A: Silestone is a brand name owned by Cosentino, a Spanish company that has a base in Florida for its U.S. operations. Like the companies Caesarstone and Cambria, it fits in the general category of having products that are engineered stone and that can also be called quartz countertop, because they’re made from quartz crystals with a resin binder and other ingredients. Countertops in this category have a higher percentage of stone relative to resin than do products classified as solid surface materials, such as Corian.
Manufacturers, including Cosentino, advertise the fact that their countertops are easier to care for than ones made of natural stone, which is porous and therefore subject to staining. Cosentino offers a 25-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. The warranty does not define what those might be. But it does state what it won’t cover: cracks of any kind. That, says the warranty, is because Silestone will not crack “unless an external force or interaction causes the crack such as impacts, uneven cabinets or flooring, structural settling or movements, thermal shock from the use of crockpots, skillets or other hot items placed directly on the Silestone Surfaces, improper installation or other conditions in the home that may cause the Silestone Surfaces to shift.”
So there you have the list of what might have caused the crack. The crack developed to relieve stress of some type. If a cabinet base on one side of the crack shifted even a bit, that could have done it. Or the crack could have been caused because heat on one side of the corner caused that section to expand more than the countertop material on the other side of the corner that wasn’t heated. There is more push-pull stress where countertops form an L than in straight sections, because each leg of the L moves in a different direction.
It may be possible to patch the crack, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get an invisible repair, especially because you have a white countertop, without the variegated colors that make patches easier to hide on some stone and engineered-stone countertops. There is no repair information on the Silestone or Cosentino websites. Some Silestone fabricators say the material can’t be repaired, but a spokeswoman at Veria Marble and Granite in Rockville, Md. (301-251-8800; architecturestones.com) said that if anyone were to know how to do it, it would be Capitol Stone Care in Bethesda, Md. (301-512-5777; capitolstonecare.com).
David Shetsiruli, owner of Capitol Stone Care, looked at the picture you sent and said he thinks patching is “doable,” but he said he couldn’t guarantee that it would be 100 percent effective or blend in perfectly. He would use a special epoxy and coloring ingredients, and he would polish the surface after the epoxy cures to get a finish that matches the surrounding countertop as closely as possible. But because your countertop is white, he said, “you will see it.” He said it would cost approximately $600 for him to fill the crack. He stressed that if the crack happened because the cabinets weren’t installed correctly, he could not guarantee that the crack won’t widen after it’s filled.
If you want to attempt the repair, you’ll find two types of fillers. Some are epoxy-based, while others consist of two-part acrylic mixtures or light-cure acrylic. Look for products that have numerous reviews and a high overall rating, and read through the negative reviews and deep into the descriptions and instructions to ensure you get a patch material that gives you the best chance of success.
For example, HIMG sells a light-cured, clear acrylic that gets good overall reviews on Amazon. By checking the manufacturer’s website, himgsurfacerepair.com, you can see that the company offers both the clear product ($28.49) and one with white tones for custom color-matching ($32.95). The company says these work well for repairing “chips, nicks and deep scratches,” but only by looking at the question-and-answer section of the website may you realize that crack repair is not on that list. There is even a warning that it won’t work on hairline cracks. And for deep scratches wider than a hairline, the company recommends avoiding the light-cure products and going with a self-cure acrylic with components that you would mix right before use. HIMG’s clear SCA adhesive ($19.50) is in that category.
Many people do have success with epoxy and acrylic patching materials, but when things go wrong, reviewers often say they’re left with a countertop that looks worse than before they attempted a patch.
If you can’t afford a professional repair, consider leaving your counter alone, at least for now.
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