How Often To Seal Granite

Secrets to Sealing & Resealing Granite Countertops

Secrets to Sealing & Resealing Granite Countertops

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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.

Related Content
How A Granite Sealer Works
Which Granite Sealer To Use
How To Seal Granite

Myths & Facts To Consider When Sealing Granite


Let's dispell some common myths about sealing...

Stone sealers should NOT be blindly or automatically applied at any time... nor on a set schedule... nor "just to be safe".

How often to seal granite countertops, marble, travertine tile or any stone installation depends on several factors.

Let me explain further...

Online you may read that you "must" reseal granite every year or every 3-5 years as if every granite countertop is exactly the same.

Some installers will even tell you this. Well, it's lazy, bad advice.

Remember... granite and marble are natural products and thus characteristics like absorbency can vary from slab to slab.

Is it necessary to seal granite countertops?

In most cases... Yes, but not always.

In general, white granite and light granite colors need sealing more often, while dark granite colors are less porous and need sealing less often... or not at all!

So... does MY granite even need sealing is the first question to consider.

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....

The only accurate way to determine whether or not any stone needs sealing or resealing is to perform the water test for sealing granite countertops (click the link for complete instructions).

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...

How do you know if granite is sealed?

Wondering... Is my granite countertop sealed properly?

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...

Permanent Granite Countertop Sealer

Apply a permanent bond granite sealer developed with the latest advanced technology... then you won't have to reseal granite again.

It's easy to apply yourself. No professional granite sealing needed.

The best "last generation" sealer is this pro-quality Impregnating Granite & Marble Sealer. On most granite, you'll get 5-7 years protection.

This is the best-performing, most durable sealer of the "last generation". The others are decent but generally, last only 1-5 years.

You'll find a lot more detailed information regarding all the above on our granite sealer page and complete step-by-step instructions on how to properly apply a granite sealer in the All About Sealing Granite & Marble e-book.

Comments for How Often To Seal Granite

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Resealing with Senguard Sealer
by: Ken

Our granite kitchen counters were sealed when installed and probably resealed with "last generation" products.

It's now showing many rings, splotches and fading. We've been using Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day as a cleaner.

Can we apply SenGuard over what's on there now and will it eradicate the spills we're now seeing?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Rings, splotches, and fading on granite countertops are not normal. These happen on marble very easily, though, so you may want to determine if you indeed have granite or if it is in fact marble.

Yes, the SenGuard Stone Sealer can be applied on a previously sealed granite or marble countertop.

No, it will not repair or remove any surface damage or stains. That must be done separately and prior to applying SenGuard.

It is important to know the type of stone in order to diagnose why you have rings and such and to determine the proper solution.

Water test instructions
by: Anonymous

All those words but you never said how to perform a "water test". What do you do exactly and how do you interpret the results?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

All the words are meant to help you get a thorough understanding of the issue, which too many people want to reduce to "yes" or "no"... "black" or "white" and it just doesn't work that way.

There's no explanation of the water test in this article because we've explained how to do it in a different article. We did, however, provide a link to the water test page in this article.

You must have missed it. No worries... here it is again:

To determine if / when any stone needs sealing or re-sealing just perform the water test for sealing granite countertops (CLICK HERE).

sealing honed black granite
by: Anonymous

How long does it take to dry? Is it okay on honed black granite?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, SenGuard can be applied to honed black granite or any natural stone.

Drying is a key point of importance when applying a sealer.

Do NOT let it dry on the surface or you may get streaks. Follow provided instructions and completely wipe off all excess buff the countertop dry before the sealer itself dries.




How Often I seal
by: Jon

I do mostly solid surface work but from what I've heard granite countertops should be sealed every 3 to 5 years.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Yes, Jon... that is what you quite often hear. It will be true of some granites and some sealers, but certainly not all granite or all stone.

That's the point of the article. Most of what you hear about sealing granite is a broad generality that cannot apply to every case.

With thousands of different varieties of natural stone, you can't just blindly apply a sealer or follow a set schedule. Or apply a sealer "just to be safe".

Doing so you'll end up sealing countertops that don't need it, which can lead to a nasty permanent haze on the granite or marble.... and/or wasted time, effort and money.


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