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Sealing Granite Countertops

Rajib Singha Mar 3, 2019
Granite countertops are a preferred choice when people set up their new homes or are renovating their kitchens, simply because of the stone's natural beauty. Read on to know more.
Granite, in spite of being hard, exhibits low porosity. And one way to keep liquids from penetrating the pores is by sealing the granite countertops at least once a year. Sealing increases its longevity and prevents etching, cloudiness, and stains.
Before starting the sealing procedure, it's always a good practice to test whether the stone really requires it or not. This can be done by dropping some water on it, if it gets soaked, it's time for a reseal. You can also consult the manufacturer or consider the installer's advice.
The sealing procedure can be carried out with ease and in a straightforward manner. You would require a non-toxic sealer, a granite countertop cleaner, and some clean soft rags. The sealer comes in two types, a penetrating sealer and a topical sealer.

Penetrating Sealers

First, clean the countertop. Let the cleaner cover the surface for about 30 seconds, then rub it dry with a soft rag. Now apply the first coat of the sealer to the countertop, and wait for about three to four minutes till it is absorbed by the stone. After it gets dry, apply another coat and rub with the rag.
After an interval of two to three hours, apply a second coat in the same aforementioned method. Oil repellent sealers are usually preferred as they prevent oil from seeping into the granite.

Topical Sealers

A topical sealer, instead of penetrating the granite, forms a film or coat over the countertop's surface. There are two types - strippable and permanent.
Strippable Sealer or Coating
Strippable coatings are more prone to wear and tear and can be removed with ease. It is recommended to seek the manufacturer's advice before using the product, as most of them are not suitable for granites.
Permanent Sealer or Coating
These solvent- or water-based sealers are also not often recommended as once applied it becomes difficult to remove them. A permanent sealer is not a good choice for kitchen countertops which need resealing every year.
As topical sealers form a protective barrier or a film on the stone surface, they are not usually preferred by the manufacturers. The film does not allow the stone to breathe, thereby trapping the moisture within it and restricting the movement of water vapor to the surface. This causes development of a crack due to the wetness of its interiors.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of granite countertops will reduce the frequency of sealing. If it is used as a cutting surface, the polished surface of the stone is too delicate to withstand the sharp blade of a knife.
Liquids like fruit juice, oil, and/or soft drinks, if not wiped properly, can lead to etching and staining. Mild soap and water is always recommended for cleaning, and a soft cloth to dry the surface. Avoid dragging pots, pans, and other heavy appliances across the granite.