Granite is a very hard natural stone.
Granite countertops are a very popular option as they are durable and very low maintenance.
Having said that, all natural stone countertops can have fissures and cracks.
Granite fissures and cracks are the most commonly misunderstood phenomenon.
In this article, I will explain the key differences between granite natural fissures and cracks.
You will learn why fissures and crack happen, how to identify them.
Also, what is their potential impact on the beauty and longevity of your granite installations.
So let’s get started ……
This post is about What’s the Difference? Granite Fissures vs cracks
What are Granite Fissures ?
Fissures are naturally occurring feature of the stone. They are thin, elongated separations along the crystalline boundaries.
These fissures in granite can sometimes cause visible separation on the granite surface.
Visible separation means, the clearly noticeable spaces or lines on the stone, which might be mistaken for cracks.
However, they are not a result of damage or man-made stresses.
Instead, they are simply the areas where the granite cooled and solidified at different rates during its formation.
In the stone industry, the term “granite fissure” is commonly used to describe a naturally occurring feature in the stone.
Fissures are often shallow and non-linear.
The appearance of pits in a natural granite slab is quite common and is a naturally occurring feature of the stone.
These pits are tiny spaces between the various mineral crystals that make up the stone.
Fissures and pits, often viewed as imperfections, are actually a natural part of the stone.
However, these natural features don’t usually compromise the integrity of the stone.
Instead, they contribute to its unique texture and visual appeal, that is an important natural naturally occurring characteristic of stone.
Fissures don’t compromise the durability of granite and are usually smooth to the touch.
Identifying a fissure can be as easy as running your finger across the surface. A fissure is usually smooth to touch and often extends across the grain.
What are Granite Cracks
Granite cracks are breaks or separations in the stone.
Cracks, unlike fissures, are not naturally formed but occur due to mechanical stress or trauma to granite slabs.
Like any natural material, granite can develop cracks under certain conditions.
They can vary in size from hairline crack to large crack, barely visible hairline fractures to large, clearly visible cracks.
Cracks can occur in granite for several reasons:
Granite cracks are mostly caused as a result of man-made stresses.
Pressure or Stress: Granite is tough however it is not immune to cracking under pressure.
This could be due to something as simple as a heavy object being dropped on a granite countertop. For example, standing on a countertop or dropping a heavy pot can cause a crack.
Thermal Shock: This is when the granite experiences sudden temperature changes. For instance, placing a hot pan directly onto a cold granite countertop can potentially cause it to crack.
This is due to different parts of the granite expanding or contracting at different rates, creating stress within the material.
Structural Issues: If a granite countertop or similar structure isn’t properly supported, it can crack.
This can happen when the weight isn’t evenly distributed, such as when there’s a weak spot in the cabinetry beneath a countertop.
Natural Flaws: Sometimes, granite will have natural flaws or weaknesses in it from when it was formed because of its crystalline structure. These can make it more susceptible to cracking.
Transportation : If the granite slabs are not handled carefully, they can develop cracks during transportation.
Incorrect Installation process : If the granite is not installed properly, it could lead to cracking. This could be due to an uneven supporting surface, or due to the granite being forced or stressed during installation.
Cracks often feel rough and may appear as straight lines. They may grow in size if not treated.
Cracks can compromise the granite’s integrity and may lead to further damage if not addressed.
Feeling a lip or edge when running your fingers across the surface is often a tell-tale sign of a crack. Cracks typically run against the grain and may form irregular patterns.
Difference Between Fissures and Cracks
While fissures are shallow and often wavy, cracks are deeper and usually straight.
Impact on Granite Integrity
- Fissures don’t affect the granite’s durability, while cracks can compromise its integrity.
- Differentiating features between natural characteristics and structural defects in granite slabs is very important for maintaining the stone’s integrity and aesthetics.
- Structural flaws, such as types of cracks or noticeable unevenness or weak point in the surface, can often be caused due to of man-made stresses during extraction, transportation, or installation.
- When it comes to areas of stress – such as around sink area cut-outs or overhangs, it’s important to inspect the granite slab before installation.
- If a crack exist, This can exceed the stone’s physical limitation, leading to weak points.
- These weak points may eventually develop into cracks or chips, which are considered structural defects that will require professional attention.
The Marble Institute of America recommends understanding these differences to ensure the long life and beauty of your granite installations.
I like this video by Capitol Granite explaining the differences:
How to Identify : Fissures vs Cracks
Performing a touch test is a quick and easy way to distinguish between a fissure and a crack.
Simply run your fingernail across the suspected area.
If your nail gets caught, you likely have an actual crack. If not, it’s probably just a harmless fissure.
There are several types of damage that can occur to a granite surface, including cracks, chips, stains, or etching.
Cracks and chips are often the result of physical impact or stresses, while stains and etching can occur due to exposure to acidic substances or harsh chemicals.
Cracks can effect the natural beauty of granite.
Sometimes cracks can run within entire depth of the stone.
If you notice any of these types of damage on your granite surface, the best solution is to contact a professional granite company.
They have the expertise to assess the damage and determine the most appropriate remediation methods.
Maintenance Tips for Granite Surfaces
Regular cleaning with a pH-neutral cleaner and periodic sealing can help maintain the granite’s beauty and durability.
Be sure to avoid using harsh or acidic cleaning products.
Prevention of Fissures and Cracks
Careful handling during installation, ensuring the granite is adequately supported, and maintaining a stable climate can help prevent cracks.
The Role of Fissures and Cracks in Granite Selection
Choosing the right slab is an individual decision.
Some people love the unique character fissures bring, while others prefer a more uniform appearance.
It’s important to understand that these are natural characteristics of granite and not defects.
Maintenance and Repair: Dealing with Fissures and Cracks
Since fissures pose no threat to to your granite’s integrity, they typically don’t require any treatment.
A well-polished granite surface will include polished fissures.
Fissures don’t compromise the stone’s durability or functionality and often add to its natural charm.
If Cracks exist in natural stone products, it may require intervention.
Depending on the crack’s size and location, repair options can range from using a color-matched epoxy resin to, in severe cases, full kitchen countertops replacement.
I will recommend to consult with a professional to ensure your granite crack gets the proper care.
In the process of repairing a crack in a granite slab, lower viscosity fluids like clear resin or epoxy are often used.
The lower viscosity allows these materials to penetrate more deeply into the narrow spaces of the crack.
When applied to the side of the crack, these fluids seep in, filling the entire depth of the damage, which can ensure a more thorough and durable repair.
Once cured, these repair materials are often nearly invisible and restore the granite slab’s surface to its original beauty and integrity.
Preserving Your Granite: Tips and Tricks
Sealing your granite countertop helps to prevent stains and damage. Depending on the type of granite and usage, you should seal your countertop at least once a year.
Avoiding Excess Weight
Excess weight on one area of your countertop can lead to cracks. It’s always advisable to evenly distribute weight and avoid placing heavy objects on unsupported areas.
Harsh cleaning agents can damage your granite. Always use a cleaner specifically designed for natural stone.
What’s the difference between granite fissures and cracks?
Fissures are natural lines formed during the stone’s cooling process and pose no threat to its structural integrity. These are natural occurrences.
Cracks, however, are breakages in the stone that occur after its formation, potentially compromising the stone’s integrity.
Does a fissure in granite become a crack?
A fissure does not turn into a crack. However, a severe impact or undue stress can cause a crack to develop along a fissure line.
Can I repair a cracked granite countertop by myself?
While minor surface cracks can sometimes be repaired with a DIY epoxy kit, it’s best to consult with a professional for significant cracks to ensure a seamless repair.
How often should I seal my granite countertop?
The frequency of sealing can depend on the type of granite and usage. However, a general rule of thumb is to seal your countertop at least once a year.
Are fissures and cracks covered under warranty?
Most warranties cover defects from the manufacturing process, not naturally occurring fissures or cracks caused post-installation. Always check the specifics of your warranty.
Can fissures and cracks impact the value of my granite countertop?
Fissures, being natural features, do not impact the value of your countertop. However, visible cracks might, as they can indicate potential structural issues.
The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. The author
and publisher are not responsible for any damage, injury, or loss that may occur from using the
information provided. Readers should follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions
as listed by installation countertop professionals.
This post was about What’s the Difference? Granite Fissures vs cracks
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