Don't Panic—Here's How to Repair Chipped Granite
By Marilyn Syarto
If you’re a granite lover, you’ll do everything you can to keep your stone counters looking stunningly clean and remaining chip-free. But, chips happen. It’s inevitable when it comes to stone counters, especially on protruding corners. Small chips can also occur in granite if a heavy item, such as a cast-iron pan, drops on the surface in just the right way at just the right angle. Most chips happen at the edges where the granite is most vulnerable to items—like furniture and appliances—accidentally hitting the material.
Our guide gives you the basic method for fixing a minor chip and tips on knowing when and why to call in stone repair experts.
Photo via Shutterstock
Why Granite Chips
If granite is so strong and durable, why does it chip just because it takes a hit? Well, granite has a property called fissures, which are narrow separations near the surface of a slab between crystal clusters within the stone. Fissures are a natural occurrence in granite and add to the beauty of the stone, and they aren't a structural failure in the slab. A fissure in and of itself is not a crack and rarely affects a slab’s durability, but it can sometimes turn into a crack or chip thanks to man-made stress, such as an accidental surface hit.
Granite can also exhibit pits, which look like tiny chips, but they are also natural occurrences in the granite formation. Pits do not pose structural threats to the slab since they are sealed and if they are pronounced, installers may fill them in with epoxy to smooth the surface, says Granite ASAP.
How to Repair Chipped Granite
You can repair small, minor chips in your granite with a few materials readily available at your home improvement store. The basic steps of filling the chip with glue or epoxy and blending it seamlessly are included below.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Ammonia-based cleaner such as Windex (warning: do not use as a regular cleaner on granite)
- Masking tape
- Thick superglue or epoxy
- 300-plus grit sandpaper
Step 1: Clean the Chipped Area
Using a rag, clean the area around the chip with the ammonia-based cleaner. Use sparingly, and do not let the cleaner soak into the chipped area. Quickly and thoroughly dry the area.
Step 2: Mask the Area
Use masking tape to mark around the area you are fixing. This step will keep the glue or epoxy from accidentally spreading. Put the tape down as close to the chip as you can without covering it.
Step 3: Fill the Chip
Use glue or epoxy to fill in the chip. Move slowly and work with a little product at a time so you don't overfill the chip.
Step 4: Let Cure
Generally, you will need to let the glue or epoxy dry and cure for 24 hours, but check the label for exact instructions.
Step 5: Remove Tape
Once dry, slowly take the tape off the area.
Step 6: Make the Fix Flush
You will likely need to smooth down the glue or epoxy to make it flush with the rest of the countertop. To do this, hold a razor at an angle (about 45 degrees). Slowly and gently scrape away the excess glue or epoxy. If you feel that it’s necessary to protect the rest of the counter, mark off the area you’re working on with fresh masking tape.
Step 7: Polish
This optional step will help to blend in the fix. If you have a counter that’s polished to a high sheen and want to make the fix even more discreet, lightly polish the area that you fixed with a piece of 300-plus grit sandpaper that is wet.
Granite Repair Kits
If you don’t have many of the above materials for repairing chipped granite already on hand, there are also several granite repair kits that have all the tools and materials you need in one handy kit. Here are two kits recommended by Granite ASAP:
Most granite repair kits will include clear epoxy for small chips. Some do include basic colored epoxy in whites, blacks, and browns, but using color may make the filled spot stand out more, says LGS Granite. It can be difficult to make the colored epoxy look natural, but if you’re handy with the material, it’s doable.
Photo via Shutterstock
When to Call a Professional
If a large chunk or edge of granite has broken off of your countertop, calling in a stone restoration professional to fix it will be worthwhile. The countertop may have been installed incorrectly and become damaged for a number of reasons resulting in the granite’s failure, including:
- Joints were not crafted well
- Countertop failed because it was installed over an uneven surface
- Glue did not properly dry or cure during installation
- Too much weight was placed on one area of the granite
- Shims were not placed correctly under the counter’s edge during installation
- Rebar under the slab failed because it was not well supported (via Flintstone Marble and Granite and AJ Stone Life)
A stone restoration professional will have the correct tools and equipment to fix whatever problem your granite is facing. A good fabricator and installer will also have the artistic abilities to help add color enhancers and blend colors on the resins and other repair materials to look natural. A pro can also perfectly sand and polish the stone and the edge of the countertop if that’s where the fix is—all without overdoing it and without causing further damage.
How to Test Granite Sealing
But, the number one most important tip to protect granite from chips is to diligently keep it sealed every two to four years, says the Rock Doctor.
You may need to reseal granite more frequently than you think. To determine this, here’s a trick from Boston Stone Restoration: Pour a few drops of tap water on a hidden area of the counter, let it sit for 15 minutes, wipe with a dry cloth, and see if the stone darkens a bit. If it darkens, that means the water has seeped into the stone and it needs resealing. If the color remains the same, the counter is still properly sealed.
More Granite Care Tips
Here are four crucial tips to help you protect your granite countertops:
- Never sit on the edge of a granite countertop or the weight could stress the material.
- Do not use vinegar or vinegar-based cleaners to clean your granite. The acid in the cleaner can pit and etch the surface and eat away at the sealer.
- Always use trivets, cutting boards, or other shock-absorbing items on your counters.
- Keep items up and off of your counter. Add more storage to the space by way of shelves and furniture, should space allow.
Do you have a secret tip, product, or method you’ve used to repair chipped granite counters? Let us know below!