Is Granite supposed to be smooth?

nancyrphMarch 4, 2010

I just had New Venetian Gold granite installed today in the kitchen. I love the way it looks! Only problem is, when I run my hand across it, it feels gritty. Is this just the "natural-ness" of the stone? Or un-even resin? I guess I thought it would be smooth, like glass.

The installer had a little epoxy left on the countertop near the seam, which he just scraped off with a razor blade. He left us the razor blade in case we noticed any he may have missed. I did see a small spot which I was able to scrape off no problem. I'm pretty sure what I'm feeling is not epoxy.

The grittiness is over the entire slab. I washed it off using Ivory dish soap (per installer's instructions), and a microfiber cloth. The cloth would catch on the grits, kind of unpleasantly.

Also, when the sun shines on it, I can dull spots which look like fingerprints, but I think the are just the variations in the stones and how they absorbed the resin.

So, my question is, is this normal natural stone, so embrace the variation and beauty of it, or is it not sealed correctly, or none of the above?

Thanks for any advice!

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chipongo

Mine is like you are describing. There are "spots" in it that don't seem to have absorbed the polish--they look a little duller, almost scratchy on the surface. I was wondering about them too, but then decided it must be variations in the stone. Am curious too see what others say!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:14PM
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azstoneconsulting

what you're seeing is totally normal in NVG, Giallo Veneziano, Giallo Ven Fiorito,
and many other Granites that come out of that particular region of Brazil.

I am NOT a geologist - and hopefully VR James can chime in on this one - I can
share with you what I have learned over the last 25+ years as a Fab-Ri-Mi-Cator...

What I know of this activity is that it is (and please - Geologists correct me if
I am wrong on this) that what you are seeing is silica crystals leaching
out of the stone
as a result of the quarrying/honing/polishing process. This is unique with these
species of granites, as many other similar stones do NOT exhibit this kind
of activity.

the good news is that (as far as I know) this is NOT a health risk, and it will subside
over time - usually within a few months the "grit" stops happening...

again - I may me "off" on what it actually "is" but that's what I can share on
the "true grit" of New Venetian Gold....

Brother VR James - I hope you chime in on this thread!!!

hth

kevin

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:31PM
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doraville

Thanks for asking this question. I had wondered too. When I look at eye level at my granite (river gold or aka wine river) which has plenty of movement, I see threads/lines of what appears to be unpolished stone. I think that this characteristic maybe that is what is causing the graininess. However, this graininess or sandy feeling seems to be growing less in the two weeks I've had it. I have cleaned with water and microcloth several times. Maybe that helped. Also, yesterday I sealed it twice because it was absorbing water and I thought that the sandiness may be indicating that it was a particularly absorbent stone.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:22PM
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nancyrph

Thanks for the follow-ups. Maybe with repeated cleanings and a little time, like azstone and doraville mentioned, the sandiness will get smoothed out a bit.

I was wondering if sealing it would help. Doraville, you mentioned you sealed yours twice yesterday. Can I seal it as often as I want/need? Can granite get "over-sealed", or does it just absorb as much as it needs, and the rest gets wiped away?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:37PM
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stonedude

This is normal for this stone. Mica is a very soft mineral that is abundant throughout this stone as well as MANY other granites. There are lots of very small pits that are visible in direct, natural light.

NO, you do NOT want to continously seal this stone. When done once, PROPERLY, it's enough for at least 3-5 years. With some sealers and/or fabricators, you may even get a lifetime warranty.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:50PM
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azstoneconsulting

I have had really great results with 511 Porous Plus - I had a stone that was from
the same area as NVG in our last home - the sealer we used (511) lasted
7 (seven) years without problems....

Cameron's right (Stonedude) - too much sealer IS NOT a good thing....

hth

kevin

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:43PM
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azlady

I, just read this. We just had New Venetian Gold countertops installed. The surface initially felt very gritty to the touch. The fabricator said it was dried up residue from the sealer. He subsequently came back to clean the surface, however, the surface still feels somewhat gritty and pitty. Any suggestions to help with this problem or is it normal for this particular stone.
Without actually seeing your countertop I canÂt make any final comment. ThereÂs no final remedy, but you could minimize the surface roughness by rubbing a stick of paraffin wax on your countertop and then buffing it with a "00" steel-wool pad. ItÂs only a makeup, mind you, and as such you will have to repeat it every now and then, but it does work! Maurizio, Expert Panelist.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:25AM
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biochem101

There was this same grittiness on the surface of my quartz/resin counter. It too seemed to increase for a bit after install. It went away, but I think it did take several months. Not there any more anyway. :)

Isn't it annoying?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 6:15AM
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doraville

Nancyrph, I'm no expert on sealing but my granite was soaking up water and from reading on the forum I knew that shouldn't be happening. That's why I sealed.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 6:30AM
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vrjames

Thank you Kevin for the compliment.

To the OP, whay I can offer is only opinions about what it might be, as it is hard to tell without being there.

What I am thinking you have is unresined NVG, this is my strongest hunch. What you are describing is THE reason resin technology was developed. Homeowners like yourself wanted the granite to be smooth as glass. Granite without resin has soft mica spots and silica crystals that do pop out naturally. The resin for the most part, but not entirely inhibits this from occurring, since it bonds everything on the surface together.

Technically, nothing "wrong" with the stone, but if this is your case, and I strongly suspect it is, then you would want to seal once a year. DO NOT seal more frequently because you get suspicion number 2.

Which is, you already have too much sealer on the stone and it is "beading" up and what you are feeling is the small gritty balls of silicone. So, how long has the stone been installed and how much sealer have you put on it?

Blessings

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:30AM
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nancyrph

Thanks for the input, VRJames. The granite was just installed yesterday, and I haven't sealed it. The installers gave me a little bottle of sealer and said to do the edges every 6-12 months, and the top of the granite maybe once a year, depending on how it absorbs water, etc. He said it may not need it for up to 5 years or so. It is not the Sensa granite 15yr seal stuff. Just normal granite. I was told it was sealed to begin with, though.

The edges that they cut and polished do have that nice smooth finish, which makes me wonder why the surface would be so rough. I sat at the island today, and my sweater would snag on the surface. Not enough to pull the fibers out, but very annoying!

I don't know whether to just be patient, as many have said it sort of works itself out, whether it is unresined (since there seems to be pits or divits in it), or whether there is too much sealer on it and it is beading up.

Thanks for all the advice!
Nancy

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:03PM
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doraville

How strange. Do you have any spare pieces that you can examine to see if it was resined? I know mine was resined from the extra pieces I picked up. Your description of sweater snags made me run to put on a sweater and drag my elbow across the granite. Fortunately, I don't have that problem. I would have the fabricator come check it. Maybe it is just a bad sealing job.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:14PM
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kmgard

I'm not sure if you're still checking this post, but I thought I'd chime in since I had a similar issue with my granite. It's important to note that I am NOT and expert or fabricator like some who posted above, but this is my personal experience.

We had coast green granite installed (a very light green shade - similar to if not the same as costa esmerelda) and I noticed that same, gritty feel afterwards. I called my fabricator and he returned to my house with some steel wool and GranQuartz 3-in-1 spray cleaner (I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it's a cleaner/polish similar to method, only not eco-friendly). He sprayed the entire counter and scrubbed with the steel wool and then repeated. Then he came back a few days later and did it again! My granite was smooth as glass after that. Now about 6 months later I'm noticing just a bit of the gritty feel again, so I'm going to use the steel wool he left me and go over it again. He said it should lessen with time.

I'm not sure if this would work the same for your granite - ask your fabricator about the steel wool.

Hope this helps!

Katie

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 8:41AM
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vrjames

KMgard,

Your fabricator sealed the Coast Green. It is one of the denser stones that does not take a sealer. The grit you are feeling is from the silicone "beading" on the surface.

Are you currently using a 3 in one sealer product? Or have you attempted to seal it yourself? If yes, then I would stop and the beading will stop.

Blessings

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:04AM
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loves2read

I am reopening this thread after starting one with same issue--
gritty countertops--also VGold...
problem is that the counters in the kitchen all 4 sections are very smooth and a microfiber cloth or paper towel glides over them w/o problem...
but in master bath and counters in other rooms, the surface is gritty and catches tiny fibers from paper towels at times.
the surface of the counters feels more "natural" like the granite is open to the touch...
These counters were fabricated 3 yrs ago from slabs I picked and had fabricated by guy whose name/number I have lost...so can't contact him for followup...
We are putting this house on the market--it has been rented for past 3 yrs--so they are not in my personal home...At the original installation I thought they did a good job...seams were very tight...they cut them to right length...and did a really good job with a long seamless L shaped counter top for the game room bar area...
so did they forget to seal some of them?
Will sealing provide that slick feel?
I just don't think there is likely hood that the kitchen was cleaned less than the guest bathroom (which was rarely used/cleaned)...and that is why the finish is smoother...
I know cause our son lived in the house by himself for most of the 3 yrs...and he wasn't that fond of cleaning anyway...
The counters in my home's kitchen are St. Cecilia about 7 yrs old and glassy in their smoothness...and we bought the house 4 yrs ago...I though all granite counters were like them until I was cleaning this rental and noticed the differences between the different ones...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:37PM
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gr8daygw

I had the same problem with our granite, it was so rough it was horrible. Very disappointing as I was expecting a smooth as glass feeling to the touch. I could not even get a dishcloth over it without it making loud snagging sounds. I was devastated. After a lot of wiping it down/cleaning it and trying one thing and another and having the fabricators come back and clean it too I finally read online about the steel wool and that is what helped it the most. In time it has gotten so much better but sometimes still has those little peppery feeling bits on it. What I wanted was that under glass look/feel that I saw on the granite at the showroom. Not what I got. They took the island top back and re-polished it but it didn't do anything at all. Over time it has gotten much better but still not completely smooth as I would like it to be. The little dull places on our counter are large pieces of mica that just shine differently than the other minerals in the stone. I use a polisher/cleaner on it and that helps it look pretty. BTW, it is really pretty but would still like that under glass look instead it is quite pitted overall. Oh well....I did sooo much research before buying and my friend who simply went to Home Depot and bought some got exactly the look I was hoping for, LOL, joke's on me!!!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 3:07PM
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carolk318

We have Colonial Gold and it seems to be getting rougher to the touch, with more little tiny pock marks than it was when we had it installed just a few months ago. Should we be concerned? We paid for the 15 year sealant.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:02AM
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moqcca

@ carolk318: this has happened to my granite as well, after many years though. Have you found an answer to the problem? Is it the sealer or something else that was no longer filling in what are now little pits?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 4:04PM
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gr8daygw

bump

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:39AM
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