Granite Countertops - What Gives It It's Shine?

Granite is a composite of magma and different kinds of minerals such as quartz, feldspar, amphiboles, and mica. The mineral mica is found in a lot of granite, and it is one of the things that gives granite a shimmery shine in certain places. Whether you already have granite countertops or other granite surfaces or if you’re thinking about having granite installed, here are a few things you should know about mica.

Mica forms in sheets like a book.

What is mica?

Mica is a highly reflective natural substance that forms in sheets, like the pages of a book. It ranges in color from clear to black. If you have granite, then you more than likely have mica to some degree. Delicatus White, Volga Blue, and Cosmos are examples of granites that have a bit more mica than most. A lot of mica can make a slab incredibly beautiful, but it can potentially cause some issues.

Potential Problems With Mica

The BIG issue is that mica is brittle. When we think about granite, we think of durable, hard, rock. Due to mica’s brittleness, there may be some fabrication issues with granite that has a high mica content. When mica gets cut, it breaks, causing crumbling, pitting, and flaking. Fabricators may charge you extra to fabricate slabs with a lot of mica because they know they will have to repair the slabs during the fabrication process.

If your granite countertop has a lot of mica, think about going with a simple edge like a pencil round or eased edge. A triple pencil or waterfall edge takes more fabrication and opens up more edge surfaces for mica to chip out, both before and after installation.

What happens after the installation?

Maybe nothing. Maybe some chipping. One day when you are doing your routine clean-up, you may notice the sponge catches on a rough, flaky area that you never felt before. If this happens, don’t worry. Your granite countertop is not falling apart. More than likely, what has happened is that a piece of mica has chipped out.

If routine cleaning or normal wear and tear cause pieces of mica to flake out of your countertop, call Tru-Clean Surface Care to fix the spot. In most cases, there won’t be any problem with the repair, however, a repair can be difficult or impossible for very large or awkwardly placed chips. Also, be aware that there is nothing any stone restoration contractor can do to prevent future chips.

What should you do about mica?

There is a myth that applying a sealer to granite will help prevent mica from chipping. This is simply not true, however, you can discuss other protection options with your stone restoration technician or fabricator. They can take into consideration your particular stone, the environment where it is or will be installed, your budget, and intended use, and then make a recommendation for a protective treatment or film to help prevent chipping. This can be applied to a brand new installation or an existing one.

For new countertops, your fabricator will know if any shine on the granite is an abundance of mica or something else. If the shimmering beauty it creates is worth the possible occasional chip, then everything is okay. If not, you can always look at colors that contain a little less mica.

How To Keep Granite Countertops Clean

Granite countertops are beautiful, and with easy maintenance, will keep their depth and beauty for decades.  As a stone cleaning, polishing, and repair company, our technicians at Tru-Clean Surface Care find that homeowners were never educated on the correct cleaning solutions designed for use on granite countertops.  We’ve seen clients use a gamut of  “cleaning products” such as dish detergent, bleach, glass cleaner, vinegar, and store purchased “stone cleaners” that can stain, etch, and dull the surfaces of granite countertops.  Not to mention that these concoctions are not approved for granite.  Natural stone is porous and unapproved cleaners can leave films or cause structural issues that will come back to haunt the homeowner over the long haul.

For years, stone fabricators, repair specialists, installers, and stone restoration companies such as Tru-Clean Surface Care have relied on the professional-grade products of Stone Pro to deliver phenomenal results while maintaining stone surfaces.  With each cleaning, we recommend these products to our clients so that they can clean and maintain their granite countertops with a simple spray and wipe.

When caring for granite, we recommend the cleaning solution “Crystal Clean.”  Crystal Clean is an easy-to-use daily cleaner. Its pH-neutral formula is safe for any natural stone surface. Crystal Clean is a rinse-less cleaner that evaporates quickly and will not streak or leave water spots.  Crystal Clean also has an added sealant protectant that contains an advanced fluoropolymer protectant. Every time you clean you are sealing and protecting your stone surface.  Crystal Clean can not be purchased in retail stores and can be ordered at Pro Cleaning Products for consumer use.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), a Stone Pro Certified Professional, and a surpHaces Certified PRO Partner.  We are A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau and an eight-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.

Tru-Clean Surface Care provides granite countertop cleaning, travertine, marble, and limestone maintenance company serving all of Lee, Collier, and Charlotte County, Florida.

For more information about our company and the services we offer, please visit us online at or call us any time at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.