SFA: What's the Answer?

Quartzite Water Darken at Installation


I am looking for anyone with experience with dealing with quartzite like white pearl that stains or darkens from fabrication and then doesn't want to dry out even after a week. We've tried torches, heat gun, etc., and its barely dissipated. Is there a better solution than time? We have not sealed the stone yet. The customer is under the assumption it will not return to its original nature state and color and wants it all replaced, 5 slabs worth!! I really need to find out if this has happened to others to assure them that this is not a one-time event and that the stone will return to normal. PLEASE HELP!! Thanks. Mike Clifton (President) Granite & Marble Designs

GuyboR Administrator

s it installed already? If so, the drying process will take A LOT LONGER since there is very little air flow that can get to the stone. In the past we have opened all the cabinet doors and put fan(s) blowing into them in the affected areas to help speed up the drying process. Our policy now is that we add an extra week to quartzite fab time so we can leave it sit on a cart and dry out after fabrication. Guy Robertson Robertson Manufacturing Inc. Davenport, Iowa


Thanks Guy. Yes, it is installed unfortunately and it’s a 6cm edge installed over a subtop. Customers are freaking out and won't believe me and the supplier it will eventually dry out. It's been 9 days so far, but they haven't seen much change and don't want us to finish the install because they think it will all need to be ripped out. How long do you think it will take to dry out? Should we get a dehumidifier in there or a blowing heater? Job is in the mountains, so it's pretty dry already up there.

Mark Meriaux

Mike, Quartzites may have an affinity to draw in and hold on to moisture. Epoxy mesh backing, applied sealers, and, in your case, the subtop will all retard the vapor transmission and slow the drying. As long as the stains are JUST WATER, it will dry out. Any encouragement of dehumidifcation that you can add may help, but NSI has documented long drying times (weeks or months) for other stone applications. Here's an older (2015) document on plaster spot drying times for stone panel installations. https://pubs.naturalstoneinstitute.org/pub/F3E56499-FBC5-D27F-8759-E11716501FD5 Mark Meriaux Accreditation & Technical Manager Natural Stone Institute 440-250-9222 mark@naturalstoneinstitute.org

colin SFA Member

Adding an extra week of "fab" time is so beyond impossible for us. I can’t leave shite sitting around the shop for that long. We install it the day after fab and return two weeks later to seal and silicone (if there is backsplash). Not sealing the edges immediately, I imagine, helps the stone dry faster. This approach is not ideal to say the least but it works better than trying to dry tops for a week in my shop, and also creates a reality for the client that involves some patient waiting while they dry. We don’t bill them ‘til its dry. I’m returning to a kitchen we installed over 3 weeks ago to seal the edges. It was a "white" quartzite called LUX. Colin Precision Countertops Spooner, Wis. colin@pctopswi.com

Andy Ross SFA Member

We recently had one that was pretty wet when we installed it. It took about 3 weeks to dry out. We have cut the same material again and made sure that it processed through the shop as fast as possible, was squeegeed off and set on cards with spacers and a fan blowing on them. Those dried out in a day or two. Andy Ross Rock Solid Surfaces Kalamazoo, Mich. 269-372-1777

Rick George SFA Member

Mike, in your case this isn't possible, but for future, removing the mesh on the back side of the stone where it is wet will help the water dissipate MUCH faster! Had a friend in the industry call me after waiting two weeks for the stone to dry and after removing mesh it dried in a day! Rick George Bottega Stone Charlotte, N.C. (815) 509-7016

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