Sealing Granite Cafe Imperial
by Lisa Ridgeway
(Holy Lake Ranch, TX)
granite countertop center island
Reading above about the black granite and the blue pearl granite colors, not having to be sealed. I just installed Cafe Imperial and wondering if mine needs to be sealed.
I tried the wet towel test on the surface and it was very slightly darker when I lifted it but immediatley went back to normal.
Cafe Imperial granite can be quite dense and often doesn't need a granite sealer. But you should always test.
By "wet towel test" I assume you got a towel wet and let it sit on the granite for "X" minutes and then pulled it off?
This can work, but it's easier and gives you better results to form a puddle of water so you can watch it and note how long it takes to turn dark. Put a clear drinking glass over the puddle to minimize evaporation if you like.
With a puddle you can be sure the granite gets enough water to absorb if it is going to.
Using a towel, the granite has to be more absorbent than the towel. And/or it may give a false reading unless there is plenty of water available from the wet towel.
Theoretically, if you could keep a constant source of liquid on the surface (so none ever evaporated) any type of stone or quartz surface will absorb some in time. How long it takes to start absorbing is the key.
is not meant to form a impenetrable barrier. That's not good for stone. The sealer simply slows down (drastically) the rate of natural absorption of the stone to give you much more time to clean it before it stains.
Plus, if you have a stone that doesn't start absorbing for 20 minutes, you could have a problem applying the sealer and getting it to absorb properly enough to be effective.
That's why some granites "can't" be sealed.
And granite that takes so long to absorb anything is at very low risk for staining, since you are likely to clean up 99% of spills before it starts to absorb or the liquid evaporates before any meaningful amount absorbs.
Which is why it's really just unnecessary overkill to apply or attempt to apply a granite sealer to such surfaces. And you may just create an unwanted problem if the sealer doesn't absorb and leaves a dull haze on the granite.
So, I'd suggest performing the water test
while tracking the time and you'll get your answer if you need a granite sealer or not.
I don't have an opinion about the towel test you did, since it all depends on the time. Was the towel on for 30 seconds or 30 minutes? How wet was it?
Do the water test again to be sure, but again, Cafe Imperial may not require a granite sealer.
If it does, I'd use recommended marble & granite sealers