How Often To Seal Granite
by Sandy Mckeel
(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
I am looking at santa cecilia granite countertops or new venetian gold granite slab. Are these granites that needs to be sealed?
And how often do you need to re-seal granite?
When to apply a granite sealer and how often to re-seal is a common question.
In your case... yes, both of those stones will typically need to be sealed, but there is a lot more to the story on this point.
And how often to seal granite countertops and/or floors or any stone installation depends on several factors. Let me explain further...
Online you may read that you "must" re-seal every year or every 3-5 years as if every
granite countertop is exactly the same.
Some installers will even tell you this. Well, it's lazy, bad advice.Remember
granite is a natural product and thus qualities can vary from slab to slab. A few granites varieties
are very porous and should not be installed (in a kitchen anyway) because they are difficult to seal at all and may need re-sealing every year. However, many granites are naturally stain-proof
. These varieties are super dense and do not need sealing ever (in fact cannot
be sealed)... not even once since they simply don't absorb liquids. Most granites
fall in between and a rough or general guide is that "granite" will need re-sealing every 3-5 years.
This generality is blandly passed about as if it were hard fact. But the truth is that it depends on the granite, the sealer used and the quality of application.
Plus, your slab may have been "resined" to fill in any chips or defects. (This is perfectly normal process) Resining will often seal a stone. The only accurate way to determine
whether or not any stone needs sealing is to perform the water test for sealing granite countertops
Yes... some stone and granite types/colors/names have well-known absorbency rates such that it can reasonably be stated that granite XYZ always needs sealing or granite ABC never needs sealing...
However, testing is THE ONLY way to know if any particular slab or floor or countertop stone needs sealing initially and/or when it needs re-sealing.
on new floor installations you must wait 2-3 weeks before sealing -if needed- to allow all moisture to evaporate from the stone. Countertops can be sealed immediately since the underside is exposed and moisture won't get trapped.)
Water testing for absorbency/porosity takes all the guess work out of deciding... "to seal or not to seal?"This sealing test works
for any and every type of stone... granite, marble, travetine, slate.... And for every color or pattern or name. That's the beauty of it. You don't have to ask your installer or ask online or know anything about the stone... just test it.
So test some samples chipped off your granite countertop slab choices and see what the results are.
Probably you will need to apply a granite sealer to both. How often to seal granite?
As noted above, that depends on the quality of the stone sealer, the quality of the application and the porosity of the stone. Testing will show you: 1.If any stone even needs sealing2.How many coats of granite sealer to apply
-- You may have to apply 2 or 3 coats to effectively seal the marble or granite countertop or floor the first time. Perform the water test in-between coats to determine when the surface has been effectively sealed and/or if another coat is needed.3.When to re-apply a sealer
-- In the same manner that testing tells you if a particular granite countertop needs sealing initially it will also tell you when it is time to re-apply a granite sealer. So just test periodically.
It may be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or possibly ten years in some cases with the most common or "last generation" sealers, but eventually all will need re-application..... with one exception....Permanent Granite Countertop Sealer
Or you can use a sealer developed with the lastest advanced chemical technology like SenGuard Marble & Granite Sealer
(currently the very best available) that forms permanent bonds.... then you won't have to re-seal again. Senguard stone sealer
is the only permanent bond granite sealer available via retail to the consumer, which is great because you save a ton of money.
There are a couple other similar sealers, but they must be professionally applied (3-4x more expensive) or pre-applied to granite countertops before you buy (3-4x more expensive). We recommend using
SenGuard simply because long-term it is by far the best value and very easy to apply.
But if you prefer to use one of the "last generation" sealers then I'd suggest one of these very good marble & granite sealers
. On most granite you'll get 5-7 years protection.
These sealers we've found to be the best performers of the last generation. This includes all sealers from other known brands like Dupont Stonetech, Miracle 501, SCI, etc., which will usually give you 1-5 years of protection.
You'll find a lot more detailed information regarding all the above on our granite sealer page
and complete step-by-step instructions on how to properly apply a granite sealer in the All About Sealing Granite & Marble e-book