Grit on Granite Countertops
I just had Santa Cecelia Gold granite countertops installed in my kitchen, with a tumbled travertine backsplash. I've noticed a fine gritty coating on the granite countertops
, and even though I keep wiping down the surface, the grit is back the next day!
The grit is also on the kitchen island, where there is no backsplash.
My installer sealed both the granite and the backsplash. What could be causing this, and what should I do? Thank you!
I hate to tell you, but most likely you simply have a low-grade slab. Granite slabs can be graded based on the quality of the stone. Poor quality slabs
can be less durable or structurally sound with an inconsistent surface finish.
Most granite countertops
and slabs in the warehouse are perfectly fine without any issues, so grittiness is a fairly rare occurrence.
Resins are often applied at the factory to the surface of the slab in order to remedy such issues, fill voids, and add strength and stability to the granite.
Resining is a normal procedure, but it is not done to every slab.
It really shouldn't happen, but poor-quality slabs sometimes slip into the marketplace. These could be used for outdoor installations, but no good as a countertop.
For this reason, it is very important to inspect and choose the exact slabs that will be installed for all stone countertops or any project. Backsplash grout
can also cause grit on granite countertops when newly installed. Specks of grout will flake or pop off until fully cured. This would only occur for a few days right after install.
As you note, the grittiness is felt on kitchen
island too (no backsplash) so the only answer is a poor grade granite slab that was not resined.
Solutions for Grit on Granite Countertop
Honestly, no "good" solution exists, but you do have some options. Replacement
If the fabricator picked out this slab for you, then you could simply demand it be replaced. If so, then hopefully you haven't made the last payment and have some leverage.
However, if you picked out the slab, it'll be hard to make the fabricator take the fall. A fabricator should certainly alert the client to any issues with the slab, so he/she is still a bit at fault.
Unfortunately, the industry is not regulated very well to guard against this. Apply Epoxy, Resin, or Coating
You need to be able to cover and bind the surface to eliminate the grittiness. Epoxy is a good choice for this and can be a DIY project. I recommend using one of these two products:Pro Marine EpoxyEast Coast Resin Epoxy
Learn more on our page about epoxy countertops
Alternatively, you can look for a fabricator that can apply a resin or a "certified" applicator of a permanent topical coating like Clearstone to help bind the surface better.
But you'll want one very experienced and knowledgeable about this procedure and the products used.
And... it's expensive.
Also, note that once an epoxy or coating is applied, then it is that coating that you must now maintain. But it should eliminate the grittiness problem.
As you've discovered applying a granite sealer
has no effect on the grittiness. Impregnating sealers do not bind or coat the surface. Sealers absorb into the surface and work to prevent staining only.
We recently had New Venetian Gold granite countertops installed in our bathroom. It feels very gritty.
I've cleaned it with SCI countertop spray cleaner and sealed it with SCI granite sealer.
It still feels gritty! Why and what can I do to get rid of it?
Unfortunately, you most likely have a low-grade granite slab and there's nothing you can do to stop the grittiness. The gold-toned granites tend to have a greater occurrence of grittiness
. Giallo Veneziano, Santa Cecilia, and similar granite colors more commonly have this grit issue.
That is not to say these colors should be avoided. Santa Cecilia is extremely popular and most slabs are perfectly fine.
What this does mean is that all stone buyers should pick out the specific slab they intend to purchase and not let a designer, stone salesman, or fabricator choose.
I wish I could tell you exactly why this happens, but I'm not a geologist. Essentially the slab is slowly decomposing simply because the integrity of the slab, the binding of minerals (which happened in the earth a gazillion years ago) is poor.
This slab was run through a giant granite polishing machine, but such slabs cannot be polished well. The surface just won't hold up to achieve that ultra smooth glossy finish.
Granite slabs are graded (and priced) based on such qualities and some shady dealers will buy this type of slab to increase profit margin.
If a fabricator picked out the slab for you, then you may have some recourse for replacement. Otherwise, not much you can do unless you want to apply some type of permanent topical coating like from Aldon, Kinloch, Clearstone or others.
Permanent topical coatings typically are not recommended for stone (doesn't let stone breath properly and can create additional maintenance and repair issues).
The manufacturers make it sound great... like they are a revolutionary improvement, etc.... but when all is considered it's better to leave stone alone as much as possible. However, coatings are making vast improvements in performance.Coating maintenance
is an important consideration. Once you apply a permanent coating you now have an acrylic or epoxy surface to maintain instead of a granite countertop.
However, in your case, it may be the best option.
Sealing won't affect this at all.... completely unrelated issue. Impregnating sealers like the one you applied work below the surface. They don't form an impenetrable shell or encapsulate the granite because again, that's not good for the stone.
A topical coating or resin, on the other hand, will form a film adhering to the surface and creating a physical barrier.
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Grit On My Granite Countertop
by Darrell Turner
I don't know if I need a sealer or a good granite cleaner or both for my granite counter of 6 months old.
It appears my brown speckled granite counter always has grit on the surface within a day or so after I clean it. Not sure it is from the air or from the granite countertops. Any suggestions?
Grit on granite countertops is usually due to a low-grade / poor quality slab that cannot be fully polished.
All the mineral grains of the granite will continue to flake off.
Your options are to replace the countertop or apply a permanent topical coating to bind the granite surface.
Replacement is expensive, but the better option from a long-term performance standpoint. Granite is far easier to maintain than a coating.
Coatings are not necessarily cheap, though. Certified technicians are typically needed to apply the best coatings and then it's the coating that must be maintained which has it's own drawbacks.
Grit on granite countertops will make you pull your hair out. It's disappointing to have this happen in the first place, but even worse is that none of the remedies is really desirable.