How Frequently Should You Seal Natural-Stone Countertops?
When you travel to the Tuscany region in Italy, you’ll notice marble can be found in numerous public and commercial spaces. After all, this is where the legendary Carrara quarries are located, but you may also be surprised to learn that many of the floors and countertops at Tuscan airports, restaurants, and shopping centers are actually made of engineered stone fabricated to resemble white marble. Marble, like granite, slate, travertine, and all other types of natural stone, requires careful maintenance. If you have countertops made of natural stone in your home, here’s how to tell how often you need to seal them.
Heavy Use Requires More Frequent Sealing
Natural-stone flooring in a train terminal gets significant foot traffic, which in turn requires very frequent sealant applications that must be allowed time to dry. At home, your natural-stone countertops probably don’t need to be sealed as often as the lunch counter at a Tuscan trattoria. However, you should determine the frequency of sealing by means of testing the seal. Watch the following video to learn how to use Granite Gold Sealer®:
The Water Test
This test is easy and effective. All you need is water and a timer to find out the strength of the current seal. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal.
Some Stones May Need More Frequent Sealing
One of the reasons granite countertops are far more common than marble in North American kitchens is because they’re less porous, which means they typically don’t have to be resealed as often. On the other hand, white marble countertops have higher porosity and permeability, which means they may require more frequent resealing. Limestone is also a sensitive surface that should be sealed often, and the same can be said about soapstone countertops in the kitchen, particularly if they’re subject to high-volume food preparation. The truth is, you can’t over-seal natural stone. Frequent sealing provides constant protection against oil-based stains such as salad dressing, cooking oil, and vegetable oil. When they come into contact with unsealed natural stone, the oils can penetrate the pores and leave unsightly reminders. To determine how frequently you should be sealing granite countertops or other natural-stone surfaces, our advice is to determine whether you need to reseal by conducting the above-mentioned water test.
The Importance of Proper Sealing
In addition to sticking to a sealing schedule, you should also make sure you’re getting the most out of your sealant on every application. Granite Gold Sealer® is easy to use. Simply spray the granite sealer evenly on a countertop section no larger than three square feet and wipe it into the stone with Granite Gold Sealer Applicator®, then buff dry with another lint-free cloth. Allow the sealant to cure for 24 hours before polishing the countertop. If you’d like to learn more about how to seal granite, marble, limestone, and other types of natural stone, get in touch with Granite Gold® today. Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at 1-800-475-STONE (7866). Also, if you’re on Facebook, like our page for regular tips and updates on natural-stone care.