Granite countertops are very durable, and stand up admirably to reasonable use. However, you can damage it permanently if you try hard enough. Putting heavy weights on unsupported portions such as an extended overhand, striking it with some force, or using pointed implements can lead to chips, cracks, and even breaks.
If you want granite countertops, but fear that minor damage to the stone might force you to spend a lot of money to repair it, take heart. You can fix small problems with your granite countertops quite easily. Below is a basic DIY repair guide for granite countertops.
Is it even a crack?
The first thing you need to find out is if that crack you see in your granite countertops is an actual, physical crack and not a fissure. Granite is a natural stone, so it may include fissures as part of its formation.
Technically, a fissure is a thin line occurring naturally between the mineral crystals that make up the granite’s mass. However, it is often a surface feature. It does not mean it goes all the way through, and your counter will suddenly fall apart. In rare cases, a fissure is bad enough that it affects the integrity of the stone. However, a reputable supplier will not use a granite slab with this fatal flaw when putting in your kitchen countertops.
That said, physical cracks could occur in granite slabs during shipping, fabrication, and installation. Granite slabs are quite thin, between 2 cm and 3 cm thick, and it is at its most vulnerable when handled without support. This is why it is important to have a professional handle all of this for you.
How to tell the difference
To tell if it is a crack or fissure, inspect the countertops immediately after installation. Pay special attention to stress areas such as along the sink and fixtures, edges, and supported areas. Check for any signs of fissures or cracks. Fissures are permanent features of the stone, may occur in random areas, and will not spontaneously appear over time. If you find none during your initial inspection, and suddenly find one after a few months, it is probably a crack.
Another way to tell the difference between a fissure and a crack is the appearance. Cracks often follow a straight line that cuts across the grain, while fissures tend to meander around groups of crystals or with the grain. If you see a straight line cutting across the grain radiating from or along areas of stress upon installation, report it immediately to your contractor.
Finally, fissures tend to be extremely narrow, almost imperceptible, and will definitely flat. You should not be able to put a coin in it or feel any difference between the levels of one side to the other. If it is wide enough for that or you can tell where it is by touch, it is probably a crack.
If have a crack or large fissure in your granite countertop, you should do something to keep it from getting worse. Cracks can have a significant effect on the integrity of your stone, and may widen and elongate over time.
You should also repair chips and breaks in the stone, which tend to occur on edges of the kitchen countertops. These will probably not lead to any catastrophic failure of your granite countertops, but they are unsightly, and may also trap food debris and dirt.
Cracks and chips
The easiest way to repair fissure, cracks, and chips is to fill it in using some type of clear adhesive or resin, such as acrylic or epoxy. Products specifically designed to repair granite are available commercially and at reasonable prices.
Most come in kits to make the repair job easier, such as the Granite & Marble Acrylic Repair DIY Kit – Light Cure, which quickly hardens the acrylic using a visible light source. You will only spend around $20 for a small kit. It is a good choice for filling in small breaks or chips around the edges of the stone, as the acrylic is in a paste form, so you can shape it before applying the light to harden it.
You can also try LiquaGlass, which is more expensive at around $50 for a 3 oz kit, but this can go a long way. This is an epoxy product, which means you have to mix two or more substances to activate them. You have less than a minute to put it in the cracks or chips before it starts to harden, so only mix a small amount at a time. You should also know where you want to put them before mixing it, and make sure you remove any excess immediately. It solidifies into a clear and hard surface with a good luster, so it looks a lot like glass, hence the name, and will not discolor. It should blend right in with the granite.
You can also use LiquaGlass or any type of epoxy repair kit to reattach a broken piece of granite provided the pieces more or less fit together. You can always fill in any gaps after. And you will need acetone, paper towels, razor blade, a hairdryer, and scrubbing pad. Below are the steps for repairing broken granite.
1. Clean both surfaces with paper towels dampened with acetone, and scrub with the pad to remove any dirt or oil. Contaminants can weaken the bond formed between the two pieces.
2. Acetone will evaporate quite quickly, but it is better to apply a hairdryer to the surfaces to make sure no moisture remains.
3. Mix the epoxy according to instructions and apply it in an even layer on both surfaces. Working quickly but carefully, push the two pieces firmly together, and hold them in place for a few minutes. Epoxy hardens quickly, so it should not take long.
4. Wipe away any excess product around the new seam using acetone on a paper towel. If any remains, wait at least 24 hours for the epoxy to set before using the razor blade to scrape it away.
5. After filling the gaps, apply an impregnating sealer.
Find a granite countertops specialist in your area
It is unlikely you will need these repair tips if you treat your granite countertops right, and you get it from a reliable contractor. You need a company like KNC Granite if you are in the areas of Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville, Alexandria VA, Arlington VA, and Washington DC.
KNC Granite has a large array of granite slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
We do not only supply top-quality granite stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Aside from natural stones, we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.