They just installed a huge slab of stone on top of your new cabinets, and now the Granite contractor is introducing you to Granite sealer, and if you’re like me, you probably think the whole thing is a scam, right? After all, it’s a rock. Literally the stuff mountains are made out of, sliced up and set in your kitchen, what could go wrong? Is sealing granite countertops necessary?
Your contractor may not be wrong, it depends.
Here at Explore, we work hard to educate our customers, so if you worked with us on your kitchen or bath upgrade, we would have gone over the fact that stone, like most natural building materials, is porous, allowing water, and even staining liquids to “soak in” the stone. It’s also susceptible to “etching” or tiny scratches in the surface that can dull the finish, from acidic cleaners, and even normal daily use.
So, while it seems reasonable that your genuine granite countertop should be impervious to household wear, it’s likely not. That’s not to say it’s fragile. Don’t rush out and buy those plastic covers your grandma kept on her favorite sofa. Sealing granite is generally enough to make it basically bulletproof for ordinary kitchen use.
What your granite needs, depends on the granite itself.
Contractors sell and install various grades of natural granite and a huge variety of stone composites, and artificial products that may all be labeled as “granite”. Don’t assume you have genuine granite, especially if you didn’t have the countertops installed yourself, and even if it is, you may still need to seal your stone to protect that pricey investment.
There’s no need to panic, however, granite sealing is a simple process you can literally handle yourself in just a few minutes. In fact, the sealer we recommend is formulated to be safe for all stone countertops. So, if your contractor is suggesting anything more complex than a simple cleaning and wipe on sealer, ask them to wait and we’ll help you determine if you even need it, and what to use if you do. While most granite contractors are honest and not looking to take advantage of customers, some still do sell expensive, unnecessary services and chemicals.
Test your granite right now, with nothing more than a cup of water!
The good news is, you won’t need to call out CSI, or have expensive testing done to know if you need to seal your granite. Follow the 5 steps below to know for certain what your granite countertops need, then we’ll show you the best granite sealer, and how to seal granite to keep it beautiful for years to come.
- Fill a cup with clear, cool tap water. You won’t need much, a quarter of a cup is enough.
- Check your watch, or even set a timer on your smartphone, we’ll be timing the absorption rate of your granite countertop.
- Pour a small amount of water onto the counter. Just enough to create a pool about the size of your hand. It’s best to do this in two or three places across the counter.
- Start your timer, or make a note of the time when you poured the water.
- Wait until there is no standing water on the countertop, or 30 minutes, then consult the chart below.
- Immediate absorption with a dark mark, or ring, sealant may need to be applied once a quarter. Your stone’s porosity is on the high end.
- 4-5 minutes, sealer can be applied annually to ensure protection.
- 10 minutes, may not require sealing again for two years.
- 30 minutes, sealer not required to prevent staining, but is still beneficial to prevent etching and scratches.
The Best Granite Sealer
Not all granite sealers are created equal. Many have complicated, unnecessarily messy formulas. That’s why the only sealing and cleaning products we recommend are from Granite Gold. Stone countertops don’t require heavy coatings, or products that leave hazing, or residue. Granite Gold sealer provides resistance to stain absorption and etching to keep your countertops beautiful for generations.
The Granite Gold line was developed in the field, by craftsmen who needed granite cleaning and sealing products that would provide excellent protection, without damaging the stonework, or requiring heavy maintenance. The best granite sealers are simple to use and require very little upkeep.
- Safe, non toxic formulas that are rated for food preparation surfaces.
- No mixing, multi-step applications, or special equipment required.
- Easy to store, standard spray bottle application, with a wipe on formula.
You can find out more about Granite Gold products here, and any Explore Granite and Quartz contractor can set you up with the right products for your surfaces. In addition to granite countertops, their line includes tile and stone cleaners for your whole house.
Sealing Your Countertops
Once you’ve determined the porosity of your countertops with the water test, it’s time to apply sealer. You’re free, of course, to pay your contractor to do this for you, but if you’ve ever cleaned your own countertops, you can apply Granite Gold sealer.
Start with Granite Gold daily cleaner, or a stone countertop cleaner of your choice. Spray the surface down and use a lint free cloth, or paper towel to clean the surface thoroughly. Allow it to dry before applying the sealer.
Spray the surface with Granite Gold countertop sealer and spread it evenly with a lint free cloth. Buff the sealer in thoroughly to ensure all pores are sufficiently sealed. Countertops can be used immediately. Wait 24 hours and repeat the water test to ensure thorough sealing. If the water absorbs in less than 30 minutes, apply a second coat of Granite Gold to ensure proper sealing.
For more about how to determine if your kitchen countertops need to be sealed, please contact us today. We’re always here to help!