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September 21 2022 - Kitchen Tips & Tricks

Natural Stone Characteristics

Natural stones are unique and require us to be a little more understanding than with other manufactured materials like quartz or ultra-compact surfaces like Dekton. There are natural characteristics that made it possible for Mother Nature to create stunning mineral combinations that we can admire today. Here are the most frequent ones :

 

Etching

Etching is the honing of a stone when put in direct contact with an acidic food or beverage. It is not a stain but rather a chemical reaction between the calcium in a stone and the acid source. This reaction will eat away at the minerals, revealing a dulled spot that will be slightly rough to the touch. Marble is the stone that is most sensitive to this phenomenon.

 

When you are faced with this situation, you can ask to have your surface repolished, but the best is to opt for a preventive method and choose a honed finish. This finish will make the marble super soft and will also dissimulate the etching effect better [the etching will still be there, but you will not see it as much!]

 

Finally, even if marbles are not covered by the 15-year warranty, you can ask to have our exclusive GDGuardTM treatment that will help increase the stone’s resistance to stains and combine this with the purchase of our Stone Care Kit to give a little extra TLC to your countertops!

OVERALL VIEW - Kitchen with Bianco Carrara marble in honed finish
VIEW 1 - Etching effect less visible
VIEW 2 - Etching effect is revealed

Pitting

From the word pit, these small craters are not a defect but a result of the initial slab polishing process. Rotating heads enter in contact with small air pockets that formed between the softer minerals (like mica, biotite, etc.) and harder minerals (like quartz), and make the softer minerals pop out. This leaves behind small craters, often pin-sized. They are visible and can be felt. Depending on the chosen stone, there can be more or less of this phenomenon present in the slab.

 

When you are facing this situation, there is no product on the market that will offer a long-lasting bond with such a small area. The best is to learn to love the natural beauty of your countertop and its unique particularities!

PITTING - overall view of an Iberian Sunset granite installation
PITTING - close up view revealing the phenomenon

Microfissures

More present in exotic natural stones, these microfissures are ancient fractures that allowed water to penetrate the stone and create the beautiful colours that we can admire today. During millions of years, these fractures welded back together under the Earth’s extreme heat & pressure, creating a unique and durable stone. A microfissure will be visible and can sometimes be felt, but it does not impact your stone’s quality or beauty.

 

When you are facing this situation, the best is to learn to appreciate Mother Nature’s work, that was made possible by these same fractures.

MICROFISSURE - overall view of a kitchen in Taj Mahal antique quartzite
MICROFISSURE - close up view of the edge profile revealing the phenomenon

Variance in the level of polish

More often seen in exotic granite that has a wide array of minerals in a slab, including many soft minerals (like mica). These softer minerals will not react the same way to the polishing process; these areas will remain duller under certain angles or lighting. It is a bit like comparing the polishing of an orange and an apple. Both are fruits but the apple (denser) will shine easily whereas the orange (softer) will stay dull.

VARIANCE in the level of shine on a Delicatus granite island top