Slabs are commonly sold in polished finish, giving it a high-gloss appearance. Upon closer inspection, however, you may notice that some stones have resin-filled pits on the surface. A few may have hairline cracks. These natural “imperfections” are unavoidable. But they do not affect the material’s hardness and strength.
To fix these natural flaws in stone, manufacturers apply resin to:
(1.) fill the pits and fissures occurring on the surface;
(2.) make the stone smoother to touch; and,
(3.) improve the strength of the slab.
This technology has been the accepted solution in the stone industry for decades now. It has allowed stone manufacturers to reduce the number of broken pieces during production. Moreover, it has enabled them to create thinner slabs, thereby (a.) reducing the cost and (b.) opening doors to new construction applications.
For Marble, Onyx, and Travertine, however, a reinforced backing support (often a fiberglass mesh) is applied for added protection. Compared to Granite, these stones are a bit more fragile, especially during transportation, fabrication, or installation. Hence, a solution to increase their durability is highly needed.
A primary concern though with resin fillers is its safety for kitchen countertop surfaces. It is important that the material applied to the stone surface complies with government health standards. Stone manufacturers must always assure that the treatment done is safe for kitchen use.
Resin not only provides an aesthetic fix to the stone’s natural flaws, but it also ensures the strength of the slab itself. It improves the quality of the stone and, at the same time, reduces the cost of production. Furthermore, with the continuing development of this technology, expect to see a lot more improvements in the stone industry in the coming years.