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Do I Need To Seal My Granite Counter Tops?

Granite Work Top SealerMy wife and I are in the process of installing granite counter tops in our kitchen. I will have a complete post about the installation once it is done but in the mean time I wanted to share some of the information we are receiving from our granite distributor. One question that came up regarded sealing the surface and how often it should be done.
Our granite consultant, Kayla, said there is really a lot of misconceptions about granite sealers. A lot of this comes from the after market sealer companies. In reality, granite counter tops and granite work tops are very easy to care for and it doesn’t take a lot of time. The sealer the installer uses is supposed to last 15 years so you can see that it is not something that needs to be done very often.

Why Should You Seal Your Granite Counter Tops
Believe if or not, most stones are actually permeable to liquids. This means, the water or what ever liquid material is on the surface can actually migrate into the stone. If it is just water then that is not too much of a problem because it will evaporate out again. (Although the colors will usually change where the water is present until it dries out). But if it is some other liquid, like grape juice for example, then when the water component evaporates it may leave the color behind which can stain your top.

In order to stop this potential ugly stain, a sealer is applied so that the liquid can not get into the stone.

Before you go out to the local hardware store and pick up granite sealer, you want to ask yourself if your counter tops really need to be sealed. The majority of people are under the impression that all granite counter tops need to be sealed in order to protect them. While it is true that sealers are designed to protect counter tops from stains and other damage it is not a very difficult process and it is something you can do yourself every few years.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about granite sealers is that they form a hard shell on top of the work surface, therefore protecting the counters from all types of spills and damage. The truth is wood sealers do this but granite sealers do not. Granite sealers work from with the stone, not on top of the stone. Granite sealer products contain resin and some type of solvent. The solvent is used to absorb the resin into the stone where it can clog the pores of the stone. Without the solvent, there is no way for the resin to get down inside the stone to protect it.

Testing Your Counter Tops For Sealer
Before you run out to the store and grab the first product, you see on the shelf, you should test your granite counter top to determine if it needs to be sealed. Many people mistakenly think that their counter tops need to be sealed, just because they have never sealed them before. This can cause a problem of too much sealer being applied, which can look worse than stains on the counter tops.

According to Kayla, the best way to see if your top needs sealer is to pay attention to what happens when you leave a glass of cold water on the surface. When you pick up the glass it will leave a ring of water that has dripped down the sides. If that ring stays on top of the surface and doesn’t penetrate then your sealer is still OK. If it penetrates into the surface, though, you will need to reapply a sealer. This is a very simple test that you can do in only a few minutes.

What Granite Sealer Should You Use?

Granite Sealer

If you had your counter tops professionally installed, chances are the installer left you with a product that they recommend. If this is the case you can continue using their recommended product which you might have to purchase through them directly or you might be able to find online. If you want to switch to a different product, or you installed the counters yourself, you will need to look into the different products on the market.

 

Stonetech is a sealer made by Dupont that is highly recommended. Click on the picture of the bottle at right and you can learn more. Dupont has been making sealers and coatings for decades. The link will take you to an Amazon page where you can safely purchase the product if you are as impressed as I am.

When looking for a granite sealer the first thing you want to do is read all of the granite sealer reviews that you can. If you click on the picture for this sealer you can read over 30 reviews of this sealer. When reading the reviews you want to pay attention to how often the product needs to be applied, how well it protected the counter tops, what the product is made up of, and how well the consumers liked the product. However, just because the granite sealers are ranked high by consumers that does not mean they are going to be the best product on the market. All these reviews are going to do is give you a starting place when buying a new product.


Now that you have read through all of the reviews, you will want to look at each product you are considering in order to find out what the active ingredient in the sealer is. The best granite sealer is going to be a fluorocarbon alphatic resin (flouropolymers), and because it is the best, it is a bit more expensive. The cheaper sealers are silicon or siloxane based and must be applied more frequently. Most cheap sealers must be applied every year or so because of evaporation. Your quality sealers only have to be reapplied every ten to fifteen years, if they are properly applied.

Applying The Granite Sealer
One of the best things about sealing granite counter tops and granite work tops is how easy it is to do no matter what type of sealer you are using. Before sealing your counter tops, you will need to make sure the entire surface is clean. You will also want to make sure you remove any stains or residue before applying the sealer. Failure to clean the counter tops and remove any stains or residue can cause the granite to change color or even harm the finish.

To begin sealing the counter top carefully read the directions on the sealer you are using. These instructions must be followed in order to properly seal the surface. Failure to follow these instructions can be devastating but they are quite simple. To apply the sealer simply spray it on and let it sit for several minutes, how long depends on the instructions. Once the sealer has sat for the recommended amount of time, wipe off the counter with a soft cloth. The best part about applying sealer is that there is no buffing or polishing involved!

Granite Counter Top Polish
If you want a better shine on your expensive granite work top you can apply a polisher. This is especially a good idea if you are going to have people over for a party or dinner. Just add a little polish and a little elbow grease and you can get a great looking shine that everyone will be envious of.

If you find this article helpful, check out these other posts:

 

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