Durable and beautiful, granite is a favored choice for countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. But the material is not impervious to cracks.
Granite countertop repair is a relatively easy and affordable process. Understanding the severity of the crack is the first step. Using the correct methods and products will ensure that the granite chip repair lasts.
Cracks, Chips and Fissures
There are two types of granite cracks that can mar the pristine surface of the granite countertop, according to Countertop Specialty: hairline and separated.
Hairline cracks can happen when the granite countertop is originally installed. The heavy slab is rigid and can splinter almost imperceptibly around sinks and other cut-out areas where the slab is altered or thin. In general, hairline cracks blend into the stone, don't compromise the integrity of the heavy countertop and don't need repairing.
If the crack is easily seen, and you can feel them as you run your hand over the granite surface, it may be considered a separated crack. If the sliver has a lip, or a dime or thin blade of a kitchen knife can slip into the crack, then it requires attention and repair. Left unattended, this type of crack can spread or cause further damage along the surface of the granite countertop.
When to Call a Repairman
Once you have found a crack that is more than a mere hairline imperfection, you should assess the depth of the crack. If it is a deep gouge or a wide crack that runs the length of the countertop, you may want to consider hiring an experienced granite repair specialist.
A granite countertop crack near sink edges can require a little more finesse. Although it is possible to repair, it can be a bit trickier than expected due to the slab structure being a little more fragile after being cut to fit the sink. A professional can artfully repair the crack and ensure that it doesn't spread around the more fragile areas of the granite slab where cracks often appear.
Countertop Guides recommends hiring a professional if the crack or fissure is serious or in an area of stress, such as around a sink. An experienced granite repair person understands the products and methods that are needed to repair the granite countertop without causing further damage. They also know how to work with the wet products and sharp tools quickly and efficiently.
Granite Countertop Repair
After thoroughly cleaning the surface of the granite, allow the crack to dry before filling with the acrylic, resin or color-matched granite crack repair epoxy. Use a resin-based color enhancer to fill cracks to brighten the lighter shades within the natural stone and blend the repair into the rest of the structure.
A fast-setting clear epoxy dries hard and clear like glass and can stabilize a fissure. After filling the crack or chip, use a razor blade to scrape off the excess from the surface of the granite countertop. The granite will need to be polished to blend the repair in with the rest of the countertop.
A complete granite chip repair kit can hold all the tools and correct color-matched epoxy to apply to the countertop. These typically come with two viscosities of resin paired with a spray-on catalyst. These work well for fissures or large chips on backsplashes or the lip of the countertop where the epoxy may drip without the spray-on catalyst to dry the resin.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.