Friday, February 15, 2013

FAQ Friday: How Porous Is Granite? The Candle Wax Experiment.

I posted Part 1 of this story, you can read it here.
I got on sort of a tangent that day and didn't finish the post with the great story that I was planning on.
So today for FAQ Friday I'll finish up that question.

A lady I know, we'll call her Anne, was looking at countertops about five or six years ago. She wanted to do granite and ended up doing granite in her kitchen.
While she was looking though, she ran across a solid surface guy, he sells a product that rhymes with morian, so let's call him Mr Morian.  Mr Morian tried really hard to talk Anne out of granite that day.
He told her how porous granite is and that it breeds bacteria and sealing it is a pain...blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Mr Morian needs to come up with some new material.
But here's the kicker...he then told her how one time someone left a glass candle burning on their granite countertops overnight. Supposedly during the night the glass broke and the hot wax got all over her granite countertops. He said the granite was so porous that the wax went into the pores of the granite, all the way through the granite and spilled inside of their cupboards and ruined her pots and pans.  Let's get this straight, the wax didn't spill OVER the granite and drip down into the cabinet.  It went THROUGH the granite.  Supposedly.
This is the dumbest story I have ever heard. We had a good laugh over it though and it's been one of my great granite myth stories that I have told over and over. So I guess I have Mr Morian to thank for that.

Well, since I like to be a Myth Buster I decided to bust this myth.
I REALLY tried to give them every single benefit of the doubt in this.

First, I decided to use a granite tile instead of a slab. The tile is 3/8" thick instead of 3/4" or 1 1/4" that slabs generally come in.  So less granite for the wax to go through.
In this picture it looks like I'm scared that the wax is going to go through the tile since I put a towel under it.  That's not the case.  I put the towel under it because I was worried that the wax would spill over the sides when I poured it on. 

I chose Juparana St Cecilia granite for this experiment because it's a fairly pourus granite.  It's usually resined, but it's not as dense as the blacks.  Also, I wanted it to be a lighter color so if it stained we would be able to see it.  This piece of tile has NOT been resined or sealed with anything.

I bought a cheap red candle at Wal-Mart.  I thought the cheapness and the redness may help it stain the granite.  I really wanted it to stain!
I let the candle burn all day long so it was nice and hot.  I actually hate burning candles in my house, so this shows you the sacrifices I make in the name of science!  :)
I also warmed up the granite a little.  I didn't want the hot wax to get on the cold granite and have it set right up.  So I thought if the granite tile was warm it would help the wax get into the pores.

Then I left the wax there for over 24 hours. I could tell immediately what the outcome was, but to be fair to the experiment I just left it.
The next day I scraped the wax off with a razor blade and......
it didn't seep through at all! Are you shocked? I sure wasn't.
It actually was incredibly easy to get off. There was a little bit of a moist spot at first. It may have been from the oils or something in the wax, I'm not sure. Nonetheless it dried out and you couldn't see a bit of evidence that the wax was ever there.
I took the picture when the moist spot was still there.
Also ignore the three spot stains, they aren't from the candle. I'll tell you about them another day.

Here is a picture of the back of the tile. Just to show their was no wax through the granite.
FYI, that spot on the right is just sticky from an old sticker we had on the back.
So that's it.  Myth busted.


Susan said...

This is exactly why I'm so thrilled I found this blog! Your experiments are fantastic. Please keep it up-- even if it means burning yucky candles in the house.

Ha! And that Morian story is hilarious! Next they'll be telling folks it causes cancer...umm..oh ya, they tried that too!
Sue :0)

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Thanks Sue. I kind of felt dumb doing an experiment that the outcome was so obvious, but that's the only real way to debunk the myth I suppose.

Ya, the cancer thing. I haven't even touched on that subject here. That really gets my blood boiling!

DesignTies said...

Hahahah!!! OMG, the wax seeped through the granite?!?!? Just the fact that granite is cool means the wax would solidify pretty quickly once it hit the granite. And that's just touching on the stupidity of that comment!!!

I hope nobody's ever fallen for that complete load of BS.


P.S. In all honesty, I don't use Twitter that much either!! But I might use it more now that I know the potential power of the tweet :-)

Unknown said...

What a great experiment and myth busted! I'm a new follower to your blog - I love it! We're in the industry (sell cabinets and countertops) and all the information that you provide helps further my education!

Melissa said...

What fun! And I wasn't the one that had to clean up the wax! And really? seeped THROUGH the granite? bless Mr. Morian's heart.

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Kelly- I think you'd be surprised how many people believe bs stories like that! It drives me bonkers!

Lauren- I'm glad you found us! I am following your blog now as well. I do enjoy me a good fellow countertop blogger. :)

Melissa- You are more kind than I am. I don't bless Mr Morian's heart, I laugh at it. :)

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