How-To Seal Your Granite Countertops

GRANITE COUNTERTOPS ADD CLASS TO ANY KITCHEN OR SURFACE AREA IN A HOME. UNFORTUNATELY, MANY GRANITE COUNTERTOPS REQUIRE MAINTENANCE IN ORDER TO RETAIN THEIR BEAUTY. DUE TO THEIR POROUS STRUCTURE, UNSEALED COUNTERTOPS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO STAINING FROM A VARIETY OF SUBSTANCES. STAINED GRANITE CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE. IF YOU TAKE PROPER CARE OF THE GRANITE IN YOUR KITCHEN, HOWEVER, IT WILL LAST YOU FOR DECADES.How to Know if Your Granite Countertops Need to Be SealedNot all granite countertops need to be sealed. Although all forms of granite are porous, some are denser than others. Truly dense granite will resist staining much more efficiently even without being sealed. Typically, the darker the stone, the more dense you can expect it to be.To find out if your granite countertops need to be sealed, you can perform the “water test”. Take a few drops of water and sprinkle them on your countertops. The water should immediately bead up. Wait fifteen minutes and check the water droplets. If the water is still present on the counter, your granite does not need to be sealed. If the water has soaked into the stone, leaving behind dark marks, you should consider applying a granite sealant.Choose a High Quality SealantNot all granite sealers are the same. While you may be able to purchase a cheap sealant to apply to your granite, that sealant is unlikely to provide your countertops with the same level of protection that a high quality granite sealer would. Also cheap sealant will have to be applied much more frequently.When shopping for a sealant, look for those that only have to be applied once every ten years or so. You will spend more up front, but you won’t have to worry about sealing your countertops again for a decade. This is preferable to going through the trouble to seal your granite annually. If you still aren’t sure which brand of sealant will offer the greatest amount of protection for your natural stone, call your local granite manufacturer and ask for a recommendation.The Sealing ProcessYou may hire a professional to do the sealing or seal the stone yourself. If you opt to seal the stone yourself, you will need to clean the countertops with a low abrasive cleaner and allow them to dry thoroughly before you begin the process. Granite can take up to 24 hours to dry completely. Once your granite is dry, it should have a dull sheen rather than the gleaming shine it displays when freshly cleaned.Dampen a dry cloth with sealant and apply it to the granite countertop, working the sealant into the stone gently with a circular motion. Begin at the corners and work your way out. This makes it less likely that you will miss a spot and leave a section of your countertop unprotected.Once the entire countertop is saturated with sealant, wait twenty minutes before applying a second coat. You want the initial coat to have time to be at least partially absorbed, but you do not want it to dry completely. Once your first two coats of sealant are dry, you may opt to apply a third coat as a top coat. This is optional and may not be necessary, depending on the type of granite you have. It is vital that you refrain from cleaning the countertop or placing any objects back onto the countertop until both coats of sealant have completely dried. This can take several hours.Cleaning After SealingAbrasive cleaners, while effective in killing germs, are also effective in eating away at your granite’s protective seal. This can result in you needing to seal your countertops more often than is recommended. Your best option for cleaning is to use a simple soap and water solution. If you are concerned about bacteria breeding on your countertops, some cleansers currently on the market advertise being gentle while also having the ability to kill bacteria. Your granite manufacturer can recommend a cleaner that is appropriate for use with your particular type of granite countertop and sealant.Regardless of the sealant that you choose, you must seal all natural stone countertops that do not pass the water test. Even if you are a meticulous person and have faith that you will not leave any items on your counters that could result in a stain, accidents happen every day. Also, you can expect to have guests in your home that are not aware of your unsealed counters and are not adequately careful around them. Sealing may be time-consuming, but it is worth it knowing that your expensive granite countertops are protected for years to come.About Us: The Viking Craftsman Inc, award-winning contractor, combines true craftsmanship with personalized service. Specialties include additions, kitchens, bathrooms, home theaters, and outdoor living spaces in Plano, McKinney, Richardson, Allen and Dallas, Texas.