The Great Debate—Fissure Or Crack?



A common problem working with natural stone is, we can’t control what it looks it. As a fabricator, our job is to measure your job, custom cut it to your specifications, polish the edges, and install a beautiful granite island, granite bar top, granite fireplace, granite countertop, or a granite bathroom vanity, etc. in your home.

Even though we try to educate our customers up front, we still get asked many questions in regards to material, including questions about fissures in the stone. Some of you out there may not know what a fissure is, so let’s start by defining it.

The MIA, Marble Institute of America, in their Homeowners Guide to Stone Countertop Installation states that, Fissures occur naturally in many stone types. A fissure is defined by the American Geological Institute as, “An extensive crack, break, or fracture in the rock, which may contain mineral-bearing material.” The term “fissure”is used commercially in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along intercrystalline boundaries. A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature in the stone that maybe found in other areas of the same slab or other slabs of the same material.

Fissures are very common in granite. Some granite colors, however, contain more fissures than others. If you notice a fissure in a certain area, more than likely there will be other areas in your granite countertops that contain fissures as well. Depending on the lighting in your home, some fissures may stand out more than others, or look more pronounced.

In the article, “Fissure Cut Bait,” found in the June 2007 issue of Stone Business magazine, they pointed out four ways to determine if an area is a fissure, or crack.

  1. Fissures are not typically prominent in sink areas. A crack could be caused in a sink area during transportation, or from in-proper handling of the stone.
  2. Fissures do not change the plane of a surface. If a level was placed across the questionable area, you shouldn’t be able to slide a business card underneath it.
  3. Fissures will show up in more than one area of the stone, not just in 1 place.
  4. With fissures, you shouldn’t be able to catch a fingernail, business card, car key, etc. in the area.

Remember to keep in mind that granite is a product of nature. While markings, veining, pitting, and fissures are common, they do not affect the quality of the stone. These characteristics are what makes each piece of granite unique, stand out, and make it “natural.”

Thanks for reading!

Barb

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Posted in Granite on June 26th, 2007 by Barb | | 2 Comments



2 Responses to ' The Great Debate—Fissure Or Crack? '

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  1. Nick said,

    on March 26th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Hey Barb! This an excellent article. I work in the industry and here the words fissure or crack on a daily basis. I am printing this article off to let clients read because people seem to grab ideas better when they are not coming from sales. We have a location in Knoxville also and have issues trying to educate our clients there. This article will really help us better explain the product and yes, it is “Natural” I love it. Thanks.

  2. Barb said,

    on March 30th, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Nick:

    There are a lot of myths out there, and the best way to dispel them is to try and educate customers. I appreciate your comments.

    Thanks for reading my blog!
    Barb



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