How Often To Seal Granite
Secrets to Sealing & Re-Sealing Granite Countertops
I am looking at Santa Cecilia granite countertops or a New Venetian Gold granite slab.
Are these granites that need to be sealed? How often do you need to re-seal granite?
When to apply a granite sealer and how often to re-seal granite & marble countertops are common questions. Naturally, homeowners want to protect their beautiful, and expensive countertops from unsightly stains.
Unfortunately, most answers on the topic range from "sort of true" to "absolutely wrong" causing unnecessary confusion and even a little hysteria.
Of course, everyone wants a neat little answer that can be applied in all cases without worry.... or specifically "if MY new Brazilian Purple Galaxy Fantastico Real granite needs sealing"
. Believe it or not,
that answer does exist! Why it isn't routinely provided by every stone professional is the truly confusing part. I'll let you in on the secret below
, but know for now that the one and only correct answer is very simple, 100% accurate, can be applied "in general" and specifically to your super-special granite countertop.
First, a little stone education will help you understand the answer completely and rest easy with confidence that you know exactly what to do and when.
Myths & Facts To Consider When Sealing Granite
Let's dispell some common myths about sealing...
Stone sealers should NOT be blindly or automatically applied at any time... nor on a set schedule... nor "just to be safe".
How often to seal granite countertops, marble, travertine tile 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 and marble are natural products and thus characteristics like absorbency can vary from slab to slab. A few granite 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.
Kashmir White granite is a good example.... Often it is like a sponge it absorbs and stains so easily. 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.
And applying a sealer "just to be safe" is asking for trouble. When a sealer can't absorb properly, it may leave a haze on the surface that is difficult to remove in most cases.
Plus, your slab may have been "resined" to fill in any chips or defects (a perfectly normal process). Resining will often seal a stone.
Most granites fall in between and a rough or very general
guide is that "granite" will need re-sealing every 3-5 years. This generality is blandly passed about as if it is an absolute fact. The truth is...
sealing or re-sealing granite, marble or any stone depends on....
- Porosity of the granite or marble
- Type and quality of sealer used
- Quality of sealer application
Test for Sealing Granite Countertops
Drum roll please... here's the answer you've been waiting for.... The only accurate way to determine
whether or not any stone needs sealing or re-sealing is to perform the water test for sealing granite countertops
This sealing test works for any and every type of stone... granite, marble, travertine, 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. TIP:
It's a good idea to use lemon juice to perform this test when shopping for new stone slabs. Using lemon juice in place of water does double duty. It will tell you how absorbent the stone is, and also if it is sensitive to acids (which you want to avoid for a kitchen countertop).
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.
And it's very helpful to understand the nature of stone, how it varies and the factors involved in sealing, however.... Testing is THE ONLY way to know for sure
if any particular slab or floor tile or countertop stone needs sealing initially and/or when it needs re-sealing.
Thus, at the most basic level, you really don't need to know anything except how to perform and interpret the lemon juice/water test. The type of stone, color, name, when installed is all superfluous information. The test will tell.TIP:
On new floor installations, you need to wait 2-3 weeks before sealing (if sealing is 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?"
So test some samples chipped off your granite countertop slab choices and see what the test results are.
Probably you will need to apply a granite sealer to both Santa Cecilia and/or New Venetian Gold granite.
How Often to Re-Seal Granite & Marble
As noted above, frequency of re-sealing depends on the quality of the stone sealer, the quality of the application and the porosity of the stone. So, simply perform the water test anytime you are trying to answer the "should I apply a sealer or not" question. 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 initial sealing, it will also tell you when it is time to re-apply a granite sealer. So just test periodically.
When applying the most common or "last generation" type sealer it may be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or possibly ten years (with the right sealer in this case) before you need to re-seal, but eventually all will need re-application..... with one exception....Permanent Granite Countertop Sealer
Apply a stone sealer developed with the latest advanced chemical technology like SenGuard Stone Sealer
(currently the very best available), which forms permanent bonds.... and then you won't have to re-seal again. Senguard 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.
We've found that these sealers are 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