How often do you have to seal granite?
Natural stone (granite or marble) care instructions typically suggest that homeowners seal their granite countertops annually. However, with the advancements that have been made in sealing products, some sealers only need to be reapplied every 3 – 5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.
Does a natural stone care professional have to come in and seal your marble or granite countertop?
No, sealing natural stone is something a homeowner can easily do. The product is a liquid that is applied to a clean, dry countertop with a soft cloth. After the sealer is generously applied to the surface, the excess is removed with a dry cloth, and the countertops should be allowed to dry. Check the back of the sealer to determine when the countertops will be ready for normal use. Drying times can vary between 24-72 hours.
Will the sealer wipe off when cleaned, or scratch off with wear?
No. The sealer is not a coating on top of the stone, it is an impregnator, which is absorbed by the stone and fills the pores in order to repel food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring re-sealing of the stone. Re-sealing could be necessary every 1-5 years, depending on the material and sealer used. In order to increase the life of your sealer, use cleaners that are intended for natural stone.
Will granite stain?
No. However, granite porosities vary. Some granite if not properly sealed can absorb liquid into the pores. This may appear at first to stain; however in many instances a dark area on the countertop will dry and disappear over time. If discoloration occurs, there are products on the market to remove them. Consult your stone professional or retail store specializing in stone.
Will the polish on my countertops wear off over time?
That depends on whether you have granite or marble. For granite normal wear and usage- the answer is no. That doesn’t mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander it won’t dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with marble countertops.
If my granite is honed, will it be more likely to stain?
The honing process slightly changes the porosity of the stone. However, use of the proper sealer will prevent any additional staining that may occur due to the honed finish.
What should I use to clean my granite?
Typically just warm water and a mild soap solution. It is best to use a cleaning product made specifically for natural stone once a month. Consult your local stone professional for specific product recommendations.
Isn’t polished stone already sealed?
Though the polish on any given natural stone definitely closes the structure of the stone, making it less porous, it is still advisable to seal all natural stone upon installation.
How do you know when granite needs to be re-sealed?
Many people in the industry recommend an annual re-sealing of your stone. However, many types of granite are harder than others and may never need to be re-sealed. If you notice water absorption into the countertop or darker areas around the sink that is an indicator it is time to re-seal.
What is a color enhancer?
A color enhancer is used to enrich existing color in the stone. The color that a stone becomes when wet is a good indication of the color it will be once enhanced. Enhancers may need to be re-applied periodically and should be tested in a small area or on a sample piece of the stone prior to application.
Is a color enhancer also a sealer?
Most color enhancing sealers do retain the same properties of other sealers with the added benefit of enhancing the color.
Can marble countertops be refinished once they become scratched?
Yes. Marble can be refinished through a process of grinding and re-polishing. The process will vary depending on the damage or wear. This is not a do it yourself project and requires a professional refinisher.