Natural stone countertops are an excellent choice, whether it’s for your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or otherwise. Quartz offers a beautiful, timeless elegance that matches many different aesthetic preferences. In addition to its unique appearance, quartz is highly durable, making it a popular pick for many homes.
However, while the durability is excellent in the long run, it can make cutting holes for various fixtures quite a chore. You need to be careful with how you approach the project, as any mistakes are costly. If you’re looking for a guide, we’re here to walk you through the process, so stick around to learn more!
How Difficult Is It To Cut Quartz Countertops?
The answer to this question is technically yes and no. Why? If you’re a skilled DIYer, this project will probably be a walk in the park. However, if you’re unfamiliar with projects like this one, you might have a tough time finishing it.
If you’re inexperienced with these types of projects, we recommend enlisting the help of a skilled professional. Generally, this will cost anywhere from $75 to $150 to have the hole cut.
Additionally, suppose you don’t have the proper tools and materials necessary to cut a hole in your quartz countertop. In that case, it might be better to have a professional do it for you. That way, you won’t be spending money on tools you’ll only use once or twice. If you’re an avid DIYer, you might already have the tools.
How Do You Cut A Hole In A Quartz Countertop For A Sink?
Once you commit to cutting the hole in your quartz countertops yourself, there are a few things you’ll need. The process shouldn’t take too long, but it’s essential to do it right the first time. You can always take away more material, but you can’t put it back.
So, take your time and double-check your measurements before cutting. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Grease marker
- Protective eyewear
- Retractable measuring tape
- Leveler or straight edge
- Diamond saw blade
- Painter’s tape (optional)
- Straight edge
- Angle grinder
- Plunge saw
Measure The Countertop
Before you start slicing the countertop, measure the surface area where your countertop will go. Using the retractable measuring tape, measure the length and width of the countertop. Create a reference sketch on a piece of paper, marking each of your measurements for reference later on.
Generally, quartz countertops feature a slight overhang. They usually aren’t flush with the cabinets. If they are flush, you don’t need to add any extra length. If they have an overhang, add the extra length to your measurements. Usually, the overhang in front of a kitchen sink is about 1.5 inches on average.
Mark The Cabinets
Next, you need to mark the cabinets. Mark the location of the sink on the cabinet below with a marker. You’ll need the sink to line up perfectly with the water lines underneath your cabinet, so make sure you measure accurately.
Measure the dimension of your sink, then draw lines on the top portion of the cabinet where the sink will go. By doing this, you can easily check the orientation and alignment of the countertop, sink, and water lines before affixing the counter. Note these measurements on your piece of paper.
Create A Template
Some kitchen sinks come with a template that makes installation much more straightforward. If so, use this to create an outline on the quartz to help you cut. If it didn’t come with a template, create your own using strips of balsa wood or rigid cardboard.
Lay them along the edges of the existing countertop, ensuring the edges line up precisely. Use hot-glue to connect the pieces, then let the glue dry. Once the glue dries, lift up the template and lay it on top of the quartz.
Remember – if you’re installing a drop-in sink, don’t measure to the edge of the sink’s rim. The rim needs to rest on the countertops, so you need to cut a hole just large enough to fit the sink.
Set Up The Countertop
Place the quartz countertop upside-down on a stable surface. Generally, a cutting table capable of handling the counter’s weight is best, but two sawhorses will do the trick as well. Make sure they’re plenty sturdy enough to handle the weight of the quartz.
Use the underside to cut from, as this will hide any visible grease markings left over when you’re done. Additionally, it’ll hide any scratches or scuffs on the surface if the cut isn’t perfectly smooth underneath. If you’re installing a drop-in sink, the cut doesn’t have to be perfect, but an undermount sink will put the cuts on full display, so make sure they’re square.
Using the grease marker and a straight edge, mark all of your cuts. Lay the template in the proper place, then carefully trace along the edge. After you finish tracing, remove the template and double-check your measurements and the placement and orientation of the sink hole.
Don Your Safety Gear
Now, put on your protective gear. Eyewear and a respirator are necessary for this project, as dust and flying particles could get into your eyes, nose, and mouth. The dust created when you cut quartz can be toxic, so make sure you wear protective gear.
In addition, work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Ensure there aren’t any kids or pets in the close vicinity, as you don’t want them to be exposed to the dust.
Prep The Guide Rail And Saw
Set up the guide rail for cutting with your plunge saw. Set up the guide rail on the top of the sink cutout guideline. Secure the guide rail to the stone with clamps if you’d like, but generally, they’re designed to rest independently.
The guide rail will have an opening in the middle to see the grease marks you made. If the sink has rounded corners, you won’t be able to use the plunge saw for the whole process. So, use painter’s tape to mark the edges where you’ll cut, then set up the guide rail to cut a square out of the middle of the sink outline.
Next, line up the back of your saw blade with the corner of your sink’s outline. There should be a slot or marker on the side of your saw where it ends in the back. Release it all the way, so it doesn’t stick out through your base plate. Then, line up the corner of the sink with this line.
Make The Cut
Secure the plunge saw to the guide rail and lock it into place (if it has a locking mechanism). Drop the saw slowly, then begin to guide it forward. Use both hands to lower the blade into the quartz. Slowly guide the blade forward, then stop once you reach the corner where the next side starts.
Repeat the process for each side of the sink. If the sink has round edges, do the same process, but cut a smaller square in the center of the outline. Once you finish cutting the fourth side, make sure you keep your feet out of the way when the stone drops to the floor.
Using an angle grinder, work away excess quartz you missed with the plunge saw. Make sure to use a diamond blade and wear your protective gear. If you have a sink with rounded corners, this is how you can remove the excess.
Hold the grinder with two hands and slowly work through the excess by keeping it flat and parallel to the inside edge.