Granite is an extremely tough material and a natural stone. It’s predominantly gray, white or pink in color, but depending on the mineralogy or the mineral composition of the granite, it can be found in other colors as well. It has been in use for centuries, but in modern times it has found increased usage within residential houses.
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It can be used in floors and looks as stunning as marble floors. It’s also used a lot in kitchen countertops, because of its inherent stain resistant, heat resistant and waterproof nature. It’s also extensively used in patios and walkways around the house.
Even though granite is a durable material, it needs to be taken care of in order for it to last long. Granite sealers serve this protective role. The best granite sealer will enhance the natural stain-resistant and water-repellent nature of the material. A good quality granite sealer will also eliminate bacteria buildup on the granite surface, which is particularly essential in the case of kitchen countertops.
However, do not confuse granite sealers with concrete sealers. Granite sealers provide a certain degree of protection, but you will still have to regularly clean the granite surface to ensure that the sealer remains effective. If the granite surface isn’t cleaned, then even the best granite sealer will not be able to resist all stains or eliminate all bacteria.
The other role that the granite sealers serve is to preserve the original aesthetic of the granite surface. One of the reasons we install granite surfaces at home is that it looks stunning, especially when it’s polished properly. This shine and the look of a granite surface will slowly fade and become dull unless a good quality sealer is applied and the surface is cleaned regularly. Granite is a porous natural stone and without the sealer oil, grease, dirt, and water will seep into the surface and spoil the look.
Having said all of that, you need to keep in mind that not all granite surfaces require sealing. For example, black granite surfaces are extremely dense and do not require any form of sealing. In fact, in a number of cases, penetrating sealers aren’t absorbed by black granite surfaces. If you aren’t careful, the sealer might leave streaks on the surface or result is discoloration. Honed granite surfaces are typically more porous than the polished ones and these are the ones that require sealing. So, find out everything about the type of granite used at your home before applying a sealant on it. Additionally, perform a water test to check if the granite surface requires sealing or not.
TriNova Granite Sealer and Protector
The polymers in TriNova granite sealer and protectant seeps into the pores of the granite surface to prevent staining and at the same time, it creates a protective layer on the surface to prevent water spotting. It’s really easy to apply. All you need to do is spray it on the surface and then gently rub it in and spread it with a microfibre cloth. Allow the sealer to rest on the granite surface for a minute or two, before completely wiping it dry. Let it rest for a further hour or so to cure and your granite surface is sealed and protected.
This is a great combo pack that allows you to seal granite surfaces effectively and clean it on a regular basis to further increase its longevity. It also works on other natural stone surfaces such as quartz, marble, slate, limestone, and travertine. It’s a two-bottle set, with one containing the sealer and the other containing the cleaner and polisher. Both bottles have spray tops, so it’s really easy to use.
The 511 Porous Plus sealer is specifically meant for porous natural stones like granite. Unlike the 511 Impregnator sealer, this enters the pores of the granite surface and prevents oily or greasy substances from seeping in and staining the surface. This sealer also makes the surface less slippery. You apply the sealer using a clean white towel, a roller or even a paint brush.
Let the sealer rest on the surface for about 5 minutes, before wiping it clean with a towel. You need to apply a second coat for about 3 hours after the first one. Follow the same procedure. Any excess sealer that may have dried up on the surface needs to be wiped clean.
This is a non-toxic, non-corrosive penetrating sealer for natural stones, that is part of Black Diamond Stoneworks’ premium line of sealers. It’s a water-based sealer that can be used on granite or any other natural stone surface, both indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t have any unpleasant odor either, which makes it really easy to apply on your own and get the same results as a professional-grade sealer would provide.
You can simply spray the sealer all across the granite surface and spread it evenly using a squeegee, then wait for about 3-4 minutes and remove any excess sealer off the surface with a clean white towel. It takes 2-5 hours for the sealer to dry.
This penetrating sealer creates flexible molecular connections under the surface of natural solid stones like granite and protects it from water and prevents staining. However, it still allows the granite surface to breathe and release moisture. It can be applied on a variety of natural solid stones such as quartz, marble, limestone, and slate, besides granite. It’s free on ammonia and phosphate, which makes it safe to use on kitchen countertops or other surfaces that might come in contact with food or any edible substances.
Granite is a porous natural stone, which means it has tiny pores on the surface through which water, oil, grease, etc. can seep under the surface and stain it. Granite sealers utilize this very characteristic of granite to protect it from staining. The sealer enters the stone or is delivered to the inner part of the stone using this natural absorption feature.
Granite sealers or sealers for natural stones have two main components. There’s a solid resin component that actually fills up the pores and ensures that liquid substances that can potentially cause a stain are kept out. The other component is a solvent or water-based carrier that transports the resin to the pores. It then evaporates.
There are sealers that only form a protective layer on top but don’t fill up the pores and block out the stain-producing substances. These typically cost less but also wear out faster.
The granite surface needs to be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt or debris from the surface. This might not seem like an important part of the sealing process, but it is probably the most crucial. This is so because any unwanted substances on the surface when the sealer is applied can result is discoloration of the granite surface.
It might seem obvious, but it needs to be mentioned nonetheless that you should only select a sealer that’s meant for natural stones. Some high-quality sealers for natural stones might not explicitly mention that it’s suitable for granite, but these sealers can be applied on granite surfaces. It goes without saying that the best granite sealer is one that is specifically meant for this particular type of natural stone.
There are essentially two types of sealers. Both types are available in oil-based and water-based variants. There are two differences between oil-based and water-based sealers. Oil-based sealers release unpleasant odors and are not recommended for indoor usage. Also, before applying these sealers you need to make sure that the surface is completely dry. Water-based sealers do not have odors and can be applied on slightly wet surfaces, though it’s better if the surface is dry.
This is the most common type of granite or natural stone sealer and has become the standard sealant. This type of sealer is the best granite sealer. As the name suggests, this sealer is absorbed into the pores of the granite surface and forms a protective barrier against all potential stain-producing substances. Yet it allows the granite to breathe and release moisture.
Some penetrating sealers provide protection against water and water stains, but not against oil or grease-based stains. These cost a little less and are ideal for patios or other granite surfaces that are unlikely to come in contact with any oily or greasy substance. The premium variants of penetrating sealers protect granite surfaces from oil-based stains. These cost more and are ideal for kitchen countertops.
These are penetrating sealers, with one key difference. It also acts as a natural enhancer. So, it protects the granite surface against stains and water spotting and at the same time, it enhances the appearance of the surface. The natural color and texture of the granite surface will be deepened by the application of this sealer and really highlight it.
This type of sealer is less effective than penetrating sealers and isn’t one that you should be using on a granite surface. It simply forms a protective layer on top of the surface and doesn’t block the pores. So, while in the short term the surface looks glossy and impressive, in the long run, it leaves the granite vulnerable to staining. So, you will have to apply multiple coatings to provide the granite surface a level of protection and you will have to reapply it frequently.
The whole point of applying a sealer is to reduce your maintenance responsibilities. You don’t want to apply the sealer every couple of months, as that defeats the purpose. Hence, you need to take into consideration the longevity of the sealer while selecting the right one. The longevity is typically marked on the container or bottle itself. An acceptable lifespan is 10 years, anything more is a bonus and probably a little bit of a marketing gimmick as well.
Make sure that you follow all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer at the time of applying the sealer for the first time. This will ensure best results. Also, just because the sealer has a lifespan of say 10 years it doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean the granite surface on a regular basis. Cleaning it regularly will enhance the lifespan of both the sealer and the granite surface.
Sealers that have a high count of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or volatile chemicals such as ammonia and phosphate have an unpleasant odor. It can be extremely irritating if you’re applying a sealer with odor inside the house. The odor will stick to furniture and clothes and can even have a nauseating effect. Plus, it’s not healthy inhaling such odors either.
So, for kitchen countertops and other granite surfaces inside the house, select a water-based sealer that doesn’t have any unpleasant odor. In case of outdoor granite surfaces such as patios and walkways, you can use a sealer that releases odors, provided it’s a granite sealer designed for that purpose. Otherwise, try to avoid sealers that release odors.
The best granite sealer is comprised of resin and water. If resin, which acts as a sold, penetrates the pores of the granite, thereby preventing liquid and stains from penetrating the material.
The water, which acts as a carrier, draws the resin down into the stone so that it can fully penetrate the entire membrane. The water then evaporates from the granite. The best sealers contain more resin than water. A 60-40 ratio is ideal.
Every slab of granite is different, and therefore the frequency of sealing the material will vary. To determine when you need to seal granite, conduct a simple test. Apply several drops of water to the surface of the granite in a few inconspicuous locations. Allow the water to sit for 30 minutes and assess the reaction.
If the material darkens before the 30 minute period lapses, it should be sealed as soon as possible. If it darkens after the 30 minute period, it should be sealed in the near future. If your granite has a glossy surface, examine the appearance; if the granite looks dull in areas, it should be resealed.
Whether or not your granite countertop needs sealing depends on the specific type of granite, the type of granite and the color of the granite. For example, darker colored granite may not need sealing because it is highly dense and will not absorb stains or liquids; additionally, some lighter colored granite slabs may not need to be sealed, either. However, it is always a wise idea to test granite to determine if it needs to be sealed.
Apply a small amount of water onto various inconspicuous areas of the granite. Wait about 30 minutes. If the granite turns darker before the 30 minute period, it should be sealed right away; if it turns darker after the 30 minute period, applying a sealant is a suggested. If the granite doesn’t change color, it may not need to be sealed. However, to ensure protection and preserve your granite, applying a sealer is always a good idea.
The amount of time a granite sealer will last depends on several factors, including the type of sealer you are using and the wear and tear the material is subjected to. For example, a high-quality sealer on a countertop that is rarely used can last for several years, while the same sealer used on a countertop that is used on a constant basis may need to be reapplied every year or two.
Testing your granite once a year is the best way to determine if it needs to be resealed. Apply a few drops of water to the surface in various locations. Wait 30 minutes. If the granite becomes darker, it needs to be resealed; if it remains the same color, the sealer is still effective.
Whether or not sealing granite will make it darker depends on several factors, including the color of the granite, the density of the material, and the type of sealer. Lighter colored, less dense granite can potentially be made darker by sealer; especially if the sealer is lower quality. Generally speaking, darker colored granite usually does not become darker after applying sealer, and if it does, the difference is difficult to notice.
To determine if the sealer will make your granite darker, conduct a test. Apply a small amount to an inconspicuous location. Allow the sealer to completely dry and compare the color of the area you tested with the rest of the granite.
It depends on the type of sealer you are using. Many granite sealers do contain chemicals that can be potentially toxic; however, it’s important to note that once the sealer is cured, it becomes inert, meaning that the chemicals it contains are no longer reactive and will not contaminate food.
If you are concerned about exposure to toxic chemicals, there are food-safe granite sealers available. These sealers are free of toxic chemicals.
Assuming that you’re planning to apply the sealer yourself, the TriNova granite sealer is an excellent option. An extra-long spray tube is provided, which makes it really easy to apply. Plus, it doesn't have any unpleasant odors, which makes it a good fit for indoor usage. It’s a good option if you are doing this for the first time and isn’t expensive either. The Stone Care sealer is also a decent option, but as per the instructions provided by the company, the sealer needs to be reapplied every 6 months for best results, which could be tricky to manage.
As mentioned earlier, sealing a granite surface is only half the job. You need to clean it on a regular basis to ensure that the sealer remains effective and to prevent staining. Even the best granite sealer will not be able to prevent staining if water, food or oil is allowed to sit on the surface for long periods. Keeping this in mind, The Floor Guys' sealer and cleaner combo pack is a good option. A microfiber cloth is also provided with the pack. Given that the quantity is more than that of the TriNova sealer, the price is quite a bargain as well.
Purely in terms of the best sealer for granite or any porous natural stone surface, the Miracle Sealants 511 Porous Plus is the best. It's expensive but highly effective. It's a polymerized silicone resin sealer with added polymers for porous surfaces. In addition to protecting the granite surface, it hardens it and makes it less slippery as well. The Black Diamond sealer is a close second to the 511 Porous Plus.
A couple of factors in favor of the Black Diamond sealer is that the pint-sized bottle is available with a spray top, which makes it really easy to apply, and it's cheaper than 511 Porous Plus. In the case of the 511 Porous Plus, you will need to transfer it to a spray top bottle using a funnel and then apply it. We hope this makes your choice of choosing the best granite sealer for your needs an easy one and now you don’t have to worry about maintaining your granite surface anymore!