Natural “Flaws” in Granite

As incredible as granite may be, it’s still a substance from nature, and like all things in the natural world, it has flaws. But there’s a difference between a stone’s natural and perfectly normal variation and what truly signifies low quality. And though here at Granite and Marble Specialties we only use the finest stone, carefully chosen from around the world, if you’re in the market, or examining your existing granite, it’s important you know to recognize the difference between what you should expect and what you should avoid.

1.) Color Variation

Some color variation is natural—in fact, if there isn’t any, you might have an imitation stone. But relatively uniform color is often important to home owners and decorators—one hiccup many home owners run into is that their granite doesn’t “match.” Though their are different kinds of rock, the same name doesn’t necessarily mean the same hue or grain, and different slabs will have different concentrations of minerals that might give them slightly different coloring. If you don’t actually go look at the slabs in person, you might have a countertops on your island that is noticeably different from the ones by your sink, which is a pretty high-stakes mistake. If you need more than one slab of granite for your project, you should choose slabs cut from the same block to avoid wild differences, and look it over before it’s installed!

2.) Natural Fissures

There is a difference between a “crack” and a “fissure.” Fissures occur naturally in the stone and are created during the rock’s formation. They’re not considered a defect, but an inevitable feature that often adds to the natural beauty. Fissures look like small lines of a different color than the base stone. Cracks, however, are a serious danger to the integrity of your granite. They can start as “hairline” cracks, which are very thin, but will expand overtime to deep gaps  that can break off or cause water damage. If you look at a “crack” from an oblique angle in good light and it disappears, that means it’s a fissure—if it doesn’t, you have a crack on your hands.

3.) Porous Surface

Another natural “flaw” of granite is its porous surface. Although it looks smooth and is slick to the touch, all natural granite has small pores or pits. Some kinds of granite are more porous than others, which is why some granite requires sealant and others do not. But it’s true that the cheaper your granite, you will have both more and deeper pits and pores relative its type. It’s not uncommon to find low-quality granite passed off as stone of higher integrity because the surface was covered with a wax spray or shine—this is especially common on poorly cut edges. If you’re looking at inherited countertops in your new home, or at those of a home you’re considering buying, try giving the counter a scratch with a coin. A shine or sealant will be marked, whereas natural granite will be unscathed.

Each cut of granite is like a unique piece of art, and it’s important to be able to recognize the difference between natural blemishes and real problems! Come into Granite and Marble Specialties if you want to guarantee that you get the best possible granite!