It’s Called Pitting.
Many marble counter owners spot these small holes and wonder just what is going on with their stone - and how to fix it.
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, or only visible in the right light. Pitting is not a sign of malfunction nor an error made by the polisher, it is simply a natural element of owning and caring for natural stone. Most may 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.
Natural stone is that – natural – and each piece will be unique and have natural imperfections. Natural stone buyers should be prepared to appreciate the distinct marks, colours and in their stone, keeping in mind that it was not manufactured like other surfaces.
So, how is it fixed? Pitting is filled with an epoxy mixed to match the stone’s natural colour as much as possible. Though there are DIY kits out there, this is one job you want a professional to do. 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 where the pitting is. Then, the epoxy tint will be mixed with a hardener. The hardener will harden quickly, so there is a limited amount of time between mixing and applying the mixture to the stone.Before it dries, any excess epoxy will be scraped off to create a flush surface. Depending on the product used, the epoxy will take a few minutes or longer to set. Once set, the professional will clean the area with steel wool or another material to remove any epoxy surrounding the pitting.
Why go professional when you can fill on your own? A number of natural stone owners damage their stone when trying to fill pitting with DIY kits. 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 to fill your stone’s pitting.
How can I ensure my stone does not have pitting?
While pitting is typically due to changes in the stone’s composite during polishing, it can also be caused by lack of maintenance of the stone over time. Ensure that your stone is always properly cleaned, and any spills are quickly cleaned from the surface. Test your stone regularly for a solid seal, and reseal the surface at any signs of a degraded seal. If you notice pitting, contact a professional right away to get it filled to guard against further or deeper issues.
Though pitting is normally from polishing, you can prevent further pitting by ensuring your stone is properly cleaned and sealed. Read more about sealing your natural stone here. Pitting is a normal part of having beautiful, natural stone. 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.