Is High Quality Sealer Worth It
For High Quality Granite
Here's our take on "standard" vs. "advanced" granite sealers... Pro vs. DIY application... and which is the best value.
QUESTION:Is a high-quality granite sealer worth the extra expense
for a high-quality granite or is there much difference?
Do Chocolate Bordeaux granite countertops need a sealer?
ANSWER: The short answer is... Yes...
it is "worth it" to use a high-quality sealer regarding performance and convenience. Is it the best value?
Yes, it can be, but that depends on how it is applied and which product you choose.
I'm sure you'd like a little more explanation, so... Here's the deal....
Why a High-Quality Granite Sealer is Worth It...
In reality, the difference is not between "high" and "low" quality sealers, but rather between "good" and "better / best"... "standard" and "advanced".... or what I call.... "last" generation
vs. "next" generation technology. A significant performance difference exists
between stone sealers using "last generation" technology (standard / good
) and "next generation" technology ( advanced / best
). A cost advantage is realized
when choosing particular "advanced" sealer products and the right application method.
Next Generation Stone Sealers
A handful of next generation stone sealer manufacturers (Sensa, SenGuard, Granite Guard, Granite Shield, Permashield) utilize proprietary chemistry, specialized molecules and nano-technology to manufacture products for sealing granite & marble with superior performance characteristics. "Next generation"
- Penetrate deeper into the stone
- Provide more thorough coverage
- Form permanent bonds
- Are more durable
- Don't degrade with use or cleaning
- Last far longer than standard sealers (15+ years)
For several years these sealers were available only when pre-applied to a granite countertop "at the factory" or by a licensed technician in your home. Both methods are expensive and most of these are still only available in this manner.
Fortunately, in the last few years SenGuard Sealer and Granite Shield became available to consumers in DIY kits. I'm a big proponent of sealing granite countertops DIY style
. It's just so easy and far less expensive than professional or factory application. The performance of the sealers used is the same, so the additional cost of professional or factory application is of questionable value. I highly recommend using
the SenGuard Permanent Granite Sealer DIY Kit
Not only is it quite a bit less expensive than Granite Shield, but far easier to apply. Granite shield is a multi-chemical, multi-step process.
SenGuard is a single liquid applied in the same simple manner as tradition sealers. And the kit comes with both DVD and written instructions plus all needed materials. SenGuard represents the best of both worlds
. You get all the performance characteristics (permanent bonds, one-time application, more thorough coverage) of the most advanced sealer technology in an easy-to-use DIY kit.
Plus, it is the least expensive when compared to all other "next generation" sealers on the market.
SenGuard is more expensive initially
than a "standard" sealer, but you get superior performance and a better deal over time, since you don't have to repeatedly buy and apply the sealer as you would with a last generation sealer.
Last Generation Marble & Granite SealersYou still have many good choices
among the "last generation" products for sealing granite countertops and other natural stone.
"Standard" impregnating sealers now on the market (such as those made by Stone Tech, Miracle, Aqua Mix) are very good. These aren't bad products by any means.... Just not the "best"
These last generation granite sealers will provide reliable, effective and reasonably durable protection at a low initial
cost, but in the end... inferior performance, more maintenance and potentially higher cost
. The key points to understand... "last generation" sealers:
- Do not form permanent bonds with the stone
- Provide thinner coverage
- Will degrade with use and cleaning chemicals
- Will need periodic repeat application (and costs)
- Provide only 3-5 years protection on granite of "average" porosity
A few will provide longer-lasting protection on more dense granites when using high-quality stone cleaning products (thus, the sealer won't degrade as fast).
One of the last generation Impregnating Sealers we like best
is excellent generally providing 5 to 10 years protection depending on the porosity of the stone and proper application.
The chemistry used in these stone sealers is far better than it was say 10 years ago, but it's no longer "THE" best.
Which is the Best ValueThe potential cost benefit and value
of advanced sealers is realized over time. But again, depends on the total cost of application, which varies considerably between products and pro vs. DIY application. Initially
next generation sealers are more expensive. But the cost of repeat applications of standard sealers adds up over the years, plus you must factor in the additional time / effort of each re-application and inferior performance.
Professional or factory applied sealers are not a good value in our opinion. These are too expensive ($350 - $600) for what you get. Click here for our full explanation on Pro vs. DIY sealer application
. The best value are the DIY advanced granite sealer kits
The cost of these is low enough ($150 - $250) to realize both
a "performance" and
a "cost" advantage over use of standard sealers along with the "convenience" advantage of one-time application.
Now you don't "have to" use the most expensive or most advanced sealers. Standard stone sealers will do an adequate job. But when using the advanced DIY kits applying the "highest-quality" granite sealer is definitely "worth it"
in our book. Before you decide... answer this question first...
Does Your Granite Even Need Sealing?It's a myth
that "all" granite countertops and natural stone "must" be sealed. Many varieties are very dense and naturally stain-resistant.
And sealing granite or any stone that doesn't need it is bad news often creating a hazy film that must be stripped off the surface.
Simply performing the water test for sealing granite countertops
will give you the most accurate answer for Chocolate Bordeaux or any other color, name or stone type.
As with any stone the need for a granite sealer is not necessarily a function of the name, color or price you paid for the granite.
Some varieties/color of granite always need a sealer and some never do, so often when given the name of a particular color of granite we can say "yes it will" or "no it won't" need sealing.
But since the properties of natural stone can vary so much, the lazy "guessing" method sometimes doesn't work out. And you don't want to apply a sealer to a stone that doesn't need it.
The correct method is to "test" the granite. If testing shows you should seal it, then all the above information will help you make the best decision on which granite sealer to use.
Is Lifetime Granite Sealer
Applied By Contractor Worth It?
Sealing Uba Tuba Granite
We are having granite installed tomorrow. Sedna in our kitchen and Uba Tuba granite in our bathrooms.
Our contractor offers a "lifetime" granite sealer application for $400.00. Would this be to our benefit to have this done?
ANSWER: Well, first you should perform
the water test
to determine if your granite even needs sealing.
Uba Tuba granite is often very dense and doesn't need sealing, but since natural products can vary it's always best to test first.
When needed, sealing granite countertops is not difficult
. Of course, installing them is for professionals only, but sealing is a completely different deal... easy.
This is the first point to consider. Next...
The chemical technology now exists for a granite sealer to form permanent bonds and probably never need re-application... which is great. It's more expensive up front than other more common sealers, but long-term it's a better value. Until recently
though a "lifetime" granite sealer was only available via contractor application. And $400 is pretty standard. But now you can get the most advanced marble and granite sealer technology
with the SenGuard DIY Granite Sealer Kit
and apply it yourself for less than half the cost of contractor application. So, the question you have to ask
is whether it's worth it to you to pay a lot more to have your installer seal it rather than doing it yourself with a sealer that is as good (or better) than anything the installer will apply at a much greater cost.
And you don't have to seal the granite immediately. Your risk of staining in the next couple of weeks is very small.
So yes, I do think the permanent bond granite sealer is the way to go
.... it's our best recommendation.
Personally I don't think the contractor application is worth the extra cost
since it's so easy to do yourself.
It's like paying $75 to drive through the gas station car wash. Yes, it's nice not to have to do it yourself, but is that a fair value?
However, some people don't mind paying for such services no matter the price and of course it also depends on how large the installations are.
If the total surface area for the kitchen and baths is over 200 square feet, then having your installer apply the granite sealer may be worth it. Otherwise I'd do it yourself.
'Granite Guard' Lifetime Sealer
DIY vs. Contractor Sealing Santa Cecilia Granite
Our fabricator bid $300 to apply Granite Guard Lifetime Sealer
to our Santa Cecilia granite kitchen countertop (brown, gold with some black). Is it worth the cost? Is there a less expensive, but high quality sealer
that we could have him apply instead? Thank-you,Mary
"Granite Guard" is a professional only application and those do tend to run much more expensive, but you can get equal performance in a DIY kit.
Applying granite sealers is a fairly easy "do-it-yourself" job, so you could save half what he is charging
and apply the sealer yourself using the SenGuard Homeowner Sealer Kit
SenGuard is the leader in this new permanent bond granite sealer technology, so you will still get top shelf performance. We highly recommend it.
Of course, if you wanted your installer to apply this, then it likely won't be any cheaper.
If you do want the installer to apply a sealer, but just want a cheaper sealer, then I'd recommend the Impregnating Stone Sealer on this page
, which does not form permanent bonds, but is an excellent sealer and will still likely give you 5-10 years stain resistance and maybe longer.
But again, the real savings comes from doing it yourself
, since it is not difficult.