Often you don’t even know how it happened, but one day you notice a chip (imagine a divet) in your countertop surface or along the edge. Stone countertops such as marble, granite and quartz are beautiful and in most cases extremely durable and functional. They are typically installed in areas of high use, take quite a bit of abuse on a daily basis. There are things you can do to keep your countertop looking as beautiful as the day it was installed. We’ll explore the ways you can repair a chip if you happen to find one, and how to protect your counters from future damage.
Some countertop surfaces are more susceptible to chipping than others. Quartz is one of them.
Chipping can occur when an extreme force comes in contact with the hard stone. Since the stone can’t bend to absorb the force, it can fracture or chip. This can happen anywhere on the stone, but the most vulnerable areas are the edges. The edges have less material to aid in absorbing the force. Also, they are closest to the outside, making them most accessible to being knocked into. A few things that can cause extreme force are:
Step #1: Gather Your Supplies
The most common solution for a crack, scratch, or chip is to fill it with epoxy adhesive. Epoxy is a thermoplastic adhesive material. You should be able to find this from your local hardware store or online. You may even find a countertop repair kit which would have natural stone pigments and come in the form of a paste for you to mold and shape to fill any gaps in your countertop surface. If you have a light colored countertop, you can even use superglue for your chip repair.
This step is optional, but you can use a diamond tipped drill bit (cost $15-20) to grind a bit of dust from an area of your countertop that isn’t visible, such as underneath, and mix that into the adhesive to help match your stone.
Step #2: Clean Your Countertop
Using a non abrasive cleaner such as warm water and dish soap or ammonia free windex, you will want to thoroughly clean your countertop to remove any dust, grime, or grease that is left on it to ensure you are starting with a clean work surface. You may want to use a toothbrush to get any grease or grime out of the chip. Once you are sure the chipped area is cleaned out, wipe the entire area with a clean rag.
Step #3: Prepare Your Work Area
Once the countertop is clean, border the chip with masking tape to help prevent the liquid adhesive from seeping into areas where it shouldn’t. This will ensure a more seamless application of the adhesive.
Step #4: Mix Your Epoxy
Epoxy is a two-part adhesive, be sure to follow the instructions on your epoxy to mix the two parts appropriately. If you are able to shave some of your original material (from the underside of the countertop or a sample) you can mix that with the epoxy to ensure the best color match possible.
Step #4: Begin Your Repair
Using your syringe, draw out some mixed epoxy and push it into the chip until it oozes out slightly. You can also use a craft stick or plastic spoon to really get the epoxy into the chip. Use a putty knife or other sharp object to smooth out the epoxy and ensure no air bubbles. Apply thin layers of your epoxy until it’s flush with the rest of the countertop. The drying time will vary based on the type of adhesive you are using, generally 24 hours to fully cure.
Step #5: Finish Your Repair
Once the epoxy has thoroughly dried, you can buff off any remaining residue using fine-grit sandpaper. You will want to sand in sequence starting with 120-grit paper, then 220-grit, and finally 400-grit. You can also use ultra-fine Scotch-Brite pads in the last stages of sanding. Polish the entire top to remove scratches and help the patched crack blend in with the surrounding countertop.
If the chip is large enough or in a difficult location, the best option may be to contact a professional to either fix the countertop or replace it all together. There are professional methods that fabricators use, such as routing out the damaged area and gluing in a patch. This isn’t a method most DIY’ers would want to attempt. Regardless of the magnitude of the chip, if a completely invisible repair is a must for you, this might be the time to call in a professional countertop fabricator.
Chips are not uncommon, in the kitchen we are often working with appliances or servingware that can be heavy and awkward to handle. One slip can cause a cast iron skillet to fall onto the countertop. If you are walking near the island moving a piece of furniture and you bang into the edge, you can easily chip the countertop edge. It’s easy to see how this mishaps can happen. A few tips you can put into practice to avoid future damage to your countertop: