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.
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
Quick and Easy. We toured the facility, chose our granite. Couldn’t believe how reasonable and easy the process was. The result was quality. Kathleen D. –Clifton Park, NY
Did the Electrical Underwriting Inspections there last year on the new facility and show room, got to see every aspect up close and personal, very impressive. Being an artisan also as my 2nd career this is mother nature and art at its best. Michael K.
It is absolutely beautiful! I am so pleased with my marble top, the customer service and the installation. The installation crew were very neat, polite and had great expertise. It was installed to perfection! I will be back when I am ready to do my kitchen counter top! -Nancy M. – Johnstown, NY
Fabulous product selection and staff!!! We had a wonderful experience!! Bill E. – Saratoga Springs, NY
Everybody I worked with at this company was professional, skilled, experienced, and remarkably helpful. They provided everything I needed, and went well beyond what other suppliers were willing to do for my project. Everything came out great. I would definitely use them again and have already recommended them to several friends. R P. – Rexford, NY
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
Excellent company to do business with. Richard P. – Fort Plain, NY