A natural characteristic of granite and marble is its inherent lack of uniformity. Because it is a completely natural material, it can have a great deal of variation in color, shade, finish, tint, hardness, strength, and so on
.Any time you use natural stone, you can always expect differences from one tile to the next. You will frequently see dry seams, pit or fossils. These areas are often filled in at the factory. Over time through normal use, the fill may work its way out.
Even though stone tile is a natural product, it nevertheless can be affected by extremes in weather. Both marble and granite are decorative and durable, but they have different compositions and wear differently in the elements.
We recommend barbecue island owners keep their island covered if they are concerned about damage from constant exposure to weather. This is particularly true in areas where there is snow, ice, or very hot weather.
Stone is porous, especially marble, and often has natural fissures in the surface. Constant exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause these natural features to expand and eventually crack.
Although the stone has been properly finished and is suitable for use in an outdoor environment, the factory does not apply a weather sealant to our countertops. We never wish to second-guess how our customers want to use their barbecues or the locale they will use them in, so we leave the choice of applying a weather sealant entirely up to owners.
We do not recommend any specific brand or manufacturer, although there are literally hundreds of excellent products on the market customers may choose from.
In addition to maintaining the stone tile surfaces, barbecue island owners need to know that the grout between the tile, while it is durable, can also be affected by both extremes in weather and by normal use. Grout is much easier to repair than stone tile and gaps between the tile can cause water to seep into the barbecue island and cause damage to the interior.
In those instances where natural cracks occur, we recommend having an experienced tile worker filling them with a material of a complementary color. After the filler sets and is sanded smooth, apply a weather sealant to help prevent further cracking.