Can I Restore Sun Damaged Quartz Countertops?

Sun damage on quartz countertops can occur over time from excessive UV ray exposure. While quartz is durable, it is not entirely impervious to sun damage. Thankfully, there are methods available to restore sun damaged quartz countertops and bring back their original beauty.

What Causes Sun Damage on Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops contain natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. Over time, the UV rays from sunlight can start to break down the resin binders in the countertop. This leads to a weathered, faded appearance. Areas of the countertop near windows are especially prone to sun damage.

The most common signs of sun damage on quartz countertops include:

  • Fading and discoloration – The original color dulls, and yellowish or whitish discoloration appears.
  • Chalky texture – The surface develops a coarse, chalky feel instead of the original sleek finish.
  • Micro-cracking – Fine cracks and crazing in the resin binder start to develop.
  • Loss of gloss – The countertop loses its polished, light-reflective sheen.

Without treatment, the damage can worsen over time and negatively impact the appearance and durability of the countertop.

Methods for Restoring Sun Damaged Quartz

Cleaning and Polishing

A thorough deep cleaning and re-polishing can help reduce signs of damage on mildly affected countertops. Use a granite cleaner and microfiber cloths followed by a quartz-specific polish to clean and add back minor surface gloss. For more ingrained chalkiness and etching, a more aggressive approach is needed.

Sanding and Re-Finishing

Lightly sanding the damaged areas with 400-600 grit sandpaper will remove the top chalky layer and some of the discoloration. Stop sanding once the original gloss level is revealed. After thoroughly cleaning up all sanding dust, re-apply quartz sealer and polish to the sanded areas. This helps blend the refinished sections into the rest of the countertop.

Heat Treatment

For more severe sun damage, carefully moving a blow torch over the affected areas can re-harden and restore the quartz resin binder. Slowly pass the torch 2-3 inches above the surface while wearing a respirator mask. Then polish the treated areas. This takes practice and risks further damage if done incorrectly. Consider hiring a pro.

Professional Resurfacing

Quartz countertop professionals have access to specialized tools like orbital sanders and heat guns to re-finish damaged surfaces. This yields superior results to DIY methods. They’ll regrind down the top layer and expose fresh quartz, then polish and seal the surface to look like new.

Countertop Replacement

For countertops with extensive, irreparable sun damage, a full replacement may be the only option. Thankfully, quartz is non-porous and hygienic, so replacement doesn’t necessarily mean a whole kitchen remodel. Just the damaged tops can be swapped out. Be sure to choose a more sun-resistant quartz variety when selecting a replacement.

Preventing Further Sun Damage

Once your quartz countertops are restored, take steps to prevent recurrent sun damage:

  • Use window treatments – Blinds, shades, or drapes over sunlight-facing windows will block UV rays.
  • Re-seal annually – Reapply quartz sealer every year to reinforce the resin binder.
  • Avoid direct sunlight – Minimize exposing the countertops to direct sunlight whenever possible.
  • Consider new quartz variety – If replacing, select an engineered quartz made with UV-resistant resins.
  • Rotate hot pots/pans – Don’t leave hot cookware in sunny areas for extended time.

With proper care, it is possible to erase and prevent signs of sun damage on quartz, helping your countertops look as good as new for years to come. Be sure to address any issues early before the damage has a chance to become severe.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restoring Sun Damaged Quartz Countertops

Can I polish out sun damage on my quartz myself?

Minor sun damage like loss of gloss and slight discoloration can potentially be polished out using quartz polish and microfiber cloths. But be careful not to damage the surface. For anything beyond minor fading, it’s best to hire a professional.

How much does it cost to resurface a sun damaged quartz countertop?

Professional resurfacing typically costs $50 – $150 per linear foot. The final price depends on the severity of damage, color/pattern, and the overall size of the countertop.

Should I wax my quartz countertops to protect them from sun damage?

No, wax should not be used on quartz. It leaves behind a coating that dulls the surface. Instead, use a quartz-specific sealer, which soaks into the material for protection without changing the finish. Reapply sealer annually.

Can sun damage on a quartz countertop be patched instead of refinishing the whole surface?

It is possible to just sand and refinish isolated damaged spots instead of the entire countertop. However, this risks creating an uneven appearance. Whole surface refinishing provides the most seamless, uniform results.

Is sun damage on quartz countertops permanent?

It is not permanent if treated early. But if left untreated for years, deep-set discoloration and etching can become too severe to fully remove. Addressing any signs of early damage will give the best restoration results.


While no countertop material is fully immune to sun damage, quartz can typically be restored with the right approach. Minor sun damage like fading may be reversible with DIY cleaning and polishing. More extensive damage requires professional refinishing or replacement. To get your sun-damaged quartz countertops looking like new again, be sure to address any issues immediately before they have the chance to worsen. With proper maintenance and sunlight avoidance, you can minimize sun damage problems going forward.