Gritty Coating On New Granite


I just had Santa Cecelia Gold granite countertops installed in my kitchen, with a tumbled travertine backsplash.

I've noticed a fine gritty coating on the granite countertops, and even though I keep wiping down the surface, the grit is back the next day!

The grit is also on the kitchen island, where there is no backsplash.

My installer sealed both the granite and the backsplash. What could be causing this, and what should I do? Thank you!


I hate to tell you, but most likely you simply have a low-grade slab. Granite slabs can be graded based on the quality of the stone.

Poor quality slabs can be less durable or structurally sound with an inconsistent surface finish.

Resins are often applied at the factory to the surface of the slab in order to remedy such issues, fill voids, and add strength and stability to the granite.

Resining is a normal procedure, but it is not done to every slab.

It really shouldn't happen, but poor-quality slabs sometimes slip into the marketplace. These could be used for outdoor installations, but no good as a countertop.

For this reason, it is very important to inspect and choose the exact slabs that will be installed for all stone countertops or any project.

Backsplash grout can also cause grit on granite countertops when newly installed. Specks of grout will flake or pop off until fully cured. This would only occur for a few days right after install.

As you note, the grittiness is felt on kitchen island too (no backsplash) so the only answer is a poor grade granite slab that was not resined.

Grit on Granite Countertop Solutions

Honestly, no "good" solution exists, but you do have some options.

Replacement. If the fabricator picked out this slab for you, then you could simply demand it be replaced. If so, then hopefully you haven't made the last payment and have some leverage.

However, if you picked out the slab, it'll be hard to make the fabricator take the fall. A fabricator should certainly alert the client to any issues with the slab, so he/she is still a bit at fault.

Unfortunately, the industry is not regulated very well to guard against this.

Apply a resin or coating. You may be able to find a fabricator that can apply a resin or permanent topical coating to help bind the surface better.

But you'll want one very experienced and knowledgeable about this procedure and the products used.

As you've discovered applying a granite sealer has no effect on the grittiness. Impregnating sealers do not bind or coat the surface. Sealers absorb into the surface and work to prevent staining only.

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Gritty granite
by: Anonymous

I have Costa rose granite. It is brand new and extremely gritty! Wish I never bought it.

Grit on New Bathroom Countertop
by: Anonymous

We too are having grit on out new bathroom granite countertops. We have cleaned and polished and it still comes back. Any suggestions?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Gritty granite countertops is almost never a cleaning or polishing issue.

Sometimes grit comes from the grout flaking a little on a newly installed backsplash over a countertop. Probably not the deal in your case... as it rarely is.

Usually, grit on granite countertops is because the installed slab is of a somewhat loose composition or poor quality that was never resined.

Such slabs can be fine if a resin is applied (to fill voids and help strengthen and bind the surface) at the factory.

As noted in the article above, you need to find a stone care pro that can apply a resin or look into having a permanent topical coating applied.

Most coatings come with their own maintenance and durability issues that make a surface coating undesirable for general use, but in some cases, it's the best solution to handle an annoying problem with no other viable solution... like grit constantly on the surface.

If you go this route, I'd test the coating on a small area first to see if it is effective.

Grit 9 Years After Install
by: Anonymous

We installed our granite counter tops abut 9 years ago. All of a sudden, I have noticed grit on them.

At first I thought it was dust from an open window.

We have new cleaning people and I wonder if it is due to the granite products they are using. Is this possible? Thanks for any help.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Well, I won't say it is impossible, but highly unlikely that your new cleaning crew is using products so potent that the surface integrity of the granite countertop has been destroyed.

Grit on granite countertops is a phenomena typically notice immediately after install. Either from grout particles from a new backsplash dropping onto the countertop or from the granite itself that was not resined or just a poor quality slab.

If your granite countertop was in perfect, smooth and shiny condition for 9 years, then the grit is likely originating from something else.

This is particularly true if the countertops still look smooth and shiny... no apparent damage. Investigate other sources like cabinets, ceiling, attic, etc.

Outvoted Again
by: Anonymous

Wanted Formica counter tops. Got out voted by wife -- she opted for granite. Now the tops are always gritty. Thought you'd like a laugh.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Oh no! I'm not laughing. It's a bummer that this happens. But honestly, this usually occurs when the homeowner does not inspect and choose the exact slabs to be installed.

If recently installed with a tile backsplash, the grittiness could be due to grout flaking off from the backsplash.

Still gritty
by: Lou

So..what is one to do? After a complete kitchen remodel and monitoring the grit for 3 months it's still evident?

What solutions does one have.... Do I live with this? Demand new granite.... Other than being a nuisance are there any other ways to deal with this? So frustrated!

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

This is a tough one to deal with since no... there are no good solutions.

As the above article noted, if your fabricator picked out the slab (i.e. you chose a color from a sample vs. picking out the exact slab), then you certainly have a reason to complain to the fabricator and demand a replacement.

This can occur so it is "normal" in that sense, but gritty granite slabs should not be installed.

The fabricator would certainly know this was a bad slab prior to installation. But low-quality slabs are much cheaper for the fabricator to buy.

Typically, these slabs were poor quality and not resined (common and acceptable procedure for many slabs) to fill voids, bind the surface and strengthen the slab.

The only other option would be to consider having a permanent coating applied to the surface.

This will largely solve the grit problem, but careful which coating you choose because you will have to maintain the coating.

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Gritty Granite

by Kathy
(Cheektowaga, NY)


We recently had New Venetian Gold granite countertops installed in our bathroom. It feels very gritty.

I've cleaned it with SCI countertop spray cleaner and sealed it with SCI granite sealer.

It still feels gritty! Why and what can I do to get rid of it?


Unfortunately, you most likely have a low-grade granite slab and there's nothing you can do to stop the grittiness.

The gold-toned granites tend to have a greater occurrence of grittiness. Giallo Veneziano, Santa Cecilia, and similar granite colors more commonly have this grit issue.

That is not to say these colors should be avoided. Santa Cecilia is extremely popular and most slabs are perfectly fine.

What this does mean is that all stone buyers should pick out the specific slab they intend to purchase and not let a designer, stone salesman, or fabricator choose.

I wish I could tell you exactly why this happens, but I'm not a geologist. Essentially the slab is slowly decomposing simply because the integrity of the slab, the binding of minerals (which happened in the earth a gazillion years ago) is poor.

This slab was run through a giant granite polishing machine, but such slabs cannot be polished well. The surface just won't hold up to achieve that ultra smooth glossy finish.

Granite slabs are graded (and priced) based on such qualities and some shady dealers will buy this type of slab to increase profit margin.

If a fabricator picked out the slab for you, then you may have some recourse for replacement. Otherwise, not much you can do unless you want to apply some type of permanent topical coating like from Aldon, Kinloch, Clearstone or others.

Permanent topical coatings typically are not recommended for stone (doesn't let stone breath properly and can create additional maintenance and repair issues).

The manufacturers make it sound great... like they are a revolutionary improvement, etc.... but when all is considered it's better to leave stone alone as much as possible. However, coatings are making vast improvements in performance.

Coating maintenance is an important consideration. Once you apply a permanent coating you now have an acrylic or epoxy surface to maintain instead of a granite countertop.

However, in your case, it may be the best option.

Sealing won't affect this at all.... completely unrelated issue. Impregnating sealers like the one you applied work below the surface. They don't form an impenetrable shell or encapsulate the granite because again, that's not good for the stone.

A topical coating or resin, on the other hand, will form a film adhering to the surface and creating a physical barrier.

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Grit On My Granite Countertop

by Darrell Turner
(Blufftonn, S.C.)


I don't know if I need a sealer or a good granite cleaner or both for my granite counter of 6 months old.

It appears my brown speckled granite counter always has grit on the surface within a day or so after I clean it. Not sure it is from the air or from the granite countertops. Any suggestions?


Grit on granite countertops is usually due to a low-grade / poor quality slab that cannot be fully polished.

All the mineral grains of the granite will continue to flake off.

Your options are to replace the countertop or apply a permanent topical coating to bind the granite surface.

Replacement is expensive, but the better option from a long-term performance standpoint. Granite is far easier to maintain than a coating.

Coatings are not necessarily cheap, though. Certified technicians are typically needed to apply the best coatings and then it's the coating that must be maintained which has it's own drawbacks.

Grit on granite countertops will make you pull your hair out. It's disappointing to have this happen in the first place, but even worse is that none of the remedies is really desirable.

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Grit on countertop granite
by: Anonymous

I have grit on my counter top in the same way even several years later.

I am sure that it is mica or other stone coming out of the surface of the stone.

Hate it and wished I had chosen another product like Silestone or Zodiac. Installer is like the other responder and acts like this is a shock.

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

It's important to understand that this issue is very rare and easily avoidable by inspecting and picking out the exact slab for purchase yourself.

If you simply pick granite color from a sample then the installer is free to choose the slab and will choose the least expensive one.

Only a couple varieties of granite have this issue and even then it's only a small percentage of slabs.

grit on slab surface
by: Anonymous

I have been installing and I am a journeyman Marble and Stone Mason since 1983, as well as a licensed Contractor for 14 years. I have never heard of this situation.

I would state that there is nothing else but slab deterioration that would cause such a situation.

I have a question...Is the polish when looking at light reflection even and still shining like a mirror?

If not, I would guess that the surface of the slab is crumbling.

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