Posted by: pdxgraniteguy | May 6, 2009

Granite Counters & Stains

Potential clients ask us regularly if granite can stain.

The simple answer is yes…it can, but stains are actually quite rare.

When granite slab counters are sealed properly (and a good fabricator will seal the counters they install as a standard practice) the pores are effectively closed, keeping red wine, oils, and other liquids from penetrating the stone and altering its appearance.

Not that we’re keeping track with scientific accuracy, but we only receive one or two calls a year from customers who have stained their counters.   That’s pretty good considering we install around 350 kitchens a year.

Why did those one or two stain in the first place???  Its hard to say conclusively.  Maybe our installer missed a spot.  Maybe the stone was unusually porous and needed a second application.

But…the larger question in those instances is whether the stone was permanently damaged.  The answer is a resounding NO!

Stains are almost always just below the surface and easy to remove with standard poultices.

In reality, stains are a fear tactic used by competing products such as quartz (engineered stone like Cambria & Silestone) & solid surface (Corian) and should not be a factor in your decision to buy granite slab counters.

If you have questions about this topic or if you have a stain in your granite that you’d like to remove, let me know.  I’d like to help you out.

Aaron J Crowley – PDXGraniteGuy



  1. Thanks for the useful information on your blog. Can you please help me to decide whether or not I should choose to have my slabs leathered (it’s golden crystal)??? I love the matte look since I have kids and think it will show less fingerprints, etc. But, some sites say it’s more porous and will stain. Other sites say it’s better and less porous. Other sites say I should go with quartz. I am really confused! What I really need to know is—- in a home with several young children with a mom who likes to cook and adults who like to drink red wine, will leathered granite stand the test of time? Or, would you go with polished??? Thank you so much!

    • Hello Heather,

      My appologies on the late reply.

      You may have already made your decision (no thanks to me!) but your great question is so common an anwser is justified.

      With leathered finishes, there are two “functional” concerns relating to the use and maintanence of the counters.

      One, as you have questioned, is its pourosity and the potential for staining. My understanding has always been that honing slightly “opens” the pores at the surface (where polishing closes them or makes them smaller) making it more slightly prone to staining. But, as long as the stone (Golden Crystal) is properly sealed staining will not, or at least should not, be a problem.

      Two, what might be a bigger concern considering that you have small kids, is the ease with which you can wipe up apple juice spills, strawberry jelly, and dried cheese (of the macaroni variety). The texture creates…textures that require more elbow grease and attention to clean.

      Now to answer your final questions directly – leathered granite will stand the test of time in terms of durability and stain resistance if sealed properly.

      As to what I would put it in my home…that’s easy.

      My wife stays home with our 3 kids, who by the way love apple juice, jelly, and macaroni and cheese. I know for a fact she’d fire me as here granite consultant if she had to clean leathered granite on daily basis…

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