Granite has long been a popular and reliable material, especially when it comes to kitchen and bathroom worktops. There are many qualities and characteristics of granite that make it a great material for a worktop, and one of these is its beauty and unique appeal. Another is its durability and strength, as it is known for being resistant to both heat as well as spills and stains. With a granite worktop, your bathroom or kitchen can be instantly transformed, even if you have just the most basic design or furniture in the room.
But if you are contemplating a granite worktop for your kitchen or bathroom, you should know that there are some unscrupulous and deceitful suppliers out there who will not hesitate to ‘doctor’ a granite worktop just to make it more appealing to customers. This is particularly true in the case of black granite – black granite is often doctored to make it appear blacker (and therefore more attractive). The fact about doctored granite is that it is now more common than we may think, so it is best to be safe and know what you are buying than be sorry in the end.
A simple test
If you are checking out some granite worktop samples, the best way to test if they have been doctored is to dab the worktop with a clean, white cloth that has been sprayed with a bit of lemon juice or acetone. If the cloth comes away with a dark mark or etching or a tiny bit of residue (even though the worktop is technically clean), then this can be a sign of doctoring. The residue or mark that comes away is actually the dye that has been used to doctor the granite worktop.
The problem with dyed or doctored worktops is not the dye itself – it is the reaction of the dye to certain elements, such as cleaning products. For instance, if something that is acidic spills onto the worktop’s surface, it can cause white marks and spots, which are particularly noticeable on a dark granite worktop surface. If something that is alkaline is wiped on the surface (as most cleaners are), the same white spots can emerge.
Your options for fixing a doctored worktop
Some individuals have suggested using a granite sealer to fix a doctored worktop. There are several reasons why this does not work: first of all, the sealer is only designed for stains and spills. Whilst a sealer will work with common liquid or solid spills and stains, it will not work for dyes. The fact is, the doctored worktop has been etched – and etching is not equivalent to staining.
So far, the best way to try to fix a worktop that has been doctored is to remove all traces of the dye that has been used on it. And you can only do this by stripping off the dye using a very powerful and tough solvent. This takes a lot of time and effort and can make a complete mess of your kitchen or bathroom, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, once you are finished, the colour of your granite worktop may likely change. If it was once black, then it might look faded or might not even look black any longer.
Another option for you would be to purchase a new granite worktop altogether – preferably one from a reputable supplier of granite worktops (such as J.R. Stone) that can give you an excellent service with full warranties, besides.