Filling Granite Countertop Fissures Guide
Natural fissure in a granite countertop
QUESTION: Can fissures be filled with liquid material
and leveled with something like a squeegee?
This stone is called Golden Silver granite and has rust, greys, and ivory colors.
I understand that these are just part of the stone, but I would like to keep them from being a place for bacteria to hide.
What do you recommend for filling natural cracks and fissures in stone?
ANSWER: Fissures are not a problem and do not need filling... unless they crack.
A crack must be repaired. Here's everything you need to know...
First, cracks and fissures in granite countertops are not the same things.... just to clarify. A fissure
is a naturally occurring characteristic of stone, which can
be a weak point and can
crack open, but usually does not.
The stone is still contiguous along a fissure. In other words, there is no separation within a fissure.
You may be able to feel the fissure and you can see them.
But if the surface is finished correctly, there should not be any gap or depression, or canal of any significant depth.
A slight or subtle depression may exist sometimes but is just barely perceptible to the touch.
So, fissures will not themselves impair or affect the performance or integrity of the stone and are not a worry regarding granite countertop hygiene.A crack
is a physical separation of the stone. It may be a hairline crack that may or may not be full thickness or it could be visibly separated. Hairline cracks do not tend to be a problem
and do not get worse unless you have foundation movement and/or they have or form a "lip" at some point.
You will be able to feel a hairline crack, but it may still be level. Usually, nothing is done or can be done to repair or even fill a hairline crack since the gap is microscopically small.
Adding additional support underneath the area is a good idea as they usually occur around the kitchen sink.
When a hairline crack forms a lip is when it starts to collect dirt, etc. Or if it actually separates, then filling or repair is required in these circumstances.I'd recommend
the Granite and Marble Repair Kit
for cracks with minimal separation and a still level surface.
Long or wide full-thickness crack repair or pieces broken off will require a stone care professional. Bacteria is not an issue with granite countertops.Independent cleanability testing
shows that granite, quartz, and stainless steel surfaces are all very clean, all perform nearly the same and are the most resistant to bacterial growth of all possible surfaces.
Of course, no matter how much cleaning and disinfecting you do, you cannot remove
or kill all
But granite countertops do not
"harbor" bacteria at all, despite what you might read from manufacturers of other types of countertops.
The nature of the granite surface makes it very difficult for dangerous bacterial growth.
However, if the fissures do crack, then yes... the cracks would naturally change the equation and would be more prone to bacterial growth.
It is common and perfectly acceptable to apply a resin to stone to fill voids and fissures prior to polishing and shipping from the "factory" and this may have been done to your stone.
You may be able to do this again, but the resin must be able to absorb into the stone, so no sealer should be applied prior. Permanent surface coatings
that do form a topical film can be applied in rare cases with unusual circumstances such as a rough or gritty granite surface
that cannot be polished.
Although in "normal" circumstances this would not be recommended since you now have an acrylic or epoxy resin countertop
instead of a granite countertop.
Now epoxy countertops can be a good idea to cover an old, worn, or out-of-date kitchen or bathroom countertop material. You can create a completely new color and design with an epoxy countertop kit.
This is rarely applied over a granite kitchen countertop though as granite is considered a premium surface of much greater value and highly coveted by homebuyers.
And they simply aren't needed to fill fissures in granite countertops as we've established that fissures are a characteristic of natural stone and not a problem or defect.
Also, these types of coatings can look plastic, can be more of a hassle to maintain, and can cause problems when/if the stone ever needs repair, etc.
They are getting better, but the common wisdom is to do as little to stone as possible.
The more variables you add to the equation the more complicated the cleaning, maintenance and performance become. Filling fissure gaps
with the the Pit & Chip Repair acrylic
may be a viable option for small areas.
This product is a flowing liquid gel that can sometimes work to fill a short hairline crack if it can flow into the crack. Worth a try in this situation.
If you do indeed have a long fissure that seems to need filling, then you'd have to buy a lot of this product. It's made primarily for filling pits in granite
that are just small holes where mineral crystals have popped out.The key is to determine if you just have fissures or indeed cracks.
Fissures are no worry and nothing, but sealing with one of these recommended sealers
If cracked, then click here for granite crack repair options
Filling Fissures and Uneven Shine on Granite Countertop
Hi, We had granite countertops installed a couple weeks back. The surface looks spotty, with areas of high shine and low shine. It feels gritty and you can see fissures and pits.
Please explain if this is normal and if we can have it treated with something that will even out the shine and fill the pits. Thank you in advance!
ANSWER: Granite countertop slabs with a poor finish like this do exist
, but no it is not "normal" for them to actually be installed.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you got a bad slab and likely a shady fabricator.
A blotchy look to the surface
is typically not indicative of a problem.
The "blotchiness" is usually only seen when looking at the countertop from a lower angle or in certain light.
What you are seeing is the difference in reflection of the various mineral crystals in the granite.
It thus looks blotchy. But when you look straight down on the same area... it doesn't look blotchy.
It's just the pattern and a natural characteristic and "look" of granite.
However, a countertop that feels gritty
all the time is not normal. This is bad.
I'm guessing you did not pick out the exact granite countertop slab for installation.
I can't imagine any reputable stone warehouse even buying such a slab and any decent fabricator would not install such a poor slab. It is "normal" for some granite slabs to be of poor quality.
Some granites are like bad pieces of wood and no matter how hard you try you just can't sand them smooth.... they just fall apart, etc.
Same with bad granite... won't take a polish or polishes very poorly and can be gritty, rough, or heavily pitted. Fly-by-night fabricators
advertising $25 sq. ft. installed granite countertops on roadway signs often install marginal quality slabs... how else can they do it so cheap?
So, if any balance is remaining, do not pay it and take the issue up with the fabricator.
They really have no argument (unless you did pick out this slab) since they know what anyone wants is a smooth shiny granite countertop. Applying a resin
at the factory prior to polishing is a common practice to fill in natural pits and fissures on the surface.
It may be possible that an excellent stone restoration pro could re-finish, resin and re-polish your granite countertop to improve the situation, but it would likely be cheaper and easier just to rip it all out and start over. I would get a second opinion
from an uninvolved and reputable local fabricator that can actually see the slab in person.
Maybe it's not as bad as it seems to me, but typically with these types of slabs additional polishing, etc. doesn't help a lick.
Sorry to give such a crummy prognosis. Hopefully, you're able to work something out without too much extra expense.