Those items are also the top criteria we used for selecting the best granite sealer.
To get started sealing right away, StoneTech’s Bullet Proof Sealer scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. We were able to seal 100 square feet of counter space with this one bottle.
Granite Sealer Categories
There are two categories of granite sealers available to help protect your stone surfaces: penetrating and topical. Either one can be either oil based or water based. The oil-based choices have a strong odor that many may not like; for this reason never user them in a closed area.
Water based choices don’t have a strong odor and doesn’t require the stone surfaces to be dry before application. Both types can also be used on many different types of tile and stone surfaces including concrete pavers, marble, onyx, quarry tile, sandstone, travertine, porcelain tile, brick, clay tile and more.
There are many types of sealers available for protecting important stone surfaces. We’ve listed them below with characteristics of each type. These descriptions will help you understand the difference between them, which means you will have an easier time choosing the one that will work the best for your specific needs.
- Penetrating Sealers – This type of granite sealer does exactly what the name implies. It penetrates the surface, leaving the look of the stone completely unchanged. It does not form a film; it seeps into the stone which means it will never flake or peel. This sealer will not change the COF (coefficient of friction) after it is applied. There are two levels of coverage that penetrating sealers offer:
- Standard – Standard penetrating sealers protect against stains that can be caused by dirt, drinks and other debris. They would not be a good idea to use them in a commercial food service area or residential kitchen. This is due to the fact that these penetrating sealers don’t usually protect from oil-based contaminants at all. Standard sealers are less expensive than the high performance premium sealers.
- Premium – The premium type of penetrating sealers offer the user high performance protection against oil based contaminants in addition to water based ones. It is the perfect sealer to use in residential and commercial kitchens and food service areas. Premium sealers are more expensive but they provide a lot more too.
- Enhancing Sealers – This type of granite sealer enhances and deepens the natural colors of the stone and the natural veining as well. It makes the stone much more vibrant without producing a gloss over the stone. Some of the enhancing sealers on the market are premium sealers which means they protect against oil-based contaminants along with the regular water-based.
- Topical Coating – This product provides stone surfaces with a high-gloss appearance or sometimes a low sheen. They have been called sacrificial coatings because they do wear off with frequent use. They will need to be re-applied more often than a penetrating or enhancing sealer will. It takes more than one application to properly protect a surface with a topical coating.
There are four different variables that determine how often you should reapply granite sealer. These variables are:
- The quality and type of granite cleaner used
- How well the sealer was applied the first time
- The absorption rate of the stone surface (how porous or dense it is)
- What products have been used to clean the countertops (Remember not to use regular household cleaners as these are too harsh and will break down the sealer.)
We have listed the different types of granites and stones and how often they will usually need to be re-sealed.
- Dark colored granite such as greens, browns, blacks and blues can be sealed every 3-5 years. Sometimes they don’t need to be at all. It will depend on the stone surface and the sealant. Don’t forget to check the sealer on a small place out of view.
- Light colored granite and un-polished stone such as some forms of travertine, limestone, onyx and marble will need to be sealed about every 1-3 years.
Some granite sealers are better than others and will be able to keep the stone surfaces protected for as long as 10-15 years when they are taken care of properly. Another factor is the porosity of the surface. Sealers that seep into the stone will break down over time. It’s a lot cheaper to reseal the stone rather than trying to restore the marble or remove stains from lack of proper care.
The best way to truly know when it’s time to reseal is to use the water test mentioned above. This simple test tells you all you need to know about whether it’s time to reseal in a simple, no-nonsense way.
The Water Drop Test Explained
It doesn’t get any easier than the water drop test to check the sealer on your countertops and other stone surfaces. It can help you check the porosity and density as well. Two stones with a high porosity are marble and granite. These stone surfaces should always be sealed to preserve their life.
The water test instructions are:
- Drop the water onto the countertop and leave there.
- If it beads up and stays visible for at least 5 minutes, you will not need to be resealed. It’s also possible that the stone is not porous.
- If the water beads up and seeps into the stone within 5 minutes you have a porous stone or the sealer has started to wear off.
- If the water doesn’t bead up bus immediately darkens and soaks into the stone right away it is important to apply the sealer as soon as possible to avoid any staining.
Make sure that you check the manufacturer’s instructions for application methods and recommended maintenance schedules. Strong cleaning chemicals can break down the sealants and make them ineffective in as little as one cleaning. Use a mild, neutral pH cleaner or warm, soapy water to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the stones and tile.
Stone surfaces are used in many applications in residences and businesses. They can be countertops, tables, floors, walls and many other things. Making sure that the stone is protected from stains, dirt, oil and other contaminants will maintain the beauty of the stone and also help it last s long as possible.
The way to protect your stone surfaces, wherever they are, is to use a high quality granite sealer that is designed for all kinds of stone. Using this stone upon installation of the countertops or stone surface and then continuing to follow up with re-sealing when necessary will extend the life of the stone and keep it looking beautiful.
The three granite sealers featured above are excellent ways to keep your stone surfaces looking beautiful. All three of them are from reputable brands that customers love. Using the information in this guide to help you choose the right granite sealer will ensure that you have chosen the right one for your needs.
Even though it takes some work to keep stone surfaces protected and looking great, it is more than worth it when you have those beautiful granite countertops for years to come.
- Tuff Duck – http://www.rocklinitelabs.com/
- Black Diamond – http://www.blackdiamondcleaners.com/products.htm