One of the best reasons for choosing a granite countertop is its durability; it’s resistant to damage from heat, chipping, and scratching. You know you’re getting a surface that’s not delicate, one that can stand up to many years of wear from active families and busy cooks.
However, there’s no way around the fact it’s a natural stone, and natural stone countertops need regular applications of sealer. Properly sealed, your countertop will also be resistant to water, other liquids, and stains. Sealer gives a granite countertop even more resistance to other types of damage. So, what’s a newbie to do? Here’s an essential guide to cleaning the kitchen and making sure your granite countertop stays gorgeous.
Get this look with MSI's Alaska White Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)
The frequency for sealing your granite countertops depends on many factors. Some types of granite are denser than others, making them naturally less absorbent. Certain types of cleanser can wear away the sealer on the countertop’s surface, making it require sealing more often. You may also want to seal light-colored countertops more frequently since they are more likely to show stains.
The best way to determine if your granite counter needs sealing is to pour water on the surface, and wait to see what happens. If the water is absorbed immediately, your countertop may need two or three coats of sealer on an annual basis. If it takes about five minutes for the water to sink in, you should still apply at least two coats, but you may only need to do it every other year. If it takes ten minutes or longer, apply a single coat. And if you’re still looking at the same puddle of water after a half-hour or so, you’re in luck! No sealer is needed — but you should still try this test occasionally to make sure it’s protected.
Get this look with MSI's Giallo Fantasia Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)
You can hire a professional to seal your countertop on a regular basis. Doing so will cost you up to $2 per square foot. However, for about a quarter of that price, you can do it yourself — and it’s not a difficult project at all.
Featured: Jasmine White Granite
If you’ve never sealed your countertops before, it can be a bit intimidating. Will it streak? Can you accidentally damage the countertop? What products should you use? Here are the steps to giving your granite countertop a professional, protective, sealed surface.
1. Select the right sealer. For best results, choose an impregnating stone sealer. These products are absorbed into the stone’s pores, preventing the granite from absorbing liquids. They do not change the color of the granite and will be invisible when dry.
2. Clean the countertop. You can use a specialized countertop cleanser or just a mild cleaner like diluted dish soap. Let dry completely.
3. Using a clean, dry cloth, wet the cloth with the sealer and use it to paint the sealer onto the stone. Make sure the entire surface is wet, but the sealer should not be allowed to puddle.
4. Let the first coat dry for about 10 minutes, then apply a second coat.
5. Let the sealer “cure” for 24 hours before using the countertop for food preparation.
Featured: Aspen White Granite
That’s it — are you surprised at how easy it is? Here are a few tips to help you get the best results:
• Work in one section at a time.
• Make sure all parts of the granite counters are covered with sealer, including edges and backsplash, if applicable.
• Follow the instructions on the package.
• If countertops are very greasy, invest in a specialty stone cleaner or wipe down with rubbing alcohol.
• When buying sealer, look for the ingredient “fluorocarbon aliphatic resin.” Second best: siloxane.
Get this look with MSI's Black Pearl Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)
Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to seal your granite countertop and keep it looking beautiful, why not browse MSI’s extensive selection of granite colors? One is sure to be perfect for upgrading your home.
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