Polished Marble Vanity Etched or Stained?

by Ruth
(Puyallup, WA)


I recently purchased two beautiful cabinets with black marble vanity tops.

The master bath is beautiful but the hallway's looks dirty.

I never took notice it when it arrived because I thought it was dust but after the install went to clean it with just water and a cloth and it looks like a smear is in the back where the faucets attach.

And I see some spots to the right of the sink.

It is too late to return and I am not sure if it is possible to fix and what caused it.


Thanks for the picture. That usually helps, however, I can't see clearly enough to determine what the problem may be.

I do see the "smear" and it really doesn't look like either marble etching or staining. And the stone doesn't look like marble... looks much more like granite or quartz. But again, I can't see it clearly enough.

If it is etching it will be dull and a bit lighter than the surrounding surface.

And stains will produce a darker spot.

I can't tell from the picture if the smear is darker or lighter and you didn't mention if you notice dullness.

What is really unusual though is that the smear seems to contain a weird pattern variation.

If you look at the pattern in general it is pretty uniform speckled.

However, the smeared area exhibits a line or band of speckles. Odd.

If quartz, it could be a manufacturing defect. If natural stone, it could simply be a pattern variation, but unusual to follow the smeared blemish.

I'd say return it if you can. If you can't then you need to make certain the type of surface (marble, granite, quartz) and then diagnose if the spot is darker, lighter, dull or anything else that pops out.

If/when you can make a positive determination, then consult the appropriate Granite & Marble maintenance e-book.

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more info
by: Anonymous

They called it marble and when I look at pictures on line it looks like black marble and granite but not quarts. The stone is black with shiny speckles in it. In the center of the smear it looks light and on the outside it looks darker. Also, to the right of the sink (not pictured) you can see visible lighter dots that look like something splashed. When you look at the area from above it it is not truly dull looking but the sparkles from the stone are not present. Maybe we were cheated and it is not real? Here is a link from where we bought it.


Thanks a bunch. It cannot be returned and it will drive me nuts!

More info- vanity smear
by: Ryan

Well, I looked at the link and they advertise this as marble, but it isn't like any marble I'm aware of and looks exactly like granite. And quartz is made to look like a granite with uniform pattern, so quartz is a possibility, but almost certainly not through the vendor you purchased from.

Here are the possibilities:

1. It's just part of the pattern. It stands out because the rest is fairly uniform, but patterns can have wide variations and random formations.

2. However, the light colored center areas you describe sound just like etching. Now granite can etch, but usually only with very strong acids that simply aren't commonly in a home. So for all intents and purposed granite doesn't etch.... unless there is something on the surface that is etching.

A too common problem with granites coming out of China and India is "doctoring" where they apply a type of dye to make a gray stone look more black. Doctored stones will etch.

If so, you must strip the dye stuff off the surface using methylene chloride solvent. This will leave you with a lighter-colored stone, but it shouldn't etch anymore.

The fact that the smear is so unusual with the light center and darker edges makes me think it has to do with doctoring.

3. A sealer has been applied and residue is still on the surface. Sealer on the surface can etch, but the weird smear thing doesn't jibe to well with this explanation.

4. Rarely a temporary wax is applied to a stone for a bit of protection and this can act like doctoring and etch.

5. And also rare, it could be a granite that has some calcite (like marble) and etches more easily, but again very rare.

I'd suggest trying to remove whatever is on the surface with the MC solvent.

found an answer no what to do
by: Anonymous

I did e-mail them and they forwarded it to the maker and they said it is not marble and is a "granite type stone" which I am certain is doctored. Have you ever used Uniblack 1 and 2? I put a sealer on it already and I know it would have to wear off before I try to restain. I tested the surface and put water droplets on it. They balled up and sat on the surface. THey did leave dark rings where they dried, though...is that normal? If it has been etched can you repair etching? I am sure you have heard this a lot about doctored stone. Also, we have another counter that is probably the same. Any ideas about maintenance so that it doesn't fade/etch?


Using uniblack is doctoring.

You have to strip whatever is on the surface off. It's that surface substance that is etching. Remove that and no more etching. Leave it on and it will continue to etch.

But yes, etching can always be repaired. It's simply a matter of re-finishing the surface. A pro would need to do that though.

The water balling means almost nothing. water will ball up on any polished stone for a little while. You have to time how long it takes for the water to absorb and turn the stone dark to see how absorbent it is and/or how well it is sealed.

Dark rings are just where water has absorbed. The rings will (should) go away once water has evaporated.

You'll find all this info on our site under "sealing".

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