Cracks versus fissures in natural stone

When you take a look at your stone worktops and you notice something that looks like a crack, it can come as quite a shock. Before you panic, it’s important to understand the difference between cracks and fissures. By knowing what you’re looking at, you will better understand the measures that you need to take in order to remedy the situation.

The difference

Fissures occur naturally due to environmental and geological forces. Cracks, on the other hand, occur from man-made stress such as transport or even during the installation process. While they might look the same at a glance, there are some visual and tactile differences too.


Fissures have a long yet narrow appearance and they occur along the boundaries of crystalline structures in the stone surface. There is a visual separation that can sometimes go all the way through the stone. They are rarely straight and they often appear in several parts of the stone. Cracks, on the other hand, can be narrow or wide. They usually appear in only one part of the slab and they can go all the way through. These stress lines can often be straight unlike fissures.


If you run your fingernail across the surface of the stone, you will be able to tell the difference between a crack and fissure. Your nail will run smoothly over fissures while they will not run smoothly over cracks and you will feel the uneven surfaces. This is because one side of the crack is usually higher than the other.

While fissures are not cracks, they can develop into a crack if chipping or other damage occurs in this area. However, this is not normally a concern and fissures add character to the stone. Cracks, however, should be repaired promptly. If the crack is too severe, the stone should be replaced.

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