Sealing vs Polishing Granite

by Susan


I am looking for the easiest maintenance method for polishing granite I have that edges the marble floor I service.

It also surrounds the entire entrance on my store face and could use a shine. I am new to these materials, please help me with a solution.


A sealer will not polish granite or make it shine.

Standard impregnating sealers absorb into the stone and do not affect the color or surface finish, so you can rule out applying a granite sealer.

Granite and marble polishing (or polishing any stone to a shine) is done on big machines using intense friction. The process gradually grinds and smooths the suface until it is shiny.

A very highly-skilled granite counter top maintenance and stone restoration craftsman can polish marble and granite "in place" using hand tools as well. However, this is not a DIY job even for a superb "handyman".

This shiny surface is called a "polished" finish as opposed to say a "honed" finish, which is smooth, but not shiny.

The word "polish" is confusing since it is used in many different ways in the stone industry. Consumers often (mistakenly) think the shine comes from some product, potion or lotion that is applied as part of normal granite counter top maintenance. Not true, as explained.

And many think all stone is supposed to be shiny, but there are many different types of "finishes" and only one (polished) is shiny.

Now, there are products like the Topical Polish/Shine Enhancer that can be applied to a "polished" surface to enhance the shine, but such topical conditioners do not actually create the shine.... just make it look it's best. And they are temporary needing periodic re-application.

In other words, if your granite or marble is dull, this product will not make it all shiny again.

Also, some stones will take a polish better than others meaning they can be polished to a more glossy shine. There may not be anything wrong with your granite... possibly it's as shiny as it will ever get.

To improve the shine on your granite tile you can either apply the temporary topical polish noted above or hire a granite maintenance and restoration professional to re-polish your stone.

I'm sure you understand that stone restoration is a completely different process than servicing or cleaning granite and marble.

Small dull spots from wear or chemical damage (etching) can be restored to a shine on polished travertine, limestone or marble (but not granite) using the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste. Polishing granite cannot be done by hand using DIY methods as noted above.

Permanent topical coatings which will affect the finish sometimes making it look more shiny, but also like plastic are made by a few companies. These are marketed as "sealers" I think to make consumers think they are somehow better versions of a standard "impregnating" sealer, but are really completely different products.

These are typically NOT a good solution in most cases and cannot be applied to floors. They don't allow the stone to breath effectively, which can be very detrimental to the stone. Also, the coatings require additional ongoing granite care and maintenance.

You should consider that the reason for the dull appearance may be that some type of topical coating or wax has been applied in the past.

These coatings will scratch and scuff and get dull much more easily than the actual stone surface will and need to be regularly stripped away... which is why they are not recommended by stone pros.

To strip a coating use this De-Greaser / Wax Remover / Stripper.

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Granite polish
by: Anonymous

I use Endust on my outside granite bar. It is a dark granite with brown flecks and shines up beautifully. I am sure this is unconventional, but it works and has no waxy build-up. I am currently having a white granite installed in my kitchen and plan to do the same unless someone tells me differently.

==== Admin Comment: Well, you may never have a problem using Endust for cleaning granite countertops, however, it may take a couple years to find out.

Windex is often suggested for use on granite because it leaves the surface so shiny. But Windex is acidic. It will damage marble right away and could damage granite with prolonged use.

It is best to use only products made specifically for use on stone to avoid possible damage.

Many/most common household cleaners are too harsh or acidic for use on stone. They will corrode and etch the stone.

Now most granite is not prone to etching from common acids so you won't ever "see" the damage occur from a single use, HOWEVER, repeated, prolonged use of acidic and/or harsh chemicals can etch and dull the granite.

So, it's a gamble if you choose to use products made for general household use on natural stone.

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