Can you cut quartz countertops? Cutting quartz countertops requires some handy skills and the right tools. Having them ready before starting your project will save you a ton of time and energy. It will also prevent a lot of possible mishaps that are from moving around the work area from time to time. Our team at Granite Selection has outlined our best way to cut quartz countertops.
HOW TO CUT QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS?
Despite being known as hard and strong, just like any other stone material, quartz can still break or crack if not handled properly. Cutting quartz may not be for the novice handyman as it’s no easy task. In fact, it may require some experience with materials and tools that may be risky at the hands of a newbie. The circular saw is one good example of this. If you’re unsure or not confident in how to handle this tool, it’s always best to seek professional help.
The best way to cut quartz countertops is to use a circular saw with diamond tips. Remember that quartz is made of some of the hardest minerals on the planet, so using regular blades may not be effective.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the debris or powder of quartz is fine and can be irritating to the eyes, nose, mouth, and skin. The debris has even been reported as toxic. Wearing protective gear when doing this project is vital and you should ensure that your airways are protected with a mask or better yet a respirator. Our team recommends wearing an N95 mask that’s designed for construction. Protective goggles are also essential in carrying out this task as the fine dust can easily go airborne. As cutting stones will also result in extremely loud vibrations, you’ll want earplugs to protect your ears.
To ensure the effectiveness of the job, you’ll also want to compile a ruler, straight edge, powder chalk, or marker before getting started. Some jobs might even require a level as cutting with a circular saw can cause a lot of vibration. Because of this, you’ll want to secure the countertop on a platform with clamps to help you get the best results. After polishing a quartz countertop, you may need to polish the cutoff area, so ideally, you’ll have polish and a grinder at the ready.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR CUTTING YOUR OWN QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
SECURE THE WORK AREA
Of course, it’s essential that you carry the task as safely as possible. DIY projects are mostly done in the confines of the home where family members and pets are around, so make sure you work in an area of the house where pets and children will not wander. Remember that you’re working with a circular saw and with a material that could give off potentially toxic residue. Also, the noise from the vibrations may be harmful to children and pets.
STEP 1: TAKE A MEASUREMENT OF THE AREA ON WHICH YOU PLAN TO PUT YOUR COUNTERTOP
To get a precise cut for your quartz countertop, first, measure the length and width of the surface with a retractable measuring tape. Mark the surface on a piece of paper and clearly label each side so you can use it as a reference for cutting. If you’re doing this alone, you can attach the metal lip of the measuring tape to the edge of the cabinets for support.
STEP 2: ADD 1.5 INCHES TO THE EDGE OF CABINETS FOR OVERHANG
When adding overhangs to cabinets, be sure to add an extra 1.5 inches for a better appearance and additional stability. This added measurement ensures that the countertop will hang properly, with the edges evenly aligned along the sides of the cabinets. By adding this extra inch and a half of space before cutting, you’ll avoid any minor discrepancies in shape or size that may result from leaving this step out. Plus, crafting a slightly larger overhang helps to create a refined look that typically cannot be achieved without it!
STEP 3: PUT A MARKER ON THE CABINET AND MARK THE PLACE WHERE THE SINK WILL BE
We know that installing a new sink in your kitchen can be intimidating. Before you start cutting, take a permanent marker and draw a line on the cabinet where the top of the sink will go. Ensure that the line is level so the sink fits exactly where it needs to when you are ready to attach it. With this important step taken care of, your new kitchen sink will be precisely and securely positioned!
STEP 4: CREATE A TEMPLATE SO YOU CAN CUT MORE ACCURATELY
To create a template for your quartz countertop, cut strips of balsa wood or rigid cardboard and place them along the existing countertop edges. Make sure to line up the edges perfectly for accuracy before applying hot glue along the seams to hold them together.
STEP 5: TURN YOUR QUARTZ OVER AND PLACE IT ON A STURDY WORK SURFACE
It’s best to use a cutting table that can support the weight of the quartz slab, however, sawhorses are also an option. When you’ve found a suitable workspace, be sure to mark the underside of the quartz slab so there no marks can be seen from the top side.
STEP 6: MARK ALL OF YOUR CUTS USING A GREASE MARKER AND A STRAIGHT EDGE
Place your template on the quartz slab, then take a grease marker and precisely trace along the line. Once complete, double-check that your measurements are still accurate – even if a template was used.
USE YOUR CIRCULAR SAW
STEP 1: PUT ON A RESPIRATOR AND GOGGLES
Before cutting quartz, it’s important to protect yourself from its toxic dust. Wear a respirator and protective eyewear while working, and ensure that you’re in a well-ventilated area – preferably outdoors.
STEP 2: YOUR CIRCULAR SAW MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH A DIAMOND BLADE
For the cleanest cuts, use a continuous diamond saw blade. If one with slots is used, these should be very thin. To switch out blades, loosen the arbor nut in the center of your circular saw and remove it carefully. Slip your new blade onto the arbor nut and tighten it securely.
STEP 3: USE CLAMPS TO SET THE STRAIGHT EDGE PARALLEL TO THE LONGEST SLIT
If you have a leveler or a framing square, use it to attach your straight edge to the quartz using clamps. Align the edge of your circular saw’s base plate with the straight edge and ensure that the grease marking line aligns with your saw’s guiding line. If not, adjust your straight edge accordingly.
STEP 4: CUTTING QUARTZ REQUIRES ADJUSTING THE CIRCULAR SAW BLADE
For an accurate cut through the bottom of the quartz, adjust the lever next to your saw’s handle so that the blade protrudes 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) below your slab. Lock the blade guard in place and place the base plate on top of the quartz near the cutting area.
STEP 5: BEFORE PULLING THE SAW’S TRIGGER TO START CUTTING, CHECK THE GUIDELINE
Place your hands on the top handles of your circular saw and ensure that the guiding line on the base plate aligns with the grease marker line. Pull the trigger, allowing your saw to reach full speed before pushing it forward gently.
STEP 6: CUT THROUGH YOUR GREASE MARKER LINE
As it moves forward while cutting, there’s no need to exert too much pressure. If you notice any kickback or smoke coming from your saw blade, release the trigger and wait 1-2 minutes for it to cool down.
STEP 7: MAKE ALL OF YOUR STRAIGHT CUTS
Both the straight edge and circular saw are suitable to make any straight cuts on your slab of quartz. Continue this process until all lines have been cut.
Want to see a finely cut quartz countertop? Find inspiration for your kitchen remodel in our Bianco Pepper quartz project.
STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR GUIDE RAIL SO THAT YOU CAN CUT WITH A PLUNGE SAW
When using a plunge saw, one of the most important steps is to properly prepare a guide rail. The guide rail provides stability and accuracy when making cuts.
First, make sure the rail sits flat on your work surface, and that the screws are tight enough to hold the rail in place. Then, measure twice and mark exactly where you plan to make your cut.
Finally, adjust your plunge saw’s cutting depth to match the desired width of your cut — this will help you achieve a precise and clean line every time. Taking these simple steps prior to cutting with a plunge saw will ensure each project is done correctly and efficiently.
STEP 2: ALIGN THE BACK OF THE SAW BLADE WITH ANY CORNER OF THE SINK
After the first step is properly completed, the next step involves making sure that the back of the saw blade is in alignment with any corner of the sink. This ensures that a straight cut can be made along the edge which creates a much neater look than if one were to make a jagged cut.
It’s important to take your time as even small inaccuracies can add up quickly and decrease the quality of the finished product. Once aligned, press lightly so you could make slight adjustments if needed but stop short of pushing down hard in order to preserve the accuracy.
STEP 3: THE PLUNGE-CUT SAW SHOULD BE FASTENED TO THE GUIDING RAIL
After the grease marks have been drawn and the plunge-cut saw has been successfully attached to the guide rail, it’s important to find a secure spot to lock it into place if possible. This will help keep the saw stable while you cut, reducing the chance of error or higher risks of injury that can be caused by a saw that isn’t properly secured. Be patient as it might take a few attempts to make sure that everything lines up properly but with practice, this step becomes very simple.
STEP 4: SLOWLY LOWER YOUR PLUNGE SAW AND START GUIDING IT FORWARD
Cutting through quartz with a plunge saw isn’t easy, and you’ll want to take extra caution when doing so. Before beginning, make sure that your quartz is securely fastened in place so it doesn’t move while you’re cutting. Any movement could significantly damage both the sink and your equipment.
When ready, lower your saw slowly and gradually guide it forward. To maintain optimal control of the saw, keep both hands on the handle to avoid misdirection or slipping.
Once you have reached the point where your next side begins after having completed the current side, stop and repeat these steps for each side until your quartz is cut perfectly to size!
STEP 5: GRIND AWAY THE EXCESS PARTS OF A CIRCULAR SINK
Cutting out the excess pieces of a circular sink may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done with ease. This next step involves grinding away the unnecessary parts.
For this task, you should use a diamond blade and make sure to wear your protective gear when working with an angle grinder.
Holding it with both hands, carefully move your grinder around the inside edge of your sink, always keeping it flat and parallel to get the best results. With a bit of practice, you’ll have those excess pieces cut out in no time.
TRUST QUARTZ COUNTERTOP INSTALLATION TO GRANITE SELECTION!
If you’re feeling unsure of how to cut quartz countertops at home or you’re not 100% confident in the task, seek help from professionals or your local stonemason. Speaking of professionals, Granite Selection is a leading supplier of granite, quartz, and other natural stone in the Chicagoland area. We are located in Elk Grove Village Illinois and will service the surrounding 70-mile area. Our stone yard holds an inventory of over 14,000 slabs of natural stone to make sure you find the one that fits your kitchen or bathroom perfectly. Give us a call at (888) 906 3317 and see how we can improve your natural stone project.
Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.