Water stains on new granite

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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:01 pm

Water stains on new granite

Post by Bethanytx » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:30 pm

I think I've really screwed things up.

We just got our new granite installed. Purchased through Lowes, fabricated by a semi-local company (a few hours away). Installers were contracted by fabricator.

They came Tuesday and installed everything in the kitchen but mis-cut the laundry room sink and had to come back yesterday (Thursday) with a new slab (which they weren't happy about). By then I had noticed a few things about the countertops. They are a very light grey/white with maroon flecks, but one section had a scattering of bright orange finger-sized round spots that looked like grease drops and didn't appear elsewhere. I convinced myself they were just anomalies in the stone. Then I noticed that the stone was absorbing water like crazy. Some areas were just getting faint marks when wet and drying quickly, but some sections would turn very dark and take quite a while to dry.

So when the installers came back, I asked them if this is normal. His response: "We probably just didn't seal it enough." Ok. So I asked if he could do it while he was there, but he just sort of changed the subject and explained to me how to do it myself (suggesting it should be done several times a year). I should have pushed, but I'm not assertive and there was a bit of a language barrier.

So I planned to re-seal, but I got to thinking about those orange spots and wondered if the less-than-careful installers could have gotten something on there while working. I thought I'd try getting them out before sealing. I Googled stain-removing strategies and the baking soda poultice looked pretty fool-proof. Being super smart, I didn't do a test spot first. I figured you can't really bleach a white countertop, right? So I slathered on the baking soda/water paste, covered with plastic wrap, and watched. Immediately, I could see the water from the paste soak into the countertops in a big dark circle around each spot I'd poultices. I figured it would dry eventually. They didn't. After removing the poultice (with no improvement in the orange spots), the dark areas were still quite dark. But where water spots have been drying in 30 minutes or so, these have not lightened in the 12 hours since I removed the poultice.

What do I do????? Did I destroy my new granite??? I'm terrified to try anything more to fix them. But they're big fist-sized gray circles on a very obvious area of the countertop. Hard to ignore!!!!!

Is this much waster-absorption in granite normal? Are random spots of a totally-different color normal? Also, our light countertops have a scattering of maroon and grey specks, but no veining... except one small slab between the stove and fridge. It has huge dark veins that make it look like a totally different stone. Is that much variation acceptable? Shouldn't the fabricator have made some effort to match? Or am I being picky??

Thanks, everyone. Just feeling panicked right now after a big purchase!!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Water stains on new granite

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:14 pm

I have no idea how a big box handles selling stone tops, but my bet is that they show you tiny samples of stone and leave picking the actual pieces of stone to someone who doesn't give a flying rats patootie about it, which is absolutely the wrong way to go about choosing stone.

The way you should choose stone is to go to a stone supplier and actually pick out the pieces you'll need for your project, from there the installer will pick up your chosen pieces, mill them to spec, then install them. Doing it this way, there are no surprises as to what the stone is going to look like when it finally finds your kitchen.

Now, contrary to popular believe, stone is actually quite soft and porous, which means that it is susceptible to stains and water absorption. It will also take quite some time to dry out once it gets wet, we're talking days, not hours. You can speed drying along with the use of a fan to circulate air over the area, you could even use a hair dryer, but I'd be concerned that heat would drive oils/grease deeper, as well as set other organic stains. I don't know the intricacies of stone to know what they should be sealed with or how often, or how to remove stains, for this I would recommend consulting various installers and/or stone suppliers who know their products and how to care for them.
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Re: Water stains on new granite

Post by Shannon » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:11 pm

I agree the best way to choose stone is to see and select from slabs but I really doubt the big box stores even offer that as an option. This is stone ,a natural mineral so even though the small sample you looked at looks one way ,every piece can be different with different other colours/minerals in it. Depending on the quality the slabs may not even be truly matched for the entire kitchen but for this supplier likely as long as they are in the same colour type, that may be the best you get.The natural beauty of stone IMO is made by some of these odd different colours and specs but if that is not your feeling and taste and like more uniform colours and slabs then grant is not for you. It is to late now but a products like Corian or Quartz are really nice and they are much more uniform in pattern and colour.Those orange spots are likely some extra iron or other mineral that happened to be in that slab.

Let the counters sit and dry out for a few days and see what happens for now. I believe the counters should have come much better sealed then they did to start with and that may be something to take up with Lowes if the contractor is not budging.I hope at this point you still have not completely paid for the product and have some leverage there. At the very least they should be able to give you the name of the right products and procedures.

BTW The fact they miss cut a sink and had to re-do it is not your fault, ya it sucks for them because they have to supply more labour and materials but I would not let that be used as any kind of excuse that they can not still look after you . In all honesty as long as it is not to custom of a shape they will resell it to somebody at some point and likely still get their cost out of it.
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