First, what’s pitting?
Holes in your granite countertop are called pitting. Pitting is a small crack, indentation or fissure in the natural stone’s surface. It can be caused by the polishing process or an inherent, unique mark of the stone. All natural stones have pitting to some extent, though most are barely visible.
Natural stone is that – natural – and each piece will be unique and have natural imperfections. Homeowners should be prepared to appreciate the distinct marks in their stone and keep in mind that natural stones are not manufactured like other surfaces. Rest assured, pitting is NOT a sign of malfunction in the installation process nor an error made by the polisher; it’s simply a natural element of owning and caring for natural stone.
Can they be fixed?
The short answer is yes, most pitting can be filled with epoxy. However, very shallow pitting may not be able to be filled properly as there is not enough surface area for the epoxy to adhere. When the holes in your granite countertop are large enough, it is filled with an epoxy mixed to match the stone’s natural colour (as much as possible).
Your natural stone professional will mix an epoxy specific to your stone and its colour where the pitting occurs. First, a filler will be tinted to match the stone. Then, the epoxy tint will be mixed with a hardener. The hardener will harden quickly, so there’s a limited amount of time between mixing and applying to the stone. Before it dries, any excess epoxy will be scraped off to create a flush surface. Depending on the product, the epoxy will take a few minutes or longer to set. Once set, the professional will clean the area with steel wool to remove any epoxy surrounding the pitting. This is what gives it a smooth finish.
Why go professional when you can fill your own?
Though there are DIY solutions out there, this is one job you will want a professional to do. A number of natural stone owners damage their stone when trying to fill pitting with DIY solutions. Selecting and mixing the right epoxy for the stone, having the necessary tools, and getting the colour tint right is worth paying the extra dollars for a professional. Take is from the Leaders in Natural Stone Protection and Restoration; pitting is delicate skilled work, and requires some technical know-how to do well.
How can I protect my stone from pitting?
While pitting is typically due to changes in the stone’s composite during polishing, it can also be caused by improper care and maintenance of the stone over time. Ensure that your granite countertop is always properly cleaned, and any spills are quickly cleaned from the surface. We recommend using a PH-neutral cleaner for daily cleaning, or warm water with a mild soap will do too.
You’ll also want to make sure your stone is properly sealed. Test your stone regularly for a solid seal, and reseal the surface whenever there are signs of a degraded seal. Learn more about proper care and maintenance here.
If you notice pitting, contact a professional right away to get it filled to protect against further or deeper issues. Be prepared to clean, seal, and fill any pitting in your stone with your professional natural stone care team to guarantee a long life with your stone surface.
Any questions? Feel free to contact us at The Marble Clinic.