How to tell if granite is properly sealed

by Rita Leggett
(Rockville, Md)


We just had granite kitchen countertops installed and sealed, but are seeing dark water stains around the sink.

We purchased a Dupont sealant product that was recommended by the installer who also tells me that this water staining is normal. The color of the granite is Ivory Fantasy.


Yes, water will absorb into some stones and the area of absorption will be darker. This is normal.... unless the a granite sealer has been properly applied, then the water should not abosrb. At least it should not absorb quickly.

For complete information on granite sealers, applying sealers, etc. see the All About Sealing Granite & Marble e-book.

Of course, water does not leave a permanent stain. The darkness will disappear as the water evaporates from the stone.

Granite sealers do not form an absolutely impenetrable shell over the granite countertop, which would not be good for the stone.

Sealing granite is done to dramatically slow down absorption, so you have much more time to clean up any spills.

If water is left to sit on an effectively sealed surface for 15-20 minutes or more (depending on the quality of sealer, the quality of the granite sealer application and the porosity of the stone) then it may still absorb.

It may be that the granite sealer was not applied effectively. Simply putting a sealer on the countertop does not mean that it is sealed.

Sealing granite countertops effectively means that the sealer is applied in sufficient quantity, allowing it to fully absorb into the stone until absorption rate is acceptably increased.

Some granites will require multiple coats. The only way to determine when/if a granite countertop or any stone has been properly sealed is to perform the water test for sealing granite countertops.

When testing shows absorption takes 15 minutes or more (30 minutes is ideal) then the countertop/floor has been sealed.

It may be that your granite countertops have not been adequately sealed and need another coat. So, test the surface and if needed follow the instructions in the above e-book.

Good Luck,

Comments for How to tell if granite is properly sealed

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Granite Finish
by: Anonymous

I have just had granite installed and the surface is grainy and pockey(small holes). It does not feel smooth at all.

I have had granite for years and this is the first time I have ever felt this "rough" texture on countertops.

Also, if anything is spilled/sits on the top it instantly turns darker and is discolored. Any idea what is wrong with this granite? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you.

==== Countertop Specialty reply:

First, it is rather porous and should be sealed. Some granite varieties are very dense, non-porous and do not need sealing. Others are very porous and need sealing.... maybe 2 or 3 coats even.

The gritty, pocked surface is likely a the sign of a poor-quality slab.

Granite is a natural product, so a wide range of quality (or desired characteristics) is possible even within the same color / name / variety.

Some granites will polish better than others. Meaning some "polished" granites will be shinier than others.

However, all granite that is installed should be smooth and free of excessive defects like pits. Grittiness is usually a slab that just can't be polished very well.

Now, such a slab should not be installed, but sometimes shady fabricators will pawn off these cheap, crappy slabs.

If you picked out the slab, then there's no one to blame. However, usually what happens in cases like this is you picked out a color or chose from a sample and this is the slab the fabricator used.

Particularly a problem with the "low-ball" fabricators that promise $25 sq. ft. install. Well, they can't make any money at that price without cutting a bunch of corners.

Unfortunately, there likely isn't much hope for the graininess of your countertop, except maybe a chemical coating, which is not something you'd normally want to do.

The pits can be filled using the Marble & Granite Repair Kit for Chips/Pits.

But I would have a reputable fabricator or stone restoration contractor take a look to be sure of the cause and any possible solution.

by: Mary

My granite countertop is a year old and it's an ivory with brown flecks and a slight mossy green tinge to it.

I was told I needed to seal in a year, so I applied Dupont. I tested an area first and it looked like no change in color, so I went again and did the counters. I am just sick about this.

Part of the countertop stayed the same, and part has no green at all. So the effect is parts are much lighter than the other and it is very noticeable.

Also, I can't believe it was sealed very well, because some of the counters soaked up the sealant really fast, and other parts didn't soak in at all.

By the faucet, I have some discoloration, too, that never goes away.

I was wondering if maybe the company used a color enhanced sealant. Is there any way to fix this?

=== Answer:

Strip the sealer off the granite countertop using a solvent. Acetone may work, but you may need methylene chloride (found in paint strippers).

The fact that part absorbed quickly and the other didn't indicates that possibly only part of the countertop was sealed originally. It could be a difference in porosity of the slab, but not very likely to be so dramatic with the same color granite.

The change and difference in color after you applied a granite sealer is odd for sure. First, a standard impregnating sealer won't change the color or only very slightly darker... but it would/should do it uniformly.

If a color-enhancing sealer was previously applied (rare on a polished surface), then you would have see the color difference initially... not after applying your sealer.

I could be possible that the granite slabs used to make this countertop were originally a noticeably different color and an enhancer was used to match them... but this doesn't happen very often, so not likely.

Use the "Contact Us" form to email us and we can then request photos from you... but you need to email first.

Dark Water Marks Around Sink
by: Anonymous

Hi, My granite has darkened around sink. I used a cleaner to draw out oils and water but still darker even after 2 treatments ( it did have some improvement).

My question is if I go ahead and seal it now, will it continue to dry out or stay dark because it is trapped under sealer?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Sealing a granite countertop will not trap any water in the countertop. It can still evaporate from underneath. Now, sealing a floor or wall tile can trap moisture in the stone because it only has the sealed surface exposed.

Water absorbing into granite around the sink is not a problem. It will darken the stone until it evaporates and then the darkness will disappear.

If this is occurring, then you should seal it because it is a sign that other colored or oily liquids could absorb and stain.

If the darkness does not go away, then something has absorbed and stained the granite.

In such cases, you would use a product like the Stain Remover Poultice.

It's best to remove all stains prior to sealing.

removing dark stains on granite
by: K

I've read and tried baking soda, powder, vinegar....nothing works to pull up these stains. I think they are from water because... what else?
Is there anything to get rid of the large dark spots? Also, I'd seal after but want the stains out first. Thank you.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Not all stains are the same. You do need to use a poultice to draw out a granite stain, however, the ingredients needed depend on what stained the granite.

Unfortunately, there are many poultice recipes passed around online that are just useless.

For most stains it is much easier and more convenient to use a preformulated poultice like this Granite and Marble Poultice Stain Remover.

This product eliminates a lot of the guessing about how to make the correct poultice for your particular stain.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Granite & Marble Sealer Questions.

Is Our Granite Sealed or Not?

by Mara
(Canoga Park, CA)


We just got the granite countertops installed in both our kitchen and all the bathrooms. The color is on the light side, beige/cream color.

We place anything wet on it and the counter top will show the water stain.

I asked the contractor if it has been sealed and he said, "of course. It wouldn't be shiny if it wasn't."

I told him what I've been reading online including the paper towel test. He says that it's normal for granite to get wet and show the stain. As long as it dries up quickly, it's fine. All granite is like that.

Is my contractor telling me the truth? Or is he just trying to get away with not having to seal it properly?


Your contractor is either a slime-ball or complete idiot who should find a different line of work and/or learn the truth.

"It wouldn't be shiny if it wasn't sealed."

Total BS... the shine has nothing to do with sealing. The shine is produced at the factory with high-friction industrial machines.

He says that it's "normal for granite to get wet and show the stain. As long as it dries up quickly, it's fine. All granite is like that."

Yeah... many granites (not all) are porous and will absorb water and show the stain, but that is precisely why you need to seal it. Water will dry up and won't leave a stain, but coffee, wine, oil or anything else that has a chance to absorb will stain.

If it were sealed properly, the water would not absorb at all.... well, not rapidly anyway. It would just bead up or form a puddle without any color change like a stain.

However, if a liquid is left on most granite for 30 minutes or more it could potentially abosrb (even when sealed) depending on the original porosity of the granite.

This is because granite and marble sealers greatly reduce or limit absorption, so it takes a lot longer... but they do not absolutely prevent it.

Usually water (and most liquids except oil) evaporate before absorbing into a well-sealed countertop.

The fact that the water is "staining" (if under 10 minutes) is the exact indicator that no granite sealer has been applied (or applied very poorly) and the countertop needs sealing.

This type of behavior really burns me up. It just isn't difficult to learn how to do this job right and provide the correct information.

I wouldn't trust this guy to tie his own shoes, let alone seal your countertops.

If sealing is supposed to be included in the job, then I'd ask him what the charge for sealing is and deduct that from the total for final payment.

Tell him you'll seal it yourself. It isn't hard to do correctly.

If you choose to do this, I'd suggest using these recommended marble & granite sealers.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing, cleaning granite countertops, quartz and all natural stone.

Comments for Is Our Granite Sealed or Not?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

granite in shower darker from glue stains
by: Laura

We are in the process of having a full bathroom reno and we will be installing a granite countertop on our vanity, for the sill in the shower and on the bottom of our shower niche.

The granite on the sill and the niche were glued down yesterday and the color of the granite looks totally different.....the color is supposed to look a creamy beige with some brown flecks and now it looks as though it has a darker section throughout the area that was glued down.

Is this as a result of the glue and water absorption and will it return to normal once it dries? Will this also happen when the countertop is installed?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Glue stains can occur during installation with certain combinations of glues and granites.

Sometimes these will go away as the glue cures. However, they can last a long time and can even be permanent.

Granite installation adhesive stains can often be removed, but it is difficult. The glue can continue to leach through the granite feeding the stain.

I would reserves final payment until the stains go away. If they persist beyond a few weeks, then follow DIY procedure in the Removing granite stains e-book for removal.

Also, I'd question the installer about the glues and additives used. Additives to decrease cure time are often at fault. Certainly, you'll want to avoid the same problem on the granite countertop.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Granite & Marble Sealer Questions.

Sealing Granite Countertop Problem

by Cindy


We have a light granite (creamy with brown and grey througout). I used the sealer as instructed on the bottle after 1.5 years of having it. (the company told us to do it every year)

So, I sprayed the sealer, waited for it to dry, then sprayed again waited and wiped excess off.

When I returned home after the required time- 3 days to be exact. The countertops looked like someone had sneezed andit dried!

I couldnt polish it to make it look better and now it looks like it has water spots all over it and not shiny at all!

I am sooo upset and dont know how to fix this - can you guide me?? The sealer and polish and cleaner I used was "SCI" (the same they used when the counters were installed).... HELP!! Thank you so much!


The mistake the company made was telling you to re-apply the granite sealer every year. Not surprising since many sales people and others working in the stone industry have limited knowledge.

Of course, if this particular sealer does commonly need re-application every year, then it's a very poor sealer.

Very few granites need re-sealing every year. Many can go 5 years and some even ten years depending on the sealer.

The point is that granite is a natural product with wide variations in porosity, so there is no set rule for applying granite sealers or frequency for re-sealing.

It's always a case-by-case basis and some granite countertops do not need sealing at all... ever.

The only way to determine when/if to apply or re-apply a granite sealer is to perform the water test for sealing granite countertops.

What occurred with your granite countertop is that it was already sealed, so it did not readily absorb liquids. The granite sealer is a liquid, so it did not absorb, dried on the surface and left the hazy sneeze pattern, which sealers will do when not properly applied.

Of course, it is possible that your granite did need re-sealing, absorbed enough to re-seal, but mistakenly you let the sealer dry on the surface.

I don't know if the bottle instructions stated, but you should always wipe up all excess before it dries. You should never let the sealer just sit and dry.

The sealer residue can be removed but it will likely require stripping with a potent solvent.

Sometimes you can remedy this problem by re-applying the granite sealer, but usually this must be done before the sealer cures.

You'll find complete information regarding granite sealers, "how to" instructions for sealing granite countertops correctly and how to strip a sealer in the All About Sealer e-book.

The water spots are likely etch marks in the granite sealer left on the surface. Granite doesn't etch easy, but dried sealer on granite countertops will often etch. Once the sealer is stripped off the surface your water marks should be gone and the surface back to normal.

Good Luck,

Click here to post comments

Return to Granite & Marble Sealer Questions.


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

buy granite cleaner, sealer and marble cleaning products

Let's connect!    Follow us:


home improvement quotes