Sealing granite is an easy and safe way to protect your granite against stains. There’s a great deal of misinformation about sealing natural stone, however. While not all granite actually needs to be sealed, applying a sealant won’t hurt the stone or do any harm. Here’s what you should know about sealing granite and when it’s recommended.
Does Your Granite Need to Be Sealed?
Granite is a naturally dense stone, but every slab is unique. Granite comes with many different rates of absorbency, or how easily the stone absorbs liquid. If you have a very dense slab of granite, it won’t ever need to be sealed because it won’t easily absorb spills. In general, dark-colored granite, especially black, resists water better than light-colored stone.
How the granite is used is also important to consider. Will your granite be exposed to water or liquids that can cause stains and damage? Granite used as a kitchen countertop will face the greatest risk of stains while granite installed as a feature wall is very unlikely to get wet.
A simple water test is the best way to test your granite’s absorbency rate. To perform the test, pour about 1/4 cup of water on the surface of the stone. Time how long it takes for the granite to absorb some of the water and darken. If the granite immediately darkens, sealing is recommended at least once a year. If the granite takes at least 30 minutes to absorb or never absorbs the water, the stone doesn’t need to be sealed ever.
Benefits of Sealing Stone
Sealing your granite is an easy way to maintain the beauty and integrity of the stone. If granite is unsealed and the stone has a somewhat high absorbency rate, acidic substances like tomato juice, coffee, soda, and citric acid can deteriorate the stone over time. Sealing works by creating a barrier to reduce the amount of liquid the stone can absorb. This gives you more time to wipe up spills before they can do damage or leave a stain.
Most sealants are very easy to use, although some do create harsh fumes and require ventilation. There are no downsides to sealing granite as long as it’s done properly. If the sealant isn’t buffed and wiped right away, it can cause hazing on the surface of the stone.