Sealing Caraba Marble

QUESTION:

What would you recommend for sealing caraba marble (white with light grey markings)?


ANSWER:

Just to clarify... the type of stone you have has little bearing on the sealer we recommend or on how most sealers work.

There are some special circumstances (changing the color) and reasons one type of marble or granite sealer may be a better choice, but in general an impregnating sealer will "work" on any type of porous surface.

The characteristics of the stone (primarily the porosity and rate of absorption) can affect the application and performance of any one sealer, but there aren't specific sealers for white vs. black marble or for marble vs. granite.

First you should perform the water test for sealing marble & granite countertops to see if your marble even needs sealing.

Despite what you might read or hear, marble is NOT very porous and does not stain easy. It can etch easily and many confuse etching with staining, but these are two completely different issues.

The marble and granite sealer companies would have you believe that "all" stone "must" be sealed... not true.

In fact, many stones simply cannot be sealed since the sealer will not absorb. And if you try applying a sealer to such a stone you can end up with a big problem of the sealer drying on the surface leaving a streaky haze that can be difficult to remove.

So, test first.

If testing shows you should seal, then I'd suggest using one of these recommended impregnating sealers (click here).

SenGuard Marble & Granite Sealer is the absolute best available creating permanent bonds with the stone, so once properly sealed you won't have to apply again.

There are a couple companies with similar technology, but you have to hire one of their technicians to apply it, so it is much more expensive.

Sealing countertops is easy, which is why we really like the SenGuard product. You get the best results possible at a much lower price than professional or pre-applied sealing.

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Best Sealer For Marble Kitchen Countertop

by John V.
(New Jersey)

QUESTION:

We are installing a Marble counter top in our kitchen and looking for the best way to seal and maintain the top.

What products would you recommend to seal and how often do you suggest?

ANSWER:

Well, the short answer to your question is that we recommend SenGuard Marble & Granite Sealer... it's the most advanced, durable and best currently available.

But first, I would recommend that you do NOT install marble in your kitchen. Cleaning marble and marble maintenance is much more problematic in a kitchen and marble is much more work to keep looking good than granite.

Why?.... Marble etches upon contact with acidic foods and drinks. Etching creates dull and discolored spots on the marble.

Etch marks can be repaired on polished marble using ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product, but it is a constant battle.

Marble is fine to install anywhere else in the home, but it's a bad choice in the kitchen and any responsible installer should warn you about this. You simply cannot prevent or avoid etching in the kitchen. Sealing has nothing to do with it.

You'll find lots more on this topic if you search on our Questions page.

So, I suggest you do a bit more research before you install a marble countertop in the kitchen.

Granite is a far better choice. Our site has a few pages (in addition to the Q&A) that talk about the pros and cons of marble, granite, etc.

When it does come time to seal your countertop, then we recommend Senguard (as noted above). It's the only "permanent" sealer, but the others we recommend (link above) are the "best of the rest", although they will need re-application at some point a few years from now.

Frequency of sealing, depends on the porosity of the stone and the sealer you use. SenGuard forms permanent bonds.

All you ever need to do to determine if and/or when any stone surface needs sealing is to perform the "water test" (link above) on several spots on the stone surface.

Most people regret installing marble in the kitchen (other areas of the home is fine) because they expect it to always look brand new and never show any wear. Just not possible with marble in the kitchen. You will always have and be repairing etch marks.

But if you do decide to install marble in the kitchen or anywhere else in the home, then I'd recommend you get the Cleaning Marble Secrets ebook guide so you can learn the correct ways for protecting and cleaning marble and proper marble maintenance along with a bunch of DIY solutions to any problem you may encounter.

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Sealing & Cleaning Marble

by Christina
(Austin, TX USA)

QUESTION:

I just navigated to your website & have found it to be extremely helpful already!

I have one quick question though... I just bought a marble top dining table and would like to seal it & purchase a daily cleaner.

Once I get the sealer, should I attempt to clean it first? Or should I immediately seal it, then clean it once that has settled?

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I've never personally owned & cared for any piece of stone before so I definitely need all the help I can get! Thank you so much in advance! Christina

ANSWER:

You definitely want to clean thoroughly prior to sealing marble. Not because you might trap or "seal in" dirt or dust, but to make it easier to apply and ensure complete coverage.

If there is gunk stuck on the surface, then the sealer can't absorb properly in that area. And a marble countertop, floor tile or table with a lot of dirt on it will just mix with the sealer making a mess.

So, clean the surface well. Usually after installation most fabricators will clean all remaining goo and glue off the surface with mineral spirits or acetone.

You can do the same with your table. Solvents are pH neutral and won't damage the marble at all. But it may not be necessary and using a good natural stone cleaning spray will be sufficient.

Once clean apply the sealer. Be sure to prepare well and follow the sealer directions carefully... don't let the sealer dry on the table. Remove the excess while still wet.

One coat should do you. Also, remember to use coasters, place mats and trivets to keep from etching the surface.

I also recommend Topical Conditioner/Shine Enhancer once a month or so for a little added protection against etching and to keep the marble super shiny!

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Best Marble Sealer For Kitchen Floor

by nick dejohn
(alpena michigan)

QUESTION:

I am nearly done installing my temple grey marble kitchen floor and would like to seal after grouting.

I know nothing about sealers and don't want to use a "snake oil" product.

I only wish to use the best sealer possible and do it properly. Would like to know what you recommend and why. thank you! nick

ANSWER:

First Nick, you'll want to perform the "water test" (see link top of page) your marble floor in various places to see if it even needs sealing.

I know you've read marble "stains" easy and must be sealed.... WRONG.

Marble etches easy, which people confuse with staining thinking any spot or blemish is a "stain", but etching is a completely different issue.

Marble is dense, not very porous. Polished marble is nearly stain-proof and rarely will even take a sealer. Honed marble is a bit more porous and usually can be and should be sealed especially in a kitchen.

Hopefully you installed a honed marble tile floor for 3 reasons:

1. Much better traction and safer for a potentially wet area.

2. Polished marble will readily show dull etch marks that occur upon contact with acidic foods/drinks and from using the too harsh cleaning products (which is most common and brand-name cleaners).

Honed marble still etches, but not nearly as noticeable as on a polished marble floor.

3. A honed floor is far easier to keep looking nice and requires far less maintenance than a polished floor that will eventually loose it's polish as it's worn away by foot traffic.

So, if the water test shows you should apply a marble sealer and.....

If you want the very best sealer then SenGuard Sealer is it... nothing currently available retail even comes close.

More expensive, but it utilizes the most advanced chemical technology that penetrates better and more deeply while forming permanent bonds with the stone.... Something no other sealer does.

For the best sealer, SenGuard is easily our top recommendation.

SCP Impregnating Sealer is also very good. The best of the previous generation of fluorocarbon sealers (similar technology to Stone Tech, MB, etc.) so you'll get more coverage for your money, but it will wear away with use and cleaning (no permanent bonds) requiring re-sealing.

You may also consider getting the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide e-book (see link higher on page), which covers all topics regarding marble maintenance (protection, cleaning, prevention, products,) including DIY solutions for any problem you may encounter.

Kitchens take a lot of abuse. I guarantee you'll need good answers at some point and a good portion of what you'll find randomly searching online is simply wrong.

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Sealing Polished Marble Floor & Shower

by judi
(north carolina)

QUESTION:

We just installed polished white Carrara marble tiles on shower walls and shower floor.

We performed the water test and it absorbed it in less than 5 minutes. However, we read that stone should never be sealed in a wet environment.

Is that still the case if it did not pass the water test?

If it should be sealed what sealer do you recommend?

Will sealing change the color or streak it?

We do plan to seal the polished white carrara marble tile floor that absorbed water in less than 5 minutes.

Any other tips regarding sealing this marble would be appreciated?

ANSWER:

You are correct... it's best not to seal stone in a wet environment. You are not trying to keep the stone from absorbing water.

For most stone this is not an issue. There is some argument that repeated wet / dry cycles where water moves into the stone and then evaporates out can have a wearing effect on the stone potentially causing pits.

However, pitting is a rather minor issue and occurs far more often with granite than marble or travertine tile.

Sealing stone is primarily done to prevent something that would stain from absorbing. Pure water won't stain.

If the shower is installed properly so no water will get underneath the tiles, then any water absorbed while showering will quickly evaporate and never cause a problem.

So, no need to apply an impregnating sealer to prevent water absorption.

The second consideration when sealing a shower or any installation is the risk of staining.

Kitchen countertops are at risk of staining every day, so sealing granite countertops in the kitchen or marble floor tile in the kitchen makes perfect sense.

However, your risk of staining in a marble shower is minimal. To start marble is not very absorbnet and water is washing everything away, so it would have to be a leaky bottle of something left on the surface to cause a marble stain unless you also drink your morning coffee in there!

And stains are rarely permanent, so even on the off chance that you did get a stain you can quickly, cheaply and easily remove it.

In high-risk areas (kitchen countertop) sealing is a much more effective way to deal with possible stains than removing them as they occur.

But in a shower, you just don't gain much benefit (if any) by sealing.

Water absorbing in 5 minutes is unusually quick for polished marble, but stone varies and that's why you test.

On the floor I'd suggest using one found at the recommended impregnating sealers link above and again.... SenGuard Marble & Granite Sealer being the very best available.

With SenGuard you won't ever have to apply a sealer again.

And no... applying an impregnating sealer (like those recommended on this page) will not change the color and will not streak if applied properly.

Streaks occur only when the sealer is allowed to dry on the surface or when a sealer is applied to a stone that is too dense to absorb it and the sealer residue is left on the surface.

But if the marble is absorbing water in 5 minutes, then the sealer will absorb effectively as well.

As long as you completely wipe off all excess sealer (after letting it thoroughly absorb) before the sealer dries, you won't have any problems.

Also, be sure to use only products safe for cleaning marble.

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Over-Sealed Marble Counter Tops

QUESTION:

we recently installed marble counter tops.

Unfortunately, I did not read this blog where it states that if you seal stone that does not need it/can not absorb it the sealant will dry on the top an create a streaky/hazy affect.

Alas, that is what I did and that is what happened.

Is there any "antidote?"

ANSWER:

Yes. You'll have to strip the sealer off the surface of the marble countertop using a solvent.

Sometimes acetone will do it, but most often you'll need to use methylene chloride, which is more potent.

It's a messy, noxious job so prepare well to protect yourself and other furnishings.

If you like, you can find instructions for stripping sealers in the All About Sealing e-book.

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