Spots on Granite

goldie50September 2, 2011

I thought I had finally made my decision on my granite countertop. I have been looking for a year. I was going to get coffee brown. But at the last minute I went to someone's house that had granite that looked similar. I think it was tan brown.

I saw something that I had also noticed in all the samples of various granite that I had. I was hoping I would not see in a large installed granite counter. I thought when it was cleaned and polished it would be gone.

From a certain angle you could see what looked like little water spots all over the granite. When you looked at the granite straight down you couldn't really see them. But it makes it look dirty to me from a distance. It seems to be when you are looking at it from a distance with a lot of sunlight on it is where you can see it. I have a sunroom that opens into my kitchen. So I am afraid I would see that every time I walked towards the kitchen.

Has anyone else noticed this? If so does it bother you? I see it in light and dark counters. Are all slabs like this or is there a way to get rid of it?

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hi goldie..

What you are seeing doesn't go away with cleaning and polishing. It is the nature of stone. So if it bothers you, better look into a different material...

My granite has lots of that going on and I have a lot of natural light in my kitchen. It doesn't bother me because I accept and love my stone.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Staining and response to water varies from stome type to stone type.

If you have hard water it is going to leave spots that need cleaning, but that is the water, not the granite.

It was always occurring you just did not notice it on the counter.

The most common granite finish is polished, and it is a very glossy and smooth surface.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Thank you for the response.

Are your counters light or dark? Did it bother you at first?

I love granite so much and have looked at so many model homes. I never really noticed this issue except on my samples. I think I will go to some model homes and look again.

Also I have been reading how you need to be so careful with spills on granite. I was shocked. I'm thinking how we have a big island and everyone is always sitting there eating and drinking. I'm thinking of all my little grandchildren. Do you use coasters or place mats at your counter?

Thank you so much for your help.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:33PM
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I looked at Splash Blue at first, and it had whole banks of these little reddish-brownish dull spots that you could see in a raking light, even though it was all polished. I'm pretty sure these were minerals in the granite, maybe garnet, maybe something else, that had a different consistency from the surrounding minerals. They were in every slab, at every stone yard I went to. Just part of that kind of stone.

The granite I actually got has tiny pits and little lines around certain larger crystals that, again, can be seen only in a raking light.

So yes, it's possible that what you are seeing is in the stone, actually part of it, and it won't be polished out.

You can have granite sealed with a lifetime sealer that makes it shinier and much more resistant to staining and to anything sticking to it. This might help prevent the water marks, but if what you are seeing is in the granite, I don't think it will make any difference.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:38PM
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Granite is normally factory polished. Unless you are getting the fabricator to do something to change the surface such as honing, they normally don't do anything to change or re-polish the top. They just polish the surfaces that they cut.

Depending on the type of stone, it can have areas in it that reflect light in different directions (e.g. there can be crystals in the stone with different orientations). Depending on the direction that the light is coming from and your angle to the stone, some spots can look shiny and other dull. From your description, I think that might be the effect that you are seeing. I can see that in our stone depending on the time of day and my angle, but our stone has a strong grain and it usually follows the pattern of the grain so it clearly is reflectivity and not dirt spots.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 4:29PM
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As far as the spills go, this is my undertanding. My granite just went in today, so I can't speak from experience.

Different granites have different porosity. They generally need to be sealed initially. Then, whether they need resealing depends on the type. Your granite supplier should be able to tell you about the type you choose. Some need resealing yearly. It's not hard to do, though, just wipe on, wipe off. I'm strongly considering the lifetime sealer recommended (but not sold) by my granite fabricator. It is called Tekon.

Granites don't etch like marble or limestone, but they can stain if they are not sealed, depending on how porous they are. If granite is properly sealed, spills should be OK. Just clean them up as promptly as you usually would. You can roll out dough or knead bread on granite. Some types of liquids can sort of dissolve the sealer, so that's why they say not to leave spills of things like alcohol too long (i.e. hours).

For real carefree living and a uniform surface, choose engineered quartz. It can be more expensive than granite. There are a lot of beautiful ones. Choose granite if you just love the look of natural stone, with all of its imperfections.

Please feel free to chime in, anyone, if any of this is incorrect. I'm a granite newbie.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Thanks everyone for all this helpful information.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:22PM
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I apologize if someone else has said a variation of this already, but my granite looks like it has water spots, too. In reality, and upon closer examination, it turns out that it is the mica in the stone that gives it that appearance.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:47PM
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Not all granites need to be sealed...not even initially. That's a common misconception. Many of the denser stones do not need to be sealed and, if you do seal them, you can have problems with haziness, ghost etching, etc. The only "cure" is to remove the sealer. If your stone has an absorption rate of From the "Miscellaneous Information"/"Stone Information" topic in the "Read Me" thread: BUT: Not all stones need sealer either. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Black Galaxy, Verde Peacock, Verde Butterfly, Platinum Pearl and many others are too dense to absorb any liquids - sealers included. Sealers only protect stone from staining through absorption, so in stones with low absorption coefficients, sealing would be superfluous.

Sealing dense stones could lead to nasty results, such as streaking and ghost etching, so DO NOT go by the motto of "seal it anyway, it could not hurt". Rather test your stone for absorption by dripping water on it to see if it darkens any. If the water has no effect on the stone, sealing it is unnecessary.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:39AM
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Hi again goldie...

My granite is Delicatus White (aka Alaska)...I don't baby it at all...Have had no issues with staining and it's been 16 months of use...We don't use coasters or placemats... I do use trivets when I put a hot pot down on it...Not going to chance it cracking from the high heat... It is sealed, so water stays on top and doesn't seap into it. It's tough stuff and I am happy with it's performance.

My old kitchen had Corian...just a shiny gray color..very uniform...and because of the natural light STREAMING through my windows, it showed etching, scratches and differences in the finish. ...Since that wasn't a natural product, it bugged me a lot!

Without the granite doesn't show it's natural markings (mica, etc...)So at nighttime, it's a different story.

I love the bright sunlight in my kitchen, so I'm not putting shades on my windows, but I imagine if I did, the marking would be much less noticeable.



there's a lot going on here! This granite has lots of mica and other things that give it depth, sparkle and character.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Your kitchen is beautiful. Love the granite. I can't see the mica in your pictures. But I know you have to be at a certain angle to see it. I wonder if it is not as noticeable in lighter granite.

Here is my kitchen with laminate counters which I want to replace with granite.

Here is the granite I like for my kitchen:

I think it will look something like this:

But with all that light I am afraid I will see the mica spots constantly. I will look at some more quartz and lighter color granite. I just don't love the quartz as much. Maybe I just need to see more colors.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:22PM
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Hi Everyone, I just read Goldie's post along with the others. I have the same type of spots on my new Quartz counter top. you can only see it at certain angels in the bright light. Does anyone have these on their Quartz? thanks!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I've had granite tiles for 10 years. This was a new home, and the tiles were installed by the builder. They have not stained ever. They do have natural flaws that I have tried to scrub and then realized that it's part of the stone.

We even tiled the outdoor kitchen with granite. Huge mistake! We live in the desert in So CA and it gets so hot on that countertop, you can't enjoy sitting there or leaning on it to chat.

We were going with a slab in our new home until the wide peninsula slab didn't match the other slab. Again, nature of granite.

If the spots bother you that much, maybe go with something else.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:42AM
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I don't know if this is the same thing, but I'll give it a shot.

I have Caesarstone Smoky Ash, very dark gray with mottling, hard to see anything on the surface unless it's very light. I only clean with a spray bottle of water with a few drops of Dawn. Seemed to be doing fine.

Then, in certain light, I could see very faint shapes, like the bottom of a wine bottle with the little bumps that encircle it. It wasn't an etch, not a stain, just a ghostly shape. The surface felt very smooth. At first I thought it was just the mottles mimicking a wine bottle bottom, but it was too accurate and wine bottles do sit on my counter. It was mildly troubling, but not too much because it was hard to see.

One day I was polishing some furniture with Pledge wipes and I noticed they were also recommended for granite (and I assumed quartz) surfaces. I did a wipe over the counters and voila! the ghostly images were gone. Plus, the surface felt smoother and cleaner than it ever did...and it stays feeling that way even with regular water wipe downs.

I suspect that the water wipe down is good on a daily basis but doesn't always cut through everything. And the counters always felt dirty a short time later. I don't know the nature of the images, what was on the bottom of the bottle that transferred to the quartz, but with a monthly swipe with the Pledge wipes, the counter looks and feels infinitely better.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:19AM
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