Matching Different Granite Slab Colors

QUESTION:

I recently got 3 slabs of tropical brown prefabbed granite for kitchen countertops.


We didn't notice that one granite countertop slab was actually lighter in color until they were installed.

The store where we purchased it sold us a "color enhancer/sealer" and said that would bring the colors closer together, and seal it. Well, after I applied it I read the label and it said "not for polished" granite.

So, I called him back, he wasn't aware it wasn't for polished granite. He called the maker of the sealer, and they said it wouldn't hurt the granite, but it wouldn't seal it either.

I needed a different type of sealer. When the product was first applied, it appeared that the color was going to match up, but after several days it is back to the original lighter shade.

Do you know if I can do anything to bring the granite countertop slab colors closer to matching and what sealer will actually penetrate polished granite?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

ANSWER:

My recommendation is to have them rip it out and do a better job matching the slabs!

Now, since granite is natural every slab is unique and as you've seen even the exact same variety can vary in color.... but really....

Usually it is not a problem to find and match two or three slabs.

The rub is if you personally chose these exact three slabs prior to installation. If you did and didn't notice the difference in color, then of course it's on you except your salesperson should have pointed this out.

So honestly, the more I think about it... I'd raise hell with them. First, they don't make sure you have matching slabs and then they make you buy a product that has no effect so you can try and cover their mistake for them. No way.

Unless there are some weird extenuating circumstances here that make it unlikely for you to protest, I think they have to take some responsibility.

You spent way to much on this granite countertop job to have to patch it up from the get go.

You said you had them "pre-fabbed." Not sure what you mean. All slabs are fabricated before they arrive at your house.

Anyway, as for "color-enhancing sealers"... they are designed to darken and give that "wet look" to UN-polished stones.

Raw stone is dull. Look at your slab under the edges and you'll see. You can see colors, but they often look dusty or drab. Polishing changes the reflectivity of the stone so what once looked dull suddenly is very vibrant and shiny.

And that is what enhancers do too.

In other words, polished granite countertops already have the "wet look" so applying an "enhancer" really has no effect.

Now some companies make topical coatings (not impregnating sealers) that can change the look, or increase the gloss, but they can be unpredictable and may not change the color.

But really, if you are in a position to do so, you should get the job re-done. Helping you pick out and match the granite countertop slabs is their job.

At the very least they can take the left overs from the two slabs that match and use those to find a better candidate for the third slab. Rip out and replace the third/non-matching slab.

Plus Tropical Brown granite is not typically real absorbent and could be difficult to seal or use get an enhancer to absorb enough.

I know this is not an entirely satisfying answer if you are stuck with the enhancer route, however this situation doesn't really have a good or proven solution. Need to take it case by case.

I'd be curious to know if it works or what happens. Let me know via the comments link at the bottom.

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Not a discount job
by: Anonymous

I'm in the middle of a major kitchen remodel and the granite slabs don't match.

I have a 12' island that needed to have a seam.The 2 pieces that were seamed together don't match. One is dark, one is noticeably lighter.

The first time they tried to install the large part of the counter top, the hole for the sink was in the wrong place so it had to be removed and a new piece was installed.

They swear the new counter top and the small piece that are seamed together are from the same slab.

I say BS. I think they're lying b/c they messed up the first time and had to eat the first counter top. The contractor says I need to go find a piece that matches the larger piece NOT the color I picked out originally.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Bummer... yes, your assessment is likely correct. The contractor is trying to make something work to fix their mistake on the sink without losing a bunch on the job.

The second piece may in fact be from the same slab since color can vary a lot from one section to the next. Regardless if the same or a different one, it doesn't match the neighboring slab and that won't work.

It would be a good idea for you to take a sample of the installed slab (that you like) and go find a piece that matches. Better you than them. Of course, the contractor should pay for it.... should not be an extra charge to you.

And of course, don't pay the remaining balance on the granite installation until you are satisfied.

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Ahhh... That's a Tough one
by: Ryan

TTennis,

I truly hope Dry Treat can help you. I bet you are a bit bummed and frustrated. Hopefully you aren't beating up hubby too bad.

I'm sure he is an excellent handyman and can probably build and fix all kinds of things, but installing full granite slabs really requires a good deal of experience and that's why we recommend that people just forget the idea of DIY for granite countertops.

There's just too many steps where things can go wrong and when they do it's very difficult to fix them without just starting over.


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Variations in granite slabs
by: TTennis

Well, here's where the problem lies. The slabs were purchased from Tile Outlet, and by prefab, they were standard sizes that you or a contractor cut yourself for your countertops. They were pretty dirty/dusty from being cut, so the color difference was not noticed until they were installed and cleaned off. My husband did the install- as he does construction for the Navy. Since the owner of the store couldn't even sell me the right sealer or know which one could be used, I really doubt he even looked to see that the colors were matching when he picked them up from where ever he gets them. So I don't know how much ground we actually have on getting the one slab replaced since we already cut it. I guess that's what you get when you try to save money and do it yourself. A costly mistake on our part. I sent an email to the company you suggested. I'll let you know when they reply. Thank you.




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