Cracks vs. Fissures

 

As a fabricator we are responsible for the templating, cutting, fabrication and installation of countertops, but we have nothing to do with the stone that was selected and we certainly cannot control what it looks like. What has become increasingly frustrating over recent years is the complaints from customers about their stone. Time and time again, after installing new countertops, there are complaints about various things that the customer does not like about what they see in the stone.  One prime example would be fissures.  The customer immediately thinks that their countertop has cracked, but truth is, there is a dfference between a crack and a fissure. 

Fissures are defined by the MIA (Marble Institute of America) as inherent elongated opening in the stone resulting from geological formation, environmental impact, mineralogical crystallization, and other factors. Whereas a crack has noticeable unevenness, chipping, separation, movement or fracturing.The best test is to run your fingers over the area. In either case you will feel it, but if your fingers run smoothly over it, it is more than likely just a natural fissure. However, if your fingernail gets caught due to large separation, it may be a crack.

It is important when customers are in the selection process of their stone that they not only inspect every square inch of the slabs, but ask the sales associate to educate them on the natural characteristics of the particular stones, both favorable and non-favorable, so you know what to expect.  At the end of the day, fissures do not make the stone flawed or inferior.  They are just a normal characteristic that occurred during the formation of that stone and should be embraced as part of its beauty.  No differently than a beautiful piece of wood in your home that might have a knot in it.

 

 

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