Just the opposite actually. Natural stone has a wide variety of hardness and fragility. Some natural stone has more natural fissuring and veining than others. Glues and resins are used to fill fissures and cracks, thus enhancing the structural integrity of the slabs. This process takes place in the country of origin, long before the slabs hit U.S. shores and make their way to slab suppliers. How are glues and resins used?
Epoxy Resin (glue)
Slabs containing fissures and cracks are honed and dried before a layer of epoxy resin is applied. Epoxy resins have been used on granite slabs for decades and are extremely reliable. Here’s how it works.
The resin runs into the cracks, pits, and micro-fissures. The epoxy penetrates into the stone during a long curing period. It will repair most minor structural defects, making the slab stronger and more durable.
The epoxy also darkens and enhances the color which allows for a more attractive polish. The epoxy also allows for thermal expansion, allowing the stone to better tolerate wide temperature variations which makes it more suitable for indoor and outdoor applications in all climates.
Some materials require more than epoxy. A fiberglass mesh in applied to the back of especially fragile stone to strengthen and support it during transport and fabrication.
Don’t like the sound of glues and fiberglass mesh?
If you are still concerned about cracks and possible breakage or just don’t want glue in your stone, choose a granite without veins or fissures. These materials are naturally the strongest and least likely to crack or break. Granites like Absolute Black, Blue Pearl, and Black Galaxy are good choices.
In reality, most people don’t know there is glue in a wide variety of natural stone slabs. In fact, their addition allows a huge array of beautiful stone to be used for counters which otherwise wouldn’t be.
Don’t let it throw you if you find a slab you really want in your kitchen or bath. Glues are seldom visible and your fabricator should be able to work around most or all that might be. That is another reason for you to participate in the layout process, but that’s another story for another blog.