All About Sealing Granite
When it comes to sealing granite, there is a plethora of information about the subject. In addition to types of sealers for granite, you will find all sorts of related information. Everything from determining if granite needs to be sealed to how it is accomplished. Countertops, floors, and even pool decking are types of granite surfaces that will warrant needed attention. And there are even different kinds of granite sealer for various uses like sealing porous granite. In this article, we will elaborate on some of the more popular inquiries regarding granite and sealers.
Do You Have to Seal Granite?
That question can only be answered by the owner of the granite. It is one thing to ask, "Does granite need to be sealed?" and an entirely different thing to ask, "Should granite be sealed?" The answers to those questions depend on what the owner of the granite wants to accomplish. It is similar to asking whether one needs to wash their car every week, or asking if a person needs to water their lawn every day. The answer depends on preference, but there are consequences.
Whether a granite surface needs sealed or not depends on how you want the surface to look in the long term. To elaborate on the examples mentioned above, watering a lawn daily or washing a car each week are not absolutely required for the owner to
have a lawn or car, but the results definitely depend on those practices. Similarly, a granite surface will withstand a lot even if it is not sealed. Yet, there are very real consequences that come from not sealing granite. Let's consider some of them.
Consequences of Not Sealing Granite
Why does granite need to be sealed in a variety of situations? The first thing to keep in mind is that each slab of granite is unique and will vary in density, color, texture, and porosity. So, there is no "one size fits all" answer for what may or may not happen to a given stone if it is not sealed. However, there are some basic facts that should be kept in mind. One such fact is that natural stone is porous. This means that if granite is left unsealed, it will absorb liquid at a rate consistent with its porosity; the more porous the stone, the faster it will absorb liquid. This can cause issues of different sorts, depending on the function of the granite and the environment in which the granite is used. For example, is the granite outside where freezing temperatures occur? Is it used indoors as a decorative surface? These kinds of questions may reveal potential consequences of not sealing a granite surface.
Another thing to consider when examining potential consequences of unsealed granite is the appearance of the stone. Often times, granite is used as a functional and
decorative material. That means its appearance is important in many cases. So, in the event that a colored liquid were to penetrate a granite surface that is being used for decorative functionality, it could detract from the appearance of the environment in which it is used.
Does Black Granite Need to Be Sealed?
It may be tempting to conclude that some granite plays by different rules. For instance, you might have black galaxy granite and be wondering, "Does Black Galaxy granite need to be sealed?" One could easily conclude that, since it is such a dark color, any colored liquid that got into the pores, would not really affect the appearance of the stone. However, not all substances are dark in color. And even water alone can contain very light colored minerals that can remain in the pores of a stone after the water leaves the material. So resist the temptation to conclude that a black granite need not be sealed simply because it is black. In fact, you might even consider using a
granite sealer that treats micro fissures while sealing the stone or a sealer designed for black stone. The important factors to consider are the same for black granite as they are any other color of granite.
Is There a Granite Sealing Service?
One solution that some granite owners contemplate is the use of a professional granite sealer service. If you are wondering about using a granite sealing service you could simply do a quick search on the Internet for "granite sealing service near me" to find out what companies offer it. You might find that a company offering a granite cleaning and sealing service is just what is needed for your surface. On the other hand, you may feel that the cost of this warrants your looking into other options. One option is the do-it-yourself approach. Some granite surfaces can be sealed by the owner. Knowing what sealer to use and how to use it is a big part of a successful granite sealing project.
Do-it-yourself Granite Sealers
If you decide to seal a granite surface yourself, you want to start with a professional grade granite sealer. There are
a number of professional grade granite sealers available. They are formulated for different types of granite and each one has specific strengths. So, research which professional granite sealer is the best fit for your project.
Once you have selected the appropriate sealer, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the sealer. This is important because each sealer may require specific steps in the application process.
Different Sealers for Different Purposes
As mentioned above, various granite sealers will prove to be effective depending on the environment in which the surface functions. Because of this, you may need to match the purpose of the sealer with the appropriate sealer. To highlight what we mean, we will look at some specific examples.
- Example #1: Porous Granite
- Example #2: Granite Floor Tiles
- Example #3: Granite Pool Decking
Porous Granite Sealer
One example of a need for a specific type of granite sealer is when the granite is particularly porous. As we mentioned earlier, some granite is more porous than others. In cases where a granite surface has a high porosity, using a
sealer designed for porous stone can yield better results than other products.
How to Seal Granite Floor Tiles
Like other granite sealing projects, sealing granite flooring requires some consideration of the environment in which the floor is. If the flooring is outdoors, there may be some additional things ot consider. The finish of the flooring is one thing that might be given some thought. There are
granite sealers that work particularly well on polished granite. The idea is that selecting the best sealer for the floor is the first step in sealing a granite floor.
After selecting the appropriate sealer for your grnaite floor, following the directions closely will yield the best results. The instructions for applying the sealer to the floor may vary somewhat, but as a general guide they will include the following steps:
- Thoroughly clean the floor with an approved cleaner.
- Let the floor dry or dry the floor completely.
- Apply the granite sealer evenly to the floor's surface using a cloth, brush, or a roller.
- Allow the sealer to sit on the surface of the stone for the amount of time indicated in the instructions.
- Repeat process if necessary.
- Wipe up any residual selaer left on the surface of the stone.
Sealing Granite Pavers Around the Pool
Selecting an appropriate granite sealer for use on granite pool decking pavers will, like the other situations mentioned, be influenced by the environment. Some may wonder if applying granite sealer to a pool deck is even necessary since granite is such a durable material. But as mentioned earlier, not everyone cares for and maintains natural stone simply to protect it from damage. Some owners care for stone to keep it looking its best.
Natural stone in an outdoor environment will last an extremely long time. However, the elements can take a toll on the appearance of a surface. Hence, you will hear statements like, "all you need to do is power wash it periodically." While this is true, sealing granite that is outdoors can extend the periods between cleanings. So, sealing granite pavers around the pool may be beneficial if you are not wanting to pressure wash your pool decking so often.
How Often Should You Seal Granite?
The time period for how often to seal granite is not a specific length of time. So asking questions like, "Do you have to seal granite every year?", or "Does granite need to be sealed every year?" may yield answers that result in confusion. Why is that the case? Because granite properties vary. In addition to having different porosity as mentioned earlier, each stone will have a different finish. This may play a role in the frequency of sealer application.
Since each granite surface will need sealed in varying intervals, the following question seems to be better at providing accurate information: "How do you know if granite is sealed?" This is a much better approach because it does not focus on the length of time between sealing sessions. Rather, it focuses on the condition of the stone and how to measure its state. So let's consider the answer to that question now.
Granite Seal Test
Determining whether it is time to seal a granite surface is very simple. In fact, anyone can do it and there are no special tools required to perform the test. So, how can you tell if granite is sealed appropriately? Pour some water on the surface (water that contains no minerals is the best) and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe up the water using a dry, soft cloth. If you notice discoloration, then the water made its way into the pores of the stone. This means that the stone is due for a granite sealer to be applied. The longer the water can sit on the surface, the less of a need for sealing the granite has.
As you can see from the previous paragraph, basing your sealer application on a time period is not as reliable as simply testing the stone regularly to see if it needs sealed.
Does 15 Year Granite Sealer Really Work?
There are a number of products that advertise themselves as 15 yer sealers. Or they claim to be the best granite sealer. Do they (the fifteen year granite sealers) really work? Sure, they work. But do they last 15 years? The reality is there are a variety of factors that determine how long a sealer will hold up on a given stone. The best way to determine the effectiveness of a granite sealer is to test it. One company tested Tenax Proseal along with other industry sealers. What were the results? You can see for yourself in the video below:
Granite Sealer Test of Proseal, Dry Treat, Stone Tec, 511 Porous Plus
In short, tests produce reliable information and allow you to get feedback from the stone.
Is Sealing Granite Contertops Necessary?
Even though it is true that granite countertops can be cared for and maintained just as other granite surfaces are, it is important to realize that there some nuances to understand when it comes to countertops. So, we are including this section in the article to address some of them. Let's consider some common questions as they relate to sealing granite kitchen countertops.
How Often Do You Seal Granite Countertops?
You may be thinking, "I just read that information..." and you are correct, however there are some other important points to add when we are talking about sealing a granite kitchen countertop. For example, kitchen countertops are cleaned often. And if the incorrect cleaner is used, it can break down the sealer. This would increase the frequency of sealer application. In the end though, the answer to the question, "How often should you seal granite countertops?" is the same as it is for all other granite; as soon as a water test (a.k.a. absorption test) shows that it is needed. It is just that the cleaner that is used will make a difference in how often that will be.
Another small difference when it comes to sealing granite kitchen countertops is the reason for the practice. Why do you seal granite countertops? Unlike granite that might be used as a floor or even a pool deck, kitchen countertops won't necessarily be exposed to weather. Rather, sealing granite countertops helps the granite resist staining and discoloration. How? A sealed countertop allows the owner time to clean up spills of water and oil based liquids before they work their way into pores of the stone. When a spill is cleaned up before it gets into the stone, a stain is prevented. It is important to note though that spills that are left long enough will eventually make it into the stone. So, an important aspect of stone maintenance is a fast response to cleaning up spills. And applying an effective granite sealer to the countertop when it needs it gives you additional time to clean up spills.
How to Seal Granite Countertops
If you have been reading this article from the beginning you likely already know the answer to that question. However, there is an added point to keep in mind when selecting a granite sealer for use on a kitchen countertop. Not all granite sealers are food safe and if you are preparing food on the surface, it might be something to consider. Finding a
food safe granite sealer usually isn't too big of a challenge. A quick search online will get you a lot of options for food safe granite sealer.
We hope you have enjoyed this article about granite sealers. As you can see, there are a number of things to consider when trying to determine if your granite surface (whether it is a floor, countertop, or something else altogether) needs to be sealed. And even after you find that sealing is needed, not all sealers will be as good of a choice in every case. One thing is for certain though; you will no doubt find a granite sealer that is formulated to use on your granite surface.