Cracked 2 cm Granite Countertop
and Support Underneath

Cracked Granite Repair Advice & Solutions

Cracked Granite Repair Advice & Solutions

QUESTION:

We just recently had 2 cm granite counter tops installed. The color is Santa Cecilia.

We found a crack in the granite in the corner. The crack goes from one wall of the corner to the other.

Not too noticeable since it is in the corner and blends well, but we are concerned about any additional problems it might cause.

My husband also realized that there is no plywood support underneath the countertops, which really raises more concern for us at this point.

Could the lack of plywood support be the reason for this crack and should we insist that they come back and reinstall with plywood?

ANSWER:

Certainly you should have the installers return to assess the damage and, if needed, mend the granite crack. Although, your installer may not be the best one for the job.

An experienced granite repair specialist is preferred for cracks. A person who has made such repairs before knows the products and methods required and won't be experimenting or learning as they go.

Cracks in granite are repaired first by filling with an acrylic or using a color-matched epoxy to glue the pieces back together. The choice here depends on the nature and severity of the crack.

Either way the crack will remain easily visible and palpable unless the surface is then re-polished.

Filling or gluing the crack together could be a DIY job, however, re-finishing the surface definitely is not a DIY project.

Polishing granite cracks to remove the edges of the crack and blend the crack itself with the surrounding surface shine requires knowledge and skill.

This is why you want an experienced granite counter repair pro. Your installer may be able to handle this, but most fabricators focus on installing and not repairing.

Luckily, since it's in the corner, even a mediocre repair won't be very noticeable and isn't a structural issue.

Doing nothing is also an option. Often cracks in granite are only short, hairline cracks that don't present any real problems and never get worse.

It may not be worth the expense and hassle to repair a single, short or surface hairline crack even around a sink.

Small cracks usually don't pose any cleaning issues, and stains are rarely a problem, but applying a little extra sealer over a crack isn't a bad idea.

Long or full-thickness cracks and/or areas with multiple cracks likely need repair.

Granite Crack vs. Fissure


Any discussion of cracks in granite countertops must also include an explanation of fissures.

Fissures are lines formed in the pattern of the stone by the borders of various crystalline groups within the stone.

fissures in granite slab golden crystal red

Fissures can be short or long... wide or narrow... only in the surface or full thickness... or may run through the countertop edges. Many granite countertop colors don't have any fissures, others just a few and some patterns have many running all over.


Fissures are similar to cracks. In fact, you could say a fissure is a naturally occurring "crack" and sometimes can even look nearly identical to a crack. The key difference is separation.
  • Fissures maintain structural integrity of the stone. No separation or space exists. It's a crack that hasn't actually cracked or split.

  • Fissures occur across the slab... not just in one or two spots.

  • Fissures are level, feel smooth and do not have an edge.

  • Fissures are typically curved and do not run in straight lines or have angular zig-zags, but sometimes look like cracks.

fissures can look like cracks in granite countertop

Fissures are weak points and can become a "crack" from impact or stressful forces during transportation, installation or after.
  • Cracks are lines of physical separation. The stone has split.

  • Cracks have an edge you can feel or catch with a fingernail.

  • Cracks in granite are most commonly "hairline", but can be wider.

  • Cracks can be short, long, surface or full-thickness of the slab.

  • Cracks typically occur at sink and cooktop cutouts, edges and corners.

Plywood Support for Granite Countertops


Most/all granite slab countertops are installed right onto the cabinets without a plywood substrate. This is normal and provides plenty of support.

A tile countertop would need the plywood or backer board underlayment, but it's unnecessary for a slab countertop. Of course, you should not stand on granite countertops and be mindful to follow granite care guidelines.

I don't think the supposed "lack" of support had anything to do with the cracked granite.

A plywood substrate is sometimes used to create a level surface when cabinets/floors are not level. Or to elevate the kitchen countertop when a laminated edge is used, which helps keep the edge from interfering with the drawers.

The cracked corner probably occurred during moving and installing the granite counter top slab. Slabs are big, heavy and difficult to move... can get some accidents. Yes, I know you didn't pay for a cracked corner, but is it really worth the hassle to replace?

If it was an edge or in an obviously visible area, then it may have to be redone. But it can likely be repaired reasonably well, and if in a back corner, you simply won't notice it that much (if at all). Possibly you can put some appliance or other decoration there as well.

Contact your installer or a granite repair specialist and see what is needed to fix the cracked corner. But you may decide just to leave it. If it's a hairline crack with minimal lip, it likely won't get worse or cause any future problem.

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and Support Underneath

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helpful
by: KB

Your page was very informative and helpful, however I do have a question that I hope you can help me with.

My countertop (7-yrs-old) had a 6" crack running across and thickness wise, repairman insisted that I put a hot pot on it; not true.

He put the glue down and 4 years later the crack has grown and is five inches from the other edge.

Repairman says the crack is the same and nothing further can be done. Can you help or am I just being unreasonable and accept his word? Their is a 10 yr warranty but won't honor it since it is the same issue.Sa

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Would help if possible, but this is an issue needed to be solved in person. I'd suggest bringing in another granite crack repair person.... an experience stone repair pro and see what he/she says.

Preventing Granite Cracks
by: Camille B.

Hi,

This is a really great post and perfect information for existing granite cracks.

What is the biggest cause of such cracks, and what sort of steps can I take to prevent them in my own granite countertops?

Thanks,
Camille B.

====== Countertop Specialty comment:

Many cracks happen during install since this is when the granite slab is undergoing the most stress from transport, delivery and placing onto cabinets.

So, you don't have to be too worried about creating a crack once installed. Usually cracks that occur after installation are due to an accident.

For instance: a refrigerator tips over when moving and cracks the countertop edge. Or something heavy was dropped on the surface or edge.

Vibration from machinery and/or earthquakes can lead to granite cracks as well.

Granite is tough and durable, but rigid, so it's helpful to keep this in mind.

To avoid cracks in granite countertops:
  • Do not stand or sit on the countertops

  • Do not use countertops as a workbench for home projects

  • Do not set anything heavy (>50 lbs) on granite countertops

  • Do not set hot pots/pans directly on the surface.... use a trivet (granite does take heat well, but a crack from "thermal shock" is possible with extended heat exposure)

  • Fix home foundation movement. (Shifts in the foundation could cause granite cracks)

Also, be sure to follow the granite maintenance guidelines and the Granite Care Do's & Don'ts click here.

Is plywood necessary
by: Ryan

No plywood is not necessary IF your foundation and cabinets are in good shape and offer solid, even support at regular intervals.

Plywood can be useful when installing over old or irregular cabinets or over cabinets that are unlevel due to foundation issues.

There is some controversy in the industry regarding support.

Some will insist it is necessary to "rod" every slab. This is a process to insert metal rods in the underside of the slab.

Others argue that rodding only serves to weaken the slab because grooves or slots are cut into the granite for inserting the rods. But rodding is a bit different than using plywood.

Also, the other issue with using plywood is that you must use a laminated edge in order to cover the plywood that you'll see sitting above the cabinets. Molding matching the cabinets can be used, but looks a bit wonky.

A laminated edge is fine with 2cm, but often doesn't work so well with a 3cm slab since the edge then becomes too big.

So, even with plywood raising the level of the slab, the laminated edge hiding the plywood may interfere with the drawers, etc.

But again, typically not a problem with 2cm.

I'd say forget the plywood, except for the above stated (fairly rare) circumstances.

Is plywood support needed for 2cm granite?
by: Anonymous

Hello, just wondering if plywood support is typically placed for 2cm granite countertop for the kitchen? From what I have read on the internet, it is, but some installers say it's not worth it. We are just wasting our money. What do you think?

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Granite Countertop Crack at Sink Corner

by Barbara
(Portland, OR)

Uba Tuba Granite Crack

Uba Tuba Granite Crack

QUESTION:

Uba Tuba granite countertop. The top is 11 months, 3 weeks old.

There is a crack at the corner of the sink.

I don't know how it happened...no one has confessed to causing it. Should this be covered by the warranty?

Could this have been caused by the undermount sink not being installed correctly?

ANSWER:

Cut outs for sinks and cooktops are weak points and the most likely spots for cracks in granite to occur.

The sink area receives a lot of abuse. A crack could develop from direct impact, someone sitting or standing on the countertop, or stress from using the sink.

Yes... it also could have happened during installation of the granite countertop.

Usually this happens simply because a granite slab is extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver. Despite all best efforts and care sometimes a crack develops in weaker areas.

If a major crack occurs during install any reputable fabricator will, repair the crack, cut out and replace the area if possible or simply eat the cost and start over.

But if only a hairline crack it may go unnoticed or even when noticed installed anyway because these are almost never a problem, will remain stable and do not affect the performance of the counter top.

Highly unlikely it developed because the sink was installed "incorrectly". Not much to screw up with that.

However, eleven months after install it's impossible to tell if the installers are somehow to blame, so not really fair or productive to accuse them at this point.

And it may be nothing to worry about. If the crack can only be felt by running your finger tip or fingernail over it and there isn't any lip, then it probably won't be an issue.

However, if the crack has a lip and/or it looks to go all the way through the entire slab, then you may have an issue and it could get worse, especially around the sink.

Cracks in granite countertops around the sink most often are just hairline cracks without a lip and never really present a problem other than a bit of frustration that it exists.

Possibly a simple repair or extra support could be added to stabilize the area. Check with your installer.

Of course, you can't expect them to do this for free since there's no way at this point to fault them for it.

If there is a lip, you may still be able to level the surface, repair and stabilize the area to eliminate any problem. This will require professional granite repair of course.

Worst case scenario is replacement of a part or the entire granite counter top, but almost never needed.

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Hairline Cracks in New Granite

by Donna
(Philadelphia)

QUESTION:

We have just installed new granite countertop.

The cutout for the stove top was too small, but the installer shoved the stove top into the space.

Now there are hairline cracks radiating out from three of the four corners of the cook top hole and the stove top is broken.

One of them goes all the way through the slab. The others seem to be on the surface.

Should we make them replace the granite countertop? They haven't even hooked up sink or stove top yet. They claim epoxy will solve the problem.

ANSWER:

I'd make them replace the granite. Considering they couldn't think ahead or be patient enough to do the job right, I wouldn't trust any countertop repair job they were going to attempt.

A single hairline crack somewhere, I wouldn't worry about, but multiple cracks radiating from 3 corners of the cook top cut-out... no good.

You will be constantly stressing this area too with additional weight and pots and pans banging around (if you cook like me anyway!).

Plus, with so many cracks concentrated in small areas, they may get worse with more becoming full thickness.

True, epoxy or polyester resin could repair the cracked granite and improve the integrity in the area, but cut-outs are weak areas.

Even with repair and any support that they may be able to add the entire area is compromised.

Epoxy can be very strong and a stellar repair may be sufficient, but I'd want a granite repair specialist to do it.

Now, I don't know how long or how many cracks there are, so maybe it sounds worse than it is and you're thinking maybe just to negotiate a much cheaper price and an adequate repair.

That's an option...

However, there is still the issue of the broken cook top.

You need a new one... the same one won't fit this cut out. So, you need one that will fit this cut out because enlarging the cut out now is risky... could wreck the slab.

Maybe you get lucky and find one, but this is a bassackwards way of doing it.

I say start over.

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cracked granite from install and flood
by: Anonymous

5 months after we moved into our brand new home we had a flood and had then noticed a very large and deep zigzag type crack in the granite in front of the sink.

We could see that a filler was coming out of it and the crack is so bad you can cut your finger when you touch it.

You can tell the crack is right thru the granite. It is obvious the crack existed at installation, but was fixed, however, the shifting of the below cabinets due to the flood in the kitchen could have eroded the crack repair as we discovered it after.

Our builder said they would replace just that one cracked slab of granite which joins to the second slab at the sink.

They will not replace the rest of our granite to ensure the color match. I am wondering if it is standard that they should be replacing all our granite (under home warranty) or am I unreasonable asking them to do so?

We have had opinions form contractors who suggest they replace all of it because the pattern won’t likely match the rest. I have been in process of filing a claim with our Home Warranty company. What is your opinion?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, ideally you would want to replace the entire granite countertop with consecutive slabs from the same quarry block/batch.

However, it is not always necessary depending on the color and pattern of the granite. Many colors/patterns are consistent enough that it isn't difficult to find an acceptable match.

I think it is reasonable that the builder replace only the damaged area. The crack may have occurred during install, however, sounds like it was repaired well and it was the flood and shifting foundation that is the current cause.

In other words, without the flood the crack was a non-issue and maybe not even noticed by you. Such cracks typically never get worse or cause any problems at all.

So, since the builder is not responsible for the flood it seems at least reasonable to replace only the one area.

However, if it is agreed that the crack did actually occur at install, it is also reasonable of you to expect a very good match with any replacement slab.

If a very close match cannot be achieved, then you do have a good argument to replace the entire countertop. Also, consider that another repair of the granite crack may be possible.

Not every installer / contractor is good at crack repair, but those that are skilled can make a near perfect and invisible crack repair.


REPLACE!!!
by: Anonymous

Of course, they should replace that. Who the heck wants to look at cracked granite every day. A good job is a job done without damage.

=== Countertop Specialty Comment: Yes, of course a good job is one done without damage, however, there are some situations where you may consider other choices.

For instance: the customer chooses a granite that is notoriously difficult to handle... meaning even with the most delicate cutting, care and placement the granite still cracks.

It's important to understand that lifting, moving and positioning an awkward, unevenly shaped, extremely heavy piece of stone in a confined space without doing any damage to surroundings can often be a big challenge.

Throw in a granite that likes to crack just looking at it and you have a scenario where it may be the best choice to live with a hairline crack that is largely unnoticeable and doesn't cause problems rather than start over with another piece of the same granite that likes to crack.... end up in the same place a second time.

Believe me... this is just as frustrating to fabricators as homeowners. It's just par for the course when working with stone.

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