How and when do I seal my Granite Countertops?

Many people have heard about the need to seal granite and get all freaked out about it and there is really almost nothing to it.Facts

  • It is not hard to do.
  • If you do it wrong, you will not ruin your counter-tops.
  • You do not have to do it constantly.
  • You can tell if it needs to be done easily and quickly with no expertise what so ever.
  • By time you have read this article I can make you an adequate sealer of all natural stone. Are you ready for a quick overview?

You spread it on top of the stone, let it soak in and wait for a specified period of time and wipe away the excess, then buff the counter-top clean.

Now for a more detailed version.
Selecting a sealer is not too hard. The Home Depot and Lowes home center near you sell it in the tile section of the stone, as do most granite shops and tile stores. The available products fall into two categories, water based and solvent based.

For the average homeowner looking to re-seal an existing and previously sealed counter the water based sealer is going to be easy and safe to apply. If you are looking to seal a stone for the first time the solvent based products that I have tested perform better than the water based sealers. That is just my opinion.

Either way protective gloves are recommended and in the case of solvent based sealers, adequate ventilation and awareness of open flames (Stoves especially) should be considered.

Shake well and spread a film on the surface following the manufacturers directions. For most of the available sealers using a gloved hand, or paint brush to spread the liquid is better than using a paper towel as the paper towel will soak up the active ingredient that actually does the sealing.

Dwell time is critical. You want to allow the sealer to penetrate into the pores of the stone and allow gravity to settle the active ingredient into the pores before you wipe away the liquid or “carrier”.

Dupont’s StoneTech makes a great product called Bullet Proof. It is water based and has very easy to follow directions as well as a great website to refer to.

How to tell if you need to seal your granite is fast, cheap and easy?
Put a few drop of water on top of your granite; if it gets dark and the stone absorbs water within 10 minutes you ought to reseal your granite. If after wiping the water away the stone color is unchanged, you do not need to do anything further.

How often should I seal my granite?
Using the above test you can tell if it needs to be resealed. What you clean your counter with will affect the longevity more than any other factor. A damp cloth will have the least affect on shortening the length of time between sealing as compared to soap, Windex type cleaners or disinfecting wipes.

How do I know my granite has been sealed?
The 10 minute water test will reveal if a granite has been sealed, some granites are more porous than others and may need additional coats of sealer. If yours continues to fail the 10 minute test you may need to try a different brand or type of sealer. Most granite shops have two types: one is particularly good at keeping out water while the other is particularly good at keeping out oil based contaminates.

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