Most countertop materials need sealing to protect them from moisture, acids and daily wear and tear. Granite is a relatively low-maintenance countertop material, and we are often asked if it needs to be sealed.
What Is “Sealing”?
Sealing is a process that is much like painting or varnishing wooden surfaces. Countertops, especially those made from naturally sourced materials, can wear out over time without sealant applied to them regularly. Sealant wear varies widely – some wear out after five years while others wear out within a year. The easiest way to test it is by spraying water onto the countertop’s surface. If the water forms beads, then the seal is still good. If the countertop absorbs the water within five minutes, then it needs to be sealed.
Do Granite Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
One of the reasons why homeowners choose granite countertops is because they do not require as much maintenance as many other countertop materials. This is because granite slabs are coated with epoxy resin during fabrication, which fills veins, voids and fissures inherent to natural granite. Most granite dealers will tell you that the material does not need sealing, but will nevertheless recommend it due to the following factors:
- Heavy use. Heavier-than-usual use puts more wear on granite countertops. Sealing it can help reduce wear and keep it in good condition for a longer time.
- Infrequent cleaning. Granite countertops need to be wiped clean at least once a week. Substances, such as vinegar and fruit juices, may cause increased wear on the countertop surface.
- Sealers that wear out quickly. As discussed above, some sealers wear out faster than others, which means you may need to have sealing done more frequently or have a more durable type applied to your granite countertop.