Why Do Granite Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
If you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, you might be considering using granite countertops. Granite has become a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. However, one thing that many people don’t know is that granite countertops need to be sealed. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important to seal your granite countertops and everything you need to know to protect your investment.
What Are Granite Countertops?
Definition of Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are a type of natural stone surface commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms. Granite is an igneous rock composed of quartz, feldspar, and other minerals, giving it its unique appearance and durability. Granite is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making it a popular choice for homeowners.
Cost of Granite Countertops
Granite countertops can be expensive depending on the granite type and the countertop size. Prices can range from $40 to $200 per square foot, with the average cost being around $75 to $125 per square foot. However, granite countertops are an investment that increases the value of your home and can last for decades with proper maintenance.
Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops
As with any material, there are pros and cons to using granite countertops. Some of the benefits of granite include its durability, heat-resistance, and aesthetic appeal. Granite is also easy to clean and maintain. Granite has some downsides such as being porous, which can cause stains and etches, and also being heavy, which can make installation challenging.
What Does It Mean to Seal Granite Countertops?
Definition of Sealing Granite Countertops
Sealing granite countertops involves applying a liquid sealer to the countertop’s surface to protect it from stains, spills, etches. Granite is a porous material, which means that liquids and other substances can absorb into the surface and cause damage. Sealing granite countertops helps prevent this from happening and keeps your countertops looking new.
Benefits of Sealing Granite Countertops
Sealing your granite countertops provides a number of benefits. Sealing helps to protect the surface from water damage and other liquids that can cause stains. Sealing also helps to prevent etching caused by acidic substances such as lemon juice. Additionally, sealing your granite countertops helps maintain the natural beauty of the stone and keep it looking new.
When to Seal Granite Countertops
How often you need to seal your granite countertops depends on your granite type and how often you use your countertops. Most granite countertops need to be sealed every one to three years. However, some types of granite may need to be sealed more frequently.
Do All Granite Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
Determining if Your Granite Countertops Need to Be Sealed
Not all granite countertops need to be sealed, but most do. You can perform a water test to determine if your granite countertop needs to be sealed. Place a few drops of water on the countertop’s surface and let it sit for 15 minutes. Your granite is properly sealed if the water beads up and can be wiped away without leaving a mark. If the water absorbs the surface, your granite must be sealed.
Factors That Affect Sealing Frequency
There are several factors that can affect how often you need to seal your granite countertops. These include the type of granite you have, the finish of the granite, and how often you use your countertops. If you use your countertops frequently, you may need to seal them more often. Similarly, if you have a particularly porous type of granite, it may need to be sealed more frequently.
Water Test for Sealing Granite Countertops
The water test is a simple way to determine if your granite countertops need to be sealed. Place a few drops of water on the countertop’s surface and let it sit for 15 minutes. If the water absorbs the surface, your granite must be sealed. Your granite is properly sealed if the water beads up and can be wiped away without leaving a mark.
What Happens If You Don’t Seal Granite Countertops?
Damage Caused by Not Sealing Granite Countertops
If you don’t seal your granite countertops, they can become susceptible to damage from stains, spills, and etches. Liquids and other substances can absorb into the granite’s porous surface, causing permanent damage. Stains and etches are difficult to remove and can detract from the natural beauty of the stone.
How to Fix Unsealed Granite Countertops
If your granite countertops have become damaged due to being unsealed, there are several ways to fix them. You can try using a poultice to remove stains, or you may need to have the countertops professionally refinished. However, prevention is key, and sealing your granite countertops is the best way to avoid damage in the first place.
Preventing Future Damage to Granite Countertops
The best way to prevent future damage to your granite countertops is to seal them properly. Make sure that you seal your countertops as soon as they are installed, and reseal them every one to three years or as needed. Additionally, avoid placing hot items or cutting directly on the surface of your countertops, and clean up spills and stains as soon as possible.
How to Seal Granite Countertops
Materials Needed for Sealing Granite Countertops
You will need a granite sealer, a clean rag, and a sponge or brush to seal your granite countertops. You may also want to use a granite cleaner to prepare the surface before sealing.
Step-by-Step Guide to Sealing Granite Countertops
- Clean the surface of your granite countertop with a granite cleaner and let it dry completely.
- Apply the granite sealer to the surface of the countertop using a sponge or brush. Make sure to apply the sealer in a thin, even layer.
- Let the sealer sit on the surface of the countertop for the amount of time specified on the product label.
- Wipe away any excess sealer with a clean rag.
- Let the sealer dry completely before using your countertops.
How Often Should You Reseal Granite Countertops?
You should reseal your granite countertops every one to three years, or as needed. If you notice that liquids are no longer beading up on the surface of your countertops, it’s time to reseal them.
Sealing your granite countertops is an important way to protect your investment and keep your kitchen or bathroom looking beautiful for years to come. By following these tips and properly maintaining your countertops, you can keep your granite surfaces looking like new for decades.
Q: Why do granite countertops need to be sealed?
A: Granite is a natural stone known for its beauty and durability, but it is also porous and can stain easily. Sealing granite countertops can help protect them from stains and other forms of damage.
Q: What is a granite sealer?
A: A granite sealer is a substance used to seal the surface of granite countertops and other stone surfaces to help prevent stains and other damage from occurring.
Q: How often do granite countertops need to be sealed?
A: It depends on the type of granite you have and the amount of use it receives. Generally, granite countertops need to be resealed every 1-3 years to maintain their effectiveness.
Q: How can I tell if my granite countertops need to be resealed?
A: You can perform a water test by placing a few drops of water on the surface of the countertop. If the water beads up and does not soak into the granite, then your countertops are still sealed properly. If the water soaks into the granite, then it’s time to reseal.
Q: Do all granite countertops need sealing?
A: While not all granite countertops need sealing, many do. It is important to know if your countertops need sealing to keep them protected and looking their best.
Q: How do I seal my granite countertops?
A: To seal your granite countertops, you will need to apply a sealer to the surface of the countertop and let it dry completely. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use quality granite sealant.
Q: Do I need to reseal my granite countertops if I use harsh chemicals to clean them?
A: Harsh chemicals can strip the sealer from granite countertops, so it is important to use a cleaning substance that is safe for granite. If you do use harsh chemicals, you may need to reseal your countertops more often.
Q: Can I seal my granite countertops myself, or do I need to hire a professional?
A: You can seal your granite countertops yourself if you are comfortable working with sealants and follow the instructions carefully. However, if you are unsure or would rather have a professional handle the task, you can hire a qualified contractor to do it for you.
Q: Will I ever need to use a granite sealer again once my countertops are sealed?
A: Yes, granite countertops may need to be resealed to maintain their effectiveness. The frequency of resealing will depend on the type of granite and the amount of use it receives.
Q: If I purchase new granite countertops, do I need to seal them?
A: It is a good idea to have new granite countertops sealed before using them, as they may not have been sealed properly or at all when you purchased them. This will help protect your investment and keep them looking their best.