marks, patches, smudges, scratches, rust, dulled, bleached, faded,
lightnes, darkens, absorbs, yellowing, haze, film, rough, powdery
|Q 2238: Scratch:
Hello. This website is very informative
and it must be very time-consuming for you to respond to everyone.
We have recently purchased a home with "granite" countertops
but we do not know what they are or who installed them. After reading
your site, I realized that we might have a problem already. The "granite"
has a surface scratch (looks like a score mark) about an inch
in length and about an inch from the sink... we assumed it was an
error when the sink was installed and didn't make a big deal of it
as it was a surface mark (we hope). The building inspector suggested
we get someone in to polish it out but we thought we could live with
it. I'm interested to know what you think.
Thanks for your time and expertise. Sincerely, Rebecca. July 15
Dear Rebecca: I always put the word "granite" in between quotation
marks, because, in fact, appproximately the 98% (no, it's not a typo)
of the stone traded as granite are not granite. They can be gabbro,
dolerite, larvikite, anorthiste, gneis, porphyry, granidorite, anidrite,
etc., through a long list. That doesn't mean that they are not as
good as true geological granite. As a matter of fact, some of them
are better than granite; at the other end, unfortunately, there are
"granites" that, in my opinion, should be banned altogether. But,
hey, it's just me!
As far your problem is concerned, a scratch could have happen to any
stone, true granite included. Yes, you do need a professional stone
refinisher to take a look at it. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA,
|Q 2197: Dull/Rough:
We had an island countertop installed in our new home about a year
and a half ago. The granite is Calypso Green.
As suggested by the installer, we used 409 to clean it. Initially,
the surface looked great. As time has gone on, many areas have become
dull and are not smooth to the touch. This began within a few months
of the installation and has worsened. I called the installer and was
told it was due to the differences in the stones in the Calypso Green,
and that they are different degrees of hardness and don't polish the
same. This was reiterated by another dealer. After many calls, the
owner came out and said there was nothing wrong with it and left a
can of spray polish. This polish produces no noticeable difference
that I can see. I have called several other dealers in my area and
they all say it needs sealing, but no one provides that service. Is
a sealer what's needed? Is this something I can do? I have seen terms
like 'penetrating sealer' and 'impregnator'. Do these require professional
polishing afterward? Help! I love this granite, but am very frustrated
by its increasingly dull and patchy appearance. Thank you for
any help you can give. Sue, July 9,
Dear Sue: "Formula 409", huh ... They might as well have told you
to use sand-paper!
That's your culprit right there! In fact, the stone surface deteriorated
as you continued using the harsh stuff. Basically your stone -- which
just so happens to be a mix-breed, that is the worse type -- has been
damaged by the wrong cleaner and now you need the expensive services
of a stone refinisher, hoping that in your neck of the woods you can
find someone who has a clue on how to deal with your "granite"!
There's no topical sealer that will ever be able to do the first thing
about your problem, and impregnator-type sealers -- which are below
surface and only deal with the absorbency of the stone, therefore
have nothing to do with the surface appearance -- would be just a
waste of time and money. Based upon your version of the story, I feel
very sorry by realizing what bunch of idiots you've been dealing with
all throughout your "stone adventure". Sometimes I'm ashamed to belong
to this industry. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
|Q 2195: Haze:
I read a good deal of your comments on the findstone web site and
was impressed at your level of technical knowledge.
I am finishing up a new home (I am the homeowner) that has a lot of
"absolute black" floor tile (
the crates said Made in China) and will have slab countertops, backsplashes
fireplace surrounds from the same importer/fabricator.
The installer did a good job installing. There is a haze which
will not be cut with water. Which products should I use to
clean and maintain my floors and other "granite" surfaces
(from reading your comments I realize the stone is likely something
like anorthosite). Where can I purchase these products?
Do you do detailing or can you recommend a detailer? I live in NJ.
Thank you, Sincerely, Scott, July 9
Dear Scott: The Chinese "Black Absolute" is a stone (I don't exactly
know which one) that all
too many time doesn't polish well. The "haze" that you see may be
there to stay. It may just be the "nature of the beast" and no cleaner
will ever fix that! I do do detailing, but I honestly don't know if
it'll help. I would have to see. Do send an E-mail to this site (you
can use the "" link at the end of your very question) and ask them
to put you in touch directly with me.
By the way, only one black granite is an anorthosite, namely the Cambrian
Black. All the rest that I'm familiar with are either gabbro or dolerite.
We can discuss all your other issues once we're in direct correspondence.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
|Q 2167: Rings:
We have recently installed Black Galaxy granite
Your site is really great I wish I would
have found it before we installed the granite. Anyway,
we sealed it and I noticed rings left from cranberry juice so
I used steel wool to get them out, which it did and now I have a
light area where I used the steel wool. Then I decided it was
the sealer which left the mark (it looked like it was etched). So
I scrubbed the sealer off. But I still don't know if it needs to be
sealed or not. I did the lemon juice test and it seemed to pass with
flying colors. It also seems that if some kind of juice, even wine,
is left on the counters it doesn't stain (or etch) it but if there
is a glass on it, it seems to leave a ring. I don't know if we should
put the sealer back on or not. Any help you can give me would be greatly
appreciated, I am going nuts with this. Thank you. Audrey, July 6
Dear Audrey: Here we go again! Yet another "professional" that seals
a stone that doesn't need to be sealed!! The cranberry juice (which
is acidic) did not stain your gabbro (that what Black Galaxy is and
that's why it doesn't need to be sealed), it rather etched the stupid
sealer that had no business being there to begin with. Have the "Michelangelo"
who applied the sealer remove it (they will have to use a paint stripper
based on Methylene Chloride. Anything else won't cut it). You
don't strip a sealer with steel wool. Once
they're finished kick them out of your house, and live happily thereafter!!
I have Black Galaxy in my own kitchen for over 6 years already, and
both my wife and I love to cook a lot. Believe you me, because of
the way we use and abuse that stone every day of the week and twice
on Sunday, it's taking a beating all right! Never sealed, of course.
Still brand new!!
Should you wish, you can get my free maintenance guidelines for residential
stone installation by hitting the link at the bottom of this page's
left side bar. Treasure them; you won't be getting them from your
"Michelangelo", that's for sure! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
you so much for your answer. I wish I would have found this web site
before purchasing it. I really like it a lot though and now I know
I won't have to deal with the etching forever. Thanks again for the
Audrey, July 8.
Rings: I am looking for a way to clean and then keep looking
fresh my granite countertops. The granite is Tropical
Brown, installed about two years ago. I would like to be
able to use a cleaner to remove some "rings" and then a polish
and a day to day 'wipe up' application. Emory, June 26.
Dear Emory: Some "rings"? "Granite" is not supposed to get "rings",
unless it's a "half-breed" stone (with a certain percentage of calcite
in it, that is. Quite a rare, yet possible case), or if, say, a bottle
of rust remover based on hydrofluoric acid has been sitting on it.
In such two instances, you'd be looking at an actual surface damage,
not a stain; therefore you would need the services of a proven stone
refinisher that can handle granite (a rare commodity, indeed!)
But ... it could also be that your "granite" is one of those stones
that don't need to be sealed and was sealed anyway. To find out if
that's (hopefully) the case, you'll have to try stripping the sealer
with a paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride (anything else won't
cut it. Make sure to follow the directions and precautionary measures
and warnings printed on the product's can.) If you see that it will
take care of your "rings" -- namely etch marks on the sealer that
had no business being there -- then you're in good shape. Strip the
sealer from all over the counter, implement sound and easy maintenance
procedure and live happily thereafter.
Should you wish, you can get my free maintenance guidelines for residential
stone installation by hitting the link at the bottom of this page's
left side bar. Treasure them; you'll be glad you did! Ciao and good
luck, Maurizio, USA
Bleached: What a wonderful site!
We have a problem and I'm not sure where else to turn....
We have absolute black granite
We usually clean them with Windex and they sparkle, even after 8 years.
Now it looks as if someone applied some type of bleach to clean the
countertops and when dry the granite is hideously marred by dry, white
swirls and streaks. We tried the Windex but the streaks reappear
after a few seconds. Please let me know your thoughts. And what can
be done restore the countertops. Thanks so much! Best always, Michael,
Dear Michael: I'm honestly at a loss here. Besides the fact that
Windex is certainly not the right cleaner for stone (no matter
how nice it looks after its use. Yes, I know, that's what your contractor
told you to use, but what do they know about stone, anyway?! They're
even honestly convinced that black "granite" is a granite! ...), and
no bleach can do to black "granite" what you're reporting to us, unless
1) Your black "granite" had been "doctored" by the factory with the
application of a black "makeup" to make it darker and the particular
"cleaner" used by somebody (probably of an acidic nature, or a mineral
solvent) removed part of the makeup. I doubt that, however. In fact,
if this were the case, unless you use your kitchen just about as a
show-place, it would have taken less than 8 years to show. 2)
You countertop had been sealed by the installer with an impregnator-type
sealer, which is not advisable in the case of black "granite" due
to the inherent density of the stone. If that's the case, the continuous
use of Windex may have weakened the sealer and the following
application of a stronger cleaning agent did the rest. What you see
may be damages on the sealer, not on the stone.
3) The cleaning agent used by someone was based on Hydrofluoric acid
(contained in many a rust remover), which, to the best of my knowledge,
is the only acid that can etch black "granite". You can
find out if your case is represented by either the 1) or 2) possibilities
above by stripping your countertop with a paint stripper based on
Methylene Chloride (anything else won't cut it. Follow the directions
and precautionary measures and warnings printed on the product's can.)
If that will turn out to be the solution, then don't seal your countertop
ever again, use the right stone cleaner, and live happily thereafter.
If instead nothing happens, then you will need the assistance of a
professional stone refinisher that knows how to deal with black "granite"
(you won't find many of them!)
I applied a poultice to remove a stain from my granite countertop.
Not only is the stain (a ring from the bottom of a bowl -- perhaps
lemon juice?) still there, but the granite is now completely faded
out where the poultice was applied. I have tried soaking it in
mineral oil, polishing with car polisher, and resealing multiple times,
but there is no change. What can I do? Jeremy, June 23
Dear Geremy: Since you did not indicate what kind of "Granite" you
have, or at least its color, it's hard to come up with a diagnosis.
But let me guess: Your "granite" is dark, maybe even black ... Am
If that's the case the solution is quite simple (and shocking, too,
I'm sure!). Soak your countertop with massive doses of paint stripper
based on Methylene Chloride, and make sure to strip all -- I do mean
ALL -- the sealer that's sitting on it, and probably had no business
being there in the first place (Follow the directions and the precautionary
warnings printed on the back of the stripper's can). You will most
likely see a "miracle" happen before your very eyes in the process:
Your stains will just vanish in the thin air!!
Scroll down this page and go to the posting 2012 by Frank, USA, dated
June 4. You'll find his problem quite familiar, I reckon! Of course,
you will read my answer to it, too. In your case however -- if my
guess above were right -- the 2nd possibility of my answer to Frank
would be the most likely. I'd really appreciate if you'll keep me
posted. Maurizio, USA
I am not sure what to tell you except I don't think I can give you
a quick and painless solution. Nothing you did would affect the color
of suitable natural stone. I think you should involve the company
that sold you the counter. Let them know that the finish was adversely
affected by lemon juice or whatever was in the jar. Let me know what
type of stone you purchased. Regards, Steven, Expert Panelist, USA.
I have just had Uba Tuba granite
countertops installed in my kitchen. Need advice on daily cleaning.
The installer said he put a sealer on it prior to installation. Is
there a need to put a sealer on it? when and how often? Marta, June
Dear Marta: Granite should be sealed, Uba Tuba (which is not granite)
should not. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
The granite installed in my kitchen is called Juperana
Miel. Is it granite or some other type of stone? What is
best for its maintenance? Debby, June 18
Dear Debby: So, now we have this "Juparana Miel" stone (isn't
"Miel" portuguese for honey?), uh! Like I always say,
a new one (some times two or more!) every day!
Sorry never heard of it, but ...
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio,
We presume you have searched our Stone Album and not found the
We will post this inquiry in our 'Identify the Stone' section.
Stone names are often mis-spelt and sometimes sellers make up names
which are different from the real trade name. FindStone.com
for your . I had not searched the Stone Album because I didn't see
it. I looked through it and a couple of the granites look like it.
I was told it is from Brazil and Cecilia A Yellow and Amarelo Cachoeiro
Yellow both look like it. It is a light color base with a lot of other
colors in it like peach, grey, shades of brown and bits of pink and
dark red, which I was told was garnet. Debby
I have just installed Castilla Dark
(black and white speckled) granite countertops in my kitchen.
Due to a series of embarrassing miscommunications about the materials
we were using, we attempted to seam the cracks using only the hardener
and dye (without the "body").
When the seams failed to harden, we realized our mistake and immediately
scraped out the hardener. Prior to scraping the hardener out, a faint
black stain along each side of the seam had begun to appear, and upon
scraping it out, the stain darkened further. We have yet to seal the
tops, because we are hoping to find a way to remove these stains before
Can anyone offer advice on what this stain is and how we might remove
it? The absorption obviously occurred through the unfinished edges
of the stone, so it is a hard surface to reach. We have tried acetone,
but it has not made a difference (and after reading your page I'm
not sure we applied it correctly and I'm not sure it was the best
place to start). Todd, June 12
Dear Todd: I do have guidelines about stain removal. Send an E-mail
to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for them. I'll be glad to e-mail
them to you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
Our Library of Articles or this Advice Wanted section may already
have the answer, so please check these. FindStone.com
for the response. I posted the question before I had exhausted your
site and have since found the answer elsewhere on the site.
It is a great resource! Todd
Stain: I just had Juperana White
granite countertops installed at Christmas. I put a stainless steel
dish tray to the side of the sink, and now find that it has left a
gray square stain in its wake. A crew under a spice holder also left
a tiny rust stain. Despite the advice of my installer, I now
realize that granite is extremely porous How can I remove these
stains? Is there anything I can do to beef it up against any future
damage other than removing all metallic objects or sealing them at
the bottom to prevent contact? prevent further damage? Nancy, June
Dear Nancy: So, now we have also "Juparan white" to add to the
long list of the "Juparanas" (whatever the word "Juparana"
means, anyway!). No, Nancy, granite is not extremely porous. Your
"granite" is extremely porous. You were sold a crappy stone (certainly
not a granite by a long, long, long, looooong shot!) labeled as granite.
You never did any homework (unfortunately the stone industry is totally
unregulated and this kind of
fraud goes on unpunished day in and day out. As matter of fact, probably
your fabricator honestly believe that the stone they sold to you is
granite. After all, the invoice says so!...), and now, here you are
with a problem with very little solution.
What to do? Hit the "" link at the end of you very question
and ask to get in touch directly with me. I'll be glad to e-mail you
my guidelines about stain removal. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
Bleached: I accidentally left some phosphoric acid on a black
granite countertop, and it bleached the countertop white
in several areas. I have tried to replace the color by using concrete
chemstain, a hydrochloric acid based stain, and it did nothing. If
anyone knows of a product used to dye color into granite, please let
me know what it is and where to get it. Sincerely, Shannon, June 11
Dear Shannon: Who on earth gave you the idea to try with an hydrochloric
acid-based stain??!! Anyway, you don't need a PROduct, you need a
PROfessional stone refinisher who knows how to do black granite
(it won't be easy to find, I promise!). No color came out (no color
was ever put in to begin with). What you see is the mark of corrosion
made by the acid. When a dark stone loses shine, it loses depth of
Powdery: The granite flooring in my living room has a white
powdery build-up that I can't seem to get rid of. It is difficult
to wipe off and 2 days after cleaning, the powdery stuff appears again.
Your help would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jennifer, June 8
Dear Jennifer: There's only one answer to your question: Efflorescence.
There's moisture under your granite tiles and, by migrating through
the core of the stone toward the surface it chemically reacts with
some of the silicate minerals present in your stone and produce an
inorganic salt that "bleeds" onto the surface and makes a deposit
that looks like lime. As you already found out on your own, cleaning
it is only a temporary fix. You have to find out WHY you have moisture
under those tiles, and see if there's any way to eliminate the problem.
Let me give you an example: If for any chance your "granite" tiles
were installed directly on a cement slab at ground level, then the
water table could find its way through the cement (which is porous,
of course), and from there through the setting material and eventually
the "granite". If that's the case, nothing can be done other than
ripping out the floor, putting a proper waterproof membrane all over
the subfloor and then thinset over it. I hope it's not your case.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
I just got back from looking at granite
here locally (NH). As soon as I got home I tested
out my Black Galaxy sample, scrubbing at it with the green side
of my sponge. My sponge was damp, and it scratched the
granite. Not badly, but it was there. I was under the impression
that Granite was 2nd hardest next to diamonds...do you know
why my sponge would do this? Could it be the stone was sealed
and the sealer is what is scratching? Lea, USA, May 31.
Dear Lea: Green sponges can scratch "granite", even in the case
of a tough stone as "Black Galaxy". After all, the grits in
green sponges are made of silicon carbide, which is the only
material below diamond, hardness-wise. So, avoid those types
of sponge and use plastic-net scrubbers and the likes instead.
Steel-wool would be good, too, but I consider it an overkill
anyway. I hope that many other readers see this posting. Hit
the link to my daily maintenance guidelines at the end of this
page's side bar, and treasure them. (As a matter of fact, I'm
thinking of updating them as a consequence of this latest finding).
|A 1945: We just had Black
honed slab graniteb installed in our kitchen yesterday
that had been pre-sealed. I have noticed smudge marks already
that are resistant to cleaning. I have wiped them with a clean damp
rag and also tried a little "fantastic" on the smudges but they are
still there. I can only imagine when I really start cooking and having
oils around the surface what I might be up against. Any advice on
this? Thanks Lisa, May 21.
Lisa, Honed slate in
black is a very likely stone to show all the finger prints. IM curious
to know what type of sealer you used. Was it a penetrating? Or a top
coat? I have a few tips I can offer you, but first I need to know
what the material was sealed with. Mikki, Honolulu.
Dear Lisa: Welcome
to the club, "We've been con into buying a honed black granite countertop".
Now, if you don't want to join the next club, "Gone insane over a
honed finished black granite kitchen countertop", have the stupid
sealer that had no business being there in the first place stripped
out THOROUGHLY, then have a good-quality color enhancer applied instead.
It will make you countertop permanently black, but that's the only
way to make it almost manageable from a maintenance point of view.
I feel deeply sorry for you.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1944: My family is
building a new home and we have selected for our kitchen and the
foyer to be covered with black granite shiny tiles. The builder's
selected contractor had advised us that they should be hired for the
job given the "extensive experience and expertise" that they have
in doing this type of job. That for black tiles, it is very easy to
look bad if we hired somebody who do not know what they're doing.
Therefore, we end up paying this contractor over $12000 for this job.
However, after he sent someone to put the tiles in, we went and reviewed
the job. We are horrified at how uneven they were laid. Not only
were there difference in spacing between the tiles, it is also uneven
in the way that some tiles are not flat. Almost to the point that
someone may trip over a corner!
After he surveyed the situation, he is not willing to re-do the job
even though he admit that they did not do a good job. He is now suggesting
that he will grind down the whole entire floor (foyer to kitchen)
to make it level/even/flatten out, and then polish it. However, he
said the color may wear out a little and he won't guarantee results.
Maurizio, your help and response would be so very greatly appreciated.
We have no experience nor expertise and do not know if we should
allow him to do this grinding down of the tiles. Please let me
know what you think. Thanks! Venessa, May 21.
Dear Venessa: No, by
all means, do NOT allow the guy to try grinding your floor!
His installation is totally faulty and you have a legal case as big
as your entire house and then some. Grinding "granite" and refinishing
it requires a professionalism that is almost up there with the pagan
Gods!! The guy is totally unqualified. A proven professional would
not charge any less than $ 20 to 25 per square foot to do a job like
that (I know I wouldn't!). And if the job is done by a competent contractor,
there will be no loss of depth of color, either. Demand your GC to
replace the floor and take his butt to court if he refuses. You can't
lose! The official industry standards for "lippage" (those
sticky corners) is 1/32". We're talking about less than the thickness
of a dime. If you need additional assistance, hit the "" link at the
end of your posting and ask to get in touch directly with me. Ciao
and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1926: A brand new 5' black
granite piece we will use as a countertop
was delivered with scratches on the surface and some chips along the
cut edge that expose gray underneath. Any ideas on repairing/hiding
the scratches and chips will be appreciated! Thanks. Gary,
Dear Gary: The black
in black granite is an optical illusion, which is created by polishing
the surface of the stone to a deep gloss. The grey "underneath" is
the true color of the stone. You can hide the scratches (only to a
certain degree) with a good-quality color enhancer. About the chips
you're out of luck. Maurizio, USA
|A 1921: Marks:
Your web site is very informative--I hope you will have
some advice for me. We have 10-year old Ubatuba
countertops in the kitchen, and they have been marred by nothing,
with no special treatment, until now. Recently it appears that the
cleaning service set a bottle of a product called Zap (which is specifically
labeled to say it should not come in contact with granite) on the
countertop, and it must have been dripping or leaking because I now
have a white mark in the shape of half of the bottom of the Zap
bottle. I contacted the manufacturer of Zap, and they suggested
rubbing the mark with toothpaste. That actually helped a little, in
the area where the mark was least pronounced, but it is definitely
still quite noticeable. Please, please, do you have any suggestions?
Thank you! Joy, May 17
Dear Joy: Well, you
know, it all depends from the make of the toothpaste!! Maybe you
used Colgate and you should have used Crest instead!! Make sure that
you don't use a cheap toothpaste out of a $1 store!!!
What's very important, also, is the brand of the toothbrush you will
be using, how much water, how much pressure, and the pace you have
to keep while brushing away!!! You do have an alternative to all this
"Research & Development," however. Namely: Get a professional
stone refinisher!! Maurizio, USA
|A 1863: Lime Build
up: I have two questions. 1. How do I safely remove lime build-up
from my granite kitchen countertop? 2. Can I safely use a bleach based
household cleaner such as Clorox Clean-up on my granite countertops?
Thank you! May 15.
I don't know. Why is
lime building up? What material is it? Did it have an impregnator
applied? Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1858: Scratches:
We have a couple scratches in our granite counter top from a marble
rolling pin. Can you recommend any fix? Thanks! Michelle, May
Dear Michelle: Of course I can: get a professional! Ciao and good
luck, Maurizio, USA
What type of stone is it? It is odd that it would be scratched from
a smooth round rolling pin. Could it be something else? Let me know,
Dear Michelle, You probably did not get scratches on your granite
from your marble rolling pin! Try as you may marble cannot scratch
granite unless the marble contain some quartz. Maybe your granite
isn't really granite. Most scratches are likely to be the result of
the stone on your finger. If this is not likely start by hoiking your
rolling pin or use it sparingly on intruders. Dr. Hans, Australia
|A 1825: Film: Hi I just
installed black pearl granite
in my kitchen as countertops. I am cleaning it by wiping with water
and dish soap but that's leaving a nasty film What can I use
as a daily cleaner? Sunny, May 14.
|A 1820:I am trying to find a solution
to a granite memorial in a public
space where the granite base of a statue has a number of chipped edges.
What do you recommend for such a condition? Thanks. Brian, May 14.
the chips that are large with UV stable epoxy and rounding all the
edges slightly for all the others. Regards, Steven, USA
in the soap is leaving this film. Try a neutral ph spray cleaner instead.
Maurzio has a product that works well. Regards, Steven, USA
Dear Sunny: Wrong cleaning
product = wrong results. There's no way around it! Maurizio, USA
|A 1819: Hi There, We
recently had a new home built and in the bath we used Empadora
light marble. It appears to
have a film on it. I have no idea what to use to restore its
luster. I tried stone cleaner. Is there something more abasive? don't
know what the installer rubbed on it and he has vanished off the face
of the earth, hence I'm asking you. Thanks, Mona, May 14.
product like Emperador Light it is hard to assess without seeing it.
May be lighter colored marbles like Emperador Light don't get very
shiny to begin with. I suggest calling a local facility. It is probably
worth the service charge to have them assess and recommend something
for you. Regards, Steven, USA
Dear Mona: I'm afraid
that you have an extensive, light etching on the surface of your
marble, due, possibly, to some wrong chemical used by the contractor
to remove the grout film. (Without seeing it, I can't tell for sure,
but I have enough experience under my belt to state that my assessment
is quite an educated guess).
You will need a professional stone refinisher to asses the real problem
and, if what I said turns out to be correct, you should have the contractor
pay for the repair (quite expensive, trust me). What's more, the bad
news is that your particular type of marble is one of the most difficult
to repolish. If the refinisher contractor has some doubts, have him
contact me. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1815: Ring:
I have a dark ring in the granite around my bathroom
faucet. The home was build in September 2001, and the ring has been
there from practically the beginning. The ring looks exactly like
a "water" ring, but it's always there, even when the faucet
hadn't been used for 10 days. I've never used cleaner other than soap
and water on it. Someone advised me to put a baking soda poultice
on and cover it with Saran wrap. Now, it's worse. The granite is a
light grey with pink markings. Susan, May 14.
Dear Susan: Try "Lime-away"
(it won't damage your "granite"). Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1798: We have recently
installed granite counters in our kitchen, they are a honed
absolute black. I am having a hard time with the fact that the
counter looks filthy all the time even when cleaned, not what I pictured
they would be like. They show every fingerprint, drop of water, sponge
tracks, etc and always look awful. One granite company told me that
they oil the honed absolute black to give it a darker look. Others
have told me that you should never oil a granite. My thought is that
if the counter is oiled, perhaps it wouldn't show every oil and water
spot. I am looking for any advice on what I can do to make the counter
less blotchy and dirty looking, this counter is supposed to
be for a lifetime and I feel I made a very bad choice. Thanks , I
think your website is great! Amy, May 14.
it like this: The stone is finished only partway. Therefore when it
gets wet it will darken to black.
I agree that you should not oil the top, The stone will not absorb
it except at the surface and the blotching will occur every time you
use something acidic. Try stripping everything off the surface until
it is an even gray color. Color enhance with a good color enhancer.
Once done impregnate 5-6 times at 1 per day. Plan on doing this every
so often. Regards, Steven, USA
Dear Amy: Yes, you
did make a bad choice. But don't blame anybody; we've been warning
consumers against honed black granite for well over a year by now.
No, oiling the stone is a very wrong and unsanitary procedure. If
you use an inorganic oil (mineral or synthetic) it will be harmful
to food coming in contact with it. If you use an organic oil instead
(vegetable), it will degrade and rot. You don't want that, do you!
Your best bet is the application of a good quality color enhancer,
providing that you fabricator / installer didn't make the grave mistake
of applying an impregnator / sealer to your countertop (you do NOT
want to seal black "granite"). If that's the case, the sealer must
be stripped first with a strong paint-stripper based on Mythelene
Chloride (anything else won't do), then the color enhancer will make
your top permanently black, though still dull, which will minimize
the visual effect of the surface staining you're reporting. Do read
my two answers to problems related to black granite a little below
yours. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA. Expert Panelist.
|A 1789: Yellowing:
I work for a British Construction Company. We are in the final stages
of completing a project in Denmark, which has involved installation
of a large quantity of light grey
(specified by the Client's Architect) granite,
as cladding to walls and paving to floors. These are in both internal
and external environments, situated within a coastal city. The
wall cladding is honed, and the floor paving is flamed. Typical
composition of the granite, which comes from China, is: Plagioclase
- 60% Quartz - 33% Hornblende - 3 % Biotite - 3% Muscovite - 1% Opaques
(incl. Magnetite) - <1% There was no established track record for
this granite being used in similar situations. Therefore, in addition
to the (only) specified test for abrasion resistance, we performed
a number of additional tests using German DIN standards. These included
rust tests, frost tests, petrographic analysis etc. No problems! The
water absorption, at 0.25 to 0.3% is on the higher side. We've had
our fair share of trouble with the wall cladding! Our main problem
is that some of the panels are "turning yellow". Individual
panels are fairly uniformly discoloured, but not all panels are affected
(as yet). This contrast between discoloured and non-discoloured panels
magnifies the effect. Discolouration seems to begin anywhere from
2 months to more than one year after installation. Our first thoughts
were that it was rust staining, due to iron pyrites. A considerable
amount of investigative testing, using various techniques including
SEM, x-ray diffraction etc, has been performed in both Denmark and
Britain. Various theories have emerged. None are conclusive, but all
agree that it is NOT pyrites (there isn't any in the granite). Cutting
a long story short, the most reasonable(?) explanation is that the
staining is "rust", but that it originates from a rare(?) reaction
between the acidic environment and biotite, chlorite, and/or possibly
magnetite within the granite. Other factors involved would be the
permeability of the granite, and possibly the light colour, which
shows up all dirt, blemishes etc. We have a fairly gentle rust stain
remover, which effectively and easily removes the yellow discolouration,
but presumably it will return/ currently unaffected panels will in
time discolour. That brings us to the use of a sealant/ impregnator,
in order to prevent or substantially delay onset of discolouration.
However, we have also recommended to our Client, that an anti-graffiti
treatment (AGS) be applied to the wall cladding. The cladding is installed
in various locations, which are very likely to be vandalised in this
manner. Our proposed AGS is a water repelling, breathable, wax-based
system. It is sacrificial, so would be re-applied following removal
of graffiti, and would be replaced every 5 - 7 years. The AGS manufacturer
believes that this will work, but has not previously encountered this
sort of problem. As a side issue, the flamed floor tiles are not affected
by the yellow discolouration (could be that it does not show up due
to the dull finish). Our Client had not intended using any treatment
on the floors, but is now beginning to realise that a sealant is essential.
My questions to you are: 1. Will a water repelling AGS have the same
effect as a sealant/ impregnator? (i.e. do we need both). 2. Are you
aware of any good sealants (especially for the floor) which are likely
to be readily available in Denmark/ Scandinavia/ Germany. I am struggling
here, as local experience seems limited + language barrier. Thanks,
Jerry, Denmark, May 14.
OK, You did not include what the various theories were.
Has it been established that the back of the stone is not wicking
installation materials into the stone?
If so, then it is a surface issue.
It also must be recognized that since the stones absorption is high
it is absorbing some of the pollutants as well as water. Could the
pollutants be reacting with any of the triclinic feldspars? Effectively
applying the sacrificial coat should prevent the stone absorbing anything
further. An application of poultices could be tried to return the
affected stone to its original color before using the sacrificial
As to the flamed floor you are probably correct that it is not being
noticed because of the change in the surface texture! Remember though,
that any sealing done to the floor would need to be tested so that
slip resistance is not affected. Regards, Steven, USA
Dear Jerry, An interesting story, particularly to someone who has
been investigating exactly this behaviour in certain granites for
several years. I have concluded that it is a reaction between the
stone and alkaline products rather than acidic ones, such as alkaline
mortars, lime slurries used in gangsaw slabbing, and alkaline sealers.
Even quarrying products such as expanding cement and nitrate-based
explosives can cause this discolouration. Any chance of you sending
me a piece of this stained granite? Also, any information on the stone
variety and location of quarry would be useful. I would be happy to
go through the petrographic analyses and all the test results. Who
is holding the thin-sections? As for your AGS - I do not know of your
wax-based product. A commonly used product is a Swedish saccharide-based
product that is similarly sacrificial. I can't see that it could hurt
the stone if it does not produce a film or vapour barrier and is not
alkaline. But if the stone is quite porous and the reactants are emanating
from the back of the granite slab or an alkaline cementitious substrate
there is the possibility of enhancing the discolouration through concentration.
If your client insists on a sealer for the exterior paving (presumably
to also aid in any cleaning) I have found that a volatile-based siloxane
is effective on granites. Wacker in Germany have such products. Whose
responsibility is the sealing and the application of the AGS? Dr.
Many thanks for the replies, and I look forward to Maurizio's comments.
I've also sent a separate message to Dr. Hans, giving further details
(but requesting continuance of detailed points to be off the web site,
as things are headed towards a commercial dispute). I'm not sure how
your system works (i.e. do all the expert panelists receive all replies
etc), but I am happy for you experts to be kept "in the loop". Although
I would prefer not to be experiencing these difficulties, it is actually
very interesting! Regards, Jerry.
Many thanks for the . I have a package of test information ready to
send, which I hope you will find interesting.
|A 1745: Recently had
new granite countertops installed (Juparana
Fantastic). Passed the “lemon test” with flying colors!
Wanted to do everything possible to ensure “perfect” countertops!
During installation, installers used acetone and razors to clean (?).
Because of this, I felt that any “sealer” would be ruined. Decided
to seal countertops 1 week after installation - applied TileLab SurfaceGard
Penetrating Sealer (water based). First round the sealer soaked up
within a matter of 2-3 minutes. Applied second coat…wiped residue
dry after 10-15 minutes and went back after 60 minutes to polish out
what looked like residue and uneven areas. Results were
streaked countertops that do not feel slick and even. Some areas
are perfect; others seem to be “dry”. When cleaning with ordinary
soap and water, towel drying feels like it’s no longer slick. Used
TileLab polish; minor improvement. Used TileLab cleaner; minor improvement.
Did lemon test (again) and no problems. Put water spots on the countertop;
no absorption – needed paper towels to actually dry the surface. BUT,
the countertops still FEEL and LOOK like there are streaks. Have I
ruined our new countertops??!!!! Tammy, April 22.
It sounds like the counter has too much impregnator on it. Try wiping
another coat of impregnator on the counter. Instead of letting it
soak in wipe the whole counter with it until it feels dry. If this
doesn't work, expect to acetone the impregnator off your counters.
Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1744: Pad Mark:
We recently had an absolute black granite
counter installed. We decided to go with a honed
finish. Here is our problem. The stone is not at all uniform
in color or texture. The pad marks from the sanding process are extremely
noticeable, making the counter looked scratched. Also several large
areas are rather rough.
Our fabricator/installer indicated that once the sealer set in the
counter should be completely uniform in color. He also recommended
using gel gloss to address the rough spots.
I've waited for the sealer to set...its been four days and applied
the gloss....the granite still looks terrible.
Here are my questions. In order to remove the pad marks from the
sanding process what would need to be done? Can this process by
performed in my home or do the counters need to come out and go back
to the shop. If the pad marks cannot be removed and the surface smoothed
out in the rough areas, could we have the granite polished on site.
Would polishing eliminate all the the problems I've outlined. Or if
granite is honed properly, would I see the circular patterns?....should
any area of the stone be rough?.....should the stone look uniform
in color?..........and what impact if any would the sealing process
have on streaking, rough spots, uneven color?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am a novice at this and
we have waited eleven years to build our dream kitchen...I am devastated
by how terrible my counters look. Susan, April 22
Ah, Unfortunately your story of honed black counters is not the first
I have heard or dealt with. Thoroughly remove all impregnators from
the counters. Have a color enhancer applied until the counter is as
uniformly dark as it can get. Then impregnate the counters. You will
impregnate the counters every few months.
As to redoing the work in your kitchen-- I doubt it. It is messy and
expensive. Very few would even try and do it by hand. Sorry for your
troubles, Steven, USA
|A 1735: Rings:
I have enjoyed my granite kitchen counter top for over 11 years and
pots and pans onto it directly from the stove-top and oven with no
problem. But...yesterday I placed a pot that had run dry of its steaming
water directly into the counter and it left what seems to be a
permanent faded/bleached-looking ring where the pot sat for a
few minutes. Is there any hope of resurfacing this without replacing
the entire counter top? I have a horrible feeling that the discoloration
goes deep and
sure could use your advice/information. April 20.
It could be that the hot pan left a remnant of itself on the counter.
You need to call a professional in your area to repolish the spot
in question. Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1734: Maurizio, My
husband and I just had black honed granite
countertops installed in our newly remodeled kitchen. Clearly we didn't
do enough homework on this topic as we are experiencing exactly what
you describe. It seems every little thing leaves a mark. I'm
a tidy person but not a neat freak who is up for being a slave to
cleaning the countertops constantly.
I'm interested in learning more about your proposed solution to minimize
this problem. Are you suggesting we use simply straight mineral oil
or another product? I do understand that going this route would darken
the counters to black. Delise, April 20.
You can remove all impregnators from the counter first. Clean thoroughly,
apply a color enhancer and then re-impregnate. Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1648: Rings:
We accidentally left a salad bowl on our granite countertop overnight.
It appears that the oil has stained the granite in a nice
circle the size of the bottom of the bowl. Any thoughts as to how
to get rid of this problem??? Thanks, Tom, April 4.
Dear Tom: For starters, ammonia doesn't do squat for oily stains.
For oily stains, you need a solvent like acetone (which is the on
I recommend.) Second, clay or diatomaceous earth are hard to get.
Baby powder is much more absorbent and readily available. Third, after
you apply the poultice and cover it with plastic wrap (and tape it
down) for 24 hours or more, you remove the plastic but you do NOT
peak!! You'd be interrupting the most important phase of the stain
removal procedure, which is the re-absorption of the stain into the
absorbing agent (baby powder, in this case.) Let it dry THOROUGHLY
(it may take a couple of hours), then check it out. If necessary,
repeat until the stain is completely gone.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
Mix up a nice glop of clay or diatomaceous earth with ammonia, about
the consistency of fudge, slap it on the stain with about a quarter
inch thickness and be sure to over cover the stain area a little bit,
cover it with ceran wrap, tape it down and leave it for 24 hours then
take a peek. Clean it, reseal it and polish it. Garner, USA.
|A 1644: Rings: I
am hoping that you can give me advice on how to get rid of "rings"
that I noticed on my absolute black granite
countertops. The company that installed them did come back
and put a poultice on the counter top to no avail. Do you have any
suggestions? I have no idea what caused them. April 4.
Sounds like your sealer has "etched" Have the sealer completely removed
& the problem should be eliminated. You do not need a sealer with
Absolute Black. It is a dense stone.
|A 1692: Eteches:
I have polished granite on the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Entry, stairs, and living area (inside and out) are fired (?) granite.
It is porous and rough and I hate it. Anyway, my question is
should all of the granite be sealed? And if so what would you recommend?
My granite shower is awful. Looks etched and white...anything
to make it look better? Vicki, April 12.
Dear Viki: You report about your shower stall is much more disturbing.
I hope I'm dead wrong, but it sounds like a faulty installation to
me (the stone is not the culprit, it's rather the innocent victim).
Check your grout and caulk lines. If some of them are open (maybe
some "Michelangelo" set the tiles "butt-jointed" to one another) you'll
have the confirmation of my fear. If that's the case, the only possible
solution is painful: You'll have to have your shower stall ripped
out and reinstalled anew. But, hey, it's only money!
And remember, like I said before, the stone has no fault whatever.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1621: I have just installed Green
Waterfall granite in my kitchen and would like to know how
to keep it clean and shiny. Now a really weird question. Even though
we examined our slabs and requested certain inclusions to be omitted,
there are 3 light colored inclusions in very strategic spots. One
especially is in the showpiece area of the countertop-- a 36 inch
round piece at the end of a peninsula. Is there any way to darken
these lighter spots so that they don't show as much?? Nancy March
on the size of your natural blemishes, your fabricator might be able
to extract the stone from those areas, replace the void with the same
stone in a darker color, and then polish the surface. If done correctly,
your problem will have found a creative solution. Rob, USA.
|R1: To clean
the granite, just use the neutral pH stone cleaners (not stone soaps)
that your fabricator carries. Unfortunately no. there is not a way
to darken a light spot. Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1571: I just had absolute
black granite installed in my countertop for the kitchen.
The installer did not seal it immediately and now we have water
glass ring marks that lighten the surface all over the place.
I've tried to pull it out with stone poultice (placed on granite for
48 hours with wax paper on solution). It did not help one bit. I am
at a loss. Can you offer advice as to how to remove these ring marks?
Ben, March 21.
Hi Ben, Guess
what I was doing last week? Removing cup rings from black granite.
Not cheap stuff but expensive, supposedly top quality First Belfast
Black. They looked like water marks I have seen in porous stones.
This appeared to be confirmed when I noticed the area of worktop above
the boiler was free of marks. I tried the old poultice solutions,
to no avail. Taking the lead from the wood workers on cup marks on
furniture I applied a warm sofothing iron over clean paper and proceeded
to iron the surface. This after many hours patience removed almost
all of it, confirming the presence of moisture under the surface.
A first for me in dense granite like this. Nothing I tried could remove
the remainder. I could only conclude it was lime or the likes, dissolved
by and now left behind by the water. Looking across the surface of
the granite carefully I could see micro pits in the problem areas.
This is not unusual but in this case I can only suppose that there
is enough absorption to create these marks. Creating the problem on
a test piece the only way I could cover the residue was by (close
your eyes anyone of a nervous disposition) by rubbing a minute quantity
of black permanent ink over the surface. This was absorbed within
minutes I then scoured off the remainder leaving the granite looking
as good as the day it arrived and I am sure the ink left trapped in
the fissures of the stone. One of those times in this business that
I am reminded that I am dealing with natural material and sometimes
you can come across problems often unique to the particular stone
you are working on and there is often no right answer. Anyway For
the first time in my career, after much maligning sealers it looks
like I am going to have to use a sealer. probably just a hard stopping
wax unless anyone has any better ideas. No smart answers saying replace
all the stone. I do not have the $4000 spare or the time or even a
customer who understands. Bryan, UK
Dear Ben: I give you three options, starting from the least probable:
1. Your black "granite" is a "mut" stone, which means that
it contains a certain percentage of calcite (I experienced something
like that only once, with a stone that nobody knew where it was came
from). If this is the case, nothing can be done. To find out, spill
some lemon juice on an unsealed piece of scrap, let it sit for a few
minutes, wipe it dry, then see what happenes.
2. Your "black" "granite" is not really black. Certain slab manufacturers
"doctor" certain "black" "granite" (most of the times, black Zimbabwe)
by applying a black topical makeup, to make it more "sellable". Any
acidic substance will attack and remove such makeup. Usually the fabricator
is unaware of that, though ultimately responsible. To find that out,
rub your countertop with acetone using a white rag and see what happens.
If that's the case, then strip all the makeup off, accept the real
color of the stone, and live happily thereafter.
3. Your fabricator did seal the stone. Black "granite" (either a Gabbro
or a Dolerite or an Anorthosite) is extremely dense and doesn't need
to be sealed. The sealer, in fact, will not be absorbed by the stone
and a little residue film -- though not visible -- will be lingering
on the surface and get damaged by acidic spill (orange juice, lemonade,
lemon juice, sodas, drinks salad dressing, tomato sauce, vinegar,
etc.) If this the case, have the fabricator remove the stupid sealer
that had no business being there in the first place, and live happily
etc. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio,
Ben, We need to know more information. What type of stone is it? Did
you mean to say wax paper? Let me know, Steven, USA
|A 1550: Hi. The house we bought in
2001 had granite kitchen counters installed by original
owners in 1998. Name of granite is Uba Tuba. We have used a variety
of cleaners on the counter – the likes of Windex – and have now pared
down to soap and water but the counters just don’t look shiny anymore.
What can we do to clean the counters on a daily basis and restore
the shine it had when we first bought the house? Thanks. Denise, March
|R1: Dear Denise:
Think of how long you have to stay under the shower to rinse the soap
off your body. Then think how much water you need to rinse the soap
off your dishes. To clean a "granite" countertop with dish soap you
would need a hose to rinse it thoroughly!! Since, I'm sure, you don't
use a hose, then you have a little bit of soap film accumulating every
time you "clean" your top, hence, the 'hazy" look. To take care of
your problem you can't start with a good-quality daily cleaner; you
must first strip the surface of the stone from all the "gunk" you
have sitting on it. A soap film remover (formulated for stone) is
"your man". After that, use a proper stone spray cleaner (please,
not a stone soap!!) on a daily basis and be happy ever after! Maurizio,
|A 1545: I have a granite countertop
in my bathroom, and some type of substance has made 3 dark
spots. It looks like something, which I thought was liquid soap,
got on it, and by the time we cleaned it, it was too late.
I have used OREC Stone Clear Top cleaner, and have always had good
luck with it, however, this oil/liquid/whatever it was remains dark.
The counter is mostly dark gray, and although it darkens when it gets
wet from water, it always dries normally and equally. Can you recommend
a cleaner or something that I can try for these spots? Thanks! Jeffrey,
|R2: Dear Jeffrey:
No topical cleaner, no matter how good (not even mine!!!) could help
you. The only thing you can do is to poultice the stain out, then
have your top professionally sealed with a good quality stone impregnator.
|R1: You need
to poultice the spots. Take some paper towels, soak them in acetone,
the put them over the spots. Now cover with plastic wrap. Wait 24
hrs. take off and let air dry. This may take multiple attempts. After
the spots are gone impregnate your countertops once a day for 5-6
days or at least until the impregnator stops absorbing in. Good luck
|A 1544: I have outside
limestone stone and have used many stone sealers, mainly for some
gloss for appearance, but nothing that I use has lasted more that
3 or 4 months, Does anyone know of a stone sealer that will last
for a year or hopefully even longer?? Nan. March 15.
Hi! I don't know what type of Limestone you have, but I know that
the surface of any stone will begin to break down when exposed to
natural sun light and weather. Most good building lime and sand stones
take on a natural grainy texture that will erode up to 1mm every five/ten
years or so. Fossils generally survive a little longer, true marbles
will hold a satin shine for a few months in a good external environment
and granites will shine for years. Best allow your stone to look like
stone and enjoy the money you saved on sealers.
Dear Nan: Not me!!! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1485: I have new
Kashmir White granite kitchen counters
that appear to have rust colored stains in several places.
They appear to be just under the surface and very shallow. Is there
any way to get them out before I have the counter sealed? John, Feb
Dear John: When they look like rust, they usually are!
Kashmire (a gneiss-type stone, not a granite by a long, long, loooong
shot! Very BAD for a kitchen!) is -- among other bad things -- rich
with iron mineral. You can try to remove the stains by poulticing
them with Iron-Out, but I wouldn't hope much if I were you. Ciao and
good luck (you actually need all the luck you can muster!!) Maurizio,
Call the company that installed the counters. Tell them you need
a rust removing poultice. This may not entirely remove the rust. Tell
them you also need 5-6 coats of impregnator 1 per day. Kashmir is
a very absorptive stone. You will want to watch how they do it as
you will need to do it once or twice a year from now on. Regards,
|A 1462: I installed granite
tile countertops five years ago, Pearl Blue.
They are still beautiful, but there is one area, my normal work area
that I use a lot which has dulled. I tried using tile lab cleaner
and polish which helped a little, but the area is still dull. Do you
have any suggestions? Susan, Feb 21. .
Hello Susan!!! you need to call a
marble & granite restoration person in your area. FDA, USA
Hello, Your 'Blue Pearl' countertop is now beginning to develop fine
scratching in the area you mention. Its a patina that reflex's years
of honest work on your part. If you feel it needs to be hidden clean
the area with warm water and a little mild soap, rinse, dry and apply
a light coat of quality car polish every couple of weeks. Or you could
enjoy the surface you've created and one day your great grand children
will see it and know you're still there. Roy, UK
Try scraping the area with a razor blade to see if it is a residue
that is on the tiles.
If it is not then call a professional stone refinisher to repolish
the tiles for you. Good luck, Steven, USA
|A 1448: Rings:
My wife placed a red hot pot on our Golden
Oak granite, which left a large black ring. Is it
possible to remove this mark? Brian, Feb 18.
Take a razor blade and scrape the area to see if part of the pot was
left on the stone.
If not then call the people who installed the countertops for you.
Ask them to come out and see what they can do to remove it. Regards,
|A 1427: Want Colors:
We are building and have contracted a local vendor to install granite
for all our countertops. The kitchen selection is "Porta
Rosa" and the finished product is dull compare to the rest
of the selections. (Porta Rosa is primarily black with pearl and peach
veining) He has told us that he was dissatisfied with the color and
treated it with color enhancer with better results. Is there a product
we can use to intensify and deepen the color and brilliance?
We would prefer a high gloss if that is possible. Jean, Feb 12.
|R1: Dear Jean:
You can't get a high gloss by buying some sort of product and apply
it on the surface of the stone. Natural stone is polished by abrasion
and friction, like gemstone. In your case there are two possibilities:
A) the slab was poorly polished at the factory and there's room for
improvement. The problem is that -- if that's the case -- it can hardly
be done on location. The fabricator should have done it at the shop,
assuming that he knows how to surface-polish that stone (which I highly
doubt), and that he has the right piece of equipment (a bed-polisher)
to do the job (which, once more, I highly doubt). B) It's just a poor
grading of that particular stone (not a granite, by the way, yet a
very good stone) and it can't take a polish any higher that what you
see. Either way, if the sample you were shown was polished flawlessly,
you can demand a replacement of the top with a better grading slab.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1409: How do I seal
my Shivakashi granite in my kitchen
countertop? I have tried all kinds of sealants - topical based, silicone
based - they all seal well except near the stovetop. Near the Stove
top, the sealant seems to break down over sustained amounts of cooking
heat - and starts getting stained, inspite of keeping the area clean.
I use poultice - but that was too slow to remove stains - so now I
use acetone to remove the stains. but am using it almost every 2 months.
I need a more permanent solution. Any suggestions? I am also going
to try to get the supplier to replace my Shivakashi. what should I
replace it with? will Dark Mahogany or English Teak or Red Multicolor
have similar problems? or should I just go to Sea Weed Green or Verde
Uba Tuba to be on the safe side? Sridhar, Feb 6.
Dear Sridhar: Welcome to the club "I-wish-I-never-bought-that-crap!"
You tried them all already and, as you concluded yourself, there's
no permanent solution, other than getting rid of the stuff and replace
it with something more suitable for the intents and purposes of a
busy kitchen countertop. After all, it's only money!! The candidates
you listed sound like good choices. Just rely on my little "lemon
juice test" and have fun in the process. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio,
You are correct that you can not get ahead of Shivakashi. Generally
look for a low absorption stone. Try Dakota Mahogany (US stone). Regards,
|A 1363: Dulled:
I have just found your website, and am very
impressed. We had granite countertops installed in our
new home (Uba Tuba, I believe
was the name), and over the 1st year in the house, it has become dull.
I called the granite company, and they told me to wash it with clear
soap and water, which I had been doing, so they recommended a product
to clean it, and a Silicone Impregnator to seal it. After reading
some of your letters, it seemed to me that you do not recommend sealing
it. My daughter, who had granite installed in another town was told
by her granite company to use a product called Dirtex, and just spray
it on and wipe off. It leaves her counters looking shiny and great.
I am confused. Could you help me. (I cannot do the lemon test, because
I do not have a scrap piece of the granite). Thank you. Nadeen. Jan
Dear Nadeen, It is very
difficult to bring back the original shine in granite. granite being
very hard cannot be repolished using any of the normal cleaners or
sealers. Wax emulsions are the best for instant shining and that is
what your daughter is using. The gloss in Granite is because of the
light being reflected back from the surface. Scratches, dirt etc inhibit
the reflection of light. Best is to use a good quality wax emulsion.
We provide DIY kits for marble and granite. Arun, India
I would test the actual countertop in your kitchen with the lemon
slice to see if it needs to be sealed at all. Sometimes Ubatuba does
need it most of the time it doesn't. You may have a residue build
up from the soap and water or the original fabrication facility may
have impregnated it (the countertop) the impregnator may be what is
dulling. If this is the case then the impregnator needs to be stripped
off the countertop. Depending on what I saw, if I was there, I would
first get a razor blade and scrape across the granite and see if anything
comes off, or, whether it looks like I am moving an oily substance
If it is oily try washing the countertop with acetone a few times(
please be careful as acetone will harm other finishes and it stinks)
You will see a haze develop a few times (that is OK) and then use
your neutral stone specific cleaner to wash it back to the original
If something crusty came off when you scraped the countertop then
use the razor blade with acetone to remove the crusty coating. Then
use your neutral stone specific cleaner.
Regards Steven, USA
Dear Nadeen: UbaTuba doesn't need to be sealed. The reason why it
was dull looking was solely due to the fact that you've been cleaning
all this time with water and soap. The soap is very hard to rinse
off completely, and it will leave a film sitting on the surface of
the stone. The more it accumulates, the more it detracts from its
A 1326: Need information on what retail brand
product I can buy to make 'Blue Pearl' granite countertops
shine. Windex does not make them shine like NEW. Jan 15.
|A 1289: I have a stone countertop in my
kitchen. When it was sold to me, I was told it was granite, and called
'Oceanic' because of the bright
blue iridescent areas found in the stone. How can I tell if it is
granite or marble. Do they need to be cared for differently in the
kitchen---as the counter top is dull all over. How do I get its shine
back and keep it? I've seen granite counters that seem to have a resin
coating on them, and just sparkle. Is this something I can use? John,
|R1: You can
tell if a stone is granite or a similar type of stone by judging whether
citric acid will etch the surface or not. On granite it will not.
Secondly the hardness of the material can be an indicator. Granite
is much harder than calcium carbonate material. Yes granite and marble
does need different care in any area. I have supplied many different
blue countertops. I do not remember one sold in the US as Oceanic.
There is a variety from India I believe that has that designation
but I have not worked with it. I think that some of the Azuls from
Brazil have calcium carbonate in them. They are traded as granites
but are not. Finally some suppliers have used marble. Either way the
condition you describe is typical for either. I do not recommend putting
an epoxy coating on the countertop. It is not a DIY and few professionals
have done it. I have on a Azul Bahia countertop as a favor to a fabricator.
The epoxy will eventually wear off. Either accept the counter for
what it is or replace it. Regards, Steven, USA
|A 1224: Darkens:
Hi, I recently had granite counter (Classico
Juparana) put in my new bathroom. It is a dark color, I
notice that it temporarily darkens with water (until the water
evaporates) and I am concerned that if I spill something on the counter
(like makeup) it will stain the stone. Is this darkening normal or
should I insist that they reseal the stone? Is sealing something I
could do myself?. Nov 27.
|R4: YES!! It needs to be sealed with a sealer that's made
for granite. Atkin, USA,
|R3: The way to tell if a stone needs sealing again; or, if
it has been sealed, is to put water on it. If it is sealed the water
will not penetrate the stone and can to be wiped off in a few seconds
without leaving a damp spot where applied. The sealer should prevent
liquids from entering the porous stone and provide a period of time
to wipe off any solution that might leave a stain or residue. Don't
use harsh chemical to clean stone as it will shorten life of sealer.
A solvent base sealer works better that a water base sealer and can
last 3-5 years. The solvent sealer is expensive and goes a long ways.
Retail price per gal of $100 or more. A half cup would do most counters.
You can apply it yourself. If this is a new installation, I would
insist the installer have some one come out and seal it; and then
buy a little sealer from the person doing the work. The trick is to
apply sealer, let set a few seconds to soak in; then , wipe off while
wet. No streaks or film should be left on surface. Do a small area
to start with. It is hard to wipe off if dry; but a little more sealer
will dissolve the film and let you try again. Richard, USA,
|R2: Yes on both accounts. The best thing to do is to apply
an impregnator frequently. Best regards, Steven, USA
|R1: The "granite" was not sealed, or not sealed properly.
The water drops being absorbed so fast are a sure tell of that. It
represents, in fact, the basic test to determine whether or not a
stone needs to be sealed. "Juparana" (which, of course, if very far
from being a granite, in spite of what the invoice of the stone distributor
says. What else is new!) is an extremely absorbent stone. Had you
have conducted my "lemon juice test" before making your final decision,
you'd have probably deleted that particular stone from the list of
your favorites. If I were you, I would call a professional and make
a very precise deal: "You seal it, we test it (by dropping a few drops
of water on it and let it sit at least 20 minutes). If it's sealed
well I pay you, if not, forget it." Only two problems: 1. To do a
fair test, you'd have to wait at least 24 hours (to allow the sealer
to cure) before testing. 2. If the fabricator did, in fact,
applied a sealer, the application of another one by a different
manufacturer could create problems. It's not a very common occurrence,
but the possibility must be kept in mind. Probably, the best way to
go about this, is to work on a piece of scrap. Have the fabricator
seal it the same way -- if any -- he had sealed your top, then you'll
take from there with the pro. There's an additional advantage: at
the end of the sealing job, and after proper curing time, you could
test the stone also with cooking oil, in addition to the water drops.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1194: I have
approx 1000 m2 of granite which has already been
installed on the floor. The color ranges from gray based to
red color granite. Could you advise me how I could get the shine back
on the stone since it has lost its shine after 3 years of usage?
Christopher, USA, Nov 19.
|R3: The best way to get back the original luster of the stone
is having a restoration mechanic come over and work the stone. After
the original process of restoration, the maintenance should be very
simple. Alicia, USA,
|R2: Call a professional maintenance or restoration company
in your area. Best regards, Steven, USA
|R1: Dear Christopher: What the heck of a "granite" was that
if it lost its shine after only 3 years? And what kind of "maintenance"
was ever implemented on it?! I've got only one answer for you: "Get
a proven pro and be ready to spend big bucks!" (I do mean BIG BUCKS!!).
If you're interested in getting involved in the "fine art" of stone
refinishing, you may want to consider getting in touch directly with
me Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1201: Absorbs:
I was reviewing the Question and Answer page and found some of my
type of questions listed. I am writing you with hopes that you can
advise me of a particular product for my needs. I too have a honed
black (Zimbabwe?) granite kitchen countertop. The installers
claim they sealed it (sprayed on wiped off with no penetration). If
they did seal it, it is still absorbing liquids. Would like
to seal it again but need a specific product name. My counters are
honed Black Zimbabwe granite. Should they be sealed or impregnated?
You discuss how absolute Black Granite should not be sealed. Is my
granite the same? It is a new construction kitchen counter and hardly
yet used, yet even water seems to penetrate quickly. I've only been
able to find the Miracle brands in my area (Stoughton, Massachusetts,
south of Boston. Thank You, Nancy, USA
|R1: Dear Nancy: "Black Zimbabwe" is not the same as "Black
absolute" but just as dense. The water being absorbed by it is only
an optical illusion (when the surface is wet, it becomes darker),
and is giving you a pale idea of the maintenance nightmare that you'll
have to deal with if you leave your top as is. In fact, a penetrating
sealer -- that you don't need to begin with -- wouldn't do anything
at all to prevent surface soiling (which will look darker all the
time). The only way to minimize the problem is the application of
a good-quality color enhancer. What such a product will do for you
is to make the surface of the stone permanently darker, as if it were
wet. You will still have a hone finish, which per se is a pain in
the neck to maintain, but at least you
won't be losing your marbles! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|Thank You Maurizio for the information you provided. Do I need to
strip off the sealer that is on the stone now before applying a color
enhancer? Does the maintenance of this stone mean annual application
of color enhancer? Can you advise of a manufacturer that offers a
quality product? Nancy. Nov 26.
|R1: Dear Nancy: Yes, you do need to remove the sealer before
applying the color enhancer. Usually a color enhancer turns out to
need re-application once a year or so, but you'll be the judge. When
it begins to fade, you'll apply some more. I manufacture color enhancer
and it is very good, but It is in good company! For it and for other
maintenance needs for your conter top. Please ask for my contact details
and I will be able to help you out. Regards, Maurizio, USA
1155: Is there a way to repair cracks, chips and nicks from
marble and granite without refacing the surface?
Is there a kit I can get to save me some time. Cagey, USA, Oct 29
Dear Cagey: It all depends on how you want the stone that you're planning
to repair to look like after the repair. If for you it's good enough
that it looks like "you know what", then you can repair it without
resurfacing. Joke aside, there are no kits that I know of, but you
could try with matching caulking and a razor blade. Ciao and good
luck, Maurizio, USA
R1: Hi Cagey, I am not aware of any kits per say.
I think it prudent to call a professional in your area to look at
it. Good luck, Steven, USA
1121: Misty Hi!
I live in Canada and have a problem with my new granite floor. The
builder cleaned the paint dust on the floor so he uses a lacquer
remover to clean it but afterward left a dull mist on
the floor. I also accidentally put some hard ward floor polish agent
(not the permanent type) on the floor. What is the best way to fix
it? Carlos. Canada, Oct 3,
Always do a test to confirm results! I would suggest that you
use a solvent to remove the hard wood floor polish such as Lithofin
GWR. Then scrub the floor using Lithofin SCS to remove all residues
and intensively clean the floor. Bob, USA,
Dear Carlos: Between the builder and yourself, you guys have already
abused that poor granite enough. Do yourself (and your granite) a
big favor: Get a professional stone refinisher! If you live in the
Toronto area, let me know. There's a very good professional there
(I ought to know, I trained him back in 1994!). Ciao and good luck,
|I do live in Toronto. Please let me know. The polish has already
come off with nail polish remover. Now all it needs is the shine.
God Bless u. Carlos
Hi, Use acetone, and wash with soap & water. Pini, USA
cleaned the unnecessary floor polish off with nail polish remover.
It is OK now but needs something to restore the sheen. Any suggestion
? It worked with nail polish remover. thanks. God Bless u.
contact a professional, you can't do it yourself. Pini,
A 1103: Hello, Can
granite that is polished be flamed rough after it has been
laid as a floor? We have a home where the design throughout
the house is a combination of rough granite and smooth granite with rough
French limestone designs. We had a wonderful Italian stoneworker visit
from Italy and he suggested we pull up the polished parts and inset rough
granite or more rough limestone to have a more authentic Italian feel. We
have radiant water heat under the stone floors. I have concerns about
lifting out large segments of stone without damage to pipes. Can we acid
wash or flame in the house? Also in Italy is granite considered like
a marble? Sincerely, Caryn, USA, Sept 19.
R5: Flaming of installed granite
is not really feasible - at best it would give an inconsistent result.
Acid etching is a possibility but will only give you a satin finish that
is still quite different to flaming. Honing of the entire floor may be
the answer. It is a common practice that will give you a consistent
surface appearance. Regards, Jim, Australia
R4: If the granite is 2cm or thicker you can flame while it is
still in your home. You will need to contact a qualified local contractor
to to this for you because the stone can crack if heated incorrectly.
You should also consider having them apply a good quality stone sealer/impregnator
for protection against stains. If you want a satin finish there
are acrylic stone sealers available which work very well. I'm not
sure what you mean about "is granite considered like marble". Can
you clarify? Hope this helps. Kelly, USA
R3: Caryn: 1st) It would be disastrous to try & remove the
flooring material so don't do it. 2nd) Yes. I would recommend a small
bush hammer to achieve the effect. I believe the type of acid or open
flame is too risky to try without trying bush hammering first. Have your
stone setter test a piece before beginning.
Best of luck, Steven, USA
R2: Dear Caryn: I was born and grew up in Italy, where at age 15
I started my "love affair" with stone. I moved to these wonderful shores
at age 36, not before having installed a little over 400 marble and granite
floors a little bit all over the country and south of France. You can
have my comprehensive resume by visiting my website (if you're interested,
ask for it to Findstone). The only method to install marble and granite
floor still in use in Italy (and: Southern Europe in general, Greece,
Turkey, and just about all throughout the Southern belt of Asia, all Central
and South American countries, etc.) is called "grind-in-place" (I hope
the name of the method is self-explanatory for you). Therefore, over there:
1. They never mix granite with limestone and/or marble (It's a technical
(almost) impossibility). 2. Flamed granite is used strictly for
outdoors application, such as sidewalks, swimming-pool surroundings, etc.,
and could not be installed with the "grind-in-place" method.
3. To the best of my knowledge the only acid that can affect granite is
Hydrofluoric acid. Washing your polished granite with it? I wouldn't.
4. No, granite cannot be flamed in place, nor one can flame a polished
piece of granite, not even in the factory. It is not the "flaming" itself
that gives you the "flamed finish"; one must start from a surface as rough
as you see it in a flamed piece of granite. The flaming process only "tempers"
the surface of the stone. 5. I wouldn't bother ripping out the polished
granite tiles (considering the radiant heat below). 6. Unless your
floor is installed in an outdoor patio, you wouldn't have any "Italian
feel" (whatever that means!). If it's indoor, your floor is too far from
any "Italian look" to be able to do anything to it to make it look like
Italian. 7. And last: No, in Italy granite is not considered like
marble: Granite is considered like granite, and marble is considered like
marble. Ciao, Maurizio, USA
R1: Hi, You can flame in your house. Just protect the surrounding.
|A 1337: 'Dear
Maurizio' Today is the first day I came to this site...and have read
this entire page. I noticed throughout your
answers, your knowledge, honesty and sense of integrity are qualities
you possess, and would like to deal with you. Is this
possible? Do you sell to the general public? Sincerely, Rebecca, Jan
Dear Rebecca: Yes, of course, I do sell to the general public, you're
interested, I do know a good man out of Shelby Twp. who could help
you out (under my personal guidance, rest assured!). He's my master
distributor for the state of Michigan since 1993 and he's a very honest
guy who I'm proud to consider one of my dearest personal friend (I
spent several nights in his house, and even cooked risotto for his
family!!). Let me know. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert