Why Is My Granite Countertop Rough?

Why Is My Granite Countertop Rough

Stone countertops, like quartz, marble, and granite, are the perfect choice for busy kitchens, as they offer timeless durability. On top of that, they’re uniquely beautiful, offering the ideal accent for nearly any kitchen. Slabs come in dozens of colors, patterns, and variations to complement your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. 

While granite is a perfect material for counters, there are a few things you should know. For example, should granite be utterly smooth to the touch? Are rough spots typical? How do I fix rough spots? If you’re asking yourself these questions, continue reading to learn more!

Why Isn’t My Granite Countertop Smooth?

This question is a big one: should my granite kitchen countertop be totally smooth? Given that granite is a natural stone, there will probably be a few inconsistencies here and there. For the most part, the stone should be smooth due to the finishing process. However, there are a few explanations for different scenarios where the granite feels rough. 

Granite

For example, if your granite countertop feels gritty, it may be due to low-quality granite. Unfortunately, if this is the case, the fix is to replace the stone with higher-quality slabs. You may notice grout particles flaking off a newly grouted backsplash or a gritty, sandy-like texture.

Some folks may attribute the grittiness to poor polishing or sealant, but this isn’t usually the case. With that said, incorrectly applied granite sealer can feel dusty or sandy. However, the problem usually lies with the stone itself and its overall quality. High-quality granite countertops are generally exceptionally smooth. 

How Do You Fix Rough Granite Countertops?

If your granite has pits and rough spots, you may be able to correct the issue. Fill pits and divots with a filler of choice, which will help create a smoother surface. Here’s what you’ll need for the process:

  • Masking tape
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • 300+ grit sandpaper
  • Razorblade
  • Filler of choice (epoxy resin, viscous superglue, etc.)

Clean The Rough Patches

Before you start applying filler to pits in the granite surface, you need to make sure the surface is clean. Granite is prone to accumulating bacteria in the tiny pores of its surface, so you’ll need to clean the area before starting. 

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Use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on the area you’re filling. Use a soft cloth to apply it to the area. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. 

Some folks may advise using an ammonia-based cleaner to disinfect the granite. However, ammonia can be hard on granite, as it can dull and weaken the sealant, which protects your counter. Although this process requires you to apply filler, so it shouldn’t be an issue, that is assuming you won’t get any of the cleaners on surrounding areas. 

Since we’re not entirely confident in our ability to not get the cleaner on the rest of the counter, we’ll stick to a safer alternative. Isopropyl alcohol won’t harm the granite but will still disinfect the area. 

Tape Off The Area

To be on the safe side, tape off the area surrounding the area you’re filling. This ensures you won’t end up with epoxy or filler left on the surrounding countertop. Epoxy, in particular, can be a nightmare to remove once it dries, so tape off the area to avoid creating another issue (bumps on the counter instead of divots).

Use masking tape to create a barrier around the affected area. 

Mix And Apply Filler

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Mix the filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the amount you need. Depending on the size of the affected area, you may want to consider dyeing the filler to match the countertop. This helps it blend seamlessly with the countertop instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. 

Once you mix the filler, carefully pour it into any chips, holes, cracks, and rough spots. Be careful not to overfill the area, or you’ll end up with a bump in an otherwise smooth surface. 

Let the surface dry for at least 24 hours (or according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Once it dries completely, remove the masking tape surrounding the area. Use a razor blade to lift any remaining filler that ended up out of place. 

Polish The Stone

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The last step in this process is to polish the area you repaired. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen out the area. Once it’s smooth, clean the surface using the same steps we outlined above. 

Will Polishing The Surface Fix Grittiness?

Polishing may seem like a logical solution to the grittiness issue on your granite countertops. However, this usually doesn’t pan out. Why? Well, granite slabs are processed by industrial equipment. 

This highly specialized equipment finishes and polishes slabs to achieve the best possible result. Generally, the result it churns out is the best that particular slab will get. Polishing the stone at home usually won’t correct issues these machines couldn’t fix. 

Polishing affected areas is a good thing to do after you fix them, but it won’t fix the problem by itself. 

In some cases, granite geologically forms in a manner that doesn’t bode well for a smooth countertop. Some slabs form pits because of grains in the stone that may potentially pop up. This can cause the stone to feel sandy or gritty due to grains continually coming loose. 

Polishing and finishing work on the stone generally won’t hold these grains in place. It only smooths the stone to a certain degree, but there’s not much that can be done beyond that.