Curious if your quartz countertops can crack? Read this post for the most common reasons quartz countertops may crack, how to prevent cracks, and how to perform quick fixes.
You’re gazing at your beautiful quartz countertops in admiration, but still can’t help but wonder about their durability? Could those countertop cracks you’ve been secretly dreading eventually become a cause of concern? Because nobody wants to be subject to those common eyesores that blemish a pristine quartz counter.
You may have already noticed a crack and are wondering can I do anything to fix it? Let’s start with discovering how cracks can occur on your quartz surfaces in the first place.
In general, quartz countertops can crack if exposed to extreme heat, extreme cold, or by the sudden impact of throwing heavy or sharp objects such as car keys. The higher the quality of quartz, the more resistant to cracking it is.
Fortunately, if you do experience cracks in your quartz countertop there are a few easy ways to fix them quickly and even simpler ways to prevent cracks from happening in the first place.
Continue on to find out the common reasons quartz can crack.
What Causes Quartz to Crack?
Though quartz countertops are considered very durable, they can still be susceptible to cracks and pitting if not handled properly. This probably has you wondering, if quartz is known for its toughness, what if anything would cause quartz surfaces to crack?
The quartz used in countertops is crack-resistant but not crack-proof. In fact, the material is a manmade composite usually consisting of 95% quartz chips mixed with 5% polymer resin making it a poor heat conductor. This means that the quartz countertop has a low heat threshold and heats or cools in an inconsistent manner. Variations in temperature will cause the quartz to expand and shrink which weakens the surface.
On average, the most common reasons for cracks in quartz countertops are:
- Sudden exposure to extreme heat (like the sizzling pan you took off the stove and immediately set on the countertop to serve). Hot pans are often hotter than 300 degrees Fahrenheit which can burn and damage your quartz countertop. Extremely hot items will compromise the integrity of the quartz which can lead to cracking or pitting.
- Sudden exposure to extreme cold (like the frozen roast you grabbed straight from the freezer and set on the counter without so much as a second thought). Freezing temperatures cause the material to contract and change the material’s structure.
- Tossing objects such as plates on your counter (cue the I just got home from a very long day exhaustion). This sudden impact will cause the surface of the quartz to shrink, weakening it and making it more susceptible to damage.
- Sitting or standing on the countertop can cause the quartz surface to weaken which can lead to further chips or cracks down the road. Even briefly sitting on quartz can result in damage.
- Continuous exposure to sunlight can cause discoloration and erosion of the quartz surface, which can weaken it over time. This is because some polymer resins are not ultra violet stable.
Also keep in mind, all quartz countertops are not created equal. Quality matters here. In general, the higher the quality of quartz, the less susceptible to cracks and pitting it will be.
Will Quartz Crack From Heat?
The short answer to this burning question is ultimately “yes.” Higher quality quarts will be more resistant to cracks from heat or cold than their lower quality counterparts, but both can warp if exposed to too hot or too cold of temperatures. So how hot is too hot exactly?
What Temperature Does Quartz Crack?
This answer is where it starts to get a little variable. Though high-quality quartz is marketed as virtually crack-resistant, it can still crack under extreme temperature changes, hot and cold.
You can anticipate your quartz countertop to withstand heat to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148.8 degrees Celsius) and temperatures below freezing or 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). When a quartz surface cracks due to exposure to major temperature changes it is referred to as “thermal shock.” Simply placing the bag of ice you just bought could cause your quartz countertops to crack or shatter.
Some manufactures claim that their quartz can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204.4 degrees Celsius) but to play it safe, it is usually best to not expose your countertop to anything higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range comes with a small caveat though: the polymer resin that is covering your quartz surface.
Keep in mind that even though quartz countertops can withstand temperatures up to 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit, they can be largely dependent upon the manufacturer because quartz is coated with a polymer resin. The polymer resin is applied on top of quartz to protect from any staining and discoloration but may not be able to withstand temperatures of greater than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. So always consult with the manufacturer to be absolutely sure.
My Quartz Countertop Cracked (What To Do)
First things first, always check your warranty before attempting to fix a crack. This can be a lifesaver and free you from attempting to fix a crack yourself. Most warranties last for 1-10 years, which is typically subject to the type of damage.
Secondly, don’t stress! Even if you aren’t covered under warranty there are some easy solutions to fix that crack in your quartz surface. A cracked quartz countertop is not beyond repair if the crack is not too big! If the crack is smaller than a quarter, you can breathe easy as it is painless to fix a crack that size on your quartz countertop. For larger cracks it is recommended that you get it professionally corrected.
Having a professional perform every single repair for your quartz countertop can be extremely expensive, so opting for a quick DYI (size permitting) is not only easy but may prove beneficial for your wallet too.
Follow these steps for a simple and quick fix:
- Assess the Damage
The size of the crack will dictate the best method for fixing it. Remember if the crack is roughly smaller than a quarter you can fix it yourself. For anything larger and you want to consult your warranty and a professional.
- Thoroughly Clean the Surface to be Fixed
Clean your countertop by using a damp hand towel with a few drops of non-abrasive dish soap or a mild ammonia-based kitchen cleaner and wipe the countertop clean as you would a window to avoid any streaks. If using ammonia, wear a mask to avoid toxic fumes.
- Mask the Cracks with Tape
Mark the cracked area with masking tape to prevent the glue from getting onto other sections of your countertop. Skipping this step can result in an uneven surface after repairing the crack.
- Use An Adhesive to Fill in the Cracks
Start by filling in the crack with clear superglue or epoxy, preferably by using a paintbrush or toothpick if available. You can also use a color glue that matches the current color of your quartz countertop.
- Allow the Glue to Properly Dry
Wait for the superglue/epoxy to dry according to the package directions. Waiting at least 24 hours is often the minimum recommended wait time. Some glues or epoxies require 48 hours to dry completely.
- Remove Any Excess Glue
Remove the tape and any excess glue with a razor until the level of glue is equal to the level of the counter. And voilà, you are done!
For a quick video on how to repair a crack in your quartz countertop, check out the short video below. Note, you can just use the cleaning methods listed in step 1 instead of buying the “accelerator” that is advertised to save some cash.
If you notice a small crack in your quartz countertop, don’t fret but do repair it with care. Avoid delaying the fix, as cracks can grow larger in size, and follow the easy steps listed above for a simple solution.
Better yet, if you avoid the causes of cracks in quartz countertops you can prevent the need to fix it in the first place. Simply place any hot pans or dishes on hot pads, coasters, and cooking stands to protect your quartz countertops from extreme temperatures, both high and low. Also do not use your quartz countertop as a cutting board because over time you can weaken the surface by constantly scratching the surface. Always use a cutting board on top of your counter.
The best way to steer clear of potential cracks is to avoid what causes them in the first place.