We just had a new granite kitchen countertop installed.
It is absolutely gorgeous with lots of colors – white, cream, reds, black, greys, even gold!
However, the surface is blotchy and looks dirty, scratched, and old.
It feels smooth to the touch (not perfectly smooth…but smooth!) and it looks fairly glossy... but underneath all that, it looks as if the surface has been beat up!
It’s hard to explain, you can see what look like “etchings" all over the counter, especially when the sun is shining, and from many different angles.
We’ve been told from the installers that because there are so many colors in this granite, what we are seeing is the “veins" of different colors at the surface.
But we just stopped in at a high-end kitchen place, and they had a similar white-ish granite countertop where you could see these etchings if you really really REALLY looked for them at weird angles.
Ours doesn't have as "deep" a gloss as the one we saw, and I feel compelled to tell every visitor, “Don’t worry – the counter’s clean. It just LOOKS dirty!"
Is this NORMAL? It doesn't seem right to me! THANKS so much!! Hard to see in a photo, but I tried. Lu
Lu, the short answer is.... Yes, it's normal. And I agree with your installer. Let me explain why...
Granite has many different minerals with different colors and properties. This composition will vary from granite to granite. So, when viewed at an angle they will reflect light differently and you can see what appears to be a "blotchy" surface... which will vary from granite to granite.
But as you note, the granite counter top is uniformly smooth as it should be and I'll bet when you look down on the granite (or at any angle except sideways)the surface looks uniformly shiny, you can see your reflection and it isn't blotchy.
You just aren't used to looking at granite and your guests will not think they are dirty or notice a thing unless they decide to inspect the granite countertop at all angles.
Regarding the "other" granite... well there are 2500+ granites, so just a bit of variety!
No two stones have the same composition nor will they look the same. Some with tighter patterns or fewer colors won't appear as blotchy or at least it will seam more uniform.
Consumers (especially in the US where knowledge of stone is almost non-existent compared to Europe) certainly love the idea that every granite or marble countertop has a "unique" pattern and color. What they can't seem to get their mind around or accept is that the entire slab including all it's minerals, performance characteristics (absorbency, acid-sensitivity, maintenance and repair capabilities) is "unique" as well.
And it isn't just that granite is different from marble. No.... the difference exists between different colors/patterns of the same type of stone (one granite is different from the next) and even between different slabs of the same variety from the same quarry.
Quartz countertop manufacturers of course have tried to eliminate these differences by making a stone-like product with uniform composition, only with different colors.
Ahhh... this consumers like because it ought to be predictable. It should look and behave exactly how the manufacturers want it to.... so no surprises or differences between yours, the sample in the store or your friend's countertop.
But even quartz countertops have performance and maintenance differences between different colors, etc.
Polishing granite is the same. In other words, there are differences. Some granite slabs will polish to a higher shine than others.... and some stones can't be polished at all. It's just the nature of "natural" stone.
Also, granite countertops can have a number of different "finishes". A shiny "polished" finish is the most common type.
But in general, all granite countertop slabs come from the stone warehouse already polished to it's full shine. (Or finished to some other finish like a honed surface.)
In fact, it comes to the stone warehouse already polished. Granite is quarried in big blocks, cut into slabs and then finished at the factory on big machines that use intense friction to smooth the raw granite surface into a mirror-like finish.
Finished slabs are then purchase by and shipped to stone warehouses. Granite is very hard, so this finish is difficult (but not impossible) to damage.
It's true that fabricators typically just cut and polish edges, but do not do anything to the top finished surface except clean it and seal it if necessary and requested.
..... although FYI... most fabricators do not apply a sealer as part of an installation. It's up to the homeowner or it's an "add-on". Ironically (and unfortunately) many fabricators/installers do not know the proper way to apply a sealer... go figure!
As noted, some stones do take a polish better than other stones and sometimes you can get a poor grade or "bad" slab. A few varieties like Santa Cecilia or New Venetian Gold can have such crappy composition (but not every slab) that they hardly polish at all and can have a gritty appearance.
Fabricators should clean the granite counter top prior to sealing, but granite sealers penetrate into the stone and do not form a "film" or "coat" so even if there was debris left on the surface it could be cleaned off after sealing and wouldn't be the cause of what you are seeing.
Unfortunately, if you have such a dog stone, there isn't much you can do about it especially if you picked it out.
Sometimes there is good reason to complain about the look or finish on a slab, but it's pretty rare and usually involves a bad slab.
In your case I think you're just driving yourself a bit crazy trying to find something wrong with your lovely new granite countertops.
What you see is just how granite looks. Or more accurately.... it's how your particular granite countertop looks... like no other! Enjoy it!
CountertopSpecialty.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking toAmazon.com.