rough spots on granite countertop

Rough Spots on Granite Countertop? Here’s What to Do

When it comes to granite countertops, rough spots on the surface are usually a result of opting for low-quality granite. Since these surfaces cannot be polished to obtain that smooth, glass-like feeling their supposed to, people had to come up with other ways to repair these countertops. 

To fix rough spots on a granite countertop, you can:

  • Use epoxy resin to fill the hole and repair its smooth finish
  • Use a store-bought granite countertop repair kit
  • Hire a professional to do a longer-lasting repair

There are several cost-effective options to choose from when repairing a chipped granite countertop. I’ll discuss how a granite countertop should feel, how to keep it in good shape, and when to replace it instead of just refinishing it.

Should a Granite Countertop be Smooth?

For the most part, when granite is incorporated into a design, smooth slabs are used. While there might be some rare cases where someone intentionally added chipped granite to their home for aesthetic purposes, granite countertops are meant to be smooth, usually because of their location and function

Countertops constantly need to be wiped down. There are always spills and crumbs falling onto them. With a chipped countertop, crumbs and liquids will get into the crevices and make it nearly impossible to keep the surface clean. 

For this reason, most architects, designers, and homeowners prefer to use smooth slabs of granite on the countertops. If there are chips in a countertop, it’s best to seal it as soon as possible to avoid bacteria from developing.  

Help! My Granite Countertop Has Rough Spots! 

rough spots on granite

When rough spots appear on a granite countertop, it’s usually indicative of bad quality granite. However, what’s done is done and all there’s left to do is to try and repair the countertop as quickly as possible. Here is the step-by-step process for repairing granite with rough spots:

  1. Purchase the following
    1. Epoxy Resin (or any filler of choice, e.g. a viscous superglue)
    2. Masking tape 
    3. Ammonia-based cleaner  
    4. Razor (or a sharp object, e.g. x-acto knife) 
    5. 300+ grit paper (optional) 
  1. Clean the chipped spot(s) with the ammonia-based cleaner and thoroughly dry the area. 
  1. Surround the chipped area with masking tape to avoid filler from getting on surrounding areas. 
  1. Pour filler into the hole (carefully as not to overfill).
  1. Let dry for at least 24 hours. Once the glue is well cured, remove the masking tape and remove the excess filler on the sides with the razor. 
  1. For an extra smooth finish, polish everything off with the grit paper and then clean the surface. 

There are several options of what materials to use, however as long as it was applied on a clean surface and allowed to entirely cure, the seal should hold. Different types of granite will also require different types of material. Granite can be found in different colors, so make sure your filler is a similar color so it can easily blend into the countertop. 

If you want to do something a little more adventurous, you can choose a metallic dyed resin to fill the holes. For example, a black granite countertop can have a touch of flair and elegance added to it if the imperfections are repaired with a lustrous metallic gold epoxy.

Once these steps are complete, the granite countertop should look much better. However, there are a few additional steps you can take to make the final product look brand new. Next, I’ll take an in-depth look at replacing and refinishing countertops. 

How to Decide When to Replace vs. Refinish a Granite Countertop With Rough Spots

To elaborate on my earlier mention of irreparable slabs, granite slabs that are practically covered with rough spots or chips are really lousy quality. There’s not much you can do when your granite is in such bad shape. Sometimes there’s hope to refinish the countertop, but other times the best option is to simply replace it. 

Granite is a favorite because of its strength, heat resistance, and durability. However, over long years of use, granite can still begin to fall apart despite this. It can be repaired several times––however, after about 11 to 15 years it’s best to replace the countertop. Although replacing it might be expensive, sometimes refinishing is no longer an option. It would save you money to get rid of it and buy a new granite countertop than to buy the insane amount of material needed to fix it temporarily. 

Other than age, one should consider changing a countertop if it’s of really bad quality. Think: brittle slabs of granite with lots of rough spots. They won’t last nearly as long as the good quality slabs and will most likely have the same amount of chips immediately after their installation as a good slab would have when it’s five years old.  

There’s a simple way to know whether the slab needs to be replaced or not. This test works on any slab whether it’s new, old, cheap, or expensive. If after refilling the chips, there are still gaps left and it has become impossible to entirely reseal the granite, it’s time to change the countertop. The moment a countertop is improperly sealed, mold and bacteria can start to develop and no one wants that in their kitchen or anywhere near their food.  

Several Ways to Refinish a Granite Countertop

If there’s hope for the countertop, there are a few extra steps to take to give it an extra barrier of protection as it worsens over the years. 

As the countertop gets sealed and resealed, it’s going to keep built-up dirt and germs. It’s important to try and keep it as clean as possible during use. Obviously, counters are made to get dirty, but leaving the grime on there for weeks at a time can harm the finish. The cleaner the surface the easier it is to repair and keep in good shape. 

Another good option for refinishing a granite countertop is simply to have professionals do it. Even though it might cost more than a DIY at the moment, having a professional come reseal it every few years can greatly increase the countertop’s lifetime. Even if hiring someone to do it costs more than doing it yourself, when it’s done by professionals with better equipment, the repair tends to last longer and saves you money in the long run. Remember, this one can be a real pain if you mess it up, so either learn how to do it well and practice a lot or just pay a professional.

I could go on and on about different ways that granite countertops can be refurbished, however, this method is usually the recommended one: clean your countertop often with seasonal deep cleanings! Resealing the granite every two to three years and occasionally getting it professionally resealed ensures that the granite remains unstained and intact.  

If this routine is maintained, granite countertops can last up to 15 years while looking like they were bought only a few years ago! 

Granite Countertop: Rough Spots and More

While granite is a strong, safe, and durable material, the slab has to be smooth in order to prevent nasty bacteria from cozying on up with your countertop. If there are cracks and crevices on the surface of the countertop, all the crumbs, and spills will get stuck in unreachable places causing bacteria to develop. Consequently, it’s important to regularly reseal the granite to keep the surface clean, smooth, and unstained. 

If you’re serious about DIY home repairs and touch ups like this, check out my post: Must-Have Tools of the Trade for Home Improvement DIYers.

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