6 Reasons Why Granite Cracks Around the Sink

why does granite countertop deteriorate under sink faucet

Granite countertops are renowned for their strength and durability, but that doesn’t make them invincible.

Particularly around the sink – a high-stress and high-usage area – you may notice that your granite shows signs of wear and tear, manifesting in the form of cracks.

What’s causing these cracks, you might ask? The short answer is a combination of factors. Stress, improper installation, heavy impacts, temperature changes, water damage, and the presence of natural fissures in the stone can all contribute to the formation of these unsightly cracks.

But fear not in the following sections, we’ll delve into these causes in more detail to understand better why your granite might be cracking and how to prevent it in the future.

1. Stress on the Granite

Weight of Heavy Sinks

I remember when I installed my first heavy, farmhouse-style sink into a granite countertop, underestimating the sheer weight of the sink itself.

I soon realized how this heavy load can place immense stress on the granite.

Over time, this incremental stress can cause the granite to crack, especially around the sink where the weight is concentrated.

Even a material as sturdy as granite has limits when bearing weight.

Impact of Improper Support Systems

When I installed my second sink, I used a robust support system. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way.

An inadequate or improperly installed support system can lead to uneven weight distribution, further aggravating the stress on the granite.

This is a common mistake I’ve seen many homeowners make – they get so caught up in the beauty of their new granite countertops that they overlook the importance of a proper support system.

Trust me, the last thing you want is to see your beautiful new countertop marred with cracks due to improper support.

2. Installation Errors

Importance of Professional Installation

I thought I could independently handle a granite countertop installation in my early days. I had the tools, I had the time, so why not?

Well, I learned why not very quickly. You see, granite installation is a task that demands precision, something that comes with professional expertise.

Incorrect measurements, improper handling, or unsuitable tools can easily damage the granite, such as chips or cracks, especially around the sink area.

I learned the importance of professional installation the hard way when I had to replace an entire slab because of incorrect cuts.

Save yourself the headache and hire a professional who knows the ins and outs of granite installation.

Common Mistakes Leading to Sink Area Cracks

Looking back on my DIY days, I made several mistakes that could have easily led to cracks around the sink area.

One glaring error was my lack of understanding of the importance of the sink’s cut-out dimensions.

I didn’t realize that too tight of a cut could put unnecessary pressure on the granite, leading to cracks down the line.

Not providing enough space for the sealant was another oversight. The sealant is vital in protecting the granite from water damage, which can also contribute to cracking.

My adventures in granite installation taught me a lot, but most importantly, they taught me to respect the complexity of the process.

My advice? Always ensure you understand your sink’s dimensions and the importance of an adequately sealed sink area. Trust me, your granite countertop will thank you for it.

3. Heavy Impacts on Granite Countertops

Just when I thought I’d learned all there was to learn about managing granite countertops, another realization dawned on me.

I’d underestimated the risk of heavy objects falling on the sink area. If you think granite is invincible to damage, think again. Let’s delve into this a little more.

The Risk of Heavy Objects Falling on the Sink

I remember a time when I was an amateur cook, juggling pots and pans as I attempted a new recipe. I was in a hurry, and in my haste, I accidentally dropped a heavy pot on the edge of the sink.

To my dismay, a small chip appeared on my beloved granite. Given its reputation for robustness, I’d thought it would withstand the impact.

I was wrong. Despite its toughness, Granite is vulnerable to cracking or chipping, particularly around the sink area where it’s been cut and is more fragile.

Tips for Preventing Accidental Damage

Since that day, I’ve become extra careful about handling heavy kitchen tools around my countertop, and I strongly suggest you do the same.

First, avoid placing heavy objects near the edge of your granite countertop, especially around the sink. Second, invest in some rubber mats or trivets.

They’ll protect your countertops from heat damage and cushion any heavy object’s fall.

Finally, lift pots and pans off the surface rather than dragging them, which can lead to scratches or chips.

4. Temperature Changes & Granite Countertops

Temperature fluctuations can be a granite countertop’s worst nightmare. While it’s true that granite is a hardy and durable natural stone, it’s not immune to the forces of nature. I learned this the hard way one winter.

The Effect of Extreme Temperature Fluctuations on Granite

One chilly evening, I decided to experiment with a homemade pizza recipe. As the directions advised, I heated the stone in the oven and placed it on my granite countertop.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the immediate and adverse reaction that the hot stone would have on the calm surface of my countertop.

I watched in horror as a hairline crack snaked across the granite. I realized then that extreme temperature changes, such as from hot to cold, can cause cracking or discoloration in granite countertops.

Temperature-resistant sinks & Sealing Solutions

After my unfortunate pizza stone incident, I began researching solutions to prevent such temperature-induced damage in the future.

I discovered that one effective measure is to invest in a temperature-resistant sink. These types of sinks are designed to handle a wide range of temperatures, offering an added layer of protection for your granite countertop.

In addition to a temperature-resistant sink, regularly sealing your granite can help.

Sealants act as a barrier, protecting the granite from extreme temperatures and preventing thermal shock – the rapid expansion and contraction that leads to cracking.

Nowadays, plenty of sealing solutions are available in the market that are simple to apply and offer excellent protection.

So, remember, my friends, granite countertops may be challenging, but they aren’t completely invincible.

Careful handling and the proper protective measures can ensure they stay beautiful and intact for a long time.

5. Water Damage

I’ve found that water can be another nemesis to the otherwise resilient granite countertops.

This one winter, I unintentionally left a wet utensil on the counter for too long. I was surprised to find a dark, damp spot on the granite where the utensil had sat.

It turned out that granite, while sturdy, is somewhat porous. This means that water, if left sitting on the surface for a prolonged period, can seep into the tiny pores of the granite, causing discoloration and potentially leading to cracks over time.

Power of Sealing and Maintenance

Once again, regular sealing proves to be a savior. A high-quality sealer protects the granite from thermal shock and repels water, preventing it from seeping into the pores.

I’ve made it a routine to reseal my countertops every six months, and it’s been a game-changer.

Wiping up spills as soon as they happen and not letting water sit on the counter can also go a long way in keeping your granite pristine and crack-free.

Trust me, a little effort in maintenance can save you from a lot of potential future heartache (and expense).

6. Natural Fissures

Natural fissures are an inherent part of granite that often gets mistaken for cracks.

These are thin lines or separations in the granite’s crystal pattern formed during its solidification process millions of years ago.

They are not defects but an integral part of the stone’s character, adding to its unique appeal.

However, don’t trust my words alone; I once had a lovely granite slab with a striking line across it.

Initially, I was worried it was a crack, but my installer informed me it was merely a natural fissure, a part of the granite’s charm.

Natural Fissures Leading to Cracks Around the Sink

Despite their aesthetic appeal, natural fissures can sometimes pose challenges, especially around areas of frequent use, such as the sink.

I learned this the hard way when, one day, the area around my kitchen sink started to develop tiny cracks.

Once a charming feature, the fissure had become a weak point in the granite, exacerbated by the constant exposure to water and temperature changes from hot and cold dishes.

If not carefully monitored and maintained, the pressure and stress around sink cutouts can transform a harmless fissure into a full-blown crack.

Hence, while natural fissures add to the beauty of your granite countertops, it’s crucial to keep an eye on them, especially around your sink.

Prevention and Maintenance

Tips for Preventing Cracks

1. Use Trivets or Mats

From personal experience, I cannot stress enough the importance of using trivets or mats.

It may seem trivial, but placing a hot dish on the granite surface can lead to thermal shock and cracks.

After a busy holiday dinner, I accidentally placed a hot pot on my granite counter.

The sudden temperature change caused a slight crack, a painful reminder of that evening’s oversight.

2. Avoid Standing or Sitting on Countertops

Granite is sturdy, but it isn’t designed to bear unusual weight. Once, my nephew decided to use the countertop as a makeshift stage during a family gathering.

The excessive weight on one corner led to a small crack. Lesson learned: countertops are for dishes, not dance performances!

Maintenance Guidelines for Granite’s Longevity

1. Sealing

Sealing your granite countertop is an essential step you shouldn’t overlook. Depending on use, I apply a sealant to my countertop every 6-12 months.

The sealant forms a protective barrier over the granite, preventing moisture from seeping into the pores and causing damage. Trust me, this step makes a world of difference!

2. Regular Cleaning

I make it a point to clean my granite countertop daily with mild soap and water. Abrasive cleaners can dull the granite’s surface, and acidic or alkaline substances can cause etching.

I once made the mistake of using a harsh chemical cleaner, and my granite top lost some of its luster. Now, I stick to gentle cleaning agents, and my countertop looks as good as new.

Repair Options

If, like me, you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience a cracked granite countertop, don’t despair. There are repair options available.

One route you might consider is a granite repair kit, which usually contains a filling material and color pigments to match your countertop.

I remember using this kit once. It was simple, but the result wasn’t perfect. The filled area stood out against the granite’s natural patterns, making the repair visibly noticeable.

The second route, and the one I eventually opted for, is engaging a professional granite repair service. Yes, it’s more costly than a DIY repair kit, but the results were significantly better.

The professionals worked meticulously, carefully blending the repair with the rest of the countertop. The crack is now nearly invisible, and the countertop looks as good as new. For me, it was worth every penny.


Granite countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any kitchen but require proper care and attention.

From avoiding direct heat and excessive weight to regular sealing and cleaning, mindful maintenance can prevent most damage.

However, if a crack does occur, professional repair services are worth considering.

I strongly urge you not to wait until you find a crack in your granite counter to start caring for it. Prevention is always better than cure.

Be proactive in maintaining your granite surfaces, especially around sinks, where water can seep in and cause issues over time.

Trust me, your countertop will thank you for it, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful, crack-free granite surface for years to come.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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