Removing Burn Mark from Granite Counter Top

We have dark-colored granite counter tops in the master bath, and over time we have developed a 5 inch in diameter (more or less) burn mark that appears to be below the surface of the material. It looks like a dense, off-white spider web. :frowning:

My wife did this by laying her hot hair appliances on the counter top. :smack: She doesn’t do that anymore, but the damage is done. A variety of cleaning solutions we have tried have had no effect. I’m thinking we will need to replace the granite. Before I do that I thought I would ask if there are any other solutions we haven’t found that might “fix” the problem.

From what I can tell after doing a little research, it sounds like one of a few things has happened: the sealant was damaged, repeated heat on the same spot has cause a color change, or the granite itself cracked due to temperature shifts. Based on your description, it sounds like it’s the granite not the sealant, but you are in the best position to assess that. Granite can crack due to thermal shock, and is more prone to do so if it is thin, which I’m guessing is more likely in a bathroom.

If it is a discoloration due to heat, there are “color enhancers” that you can rub into the stone to try and fix it. DuPont makes one, and I’m sure other companies due as well. I don’t know what the remedy would be for bad sealant, but I would check with a local installer or showroom. If it’s cracked I think your choices are replacement or living with it.

Yeah, sounds like it’s cracked. A picture would help.

Have her carelessly put her hot air appliances down in other spots for a while, so that these burn patterns occur elsewhere on the counter.

Then tell everyone that it is a special ‘spider web’ pattern granite – custom made for you.

I’ll post a picture for you.

Here’s a photo

It looks like it’s cracked. I think the remedy is replacement.

I can’t see or feel any cracks, but they could be too small to detect. So did the heat from her appliance cause the cracks and then water got into the granite causing the discoloring? Just trying to understand what the cracks had to do with it.

Granite is a composite of different minerals that can have a different rate of thermal expansion so it is sensitive to heat. Granite counter tops have been polished and that polished surface cracks easily leading to this kind of problem. Water may enter cracks causing stains or it could be just the effect of destroying the smooth polished surface. You can use a torch to roughen the surface all over the top to get it to match, polish it again after that, or, you know, just get a new one and save yourself a lot of trouble.

The cracks could be underneath the sealant, which would be why you can’t feel it. Cracks happen due to thermal shock. If you’ve ever put a cold glass container on a hot surface and had it shatter, then you know what thermal shock is. The picture doesn’t show anything that looks like discoloration, but that could be the picture. Information on granite surfaces does state that it’s possible to develop a color change if you put a hot (very hot) item on the same spot on granite repetitively. You could try one of the color repair rubs for granite that I mentioned earlier. I don’t think the shatters are going away, however.

Having seen the photo, and the (to me) attractive crazing, I second this idea. Sort of. (Someone here who knows better can tell if “crazing” is the wrong word for “spiderweb cracking.”)

I don’t think it’s cracked. What it looks like to me is your granite supplier bought “enhanced” granite. Granite is a natural product and can vary from slab to slab.
Certain colors are more valuable so some suppliers will add coloring and then apply a top coat so it doesn’t rub off on your hand.

This can be as simple as Indian manufacturers baking shoe polish into slabs of Impala black to try to pass it off as Black Absolute.

It appears to me that this granite was treated to make it appear darker and whatever colorant they used was susceptible to heat.
If you are shopping for granite, ask to see the uncut slab. If there are drips and plastic looking finish running over the rough edges that’s a sure sign. Finished edges can also show a different color as the fabricator has to try to match the top finish without the same dye or stain.

Are there any pros in your area that install granite tops? Could be worth a consultation before you go for a full replacement.

I’m not an expert with these, or even an apprentice, but it could be something as simple as the granite expanding due to the heat, which stressed the surface treatment and caused the discoloration. Might just need to refinish it.

(first post!)