Understanding Fissures and Pits

Many homeowners choosing to have natural stone tiles or countertops in their homes for the first time are unprepared for what they may see. While many people assume that stone has been polished or honed to a perfectly smooth surface, some stones such as Crema Marfil marble are Labrador Antique granite are naturally prone to things like fissures and pits. These things are not defects, but homeowners who are not expecting to see this in their stone could take them to be so.

Fissures are small natural cracks in the surface of the stone. Sometimes they can only be seen if the light hits them just the right away, other times they can be easily seen and felt. Some stones that have been tumbled may show their fissures more readily than those that have been polished or honed. Extremely bad or deep fissures may be filled with an epoxy resin that is color matched to the rest of the stone, then polished with the rest of the surface. Other times, the fissure is left as is.

Most of the time, fissures make no difference to the function of the stone. If a stone is particularly filled with fissures that are deep and unfilled, it may make the stone weaker in areas and more prone to cracks, particularly if the stone is unsupported, such as an overhang or ledge.

Pits are small indents or holes in the surface of the stone. Less obvious than the holes in travertine, pits are usually confined to the surface. Most of the time they can be polished or honed out of the surface, and only show up in tumbled stones, but some stones that have a large number of pits may show them even after polishing. Pits are also not a defect and do not affect the way that the stone functions. They are rarely filled.

Homeowners choosing a stone that is prone to fissures and pits may need to understand that these are not only not defects, they are natural occurrences in a natural material, and therefore to be expected and appreciated as part of the stone’s beauty.

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