice necessary safety measures and follow instructions, you can cut your own quartz countertops.
Is it possible to cut quartz?
Yes, although quartz is an incredibly hard and dense material, it can be cut and shaped into any shape you desire. One thing to remember is that, as this is such a hard stone, it needs to be cut with something even harder and more durable. Therefore, quartz is cut using instruments equipped with diamond blades.