Granite counters are a number one must for a lot of people when searching for or building their dream home. When choosing granite for your kitchen or bathroom, one thing that must be considered is the maintenance required to keep your counters in perfect condition. While granite does require some maintenance, its natural and timeless beauty is worth it.
A common question regarding granite counters is: is granite porous? The answer is, yes, granite is a porous stone. This means that the stone has tiny holes in it that liquid and air can enter. Porosity is not in and of itself a bad thing, though. While liquids can soak into the granite if left on the surface for too long, they can also evaporate back out. Because of this, granite is highly resistant to stains and can typically be cleaned easily.
Does Your Granite Need Sealed?
One easy way to protect your granite is to seal it when needed. Most manufacturers will seal the granite for you at the outset, but the sealant will eventually need to be reapplied as part of the maintenance of the counter. The easiest way to determine if your granite needs to be re-sealed is to do a water test.
- Pour approximately ¼ cup of water on your countertop.
- Set a timer to determine how long it takes the water to absorb completely into the counter.
- If the water repels and doesn’t absorb at all, your granite does not need sealed.
- Absorbed water will look like a dark spot on your counter – the length of time it takes to absorb will determine how soon you should apply the sealant. Water that absorbs in less than a half hour means the sealant will need to be applied immediately.
Sealing Your Granite
If you’ve done a water test on your granite counters and determined that they do need to be sealed, you’re in luck: resealing your counter is easy.
- Find a natural stone sealant – it’s a good idea to ask the installer of your countertop for recommendations. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction for the most effective sealant for your counter.
- Read the instructions – this seems like it should go without saying, but make sure to thoroughly read the instructions that accompany your selected sealant.
- Clean your counters – this is another good point to refer to whoever installed your counters or a qualified natural stone installation company. The counters will need to be completely and properly cleaned for the sealant to work and not damage your countertops.
- Apply the sealer – double check the instructions, but most sealers are designed to be sprayed on liberally and left to soak into the counter for at least twenty minutes.
- Wipe off the sealer – if there is excess sealant left after twenty minutes, wipe with a clean, soft cloth.
- Reapply if necessary – depending on the type of sealant you purchased, you may need to apply a second coat. Follow the instructions of your specific sealer carefully, and reapply if instructed.
- Leave it alone – do not use your countertops for 48 hours.
While no sealer is 100% stain-proof or protective, regularly testing and sealing your counters as needed will keep them looking new for the duration of their life.