Stone Countertop Discoloration: Staining vs. Etching
Owners of stone countertops may notice various discolorations on the counter surface over time, caused by a number of factors. These blemishes can broadly be classified as either staining or etching, and each has its own preventative measures and repair methods. Therefore, it’s important to know what kind of discoloration you are dealing with, and which steps to take to both protect your stone countertops and fix any existing damage.
Staining: The porosity of natural stones varies greatly, and so does, of course, their absorbency. We seal our products during installation to help prevent staining; however, this process does not make the stone 100% impervious to liquid. Some stones may absorb liquids, and if such liquids are staining agents, a stain might occur. A stain is usually darker than the stained material, while the surface finish of the stone remains smooth.
Etching: Other “discolorations” have nothing to do with the porosity of the stone, but rather are a result of damage to the stone surface. If the discoloration appears to be lighter in color (may look like “water spots” or “water rings”), it is probably an etch mark. An etch mark is a chemical burn that forms when acid, ammonia, or alcohol comes into contact with the calcium carbonate element that exists in certain natural stones. These marks look like the finish or the shine has been removed from the surface of the stone. The area that is etched can feel a little rough to the touch. Etching is most common on marble, quartzite, travertine, onyx, and limestone surfaces.
GOOD NEWS! Stains can usually be removed and most etch marks can be repaired. Just give us a call! Our skilled craftsmen are specially trained to repair your stone and protect your investment.
All went well..met all time frames for viewing stone, preparing template, all installation. Had all accessories available for purchase..well coordinated very cordial and accommodating staff. Larger inventory than others and vast showroom space. Well-run local business. Virginia H. – Mechanicville, NY
The entire process was smooth and easy for us. The installers were very professional and did an excellent job removing the old counters, installing the new ones (which are beautiful), and finishing the plumbing and related work. If and when we need countertops again, we will return to them. Robert Y. – Porters Corners, NY
Great professional service for new kitchen countertops. Margaret made the entire process from selecting the granite to installation extremely easy. Would definitely recommend Granite & Marble Works! Christian J. – Slingerlands, NY
To ALL the Gang at Granite & Marble Works, we can’t thank you enough for transforming our kitchen! We just love it & can’t believe it’s the same room we have been using for 16 years! We are so glad we took our time looking & we definitely found the right stone & the best people to get the job done! Thank you! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! — Jim, Shelley, Ethan, Emily, & Sarah B. – March 17, 2013
I liked that this is a family owned business and the owners are involved in the day to day operations. They have a fantastic selection of granite and the prices are clearly marked making staying within your budget simple. The installers are very personable and prompt. Andrea D. – Clifton Park, NY
We had Granite & Marble Works design and install the granite for our kitchen. At first it was overwhelming with all the choices but Jeff helped us whittle the choices down to one that met all our needs. Thank you Margaret for a wonderful experience with your company and please feel free to use us as a reference as a fully satisfied customer. Bill W. – Latham, NY
Thank you so much! We had the best service ever today with Brian. Right on time, took the time to correct plumbing issue and did a fantastic job! Will definitely recommend your business to anyone! Jane D. – Johnstown, NY
The selection of materials was very extensive. We had an accompanied tour of all of the stone in stock. Pieces are hand selected from all over the world. Price for the quality was more than fair. Only shop regionally where we could find an assortment of marble as well as granite. Would highly recommend. Joseph G. – Ballston Lake, NY