Although you will read online about people that recommend a specific time interval, that’s actually a dangerous approach.
Granite countertops should be sealed as often as needed and only when necessary, testing is the only way to really know. Depending on your granite variety it could be anywhere in between 1 to 5 years from the last time they were sealed. But don’t worry, we will teach you how to do the test.
The “Should I Seal My Stone Countertops” 30 Minute Test
Yes, it’s that fast, and it doesn’t get any easier. And before you think about it, sealing a stone that doesn’t require sealing “just to be sure” is not a great idea!
Sealants fill and cover pores that exist on the surface of any stone, granite included. If no pores are open, you’re just wasting money and possibly damaging your surface for no good reason. Excessive exposition to sealant might make a granite countertop hazy.
This really simple test will save you from all that. And more, you can do it right now, since you’ve definitively got all the necessary ingredients at home.
Drip a puddle of water and another of cooking oil in your stone top and observe it while keeping track of the time. We should probably mention that it’s safer if you select an area of your countertop that’s normally covered or hidden in order to do it.
- If it darkens in up to 10 minutes, you need urgent sealing.
- If it takes 15 minutes to darken, you should also reseal it, but maybe only one coating of sealant will be enough.
- If it takes 30 minutes to darken, or if it doesn’t darken at all, there’s no need to seal your countertop for now.
It’s as simple as that, now you don’t need to trust anyone’s opinion on the matter. If your countertop is sucking liquids, it’s time to make it water and oil repellent again by sealing.
Why do some people say sealing should be done every year?
Sealing is really important, we will talk about that later on. However, some homeowners never do it. Telling them they should do it every year or every 6 months is just an easy way to help them protect their countertops from stains, even though it’s not the right way.
Another factor to be considered is that years ago the sealing technologies available were not as effective, which means the period a sealing layer took to stop working used to be shorter.
Since recommending a period of time is the oldest and easiest answer, many people learned that to be the only answer.
Nowadays, with all the advancements in Polymers and Nanotechnologies, some granite varieties can go without sealing for more than 5 years.
Why should I care about sealing granite countertops?
Mainly because you don’t want your countertops to stain or to stop shining.
Porosity is the real villain here. And there’s no way to walk away from it since it’s normal in most natural materials. Actually, by choosing granite you already made sure you have one of the less porous materials in your kitchen. By the way, great choice!
But what is porosity anyway? It is a measure of the amount of pores (tiny holes) in a given material or surface. This quality is directly related to the liquid absorption rating of that material.
Think about it like this, the more and the bigger the holes a surface has on it, the more liquid it will suck in. And in most cases, especially in your kitchen, liquids being sucked in equals stains.
Thus sealing, filling and covering the holes (pores) on your granite, is precisely the solution we’re looking for to lead happy and calm lives while trusting our countertops can handle liquids spills (what they need to do all the time).
Why different granite varieties require different periods in between sealing applications?
Granite is a natural product, which means each slab is 100% unique. Porosity is not standard, not even in slabs cut from the same rock.
Actually lighter granite varieties tend to be more porous than dark granite. That’s why if your granite is white or gold, you should worry about sealing more often.
There are more factors to consider though. Different sealers will perform in a different way. Not all kitchens are used as often. Not all homeowners are equally cautious. It’s easy to see why there is no way to determine a period of time. Testing is indeed the best option.
Do all granite varieties require sealing?
The answer to that might be surprising to some people. Not all granite needs to be sealed.
Some darker granite varieties are naturally stain-proof. That’s not to say they aren’t porous at all. But water and oil will take so long to sink in that you will always be able to clean it first.
Is there a way to know if your granite is one of those? No, you should still test it from time to time. If you never need sealing, just be happy about it.
What Is The Best Sealer For Granite?
You might be thinking that since different sealers perform differently buying the best one will lead to better results. That’s partially right, but different sealers also react to your stone and your house environment differently. So in the end, finding out the best sealer for your granite countertop will also require testing.
That’s not to say we can’t give you some guidelines in order to narrow down your choices.
No brand is sponsoring this post, so you can trust we will give you actual info into how to choose the best product yourself.
Optimally, you’re looking for a sealant that will go deep inside the surface of the material, ensuring that it will resist stains and keep out bacterias for longer. We’re not looking for a cheaper product whose effects won’t last for more than 2 months.
Here are some characteristics of long-lasting granite sealants, if you can’t check it on the label, ask the salespeople to help you, or look it up online:
- Impregnating type, rather than topical or penetrating
- Designed for stone countertops, even better if specially for granite
- Able to cover at least 160 square feet per quart
- Able to repel both water-based liquids and oil
- Able to dry without changing the stone color
By choosing a premium sealant you will be able to enjoy a protected granite countertop for years.
How To Seal Granite Countertops?
That might be the last question you still have, so let’s tackle it.
Sealing granite countertops it’s a simple process, yet a chemical process, nonetheless.
Can you do it yourself? Sure, taking due care. We have an article that can help you.
However, getting pros to help you will ensure the best results. If you live around Sarasota, FL, you can trust our team at Eagle Stones to be of assistance with anything countertop related.