Granite is a stunning stone, something that homeowners across the world covet. You will find granite used for all sorts of applications, such as kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, and backsplashes. Available in a rainbow of colors, granite is suitable for any kind of interior design. Whether you want a sleek and functional kitchen or a luxurious bathroom, granite is durable and sustainable enough to be an excellent investment. But do you need to seal granite in order to maintain its luster? Or can you go without sealing granite countertops?
We have the answers to those questions and more, so keep reading.
Do Granite Countertops Need Sealing?
There are some contractors who will tell you that granite absolutely needs to be sealed, while others will tell you “not so fast.” Granite is naturally a very hard stone, so it can withstand a lot of what you throw at it (and on it). However, that does not mean it is impervious to damage over time. In fact, when some counters are left unsealed, any acidic substance, like tomato juice, will soak into the stone and cause it to deteriorate gradually.
Etching can also occur if you are not careful. Etching, or small scratches, happens when granite and other natural stone is exposed to chemical agents or even things like lemon juice or vinegar. The stone starts to lose some of its natural resilience, absorbing the liquid and staining.
That is why many contractors recommend sealing your granite countertops. That said, it may not always be the case. Whether your counters need sealing depends on various factors that you need to take into account.
Why Does Some Granite Require More Sealing Than Others?
When you go shopping around for granite to have installed in your home, you are seeing different grades and styles of granite. Sometimes, the granite you are looking over may not even be real but a blend of stone composites and artificial materials. Unless you know that you have genuine granite, never assume that it is one thing or another.
Plus, where the granite comes from and what materials went into creating it can give you some clues about sealing. Lighter-colored granite is more porous, meaning it will usually need to be sealed, whereas darker granite countertops will rarely if ever, require a granite sealer. Most dark granite is so dense, it would never absorb liquid. Additionally, while you never hear about it, darker variants of granite colors are less prone to staining as well.
But, you should not rely solely on the color or type of granite to dictate whether it needs to be sealed.
How To Determine If Your Granite Countertop Needs Sealing
Granite should be sealed as needed and not on some schedule. Most granite countertops will be sealed upon installation and then sealed again within the next 5 years. That depends greatly on the color and porosity of the stone, as well as the type of sealer, and if that sealer had been properly applied.
Fortunately, there is a very easy way to cut through all the jargon and confusion and get your answers. You can do a simple test—the water test. The end result determines if your granite countertop needs resealing.
Follow these steps:
- Pour ¼ cup of water onto the counter.
- Write down the time you start the test. Time the water to see how long it takes to absorb into the counter. You will know the water is soaking in when the granite darkens.
- When all the water has absorbed, stop the timer. Note how long it took.
If the water is absorbed almost immediately, then you will need a few layers of sealer annually. You will also need to wipe up any liquids or spills immediately to prevent staining.
If the water absorbs within 4-5 minutes, you will need to apply a sealer then redo it again in 3-5 years. Use the water test again in the future to see if the granite needs sealing.
10 minutes to absorb means you only need a single layer of sealer. It may take many years before you need to think about reapplication.
Over 30 minutes and nothing absorbing? Good news! You won’t need to seal your granite counter.
What About Resealing?
You might have heard a myth that granite countertops need to be resealed once every 6 months. That is a completely false statement for about 99% of granite counters. The 1% exception belongs to those super-light colors that are far too porous to be of any use. An example of this is Kashmir White. This type of granite is more like a sponge than stone and will absorb liquids rapidly.
Final Thoughts on Sealing Granite Countertops
Hopefully, you now have the answer to the question, “Do I need to seal my granite countertops?” It depends. Granite comes in many colors and types, meaning that the granite in your home could be more resilient than others. Sealing is excellent for maintenance purposes, but it is not always necessary. When in doubt, do the water test. If you find that your granite needs sealing or resealing, give Marble Concepts a call.
We have the proper sealers and tools to make sure your granite continues to look stunning for years to come. Call or send us a message by filling out the contact form today.