New Kitchen Counter Isn't Smooth After Install

Granite countertop showroom sample

Granite countertop showroom sample


We just had new granite kitchen countertops installed, using a high-movement stone with lots of veins and embedded crystals.

The sample we picked was smooth as glass in the showroom (picture attached). But our granite countertops are not smooth after install.

They will snag paper towels when wiping and I can feel the transitions from the main material to some of the veins with my fingernails.

I asked the installer about this, and first he told me that's just how this particular granite is.

When I pressed him on the store sample being different, he said it could be some kind of epoxy residue from the factory (?) and took a razor blade to scrape the counter.

This did scrape off some kind of whitish material (and also left a light scratch in one area).

Then he said it still needed to be sealed, put on the sealer, and told us not to mess with it for 8 hours.

It's been 6 hours now, and the countertop surface feels kind of "plastic" when touching, but it's still not smooth everywhere.

I feel cheated - are we being blown off by this guy?


The shiny smooth surface of the granite slab you saw in the showroom is exactly how a properly polished granite countertop should be.

People sometimes complain of a gritty or rough granite surface after a new granite kitchen countertop installation but your issue seems to be of a different nature.

And just FYI... no chemical or sealer makes the countertop smooth or shiny. The "polish" comes from intense friction and abrasion on big machines at the factory.

How a granite sealer works is to slow down the rate of liquid absorption to help prevent staining.

Applying a sealer is not what makes the surface shiny or polished.

Many stone salespeople and installers are misinformed and think applying a granite sealer solves nearly any problem you may encounter.

And much like a doctor prescribing antibiotics for a cold (colds are viruses.... antibiotics don't work) he just "did something" to make it seem like he was solving a problem.

What's worse
is that he doesn't seem to know how to properly apply a sealer.

You don't leave it on the surface for hours or even let it dry.

In fact, a granite sealer should not be left on the surface for more than 10 minutes in most cases and then wiped completely dry.

And 10 minutes is a really long time. Most often the sealer only needs to dwell for 2-5 minutes.

Thus, in addition to the existing issues you probably now have granite sealer stuck to the countertop surface... it should only be below the surface in the pores.

You may try these steps for removing sealer residue and see if that helps.

Most likely what occurred is that picked out a color via a sample and then the installer purchased a cheap low-grade version of that granite variety.

Something could be on the surface... like a resin, or sealer residue.

It may be that it was sealed prior to installation and the whitish substance scraped off was sealer residue.

Then he applied a sealer a second time and that may have made it worse.

Or a resin is often legitimately used to fill voids, etc., but it is applied prior to polishing and absorbs into the pores... does not sit on the surface.

The long and short is that you should have got the exact slab you picked out at the warehouse.

Picking out the exact granite slab that you want to install is the only acceptable way to purchase granite or any stone.

Choosing granite colors via a showroom sample is a gamble.


Because granite slabs and natural stone are "natural" products meaning there isn't any strict consistency from one slab to the next even among the same colors.

Now, most slabs of the same color will be similar, but you can certainly get an extreme difference in characteristics and quality, color shade, and pattern.

And if you entrusted your installer to pick out the slab, then at least you can hold him accountable to the fact that you chose a sample that was perfectly polished and that is what you expected.

Comments for New Kitchen Counter Isn't Smooth After Install

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Many blemishes on new granite kitchen countertops
by: Mary

I selected a piece of granite for my kitchen from a reputable dealer who had only 5-star ratings.

The granite has shades of reddish-brown and off-white and was exactly what I was looking for.

Upon installation, I noticed many blemishes on the granite surface.

They can only be seen from certain angles but drive me crazy because the top looks dirty all the time.

Is this natural? Is there anything that can lessen these spots? The granite is smooth to the touch.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Granite countertops can have many variations in color and pattern. No two slabs are the same.

Some granite colors are very uniform with a consistent pattern while others have a lot of movement where neither the colors nor the pattern is consistent.

Also, sometimes any granite may have a random spot of color, a streak, or vein that is not seen anywhere else on the countertop.

It is not uncommon for homeowners to think of these as "blemishes" but they are a natural part of granite countertops.

The key here is that these blemishes are seen only when looking at the countertop from certain angles.

I'm betting it's when you look at it from a lower angle. You don't notice anything odd when looking straight down.

What you are most likely seeing are the differences in the reflective properties of the various minerals in the granite that give it the multitude of colors and create the pattern.

So yes, this is just the natural look of granite and there aren't any "spots" to remove.

What you are seeing is the normal pattern and mineral variation that exists in the granite.

You may consider it dirty-looking but that is probably because some specific spots look duller at an angle than others (when looking closely at a low angle but the shine is even over the surface as a whole).

Now, these spots may be scattered over the entire surface but that is because these minerals are present throughout the granite.

You are not the first person by far to describe granite in this way and think something is wrong, it's dirty, etc.

But it's usually a person with new granite or that has never had granite before.

Suddenly you start to notice things you never did before and think it's not normal.

But if your granite is smooth to the touch with an even shine over the entire surface then it is perfectly fine and exactly the way your granite countertop should be.

Your installer has done nothing wrong.

Gritty New Counter
by: Anonymous

Got a new granite counter. It has been gritty like salt is on it all the time.

The company has come back 3 times and keeps sealing it with no change.

Is it just a bad piece should I demand a new counter.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

If you had a tile backsplash installed, then it could be bits of grout falling onto the countertop. But the grit would be concentrated at the back of the countertop.

This is usually not the problem though.

If it's a new granite countertop that is always gritty and the grit returns even after wiping and cleaning... then usually this is a bad slab.

Sealing with a standard stone sealer won't do a thing to help it since sealers absorb into the stone. They don't form a film on top of the stone.

A permanent topical coating can be a solution but coatings are expensive and have their own problems.

So, yes... if you are not satisfied with the installation or the granite slab, then I'd as for it to be replaced.

The kicker here is if you picked out the slab directly from the stone warehouse or did the fabricator choose the slab?

If you picked it out, then the fabricator will probably fight you on it. Well, they probably will anyway.

But if the fabricator or designer or warehouse salesperson chose the slab and you just chose the color/pattern from a sample in the showroom... then it's on 100% on them for not installing quality granite slabs.

Brand New Granite Rough with Etched Rings, Other Shapes and Scratches on Surface
by: Anonymous

We moved into a renovated home a couple of months ago with brand new beautiful granite kitchen countertops - light grey with white veins - that are covered with imperfections.

It looks glossy overall, but when you look at it sideways in the light there are round etchings and other shapes and scratches.

And when you wipe it with a cloth the surface is not at all smooth.

We were thinking we could bring in someone to re-polish and re-seal, but after reading this thread it sounds like that won't fix the problems.

Is our only option to have it replaced?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

I'd guess that the countertops are marble and not granite based on your description.

A new granite countertop that feels gritty or rough won't look smooth or glossy. It will look dull and like it has rough patches.

This is a low-quality or bad granite slab.

And granite does not etch or get scratched.

In some cases, you could see etch-like marks on granite when the granite has been doctored or a sealer was left to dry on the surface, or sometimes a resin and substances are reacting (etching) the sealer residue or resin.

But this situation is pretty rare and usually on black granite countertops.

Granite is just too hard to scratch under normal use. You need something as hard as diamonds to scratch it.

But marble scratches easily.

Or a sealer haze could make granite or marble feel somewhat rough, but it would not look glossy.

A light gray stone with veins... many popular marble colors look just like this.

Etch spots... Round dull spots that you can only see when looking sideways... that is classic etching on marble.

The surface will still look glossy when viewed from a distance or looking down.

Marble is reactive with acids (foods, drinks, cleaners) so it is typical for a marble kitchen countertop to have round dull spots from drips, glass rings, random shapes from spills, etc.

Again, you wouldn't see scratches on granite.

So, I think you have marble and you simply need to repolish the surface.

I'd recommend the Etch Remover - Marble Polishing Powder and Pads Kit.

This is best if you have lots of etch marks and scratches scattered over the entire surface. You can use a standard drill to make the job go a lot quicker than a product applied by hand.

Shiny metal rings on granite counter
by: Anonymous

I noticed shiny gold-ish colored metal ring stains on my granite counter, right near the kitchen sink.

I'm assuming this is from wet pots sitting on the counter.

I'm not sure what metal pots could have caused these stains and how to get rid of them.

I want to prevent more damage and want to clean off the stains. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Well gold-colored stains are often rust stains. Metal pots could rust if sitting in water by the sink, but they'd have to be there for quite a while I'd think.

If the bottom of the pots were already rusty, then a stain could occur within a day probably.

However, without seeing a photo it's difficult to say for certain what type of stain it is and the best solution.

Go to our Stone Care Product Center and click on "Contact Us" in the top navigation bar or the "Support" tab on the right side and submit the above info along with several photos (one of the overall countertop, one around the sink, and a couple of the rings themselves) and we'll do our best to provide the correct diagnosis and solution.

Mitered edge flaw
by: Angela

We just had our 5.5' x 9' kitchen island quartzite countertop installed.

We requested a mitered edge to give the impression of a 3" edge.

The fabricator did a so-so job with it as I think the epoxy joints in the mitered edges are too thick, about 2-3mm.

Also one of the short edges is not straight due to the mitered edge likely cracking slightly and being glued unevenly.

When I look at the edge with one eye closed I can clearly see the edge "bowing out" and not being straight.

The fabricator has offered to re-cut and polish that edge on-site (removing about 2/8 of the edge to make it straight).

Should I let him do it? Or will the "better" be the enemy of the "good"?

I am also afraid of the enormous dusty mess that cutting 5'x3" of stone will make in my house.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, cutting and re-finishing the edge will create a lot of dust and the end results are not guaranteed.

Maybe he can fix it to your satisfaction, but if it is only something that you notice and only when you look at it a certain way, then maybe it's best to leave it alone and just accept less than perfect.

However, if it's a glaring flaw, then make sure the installer uses a lot of plastic sheeting to close off doorways, etc. to contain the dust.

A little sad
by: Anonymous

New granite not smooth. I have what Home Depot call "mystic springs" and Daltile calls "ice harbor".

It is beautiful and with lots of lines and quartz in it.

However, I picked my granite with a trained hand and my island has locks in it. And from the side you can see the grain as well as feel it.

The installer suggested a glue that is supposedly made for granite.

From previous post on this page I see that is not true or good.

The counter near my sink is very smooth, like what I felt at the yard.

Did I get a bad polishing job done? And can it be repolished?

Should I ask for another piece for my island? Thank you for this opportunity.

A little sad 😞

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Well, as the article notes, repolishing usually does not solve this problem since the slab was already polished on huge industrial machines at the factory.

That's about as good of a polishing that it can get. Not likely that a fabricator hand polishing the slab will improve it. I'd ask for a replacement.

Pitted granite top and smooth edges!
by: Anonymous

Looked at several places before selecting slab granite for kitchen countertops. Nice installation however top is not smooth but pitted and the side(s) are smooth as silk. What is wrong here? Thanks for your insight.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

The edges are freshly cut and polished for your installation. However, the slab itself was cut a long time ago along the plane that is the top surface. It was polished a long time ago too.

Then the slab was transported from overseas, moved around a warehouse, and finally cut to your countertop dimensions.

So, the top surface has had a lot of time to develop some pits where the edges have not.

Also, the top will naturally get more pits as it receives more use and impacts, etc. Plus, it is a much larger area than the edges so the chance of getting a pit is greater.

You can fill pits with the Pits and Chips Repair Kit (gel).

Granite fissure filler came out
by: Anonymous

I purchased 60 sq. ft. of granite from a "premium product supplier". It was a level E granite. Within 13 days of installation, a fissure appeared across an entire slab (which was used on two sides of the kitchen).

That fissure absolutely was not present at the time I selected the slab or at the time of installation.

After a lengthy song and dance (including a warranty claim), it turns out that the slab was "filled at the quarry" - i.e., a fissure was filled in.

I don't have any issues with that, it's the transient nature of the repair.

I have been told by several granite companies that this is standard practice these days, but no one could explain why the fill has begun to disappear other than one person who said that it was done on the cheap.

The supplier for the record indicated that they are not in the practice of filling fissures, but then denied the warranty due to the fissure being natural- having entirely ignored the fill issue).

I have also been told that my granite is a super premium type of granite and thus fragile. Who in the world knew that?

I have been advised to buy A or B-level granite "next time" as those are much more durable.

Well, I have 6k worth of expensive granite less than 6 months old that is pitting because it has been exposed to water from drip drying dishes on a cloth (as I did for 20 years with laminate).

Was granite not supposed to be the most durable material available???

I now wish I had just had a stainless steel counter installed- commercial kitchens use and abuse them for decades with no fancy cleaners or maintenance.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yeah, I think many stone quarries and customers think that fissures may be cracks or just don't like the look.

So, sometimes the factory that cuts and processes the granite slabs will fill in the fissures.

Now, applying a resin over the entire surface to fill in voids and fissures is a common and acceptable practice.

However, these resins do not change the overall color, pattern, or look of the granite except to darken it slightly.

So fissures will still be visible on a resined slab.

A fissure is a natural characteristic of granite and natural stone. They can be weak points in the slab, but normally do not cause any problem and there is no need to fill them.

Usually, they cannot be filled because they are not channels in the granite. Once the granite block is cut into a slab the fissure is level with the rest of the slab surface.

Is glue a fix for rough granite?
by: Sheryl

My new bath granite counter is very rough, with one large flake off that isn't readily visible but can be felt, and lots of pitting.

The company sent a guy to fix it. He's using a bottle of glue, some acetone, and a quick dry for glue.

Then he buffs it. Is adding glue to the pits a way to fix a new counter??

The front edge is smooth as a baby's bottom. So much for him saying this style of granite comes this way.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Pits can be filled with acrylic like the Pits and Chips Repair Kit, but simply applying some type of glue over a larger area that is rough is not really a fix at all.

The countertop should be smooth like the edges. If it is rough it needs to be refinished to a polished shine.

But, nearly all granite slabs are polished at the factory so if your has rough patches it may be that the slab is of inferior quality and simply cannot be polished well... at least not in that spot.

But again, chips can be repaired with epoxy and pits filled with epoxy or acrylic, etc. A rough patch needs re-polishing, though, is often not curable.

Pits and rough parts of new granite
by: MC

We recently bought a house and redid the kitchen.

We went to a local granite place and picked out our two slabs needed (snowfall if anyone wants to google it--it's white with black/brown veins).

To be honest although I have had granite (it was installed before we purchased it) before I've never actually picked out a slab--so it never occurred to me to actually rub my hands over the entire slab.

Within the first few days of using the counter I noticed some rough areas and a few small pits here and there.

At first I thought the "roughness" of the counters over some veins was interesting and actually cool. (As in it gave it some character).

But then I began to wonder if it meant we paid top dollar for something not finished correctly.

In any case, I emailed our sales rep who said she would send out someone to buff and polish it for us and it should take care of it.

After reading some of these posts I am wondering if it will even help?

There isn't anything horrible in the countertop-- again a few pits and rough veins (nothing that would cut anyone, snag a rag etc).

My concern is will it get worse as it ages--right now we have only lived here for a few weeks--but we expect to be here for years.

So, do you think the professional "buff and polish" will help? And if not, are how the counters are now how they will stay or will the roughness just get worse over time? Thanks so much!

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Additional polishing may help, but often it cannot improve it. The slab was polished on a big specialized machine so if it came out with rough areas and veins then it is likely a sub-par slab.

Hopefully, it will help and maybe completely solve the problem, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Hard to say if it will get worse. It won't spread it that is what you are worried about but the rough areas may not hold up as well with use and you could see some more deterioration over time. But again, it may not.

Veining and Fissures
by: Anonymous

We had a countertop installed with a granite called "Golden Wave". In some areas the veins or fissures are easily discernible and can be felt as small pits.

I always thought that because we knew the installer personally and that the job was "at cost" and highly discounted that the finish may not have been as good as it could have been.

Since then I have seen some information indicating that these fissures are natural characteristics and no amount of polishing can remove them all.

Though I am extremely happy with the outcome I would like to know the real story.

Did the installer/fabricator save money on the grade of polish or are these "pits" normal?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

The fabricator likely saved money as this slab may have been cheaper if the fissures are dramatic.

Sometimes a slab like that has less appeal for many.

However, fissures and veins are normal and often you can feel a slight depression along the course of the fissure.

It's only if the fissure feels rough or there are many actual pits in the surface does that indicate a low-grade slab.

pits and fractures conclusion
by: Anonymous

Previously wrote about tons of pits and several fractures (fissures if you ask the installers). They sent a repairman who filled the larger divots to my satisfaction.

My primary concern with the fissures/fractures was "reinforcing rod blow out".

Repairman informed me the rod is fiberglass so blow out isn't a concern. I double checked and confirmed that is a thing, i.e. using fiberglass that isn't prone to rust.

We are at the tail end of a kitchen remodel that has dragged on for 5 months and has been a constant battle with multiple contractors for repairs and corrections to work that wasn't done right the first time.

Knowing a counter replacement would be a horrible uphill battle and accepting my own responsibility for failing to research well enough and pick out my exact stone, I've decided to capitulate.

The countertop looks good (except for the fractures) as long as you don't scrutinize it for flaws and the flaws should not affect long-term durability to the best of my knowledge.

If it does deteriorate, I'll fight the battle at that time with the 15-year warranty waving furiously under their nose.

Tons of tiny pits and stress fractures?
by: Anonymous

Just had granite installed a couple of days ago. There are hundreds of tiny pits all over.

Mostly concentrated in the darker areas of the stone. They are only visible when looking with bright indirect light at about a 30 degree angle.

They can all be felt with fingertips. There are larger faults in most places where the metallic flakes are at the surface.

Two of those areas have significant divots in the surface. ~3mm diameter and ~1-2mm deep.

The section of counter adjacent to the sink cut out has 4 or 5 squiggly lines that run 10 - 12 inches inward from outer edge. These can also be felt with finger tips and I'm guessing are stress fractures.

I'm just not sure if they were there before or after install since we didn't pick out the exact slab, just the color.

I can probably live with the pitting and maybe even accept filling in the divots with epoxy or some such.

But I'm seriously worried about the possibility of stress fractures near the sink.

I've got some pretty good pictures to illustrate, just not sure of best way to make them visible to folks in this forum...

I'd rather not post them on facebook or some such because I don't want to push my wife into discontentment until I have a handle on the situation.

Either finding out it isn't a problem or having a solution ready to go if it is a problem.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Granite can pit, but you don't want to install a new granite countertop that already has pitting over most of the surface.

The squiggly lines could be veins which are weaker spots but may not cause a problem.

Or they could be hairline fractures.

One fracture that doesn't have a lip usually is not a problem, but having several, particularly around the sink cutout (weakest area and with the heaviest use) is not good.

All around sounds like a bad slab.

Since the installer picked it out, then these issues are on him.

He probably tried to increase profit by buying a cheap blemished slab. Needs to be replaced with a quality slab.

If the fabricator won't replace it then you could consider applying an epoxy resin for countertops over the entire surface.

Epoxy countertops can be created in any color or pattern with some really cool designs. They are durable, but not at the level or value of a properly installed quality granite countertop.

fabrication wheel scratched granite
by: Anonymous

I just had kitchen done with Mascarello Granite. Evidently (according to salesperson/installer) the wheel didn't turn during fabrication so there are 3"horizontal scratches along the top of all my countertops (60 linear feet)

The Granite store said they will spend 1.5 days to come out and take the scratches out only along the front. The "fabricator" said he wanted to take the granite back to the store so the tops of the countertops would have an even finish (he couldn't do the whole top at our house)

The granite store (very reputable in area) said that my only options are to have the fabricator fix only the edges of the etched countertops or charge me $5,000 to take the granite out because he can't resell it. What are my rights?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Can't give "legal" advice but you paid for a correctly fabricated (smooth, shiny, undamaged) piece of granite so it doesn't matter if the store or installer can sell it again. It was their mistake not yours and should repolish all of it.

Better to do it in place because removing it could damage cabinets, etc.

Wall to wall scratches
by: Steve TX

We just had granite countertops installed and the entire surface is covered with cracks and scratches - glossy from a distance, but if you're close and look at it under light it looks bad.

Our contractor said that's simply how granite looks. ALL granite. Now I'm skeptical - and we paid top dollar.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

The pattern of granite can look different depending on the angle of view. Looking down it may look smooth and shiny. Look from the side and suddenly a bunch of seemingly dulls spots, lines, veins appear.

The minerals all reflect differently and this odd visual effect is normal for granite.

It's unlikely that there are cracks all over or scratches all over. Could be a crack here or there but you'll see that more clearly looking down or from any angle really.

If the countertop is smooth and even to the touch all over but only seems to have blemishes when looking at a low angle... then that is normal.

by: Elsie

Thanks for referring me to a previous answer. Our granite was picked by builder and question is should he replace it for the quality stone we were lead to believe we were getting?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

If the granite picked by the builder has problems or is unsatisfactory, then the builder should replace it.

Granite not smooth
by: Linda

I purchased a condo w/ granite countertops - they are not smooth and have many rough spots - at first I thought the prior tenants abused it, didn't use a cutting board etc.

After reading this column it seems pretty clear the owner chose to install a cheap grade of granite without proper polishing - cheapest solution like all his other choices!

I would not recommend granite - I'd recommend quartz. The quartz frequently installed in rehab buildings is smooth and beautiful.

Not happy with granite
by: Gail

Just had my Fantasy Brown installed and when I walked into house I could see all the marks on my island.

Owner came out and I guess the standard answer seems to be "it is normal cause it is natural Stone".

I was also told the abrasive looking marks are also normal on high end granite and it happens at the factory when the polisher hits different minerals in the stone.

I can't believe this but also don't know enough so would welcome your knowledge and comments.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

It is common for people to think something is on the granite or that it is not polished correctly when what they are really seeing is the pattern of the granite which can look spotty when viewed from a lower angle.

Light reflects differently off the different minerals. You don't see this looking straight down but at an angle or in certain light it is visible and normal.

Now, I don't know if that is the case here. It may be that you have some evidence of poor polishing or a bad slab. Hard to say without looking at it in person.

I'd recommend having a different fabricator or a stone restoration pro take a look.

Rough veins in older granite
by: Anonymous

I have had my granite countertops for a few years. Some of the veins feel rough and not smooth like the others.

I did not notice these when it was first installed. What could have caused it and what is my remedy?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Veins or fissures in granite are weak spots, however, they normally polish to a smooth shine like the rest of the surface.

Very unlikely that they were polished and smooth and have become rough. Granite is so hard that not much can wear it down.

Have a stone restoration or stone fabricator assess the issue.

Yellowish-Green Spots in Granite
by: Anonymous

We just had Alaskan white granite installed. When we went to look at our slab, we noticed a rust looking spot and said we DID NOT want that spot on our counters.

We were assured that it would be cut out as waste. After installation low and behold there is that spot. I think it's rust and we are going to try and lift it out with a granite stain remover.

The company we bought it from is also going to "look into it" but now I'm seeing these little yellowish-green spots on granite. Very faint, but there. Is this normal, and if so what is it?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

To remove rust stains use this Rust Stain Remover for Marble & Granite.

It could be just a weird anomaly in the composition of the granite. It's not at all uncommon for a particular granite color to have a relatively consistent pattern and color and then also have a patch or stripe of a different color not see anywhere else in the slab.

If this is the case, then obviously it cannot be removed. But as you had requested, such anomalies are usually cut out.

If it is rust, the above product is your best bet. But note that rust stains can be extremely difficult to remove even with multiple applications of the Rust Stain Remover.

If the stain is too old or too deep, it is permanent.

The yellow-green spots are most likely glue stains. This can occur when an activator or accelerant is added to the adhesive used to secure the granite to the cabinets during installation.

The activator can react with some stones causing a greenish stain on the surface of the granite.

It's called a "green bloom".

Usually, these stains occur along the edges, around sink and cooktop cutouts, or as a definitive pattern across the surface (like circles evenly spaced).

Installation adhesive stains will sometimes go away on their own, but sometimes can be permanent.

Most often you'll need to remove them with a specialized process using the Green Bloom Glue Stain Remover.

frustrated and disappointed.
by: Anonymous

I am very frustrated right now, as in the letter about rough granite install, I too have the same problem, they say they will take back the one counter and then fill in the problem areas on the other, I am refusing that, I feel the company needs to remove the two counters and install a new slab, what do you think? Should I allow them to fill the installed counter, or remove it?

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

Certainly it will be better to have new slabs that do not have any issues. Sometimes these rough or unresined slabs get through to the marketplace, however, it is my opinion that it is the designer's or installer's responsibility to warn the homeowner of any unnoticed defects in the chosen slab.

In other words, the fabricator / installer should have recognized that this slab was not of adequate quality and alerted you to choose different slabs. But technically, if you chose it, it was your decision. Sometimes homeowners are not savvy enough to see or recognize possible defects.

However, if you simply picked out the stone based on a sample in a showroom, then it is the installer that chose the slab and should definitely be held responsible.

You were expecting a smooth slab with a quality polish and that is what you should get.

Very very good and real world info
by: Anonymous

All these comments relate and we too have these issues... Just too bad we all didn't know about it when choosing our slabs.

Rough surface
by: Scott

My kitchen was done with two separate slabs, due to a mistake made by the installers (cut the sink hole backwards).

The first two pieces installed are not completely smooth... you can feel all the lines, crystals, etc. when rubbing your hand or a rag across it.

The last piece installed (from the second slab) is as smooth as glass.

It seems to me that they simply didn't buff/polish/whatever they do to the slab enough on the first slab. Is that accurate?

Is there anything I can do to fix it?

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

Usually, the reason a granite countertop is continuously gritty is because it needed to be resined, but was not. Not much you can do except apply a resin or other topical coating.

Permanent topical coatings are not typically recommended since they can change the look and then you need to maintain the coating. But if you can find someone to apply a resin like done at the factory, then you may have a solution (although it may change the color slightly).

A countertop that is simply rough in spots is likely a slab that just could not be polished very well. Some granite countertop slabs can be polished to a higher shine than others and some stone just can't be polished very well.

Re-polishing at this point won't likely do it better than was achieved by the big machines at the factory.

Your fabricator lost money on the error with the sink cutout and probably chose the cheapest slab he could find in the same color. Cheap because it was not the best quality.

Rough granite
by: Anonymous

I built my home almost 2 years ago. We chose granite countertops and found out later the original one for kitchen broke and the installer over nighted a new one.

I informed him when I was cleaning it my microfiber towel kept sticking, he said it needed to be sealed. He came and sealed it with a spray, didn't work at all.

So my husband called him again, he came out and said he didn't know what the problem was and he would check with the company he purchased it from.

We never heard from him again. Should I have him replace the entire kitchen countertops because the problem is getting worse? It's rough and cracking all over. Is it too late for him to replace it?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Well, it is not too late to replace it. The real risk is in removing it and potentially damaging adjacent slabs in the process.

Sounds like an inferior grade of granite that could not be polished smooth in this one area. This is not common, but it does happen. Some granite will polish to a higher shine than others and some slabs are of such poor quality they can hardly be polished at all and are not suitable for kitchen countertops.

Others in the middle can be polished, but not well or with rough spots. Typically, there is not remedy. If the huge specialized machines at the factory could not finish the surface smooth, then polishing by hand tools is unlikely to be successful.

granite countertops are sandy
by: Anonymous

We bought a 12 year old house. Everyday I felt sand or grit on the granite counter tops. At first I thought we spilled salt but when it happened all over the kitchen I became suspicious.

Should I seal it? The directions say it should be wiped on and then excess wiped off.
Thank you.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

A sandy or gritty granite countertop is not an issue that a sealer can solve.

Some slabs are poor quality and lack surface integrity. If these countertops are 12 years old... not likely to solve the issue.

This is normal in the sense that some granite slabs will be like this, but they should never be installed.

Search "gritty granite" in the search box at the top of the page or on the Questions page and you'll find a few articles addressing this issue.

Grade 4 granite veiny
by: J. A. F.

I just had my house built and went with my son to pick out the granite for my entire house (kitchen, baths). I picked a Grade 4 granite (the same throughout the house).

The granite was purchased from a large granite place in AZ but was finished, cut and installed in a different part of AZ.

I noticed many grainy dips in the finished and installed granite as well as pock marks. I was told that that is the nature of this granite.

I have had granite before and never had anything like this anywhere in my finished granite before.

Is what the installer told us a true fact or is it just an excuse for a lousy job?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, granite can come in several different grades.

It is supposed to be representative of the relative quality of the stone for ornamental purposes like countertops, monuments, etc.

Problem is that it depends on who is doing the grading and the criteria for each grade. A grade "1" or "A" may be the best or worst.

However, often the "grades" are just different price levels. Not based on quality, but only because it is more rare or carries a higher production cost.

So, there really isn't a universally accepted system, and most stone warehouses don't bother with it. Poor quality slabs are generally avoided when purchased at the quarry since no customer wants a poorly polished, pocked or heavily fissured countertop.

Some varieties are more prone to poor quality slabs or a wider range of quality. So, in that sense he was telling the truth.

Bad slabs still make it into the marketplace and unscrupulous warehouses and fabricators will try to pass them off on unsuspecting customers as "normal" somehow, when they know very well that a problematic slab with a poor surface finish, rough patches, excessive pitting, fissures, etc. simply should not be installed.

Who is going to be happy with such a countertop? Very frustrating.

If you just picked from a sample and "grade" level and then the fabricator picked the slabs... then you have a solid complaint.

If you picked out the exact slabs, then it falls largely on your shoulders, except when a fabricator notices that the slab is crap, he should say something.... like you need to pick another.

If he doesn't, then I say you still have a valid gripe because this is a big deal. It is very difficult and usually impossible to really improve the finish of a poor quality slab.

If it could be finished to a uniform, smooth gloss, then it already would be.

Finish on my Granite counter top
by: Danny


Thank you for the insight. The info was "right on" and helped me to understand quality differences in Granite counters.

My only regret is that I didn't do my own personal research on granite counter tops and find your website before I invested $1800.00 in a counter top.

I relied on the expertise of both the warehouse and the fabricator, whom I ask, if this was a good quality stone and if it would buff up nicely.

Both of them told me this was a great stone and would shine up really nice. It wasn't until after I had made my deposit and the stone was installed and I complained about the blotchy spots that I was informed that I picked a bad piece of granite.

I will say the fabricator did come back and pick up the granite countertop and try to buff it out, which helped a little, but not much. Again, thank you for you assistance.

Finish on my Granite counter top
by: Danny

I just had a granite counter top installed (Juprana Saint Cecilia color) on my kitchen counters and the finish appears dull in spots as though it has water spots all over it.

The owner of the company came out to inspect it and he said that was the nature of the stone. He attempted to clean it with some type of granite cleaner but it did not help.

The granite countertop does not have a consistent shine like the ones you see in the store displays.

I personally went to the factory to pick the stone myself and I'm sure he used my stone.

Is this common that a certain stone will not have a consist shine. The granite looks awful with the dull water spots.

I don't know how long it takes to cut, finish and polish a stone but this company did it all in one day.

===== Admin Comment: Yes some stones will take a shine better or achieve a higher gloss than others. And sometimes a stone will have an uneven shine (but these should not be sold or installed).

I'm sure you've read how each granite countertop slab is unique in pattern/color. Well, the same applies to physical characteristics of the stone.

There is significant variance among all natural stone in many ways.

The quality of the granite countertop slab is key. A poor quality slab will not take a shine well.

So, in a sense the fabricator is correct... it's the nature of the stone.

Is it common? No, because any true pro in the industry will not buy poor quality granite slabs and any reputable company will not install an obviously inferior slab.

They slip through for a number of reasons, but someone should have informed you of its condition.

Gritty surfaces and spotting polishing does occur more often with Santa Cecilia granite. It's a popular stone, however, with a wide range in color and quality.

You say you picked it out and are sure it's the same. Well, then you don't have much recourse. The possibility that the surface was damaged in this way during fabrication and installation is near zero.

If, however, you had simply picked out a color from a sample or picked a granite slab and this one is not it... then you have every right to complain.

No stone warehouse wants bad slabs and shady dealers will pawn them off if they can.

Also, some fabricators will quote a cheap price, but the only way to make money is to buy a super cheap slab, which often is very low quality and then make excuses.

It's a bummer, but most likely this stone cannot be improved. The installer didn't polish the countertop entirely... only the edges. The countertop surface was polished on a industrial machine at the "factory".

So, it is probably polished about as good as it can get already. Maybe get a granite countertop restoration pro to take a look, but I wouldn't get your hopes up I'm sorry to say.

White Alaska Granite Countertop
by: Anonymous

Recently had installed a White Alaska granite countertop and felt some ruffles in isolated spots. The salesman explained that the fissures (?) can be a little ruff to the touch.

Is this true?


Yes and (mostly) no.... fissures can be seen of course and are a normal feature of natural stone that typically do not cause any problem.

In some cases it is possible that a fissure in a granite countertop could be felt as a slight ruffle in the surface. But in most cases no... the surface over the fissure will be just as smooth as the entire countertop surface.

If so, there really isn't anything that can be done about it. The stone was originally finished on a huge specialized machine, so not likely to improve it. Also, the fissure probably creates more of a dip than a ridge.

I can feel the veins in my granite
by: Linda

We recently had granite installed. It is a level 2 Fashion Gold and beautiful, but, it has lots of veins and many of them can be felt, especially with the fingernail. The guy came out and said that was normal. I'm still concerned. Should I be?

===Admin Comment:

Yes, sometimes you can feel the natural fissures, but the surface should be essentially flat and smooth. I wouldn't worry about it.

Stone Type
by: Ralph

Some follow up - you were right about the sealer, it was left on way too long and that is what is causing the "sandy" feel of the surface. I tried polishing it off with steel wool in one spot, and that helps, but its way too much work to do myself.

The granite material is called "Mascarello". From what I've learned this material is prone to breaking, and needs to be filled in with epoxy to hold it together in the polishing process. However, the places were it was filled are really obvious (and in some places it has remaining chips), so I still agree with your assessment that I got a cheap/poor-quality slab (which was indeed picked by the installer).

I'm now trying to work out some resolution with the guy, but it's an uphill battle ...

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