Quartz is a popular material among many as it is easy to look after, highly durable, and has many colours and patterns to choose from. Unlike natural stone, quartz is not prone to cracking or splintering under impact and is relatively easy to cut to the size and shape that’ll be perfect for your home or workspace. This blog will discuss how to safely and successfully cut a quartz countertop.
Tools You’ll Need
Whilst all the tools you’ll need to install a quartz worktop are available at any large hardware shop, many of these tools are hard to administrate and are only recommended for experienced professionals.
Cutting and rotary tools are needed to achieve precise and smooth countertops- these can be highly aggressive and should only be used by individuals with the required skillset.
Quartz is a hard mineral and is a seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale. These rates diamond the highest at ten and talc the lowest at 1. Because quartz is so hard, the tools required to cut it are often heavy-duty and include diamond blades.
Some essential tools used to cut quartz countertops are:
Fixed circular saw- has round, revolving blades, usually serrated. Their continuous cutting motion makes them more energy efficient than regular saws.
Plunge circular saw/ wet saw- a wet saw has a pump that sprays water onto your cutting surface. This keeps the tile cool and prevents cracks.
Diamond circular blades- ideal for heavy-duty jobs due to the hardness of the diamonds.
Grinder wheel/rotary stone cutter
Grinder diamond drum attachment- used to shape and grind the natural stone.
A good thing about quartz is that it often only requires minor smoothing and polishing. However, when you cut the quartz, some jagged edges may still be. To Smooth these, you will need:
Grinder wheel/rotary stone cutter
Grinder polishing attachment
Polishing oil/ polish
Safety When Cutting Quartz
Because quartz is such a hard material, you must take a few precautions to keep safe and prevent injury. Here are some basic safety precautions to take whilst cutting quartz countertops:
Cut in a well-ventilated open area to prevent dust from the quartz from getting into other machinery or getting breathed in by other personnel not wearing protective gear. If you do not have a designated workspace for this, it is best to cut quartz outside to maximise airflow.
Use a wet saw to reduce dust and create smoother cuts. Wet saws will spray water on the surface you’re cutting to minimalise the spread of dust, keeping you safer and the process tidier.
Wear protective eyewear to keep dust and small pieces of quartz from damaging your eyes. They will also ensure you have good visibility whilst cutting.
Wear a mask to ensure you don’t breathe in the dust and protect your lungs. When breathed in, fine quartz dust will do a lot of damage.
Use heavy-duty supports to secure the slabs of quartz before cutting. Quartz is extremely heavy and could cause serious injury if it falls on an arm or foot. You should use heavy-duty supports that are designed to hold quartz.
Work with a spotter to ensure no falling pieces put you at risk of injury. Spotters should help you secure your quartz slab, check all corners for placement, hold pieces to prevent slipping and provide an extra set of eyes.
Clean up quartz dust immediately after cutting. Fine particles of quartz have jagged edges that can tear up the lungs and be extremely dangerous if inhaled accidentally.
How to Cut Quartz
You will need to be familiar with two basic cuts before attempting to cut a quartz countertop- straight cuts and curved cuts. If you combine these cuts, you will end up with a seamless and smooth quartz countertop.
Standard countertops are often rectangular with straight edges, so you’ll only be required to make straight cuts in most cases. Depending on the size of the slab, you may need to use a stationary circular saw, or a manual plunge saw to ensure the job is as seamless as possible.
If you are not using these saws, here is the basic process of making a straight cut through quartz:
1. Mark and measure where you intend to cut.
2. Stabilise your slab and double-check its placement.
3. Attach a diamond saw blade to your saw of choice and set it to cut the appropriate depth.
4. Starting a few inches from the edge, plunge your circular saw into the quartz on the cutline, then push firmly forward once you’ve cut through the other side.
5. Cut through the end and allow the saw to stop entirely before lifting the blade.
6. Polish the rough-cut edge.
These are the most technically tricky type of cut. They may be needed to create more elegant countertop edges or cut-outs to accommodate sinks and appliances. Here are the basics for making a curved cut in quartz:
Using a template, mark where you intend to cut.
Stabilise your slab and double-check placement with a level.
Tape along the line of the curve.
Attach a diamond blade to a wet saw and set it to cut the appropriate length.
Beginning on the edge of the slab, make a straight cut half an inch from the curve until you have removed a piece. Continue making straight cuts until you have removed all excess material.
Cautiously, grind off the sharp edges created by the straight cuts, then grind the edge down as close to the tape as possible.
Polish the rough curved edge.
In most cases, it is best to leave this job in the hands of a professional. Because quartz is such a heavy material, the risk of injury is high if you do not have the proper support or take suitable precautions. There is also a plethora of equipment you’ll need, and if you don’t already have it to hand, it can be very pricey. If you require any more information, visit https://www.mrworktopfitter.co.uk/.