When it comes to setting up a countertop outside, one of the first things that you will probably end up deciding on is the material it is made from.
After all, a countertop that can’t last more than a few years out in the open and exposed to the elements isn’t exactly good value for money, is it?
This often means dismissing many kinds of wood in favor of materials like tiles, granite, and stainless steel. Or, if you’re feeling particularly fancy, use marble stone.
Their toughness means that they can usually stand up to most of the weather that you can expect from the great outdoors.
However, this does not mean that they are safe from all damage. There are still other effects besides rain, wind, and humidity that can affect a marble countertop. And one of those major factors is something that you can not do anything about: the sun.
In this guide, we will explain just how a marble countertop is affected by the sun, including how it fades under direct sunlight, as well as what care you can give your countertop to fix or prevent this from happening, as well as some other handy tips and tricks.
Can Sunlight Fade A Marble Countertop?
Before we get any further into this topic, we should probably answer the main question posed in the title of this piece: Can marble fade in sunlight?
Well, the truth is that yes, marble can fade.
The sun doesn’t just release visible light, but also a massive amount of rays that cannot be seen. One of them is Ultraviolet or UV rays. These are the waves that cause you to get sunburned when you do not have suncream on, and can even cause some people to develop skin cancer.
This same type of wave affects other objects too, such as marble. If given enough time (usually over several years), the UV rays from the sun can cause the color of the marble to fade on its surface, making it noticeably duller.
Effects To Consider For An Outdoor Marble Countertop
So, what other things can affect how well marble stands up to being used as a countertop stone?
Well, generally speaking, marble is, by its nature, an incredibly solid and durable stone that can stand up to many different aspects of the outdoors, from temperature changes to rain rolling right off of it.
However, there are a few things that can cause the marble to be damaged, but they mainly come from the household items that are used to clean it. Acidic cleaners and foods such as vinegar can all cause the marble to discolor and darken over time.
Types Of Marble, & Polished Marble
Generally speaking, like granite and other stone materials, marble can come in many varieties that have different qualities that can make them better or worse as a material. They can generally come in several forms, including a matte form, or a textured form
When it comes to countertop materials that you want to use outside, you should probably stay clear of polished varieties. Not only can they lose this alluring finishing layer very quickly, making them a chore to upkeep, but they can also be incredibly slipping surfaces.
Of course, this is a countertop, so you won’t have to worry about slipping on it too much, but it can be a pain to stop certain items from slipping on a polished marble countertop, especially if they have mildly acidic items like those we’ve mentioned
Can They Be Fixed?
So, with the picture that we’ve painted here, it can feel like marble is a disastrous material to use for a countertop, especially when used outdoors.
However, that is not the whole story. The truth is, many countertops, whether they’re made from granite, quartz, and marble, can all be affected by the outside elements if they aren’t taken care of and maintained.
Like with any other household item, with the right care, you’ll find that marble countertops can still be a magnificent material to have for your next piece of outdoor furnishing.
How To Care For Your Marble Countertop
This is a short list of the major steps that you can take to help keep your marble countertop in its beautiful, pristine condition.
Check With Your Fabricator
Before you do anything with your marble countertop, you’re going to want to check with the fabricator of your countertop first on their cutting and fabricating process beforehand.
Now, this sounds ridiculous, but you’re not asking the fabricator basic questions like ‘how long do you think this will last?’, but you’re making sure that they didn’t add any specific treatments to it, such as a resin treatment.
If it turns out that no special treatments were used in making your marble countertop, then that means that you can move to the next step in looking after your marble.
Correct Placement & Protection
A lot of thought goes into where you want your marble countertop to be placed. That’s practically half the fun!
However, you’ll need to keep this in mind if you’re looking to avoid damage from the sun’s UV rays.
Given that the sun is constantly moving throughout the day and year, this may prove a little difficult. In this case, make sure that you have an appropriately tough covering that you can lay over your countertop to avoid this effect.
Treatment Of Already Damaged Countertops
You may be in the group of people that have searched for this article because your countertop is already damaged, and you’re trying to find a way to prepare it.
(Not the greatest approach, but better late than never!)
Luckily, there might be a few ways that you can restore your countertop. If resins were not used, then a professional restoration job should be able to repolish or hone the stone underneath the immediate surface, making it look amazing again.
If resin was used, don’t worry. All that needs to be done is for whatever dye or chemical was used originally to be reapplied (again, by a professional. Do not try and do this for yourself!).
Closing Thoughts – Are Marble Countertops Worth It?
So, in the end, what would we say is the verdict on marble countertops?
Well, if they aren’t taken care of properly, it’s very easy to see how many people could conclude that marble countertops aren’t built to last.
But to this end, that is like saying that buying a car isn’t a good investment because it breaks down after three years of not getting it tested or checked. Of course, a big item like a marble countertop is going to start showing signs of wear and tear if you’re doing nothing to care for it!
Now, if you know what you need to do to help maintain that high-quality counter that you had your eyes on from day 1, then marble countertops are among some of the easiest materials to maintain.
Certainly more so than wood and tiles, which have a nasty habit of deteriorating and breaking after only a few years in the outdoors, even with proper care!
Still, we’d recommend staying away from the finely polished marble counters, unless it is being installed in a place that is well-sheltered from most outdoor elements outside.