Secrets to Sealing & Resealing Granite Countertops
I am looking at Santa Cecilia granite countertops or a New Venetian Gold granite slab for kitchen countertops.
Are these granites that need to be sealed?
How often should you seal granite countertops?
Do you need to reseal granite?
You should seal granite when needed and not based on some arbitrary schedule. Most (but not all) granite countertops will need sealing upon installation and then resealed every 1 - 5 years depending on the color and porosity of the granite, the quality of the sealer, and proper sealant application. Here's how to know for your granite.
When to apply a granite sealer and how often to reseal granite & marble countertops are common questions. Naturally, homeowners want to protect their beautiful, and expensive countertops from unsightly stains.
The key to sealing & resealing granite is to understand that one answer does not work for all granite. It's a product of nature and sealing requirements can vary A LOT.
Unfortunately, most answers on the topic range from "sort of true" to "absolutely wrong" causing unnecessary confusion and even a little hysteria.
Of course, everyone wants a neat little answer that can be applied in all cases without worry.... or specifically "if MY new Brazilian Purple Galaxy Fantastico Real granite needs sealing".
How do you know when granite needs to be sealed?
The answer does exist! You can determine when and how often to seal your granite countertop. But it isn't based on some blanket rule. You need to test it as explained below.
Why this info isn't routinely provided by every stone professional is the truly confusing part.
I'll let you in on the secret and complete details below, but for now... know that the one and only correct answer is simple, 100% accurate, can be applied "in general" and specifically to your super-special granite countertop.
First, a little stone education will help you understand the answer completely so you know exactly what to do and when.
Many granite colors are stain-proof. Really? Yes, but you rarely hear about it. These varieties are super dense and do not need sealing ever (in fact cannot be sealed)... not even once since they simply don't absorb liquids.
Black granite and many darker granite colors fall into this category and never need sealing. But again, each granite is different.
Does granite need to be sealed every 6 months?
No. For 99% of granite countertops, this is totally false. It's a rare granite that needs sealing every 6 months or even every year.
However, a handful of granite colors should not be installed (in a kitchen anyway) because they are so porous, difficult to seal at all, and may need resealing every 6 months to a year.
Kashmir White granite is a good example. Often it is like a sponge as it absorbs and stains so easily.
Can you seal granite too often?
Yes and no. You can apply a granite sealer as often as needed, but if not needed (granite is too dense or recently sealed), then you got problems.
Applying a sealer "just to be safe" is asking for trouble. When a sealer can't absorb properly, it may leave a haze on the granite surface that is difficult to remove in most cases.
Plus, your slab may have been "resined" to fill in any chips or defects (a perfectly normal process). Resining will often seal a stone.
Most granites fall in between the extremes. A very general guide is that "granite" will need sealing upon install and resealing every 3-5 years. This generality is blandly passed about as if it is an absolute fact.
The truth is... sealing or resealing granite may or may not be needed depending on...
Porosity of the granite or marble
Type and quality of sealer used
Quality of sealer application
So... how do you know when granite needs to be sealed? You perform this granite water test explained next.
Test for Sealing Granite Countertops
Drum roll please... here's the answer you've been waiting for....
FYI... This sealing test works for all types of stone... granite, marble, travertine, slate... And for every color, pattern or name. That's the beauty of it. You don't have to ask your installer, ask online, or know anything about the stone... just test it.
TIP: Use lemon juice to test when shopping for new stone slabs. Using lemon juice in place of water does double duty. It tells you how absorbent the stone is, and also if it is sensitive to acids (which you want to avoid for a kitchen countertop).
Yes... some stone and granite types/colors/names have well-known absorbency rates such that it can reasonably be stated that granite XYZ always needs sealing or granite ABC never needs sealing.
And it's very helpful to understand the nature of stone, how it varies, and the factors involved in sealing, however...
Testing is THE ONLY way to know when granite needs to be sealed, when you should reseal granite, or to learn if it's sealed completely.
Thus, at the most basic level, you really don't need to know anything except how to perform and interpret the lemon juice/water test. The type of stone, color, name, when installed is all superfluous information. The granite water test will tell.
Water testing for absorbency/porosity takes all the guesswork out of deciding... "is sealing granite countertops necessary?"
So test some samples chipped off your granite countertop slab choices and see what the test results are.
Santa Cecilia and New Venetian Gold granite usually need sealing.
When Should You Reseal Granite & Marble
As noted above, frequency of resealing depends on several factors. So, simply perform the water test anytime you are trying to answer the "should I apply a sealer or not" question.
Testing will show you:
1. If your granite needs sealing
2. How many coats of granite sealer to apply
You may have to apply 2 or 3 coats to effectively seal the marble or granite countertop or floor the first time. Perform the water test in-between coats to determine when the surface has been effectively sealed and/or if another coat is needed.
3. When to reseal granite
In the same manner that testing tells you if a particular granite countertop needs initial sealing, it will also tell you when it is time to re-apply a granite sealer. So just test periodically.
What Is The Best Sealer For Granite?
Most advertised sealers (StoneTech, Miracle 511, Granite Gold, SCI) are about the same in quality and performance using "last generation" technology.
When applying these it may be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years before you need to reseal granite, but eventually, all will need re-application... with one exception...
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