Do Quartz Countertops Yellow Over Time?

Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, ease of maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, some homeowners have noticed that their quartz counters seem to yellow or discolor slightly over time. Here is an in-depth look at whether quartz countertops yellow over time and what causes it.

What Is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The quartz makes up over 90% of the material. Unlike natural stone counters like granite and marble, quartz is non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains and heat.

Quartz counters are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. The resin binds the quartz particles together and allows more flexibility in design compared to natural stone. This combination of quartz and resin is what gives quartz counters their renowned durability.

Do Quartz Countertops Yellow Over Time?

Quartz counters can experience a slight yellowing over an extended period of time. However, this discoloration is minor compared to natural stone. The yellowing occurs gradually over 5-10 years in most cases.

The amount of yellowing depends on these factors:

  • Sunlight exposure – Direct sunlight causes the most discoloration on quartz counters. Sunlight can break down the resin and alter the pigments.
  • Quality of quartz – Lower quality quartz contains less quartz and more resin/pigments. These cheaper counters yellow more over time.
  • Darker colors – Darker quartz counters like black, brown and deep red will show yellowing more than light colors. The contrast makes it more noticeable.
  • Cooking – Grease and food spills can stain quartz and contribute to yellowing when not cleaned thoroughly.

Overall, the yellowing is minor and occurs slowly. For the first 5 years, it may not be noticeable at all. Proper care can minimize discoloration.

What Causes Quartz Countertops to Yellow?

There are a few reasons why quartz counters can develop a yellowish tint over time:

1. Reaction to UV Rays

The biggest contributor to yellowing quartz is exposure to UV rays from sunlight. The UV rays break down the resin used to bind the quartz particles together. This resin damage causes the color to shift to a yellowish hue.

Direct sunlight hitting the counters speeds up the reaction. Quartz in kitchens with windows and skylights will yellow faster than other areas.

2. Inferior Quality Materials

Lower-priced quartz often contains less actual quartz and more resin and dyes. The higher ratio of resin leads to more noticeable yellowing over time. Sticking with high-quality brands like Caesarstone and Cambria provides more UV-resistant materials.

3. Oxidation

Oxidation is another process that can yellow quartz. As oxygen in the air interacts with the material, subtle color changes happen. Cleaning chemicals and spills expedite the oxidation. This is why prompt cleanup of spills prevents stains.

4. Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear chips away at the surface over many years. This gradually exposes more of the resin which has turned yellow underneath. Any damage or etching accelerates this process. Using cutting boards and avoiding abrasive cleaners preserves the surface.

How to Prevent Quartz From Yellowing

While some yellowing is inevitable, you can minimize it by caring for your quartz properly:

  • Place UV-protectant film on windows to filter sunlight hitting the counters.
  • Immediately wipe up food or liquid spills to prevent stains.
  • Avoid using lemon juice, vinegar, bleach or abrasive cleaners. Use only pH-neutral cleaners made for quartz.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer made for engineered stone.
  • Don’t place hot pans directly on quartz counters. Always use trivets.
  • Cut only on cutting boards, not directly on the counter.
  • Inspect counters and repolish any etched/damaged areas to prevent excessive wear.

With proper care, your quartz counters should stay looking bright and vibrant for over a decade. If some slight yellowing does occur after 5-10 years, a professional quartz restoration service can successfully remove the discoloration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the whole quartz counter turn yellow or just sections?

Usually just sections of the counter will develop slight yellowing, not the entire surface. Areas near windows and sinks tend to yellow first since they get more sunlight and use.

What’s the best way to clean a yellowed quartz countertop?

Quartz cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide can help remove some discoloration. Avoid bleach or alkaline cleaners which worsen yellowing. For heavy stains, professional quartz restoration is recommended.

Do white quartz counters turn yellow?

White and very light quartz colors will show yellowing the most over time since it contrasts with the white surface. Darker colors hide yellowing better. But all colors are susceptible with enough sunlight exposure.

Does sealing quartz prevent yellowing?

Sealing alone doesn’t prevent yellowing, but it will slow the process. Combined with other care like UV protection and gentle cleaning, sealing helps maintain the original color longer.

Should I replace my 10 year old yellowed quartz countertop?

If the yellowing is minor, professional restoration is usually better than replacement since the counters are structurally still in good shape. For severely discolored counters, replacement may be better.


Some yellowing of quartz countertops can occur many years after installation due to sun exposure, inferior materials, and wear. But by caring for your counters properly and using quartz-safe cleaning methods, you can keep your counters looking bright white for over a decade. Professional restoration can also renew counters with moderate yellowing. With the right care, quartz countertops remain a durable and vibrant option for kitchens and baths.