Why is it that my granite counter top feels rough?

QUESTION

Why is it that my granite counter top feels rough? It was installed 5 months ago.

ANSWER

ANSWER - Granite countertops are normally fabricated to a high polished surface that makes it easier to maintain.

Lately, some quartzite and granite countertops are fabricated and installed with a leather finish.  This is a slight textured finish that doesn't substantially cause more maintenance.

I'm assuming that either your granite counter top was smooth when it was installed and became textured or that it had areas of texture that you didn't notice until after it was installed.

Granite that is installed on concrete floors on ground and subjected to prolong moisture can spall, which is a form of the surface deteriorating and will give it a textured feel.  This normally does not happen to stone on countertops because there can't be any underlying source of moisture.

I have seen on granite countertops that were recently installed that the installers were a little sloppy with their clear epoxy as they glue various pieces together, and it leaves a textured surface in those spots.   I'm guessing that is more likely your situation.

Although, if your stone countertop was not a true granite and it was acid sensitive, it is possible that the surface can become etched from being subjected to acidic substances such as citrus products.  The stone surface can be re-polished to remove the etched stains.  Sealing the granite with a penetrating stone sealer can help make the stone more resistant to chemical if the chemicals are cleaned up promptly and with the appropriate cleaners.

16 thoughts on “Why is it that my granite counter top feels rough?

  1. D A Mullen says:

    The 10 year old granite countertop in a home we just bought is rough along its veins. I’m thinking it may not have been polished or sealed properly. I can’t find anyone to come and re-polish it. If I re-seal it, will that fix the issue? If so, can you recommend a sealer?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Veins in natural stone are inclusions of other minerals. Overtime as they are subjected to moisture and thermo movement conditions they can fracture. They can be repaired by a professional stone restoration company who can fill them with a resin material and re-polish and seal the stone.

      The stone should be resealed with an appropriate stone sealer at least annually or when water no longer beads up on the stone surface.

  2. Tina Miller says:

    My new granite countertop is rough on top. It has the appearance of a bunch of little scratches. Is this normal? I’m not liking this very much and I am deeply disappointed.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      A new polished granite counter should not feel rough or have scratches. Sometimes they get some resin residue on the top as they fabricate it, but it should come off. Some times there are micro chips along seams, but that is normal. If the scratches are slight or if there is resin residue the fabricator should be able to fix those conditions easily.

  3. Amanda says:

    We bought a home last year that has what looks like marble countertops. However they are bumpy and not shiny at all. If you were to write on a piece of paper on top of them it would mess up your writing. Any idea what this is? It’s white and grey if that helps any. I looked online and can’t find anything similar. It’s not just texture but bumps.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Sounds like it could be a leather finished stone. This finish is relatively new within the last few years and there has been a demand for it.

  4. Natalie Solis says:

    Trying to figure out if I need to polish or reseal my granite. It’s a black granite and for the most part the surface is smooth but we’ve noticed little rough patches that have started to appear. We bought the home a year ago not sure if the previous owners took proper care of the granite.
    we did both the water test and the lemon test and neither is producing a dark spot or seeping into the granite.
    But the granite is in my kitchen and I’m not sure what to do.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Assuming your granite is a kitchen countertop, the rough patches could be etching from a corrosive acid or because it was subjected to an acidic substance for a prolong time. Granite is normally very chemical resistant, but it can etch under the wrong conditions.

      The beauty of natural stone is you can restore it by cleaning and re-polishing it and it can look like new. Make sure you get an experienced person who specializes in natural stone restoration to do the work.

      It is always a good idea to seal natural stones with a breathable sealer that penetrates into it. You normally need to reapply the sealer every 6 months to a year depending on what the counter top is subjected to as the sealer will wear off. If you put a dime size of water on the counter top and if the water tightly beads up with a tight meniscus then the sealer is working. If it spreads out and/or darkens the stone it is ready for sealing.

  5. Chris colson says:

    What products do you offer for a DIY guy that has rough pieces in small area granite table top to fill the in and finish with a P]polish

    • Donato Pompo says:

      I would be careful about trying to polish a granite if you don’t have the experience or the right tools. It takes education and experience to learn how to do this type of work.

      If you would like to try, then just search on Amazon and they offer several granite polishing kits.

  6. K Singh says:

    Hello Mr Pompo,
    We just got a kitchen countertop installed today. It was a Level 5 quartzite. It has 4-5 different spots that are rough to the touch. If i take a picture and zoom on it, i can see small lines as if some material has been fixed with a putty knife. Can i please send a picture to you so you can suggest as the company that sold, fabricated and installed it says it is just how natural stone can be.
    Thanks for your help!
    K Singh

    • Donato Pompo says:

      In terms of industry standards there is no rating of quartzite from 1-5. Quartzite is a type of quartz and is considered having the best physical properties in the geological classification of Quartz. Sandstone is the type I, Quarzitic Sandstone is the type II, and Quartzite is the type III.

      If the stone was purchased as a polished slab then it should be smooth to the touch everywhere. Other finishes like leather will have a combination of some and texture.

      Sometimes the fabricator will patch voids or other irregular conditions which is allowed per the industry standards. Natural stone is just that and is million of years old so every portion of the stone is somewhat different and is expected to have variation.

      Whether your countertop has a flaw or not would require a professional inspection, and not by looking a photos. Although it might not be practical to do the inspection considering the cost. I would start by pointing out your concern to the fabricator. He might be able easily polish the spot and make it smooth.

  7. Jeaneene Weishaar says:

    We just had a brand new countertop installed. Its a Black Forest granite and we picked out the slab ourselves. However, when I went to go wipe off the dust with just a damp paper towel, I noticed that all over the countertop was like a lint debris. As I ran my fingers over it, I noticed the ENTIRE surface was rough (hence the paper towel debris). Should I have a clear epoxy done over the entire surface to make it smooth? I do a lot of cooking and baking and don’t want bacteria to build up due to a rough surface!

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If you ordered a polished slab it should be smooth, unless you ordered leather finish that will be textured.

      If it is a polish surface then the installers might have been sloppy and got some resin on it. I would call the fabricator to come out and fix it. If it is resin he can clean it off with the correct cleaners that won’t damage the polish surface. Or he can come out and do a light polish with hand tools to smooth it out.

  8. Jennifer Keeler says:

    My black granite countertops were like glass when new 6 months ago. They now feel rough on areas frequently used or wiped with a sponge, such as around the sink and cutting boards. I sealed them before ever using them and am careful to dry them with a towel after wiping with a sponge or other water. They are very shiny, just rough to the touch only in frequently used areas. How do I fix this so they feel like glass in all areas?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If they were smooth before and now they have a texture then either there is some residual from what was used on it, or more likely you might have etched the surface. Normally granite is very chemical resistant, but there are some stones sold as granites that are not true granites and they may be more susceptible to etching.

      The good news is that it should be repairable. Have a qualified stone restoration professional come and repolish it where it has the texture.

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