Do Granite Countertops Fade? [Learn The Effects of Sun]

do granite countertops fade

Granite is one of the most durable and desirable materials for kitchen countertops. It can not only enhance the look of your home, but will also give you a beautiful surface to work on when cooking and baking.

The simple answer is yes, but it could take many years and there are many factors to consider.

Let’s explore these in more detail.

Ultra-Violet Rays From The Sun

As you are most likely aware, direct sunlight causes fading in almost anything. Therefore, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause your granite countertops to fade over time.

This is more prevalent if you have granite counters outside though. For instance, you may have an outdoor kitchen setup around your barbecue and entertaining area.

If this is the case, you might consider covering the counters when not in use to protect them from the harsh rays of the sun. Especially if you live in a hot climate.

Inside kitchen countertops are not as prone to fading though. This is because your windows will stop many of the harmful UV-rays from hitting your counters. However, if you have a very bright kitchen with a lot of sunlight coming in over a large part of the day, there are things you can do to prevent fading.

We’ll discuss this in more detail later.

Color Enhanced Granite Countertops

Some imported granite countertops are treated with dyes to give them a more pleasing color. This can be especially true for black granite such as Black Galaxy, Absolute Black and Zimbabwe Black.

These dyes can include natural products such as linseed oil and charcoal. This effectively darkens the granite to give it a more appealing color. In these counters, fading will occur when the oils and dyes are removed through cleaning.

Even using just soap and water can easily remove these dyes over time.

How Can You Tell If Your Granite Countertops Have Had Dyes Added?

There are a couple of simple tests that you can do to see whether your countertops have been dyed.

  1. With a clean white cloth, apply a small amount of acetone to an inconspicuous area of your countertop. If you can see some black residue on the cloth, then you’ll know that your granite has been dyed.
  2. Using another clean white cloth, apply a small amount of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) to another inconspicuous area of your granite countertop. Once again, if you notice any color transfer on the cloth, you’ll know that your granite has been dyed.

If you do establish that your granite has been dyed, then the only way to restore the color is to re-dye the granite.

Added Resins Can Also Fade Over Time

Another thing to consider is that some granite slabs are treated with resins. These both enhance the color of the granite and reinforce any microfissures in the surface of the stone.

These resins can be vulnerable to fading from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Plus, they may also break down over time, causing a coloration change in your countertops.

Are Your Countertops Looking Duller?

Over time, you might notice that your countertops are looking duller than they used to. The reason for this is that the sealant that was originally applied has started to wear away. This is very common and can take anywhere from one to several years.

If you notice that water doesn’t bead on the surface of your counters, it means that the sealer has started to wear away. The water may even start to stain your granite, making it darker in certain spots.

The best way to deal with this is to reseal your counters to give them that added protection. You can either do this yourself or get a professional in to do the job for you.

Things You Can Do To Prevent Your Granite Countertops From Fading

Preserving the look and durability of your granite countertops is important. There are certain things that you can do to ensure your counters continue to look their best for years to come.

  1. Make sure you keep your countertops clean. Wipe up any spills immediately and try and keep your countertops as dry as possible at all times. Certain acidic foods will eat into the sealer and cause it to deteriorate. Once this happens, these acid foods will absorb into the granite and stain the surface.
  2. Keep the blinds closed on hot, sunny days. Reducing the amount of sunlight that hits your counters during the day will reduce any possibility of fading. So, remember to close the blinds during the hottest and brightest part of the day.
  3. Ensure that you replace the sealer. Once your countertops start to appear a little duller than normal, it’s time to reapply a sealer to the surface. This is the best thing you can do to ensure your granite stays protected from both sunlight and food spills.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long do granite counter last?

According to experts in the industry, granite countertops can last at least 100 years or more.

Does granite change color over time?

Because granite is porous, it can absorb food stains if it’s not sealed. Therefore, granite countertops can become darker over time.

Why is my granite discoloring?

Sealed granite is generally resistant to staining. Therefore, discoloration may occur if the countertop is exposed for a long time to strong ultraviolet rays and/or extreme heat.

Final Thoughts

Installing granite countertops in your home is a great investment. But, like with any other material, it does take some care to ensure that your counters retain their value over time.

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can eventually fade the granite. But, this can take many years. The best idea is to limit the exposure your counters have to UV rays by closing the blinds during the hottest times of the day.

Also, make sure that you replace the sealer when it has started to wear away. This will not only protect the surface of the granite but will also help prevent any fading from exposure to sunlight.

Have you noticed your granite countertops starting to fade? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.