NATURAL STONE CHARACTERISTICS
Please take a moment to read the following information regarding some of the natural characteristics of natural stone. This information is provided courtesy of the Natural Stone Institute. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us for additional information.
Granite, Marble, Limestone and Onyx are natural products so there will always be natural imperfections that will occur in every stone. Sometimes, these features may become noticeable when the position (either vertical or horizontal) of the slab is changed or when the lighting is changed. Some of these natural stone characteristics are described below:
• SHADE VARIATION - Shade variation occurs in all natural stones. It tends to be more prevalent in stones that have heavy veining and movement. But shading also exists in slabs that are more consistent in color like Baltic Brown, Golden Leaf, Tropic Brown and the like. Shade variation is typically most evident at seams where two pieces come together.
• FISSURES - Fissures occur naturally in many types of stone. The American Geological Institute defines a fissure as "an extensive crack, break, or fracture in the rock which may contain mineral-bearing material". The term "fissure" is used commercially in the stone industry to describe a "visible separation along inter-crystalline boundaries". A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature in the stone.
• CRACKS - Cracks occur in stones as a result of mechanically induced stress during handling such as transport, fabrication, or installation. If a crack is detected in a slab before fabrication, the best practice is to simply avoid it during the layout process. In stones with lesser soundness properties, this option may not be possible. When working with such stones, it is common practice to repair the crack by cementing it together with epoxy or polyester resin. This may be done either with or without dowel reinforcement. In many cases, the repaired area is as strong as or stronger than the surrounding area due to the strength of the epoxy bond.
• CHIPS - Chips can occur in stones either as a result of sawing operations or handling and restraint devices. Particularly in Granite, the exiting portion of the diamond saw blade may create small chips along the cut edge. The edge profile will eliminate these small chips along visible edges. Larger chips may be repaired with epoxy or polyester resin which will be colored to match the stone.
• PITTING - Pitting of the countertop surface, particularly in Granite, is a commonly seen characteristic. The pits do not make the Granite less durable or otherwise inferior, and do not, in themselves, qualify the slab for replacement. Pits are common in all Granites and should be expected when dealing with a natural, polished stone containing several types of minerals with different degrees of hardness. Biotite (a small black mineral throughout the slab) is softer and exists to a greater or lesser degree in all granites. During the polishing process, the first few layers of Biotite are removed which may cause superficial pits. It is usually best to not attempt to repair the pits since most repair techniques will not cosmetically improve the countertop.
• DISCOLORATION - Certain minerals in Black Absolute Granite can react when exposed to water and create what appear to be watermarks. This unexplained phenomenon only happens in approximately 2% of all installations and is not the result of inferior material or workmanship. If you are concerned about this possibility when considering Black Absolute, you may want to select an alternate black Granite such as Black Uba Tuba.
Each slab of Granite is a unique work of color and texture created by nature. Your choice in selecting which stone to use shows an appreciation for these natural materials and the distinct characteristics that they possess. W are confident that they will help create a unique kitchen or bath that you will enjoy for years to come.