There are conflicts and concerns as to just how often granite should be sealed, and homeowners and others that utilize granite countertops in home and business spaces want to know what’s up with sealing. The usual answer seems to be every few years, but that isn’t the case with all types of granite.
Here are a few simple tests to help you decide if its time to seal or reseal your granite countertops.
There are means to test granite to determine whether it needs either sealing or re-sealing and one such means is testing it with water. Simply drop a few beads of tap water onto a section or piece of granite and see what develops over a five minute period. If the droplets remain in a beaded state, the granite is protected. If after five minutes, the droplets have disappeared and have been absorbed, it may be time to seal/reseal. Experts say that using this little test is just as accurate with other types of stone as well.
Lemon and Oil Test
Lemon juice and oil testing are also suggested for determining absorbency with granite slabs. The lemon juice and oil will help a potential granite buyer to determine whether the stone selection they choose is absorbent or reacts to acids.
The lemon juice and oil will help you determine the suitability of any type of granite you are considering. Put a sample or samples of granite pieces and pour a few drops of lemon juice and cooking oil on the samples. If there is any darkening of the areas covered, exclude them from your choices. If the juice and oil take longer to absorb, then the granite sample pieces can be utilized and sealed. If you see that any of the samples absorb next to nothing within a 30 minute period, then you may have a granite selection that requires little to no sealing.
Absorbency Rate and Sealing
Almost every type of granite has a rate of absorbency. Some will require sealing while others will not. The composition of the stone and how it differs, and the sealing process, will determine its absorbency, but the water and lemon juice/oil tests are pretty good indicators of whether granite of any name or type will or will not require sealing/resealing. Just test some samples from a chip of a granite selection and you’ll know whether or not to plan on having it sealed.
A rule of thumb is to remember that granite is a natural stone and absorbency rates can vary from different slabs. Some varieties of granite are extremely porous and should probably not be used in a kitchen. They are difficult to seal and would likely have to be resealed every year. In contrast, there are very dense granite slabs that do not require any sealing as they naturally repel stains of any kind. In addition, a slab may have gone through a “resining” process to fill in defects and chips, which will seal the granite.
Granite Types and Resealing
Most types of granite fall somewhere in between somewhat porous to a more dense consistency and will require resealing every three to five years, but the sealing or re-sealing of granite is going to almost always depend on the porosity and quality of the stone, the sealer used, and the sealing application process.
In order to determine the frequency of application, perform the water test when you think it is time to apply a sealer. The test will tell you whether sealing is even needed and if it is, two to three coats of sealer may be necessary to seal granite countertops the first time around. Continue to perform the water test before each coat to figure out if the granite has been adequately sealed before applying another coat.
Most common sealers may require application in one, three and five years or even ten years before requiring further re-sealing, but eventually re-application will be needed unless more permanent bonding type countertop sealers are used.
If you are seriously thinking about installing granite countertops and need more information as to what you should select and how sealing and resealing affect your purchase, contact Marble Concepts. We will guide you through the process of finding the right granite to meet your needs and will further explain the details of sealing and re-sealing. Complete the contact form on the website and an adviser will get back to you with the answers you need to experience the richness and beauty of granite countertops.