I had a beautiful granite countertop in my kitchen, but it only lasted for a few years before it needed to be replaced.
When that was done, one of the workers asked which granite sealer I was using.
I didn’t know what that was, and he told me that’s probably the reason the last countertop got ruined so quickly.
So, I started looking into the subject and searching for the best granite sealer I could find.
What Does Sealing Do For A Granite Countertop?
Granite and marble countertops seem rather sturdy and long-lasting at first glance, while also being breathtaking to behold. It appears like they will last forever and stay pristine for a long time without much maintenance.
However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s one question most people don’t ask themselves – is granite porous?
They just don’t mind too much about spillage on granite surfaces and simply wipe it off with a rag or something similar. Stains are not considered important and are just brushed off – it’s a big piece of rock, how could that do harm?
The truth is, it does a lot of harm. What appears to be a stain on the granite might not be that, but damage to the stone itself.
The difference is that stains can be removed – although it is sometimes difficult (see the video below) – while the damage can only be undone by replacing that part of the stone, and is usually caused by chemicals or acidic liquids.
Over time, damage to the countertop might become so severe that it starts cracking or crumbling; at that point, there is no helping it – the entire thing has to be replaced. That costs far more than you might think.
Granite sealers are meant to prevent such damage (and even simpler stains) from occurring. They are usually made from a petroleum-based solvent, or a resin dissolved in water.
They work by being absorbed into the pores of the stone and hardening, thus sealing them – hence the name. This process stops spilled liquids from being absorbed deeper into the stone, which gives you more time to wipe them and makes any stains that form easier to remove.
Now, the quality of protection this provides depends on a few things. There’s the quality of the stone itself, as well as the effectiveness of the sealer, but also how well the sealer is applied.
First, you need to clean your granite countertop as best you can. Then, apply the sealer evenly on the stone and let it be absorbed before wiping it up and leaving to dry for around 48 hours. Some people don’t wipe the sealer off, which is the wrong thing to do and can damage the stone.
Of course, these are just general pointers on applying a sealer – you should always follow the instructions listed on the label of the product itself, as not all sealers are the same. For more detailed instructions you can check articles like this one.
All of this doesn’t apply just for granite though, but for other countertops made of different stones, like marble, as all stones are porous to some degree.
Do All Granite Countertops Need To Be Sealed?
Considering everything I just said, you might think that you need to seal any stone countertops you might have to stop them from being ruined. Hold your horses, as that is not always the best thing to do.
As noted, all stones are porous, but some less than others. The less porous they are, the more resistant they are to stains, as it’s harder for them to absorb liquids. Granite sealers are also liquid – you see where I’m going with this.
If you apply a sealer to a very dense stone, it doesn’t help keep stains and damaging liquids out of it at all. It only ruins the stone by making stains. Dense stones do not absorb the sealer, so it is left on the surface, dries, and makes a nasty, hazy blotch. Removing a stain like this can be hard and damaging to the stone, so be careful.
You can determine if your stone needs sealing with a simple test. Pour a bit of water on it, watch and time how long it takes the stone to absorb it. If around half an hour or more passes before the water’s absorbed by the stone, or if it’s not absorbed, it doesn’t need sealing. For example, you usually do not need to seal marble countertops.
Further Reading: Learn How To Find The Best Shelf Liner
What A Granite Sealer Doesn’t Do
There are some misconceptions about sealers and what they do for the stone – so here is a list of things they definitely don’t do.
Sealers do not form a protective shell on the surface of the stone – they just seal the pores in the stone, below the surface.
They don’t make the stone stain-proof. The stone can still be stained if liquids are left on it for long enough
Sealing a stone does not protect it from being etched. Physical damage to the stone, like etching and scratches, can still occur even when it’s sealed since sealing has nothing to do with that and only protects from stains.
Another common misconception is that they make the stone shinier – this is not true. If you want your stone to shine, you want to get the best granite polish you can get and look up how to polish granite rock. Some sealers double as polishers though.
See Also: Best Pizza Stones – Reviews
How To Choose The Right Granite Sealer
There are a few things you need to take into account before buying a sealer.
First off is the type you want.
- Penetrating sealers are the most standard type, the one that just penetrates the stone and seals the pores. There are premium versions as well, which protect better from oil based liquids.
- Enhancing sealers are a penetrating sealer mixed with a polisher. They have the usual function of a sealer, while also making the stone nice and glossy.
- Topical coating, as the name implies, actually makes a protective film on the top of the surface, while also giving the stone some sheen. However, they wear out much faster than penetrating sealers.
After that, there is the life span of the sealer – some last longer than others, and there are even those that last indefinitely and never need to be re-applied. It’s usually marked on the label – for example, “15 year granite sealer” or something similar.
Last up is the odor. Granite sealers can smell, sometimes unpleasantly, and that stink can permeate your kitchen for weeks or even months after sealing, so choose wisely.
The 5 Granite Sealers I Tested – Reviews 2020
Here are some of the granite sealers I or my friends tested, to offer you a clue of what to look for:
В This is a penetrating sealer made in the US. It’s got easy instructions for use, isn’t toxic and acidic, is biodegradable and contains no phosphates or ammonia, so it’s safe for use in the kitchen. It’s recommended for use on granite, marble, travertine and similar stone surfaces.
It’s a water-based sealer so it should not have any significant odor and it claims so on the packaging as well. However, that’s not true at all, and it smells quite a lot, for a long time too.
Other claims on the label are that it protects the stone from not only staining but etching as well. Even when applied multiple times, as stated on the packaging, it does not do its job properly.
At first, it seems to work fine, but after a few weeks, it’s a different story. Water still leaves stains on the stone if not wiped off very quickly, not to mention any other substances, and acidic liquids still leave etching on the stone.
Still, it’s cheap and comes in a large quantity so it can be re-applied at will, and it probably works better with denser stones than mine.
In the end, it’s just a simple sealer with no added benefits.
Things I liked
- It’s rather cheap
- Large packaging for the price
Things I didn’t like
- Doesn’t protect the stone for a long time
- Doesn’t protect from etching as stated
- Smells bad for a long time
- Just a sealer, not a polisher
В This is a penetrating sealer with a water base that can be used in the kitchen as it is not toxic or acidic in any way. It claims to be usable with any surface made of natural stone. Since it is based on water, it should also have a relatively low odor.
Even though the label claims that this is a ‘long-lasting’ sealer that is not the case. For granite, it only lasts about a few months before it needs to be re-applied, and even in those few months, the benefits are dubious. It worked great on my bathroom granite, but no so on my kitchen granite, for some reason.
It also stinks, even though it should have low odor. It’s rather greasy as well, so make sure to wipe it off well or it will leave stains on the stone.
This is also supposed to work as a cleaner, and that is a function that it performs rather nicely, but it is not such a good sealer. Still, it doesn’t cost that much.
Things I liked
- Works well as a cleaner
- Isn’t too expensive
Things I didn’t like
- Stinks a lot more than it should
- Greasy and hard to wipe off
- Doesn’t last for a long time
- Works better on some stones than on others
В Here we have a sealer from TriNova that works as a penetrating sealer primarily but offers other benefits. For starters. it’s also a polisher that’s supposed to make the surface of the stone glossy and shiny.
It’s also supposed to work well for re-sealing and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or bad odors. It comes in an 18-ounce bottle and is usable with any surface made of natural stone.
The good news is that it works rather well, and protects my stone surfaces when applied. It’s also easy to apply, and polishes the granite, giving it a rather beautiful shine that lasts for a long time.
However, the protection itself doesn’t last as long, and it needs to be re-applied after a month or even a couple of weeks if it’s a surface that is often used. Thus, you get through the bottle rather fast, and the amount is not large for the asking price.
Has barely any smell at all, which is a good point.
Things I liked
- Provides good protection
- Works well as a polisher
- Doesn’t have a bad smell
Things I didn’t like
- The protection doesn’t last for very long
- Not a large amount for the price
Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish – The Real Deal
The next one on my list comes from a well-known brand – Weiman. I’ve tried both their granite sealer, as well as the cleaner and polisher one, but decided that this one deserves the place in my round-up, after all.
I’ve used it in several areas of my home, too:
I wanted to test the manufacturer’s claim that it works for more than just the counters – and my vanity has never looked better, might I add!
The product claims to be able to repel moisture and protect your stone surfaces from both water and oil-based stains – and that’s precisely what you get.
I love a product that stands behind its claims!
Plus, it doesn’t need to be applied that often, either.
The manufacturer recommends you do it once or twice a year, but if we’re talking about often-used surfaces (or you notice it’s not as effective as it was), feel free to make that once every four months or so.
It’s relatively easy to apply, but you should be careful how you go about it. Otherwise, it might leave the surface of your counter looking a bit “hazy.”
But I guess that’s why they have a separate line of granite cleaners and polishers, huh?
Things I liked
- Protects your counters against both water and oil-based stains
- Relatively smooth application
- Suitable for use in most areas of your home
- Doesn’t require frequent application
Things I didn’t like
- Can leave the surface looking hazy
The Rock Doctor Granite Cleaner is among the best granite and stone surface cleaning and refreshing products you can buy in 2020.
Sealing your countertop or other granite surface is a must. Still, after that, you do need to take regular care to keep the surface in a pristine condition, and to maintain its natural beautiful looks and qualities.
With the Rock Doctor Granite Cleaner, you can do this easily. All you need to do is spray the cleaner from a 6-8 inch distance, and then wipe it off with a dry cloth or with a paper towel.
In case you have some serious messes to clean up, you should let the spray do its work and saturate the surface for a couple of minutes and then wipe it away.
The Rock Doctor Cleaner is formulated for safe and efficient cleaning of all natural stone surfaces, including sealed ones. It is also a great way to prepare a brand new granite countertop for sealing.
It is made of safe contents and doesn’t emit a harmful or unpleasant smell, nor does it cause abrasion or damage to the natural stone
The highly efficient granite cleaner is sold in 18-oz spray cans and is sold in 6-packs.
It is recommended to use it daily, or as needed to keep your granite or another natural stone countertop, table, or other surface looking gorgeous.
Things I liked:
– It is very easy to apply
– You can wipe it off immediately, or just after 2 minutes for the best effect
– It doesn’t contain harmful or toxic ingredients
– There is no unpleasant or harmful smell emitted during or after the cleaning process
– It is an excellent way to maintain your granite surfaces, and to prep them for sealing or polishing
– The cleaner is safe and will not scratch or damage the granite
Things I didn’t like:
– It is not actually a granite sealer, but it still is an excellent product to use after your natural stone furniture or floors have been sealed
The Best Granite Sealer by My Opinion
So, after all of this, what do I think is the best granite countertop sealer?
Well, out of all of these, I prefer to use TriNova’s Granite Sealer & Protectant.
It’s a product that has some obvious flaws for sure, especially the fact that it’s a bit costly and needs to be re-applied often.
Despite that, it still offers rather good protection while it lasts and polishes the stone up nicely. Because of all that, it has become my granite sealer of choice.
I hope my experiences will help you find a good granite sealer for your kitchen countertops.
Good luck shopping!
Last update on 2020-08-08 at 14:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API