Some say "all" granite needs sealing every year and others say only sometimes. How do you know?
The entire "sealing" issue gets twisted because everyone wants a one-size-fits-all answer and those giving advice tend to generalize too much. Neither work.
The only truthful or accurate answer is... maybe, it depends on the specific granite color and the slab in question.
That may seem ever more fuzzy, but relax... you can find out for yourself with 100% certainty if your granite countertop needs sealing.
Let me explain the whole deal...
While it is true that most new granite countertops need sealing to help prevent stains this does not mean that all granite needs sealing or that you should blindly apply a sealer to all granite countertops.
Many granite countertops do NOT need sealing... at all... ever.
Many darker granite colors do not need application of a granite sealer since they are already too dense to absorb liquids and stain.
Additionally, some colors/varieties are known to either always need sealing or never need it but it still comes down to the specific slab or countertop you are looking to seal.
You can't simply go by the "name" or "color" of the granite (or any stone).
Granite is a natural product, therefore, the particular characteristics (like absorbency) of different colors
and even different granite slabs of the same color can vary... sometimes widely.
No need to guess, just test your granite to accurately determine if it needs sealing.
If testing shows your countertop could use a granite sealer then the best sealers will be one of those we recommend at the Stone Care Center with SenGuard being the very best currently available.
You should not apply a granite sealer "just to be safe" when testing shows your countertop or floor doesn't need it. You risk creating unwanted sealer haze problems and/or the sealer simply won't absorb, so it's an exercise in futility.
Another great thing about the water test is that you don't even have to know the name, or type of stone, or anything else about the stone.
The water test will tell you if it should be sealed or not. If not, great. If so, then applying a sealer is as simple as painting a wall. No big deal.
Thus, performing the water test (and/or the Lemon Juice test) prior to purchasing any stone is very useful.
You'll learn the characteristics of that stone are and what will be required for maintenance.
In other words, testing tells you if the granite you want to buy will stain easily or if a particular stone etches from acids.
Staining can be controlled by sealing but, in general, more porous stones and those that etch from acids are way more troublesome as kitchen countertops.
For your kitchen countertops, you want a stone with very low absorbency and does not etch.
I am having kitchen countertops installed using Kashmir Gold granite, from India.
The absoption is given as 0.38%, I don't know if this is average or better.
I was wondering if this is a good choice and if this type of granite should be sealed and how often?
Yes, Kashmir Gold must be sealed and often, so you're smart for looking at absorbency rates and asking before installation because I would advise that you do not install this stone in your kitchen.
Kashmir granite is typically highly absorbent and easily stained even after sealing.
In fact, this stone tends to be difficult to seal.... it's just too porous. You may end up having to apply several coats and then re-seal every year. I've known some Kashmir to need re-sealing every 3-6 months.
Of course, every slab is different (kashmir can range from .3 to .5!), so one slab of Kashmir may seal well enough to be satisfactorily stain-resistant, but you are risking endless frustration with this stone.
Even if you got a great deal on this stone, it's worth it to pay more for a better quality stone.
There are so many beautiful granites that have low absorbency rates (.05 - .3 where .2 is essentially non-absorbent), not prone to staining or staining can be easily controlled with a granite sealer... so why chance it with Kashmir.
Look for something else and perform the "water or lemon-juice test" (links above) on a sample chipped off the exact slab you are considering to determine if it will be suitable for the kitchen.
We are purchasing Tropical Brown granite countertops (not installed yet).
We've never had anything but laminate countertops until now. I have read about people having trouble with etching and hazy or discoloration issues with their countertops.
You mention that sometimes sealing granite is unnecessary. How do I know if mine needs sealing?
Have you heard of a product line called "Granite Gold"? I also have seen a product called "Perfect Counters". How do I know if a cleaner is good or will be harmful to my countertop over time?
Tropical Brown is a very dense granite with low absorbency. Good choice! Granite does not etch. Marble, travertine, limestone and slate can etch or become discolored upon contact with acids... not granite, so you're safe there.
Tropical brown granite is very stain-resistant (nearly stain-proof really) and almost certainly will not need sealing and would just create a problem with it drying on the surface creating a dull haze if you tried to apply it.
Accordingly, you should never apply a granite sealer "just to be safe." You should only apply it if testing (described above) reveals liquids absorb quickly.
This is the case with any stone. Even though we know of many stones that don't need sealing, it is a natural product and variations can and do exist.
So, test your granite and you'll get a definitive answer for yourself whether or not to seal it. But I'll tell you that this is one variety/color of granite that I'd be surprised if it needed or could be sealed.
Regarding granite countertop care products....
There are many out there and I have used plenty, but still there are some I haven't used or heard of. Many new "granite cleaners" have popped onto the market in the last few years as stone countertops and floors have become so common.
Some are good and some are mediocre to worthless.
The products I think are the very best and recommend with complete confidence are found at our Stone Care Center.
This simple test will give you all the information you need to know to decide if you should apply a granite sealer or not to any stone even if you don't have a clue what the name or type of stone it is.
Ubatuba granite most often does not need sealing because it is typically a very dense, low-absorbency stone that is naturally stain-resistant.
Of course, being a natural product performance characteristics such as absorbency can vary (like the color and pattern), which is why you test it.
If testing reveals that your ubatuba is absorbent enough to warrant application of a granite sealer, then use one of the sealers we suggest (links above) with Senguard being the most advanced, durable and best granite sealer currently on the market.
However, if testing shows that it takes a long time for liquids to absorb into your ubatuba granite countertop then sealing won't be of any benefit.
In fact, if this is the case, then this stone likely cannot be sealed even if you try since the granite sealer must absorb to work.
And you should never apply a sealer "just to be safe". Doesn't work that way. All that will happen is the sealer won't absorb and will leave a streaky, hazy film that will require chemical stripping.
So, perform the water test and you'll have your answer!
I just bought a house with granite countertops. I know the kitchen was re done within the last 6 years.
I don't know much about granite, are they installed already sealed? Do they need to be resealed and how often should this be done?
Does the color of it change the frequency of sealing? It is on the darker side, it has brown, gold, black and tan. By the condition of the house the previous owners were not very good at maintaining.
So my concern is that if the granite countertop needed to be sealed more often than every few years that the previous owners did not do the required maintenance on it. Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thank you!
Most granite countertops will need a granite sealer at least on install. "Most" not "all". Many granite countertop colors and patterns are dense enough that they never need sealing and don't stain.... they just don't absorb any liquid.
Mostly these non-sealing types are the darker colors.
Whether or not the granite countertop needs resealing is a function of: