Can you repair granite worktops?
Can you repair granite worktops?
Granite worktops are widely known for their high durability and scratch resistance. However this does not mean that granite is completely indestructible. There are times where granite countertops can become cracked and damaged. A crack in the stone worktop can usually indicate a poor installation method, but this is not always the case.
Although we highly recommend finding a granite specialist to repair any cracks and/or chips in your granite, there are DIY ways which can be undertaken.
The types of cracks
First it is important to know the type of crack you are dealing with. There are two main crack types:
- Hairline crack
- Separated crack
A hairline crack can be harder to notice as they are not easily seen or felt due to the lack of lip and gap or separation in the crack. These types of cracks usually appear arounds sinks or where the granite has a cut out and is thinner. These are also typical cracks from installation as the granite is moved into place due to its heavy, rigid form. If you believe you have this type of crack then good news! Hairline cracks generally do not need to be repaired as they do not get worse. This will also not affect the use or cleaning of the countertop, although in some cases it could be of benefit to place extra support beams under the kitchen worktops. You may think that getting a complete replacement of the granite worktop is the best option, but due to the granite’s difficulty in installing, hairline cracks can form even with the most careful professional installing it.
A separated crack is just that – separated. This is where you can easily see and feel the crack as it has a lip and a very obvious gap or separation. These cracks occur when the granite has undergone heavy impact, someone has been standing on the granite, on the foundations have moved underneath. The bad news is, if you have this type of crack, it will need to be repaired. Leaving a crack like this will only make it worse and the countertop will become unusable, and possibly dangerous.
How to repair cracked granite worktops
A complete fix of a granite worktop is not actually doable. However, you can fill in the crack with either epoxy or acrylic. Although we highly recommend you hiring a granite repair specialist, if you are determined to fill it in yourself, here are the steps you will need to follow:
Step one – clean and prepare the area
First you will need to clean the area around the crack. Make sure the surface is clean and free of anything that may get in your way. Secondly, isolate the crack. Make sure you can feel where the crack is – that way you know that it will need filling in. If you can’t feel it, it could either be a hairline crack which can be left, or the fissures on the granite (the patterning on the granite itself like the lines). Ideally you should clean the surface with acetone to make sure it is completely clear. Using painters tape around the crack will allow you to see it more clearly and help with the clean up after you’ve completed the job.
Step two – prepare the sealant
Depending if you have chosen Epoxy or Acrylic you will need to get the mixtures prepared. Follow the instructions of the supplier or that are stated on the products. Whichever you choose depends on the nature and severity of the crack and your personal preference. We do however recommend Epoxy slightly more than Acrylic. However, either of the two will fill the gap and “glue” the surface back together. A quick tip for if you are using Epoxy, try to find a coloured version which matches closely to your granite surface. This way it will be less visible.
Step three – fill in the crack
Fill in the crack with your preferred filler. Try to push it into the crack as much as you can without further damaging the surface. If using Epoxy, remember that it shrinks as it dries, so over filling the gap is actually better. You need to try and fill the gap while still having a smooth application. This can be difficult to do successfully on the first try. Any excess filler will be polished off after the Epoxy or Acrylic is dry, so don’t worry too much about the surrounding surface.
Step four – wait for it to dry
Whatever your preferred method of filler, it will need to dry. Allow as long as the manufacturer states or you might just damage the crack again.
Step five – polish the surface
This is the final step. When we refer to polishing the surface we do not mean with the usual household granite polishers you can buy. We mean a grinder with high speed diamond buffing pads. This is the only way to ensure the granite surface is polished correctly and buffed down so the filled in gap is not bumped up. You can buy a complete polishing kit with all the pads included. Start with a low grit pad – 200 is a perfect starter pad for deep scratches. Start at a low speed and polish on and around the crack. No need to use excess pressure as the pad will do the work for you. Once you have done this you should clean the area, removing any dirt and excess Epoxy you have removed. You then may need to polish the surface again with a lower grit pad depending on the look and feel of the crack. Once this is completed you can then clean the area and buff it using a buffing pad or hog’s hair pad with granite polishing cream. Do this until you have reached your desired shine. Please note that polishing granite is a tricky process and we do highly recommend hiring a professional. For more information on how to properly polish granite like a professional read this article on “how to polish granite edges”.
How to repair chips in granite worktops
For any chips in your granite worktop you may find you can follow the above steps. Filling in the chip as you would a crack will work to cover up the chip. If you have a chip in your surface and you have the part of the granite that has fallen out, you can simply stick this back on by using Epoxy. It would be the exact same process as above, but instead of filling in the crack, you would fill in the chipped area and attach the broken piece of granite on top of the Epoxy to glue it down. Once the epoxy has dried you may find that it has shrunk and left slight gaps around the part you reattached. Simply fill in these gaps with more Epoxy and wait for it to dry before you polish the surface.
Sealing the granite
Granite worktop repair is something that can be done yourself – although it is a difficult process and can go wrong! However, re-sealing the granite after you have repaired it, is something that will need to be done by a professional. You can buy granite sealers that you can use at home to re-seal the granite, but as you have professionally polished and buffed the area after filling in the crack and/or chip, getting it professionally sealed will make sure that it is done correctly, and lasts without damaging the surface more.
Granite worktops are the most durable and long lasting. If you have managed to chip or crack your granite (a separated crack, not hairline) this will more than likely be a one off. If you take good care of your granite worktops, clean them and keep them sealed when they need redoing, granite can last you a lifetime. Their maintenance is pretty simple and easy, and although we do recommend hiring a professional for any job relating to sealing and fixing the granite, you can DIY this.
If you think granite worktops sound perfect for your home and you are ready to take a look at all the options available to you, have a look at our collection of stunning designs. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help!