Unsealed stone other than soapstone?

kksmamaMay 30, 2013

I would really like to have a beautiful, not shiny natural stone that does not need sealant to protect it from staining. Ideally it would have a lot of white, but if I have to compromise on color I will. Can anyone suggest varieties that are naturally non porous and non reactive to acids?

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Staining of granite is not the problem quartz companies want you to believe. It is a relatively rare problem and stains can easily be removed.
There are no granites that require "frequent" sealing. Once the stone is properly sealed it typically does not need to be resealed for 5 to 15 years if ever.
If you require a honed look and do not want to be concerned with sealers your best bet would be soapstone or a honed quartz.
Soapstone will darken with time unevenly unless you apply mineral oil or wax on a regular basis for 1 to 3 years.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Debbi Branka

My blue pearl granite has never been sealed and is a work horse! Nothing bothers it. But it is (1) polished and (2) it is dark. So I don't know if honed would make a difference. And it has no white in it, of course.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Thank you for the replies. I'd really like to have no sealer, ever. I'll be rolling dough on that surface, and placing other food on it, and I'm thinking that if the sealer ever "wears off" then what it is wearing off onto is my kids' food. I know other parents must also worry about the safety of chemical sealers, we are purifying our water and buying organic food to avoid that stuff, right? Karin the Stone Whisperer said something in one of her awesome threads about gettting the Material Safety Data Sheet, but I am already pretty sure I won't like what I read, so if I can avoid that step all the better.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 2:47PM
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In our prior house we had a granite tile countertop that we never sealed (4 years) and had no problems. We have solid granite countertops in this house and have never sealed them (7 years) and have had no problems.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Coincidentally I did read the MSDS for 511 Porous Plus yesterday. It contains toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, which are petroleum components. But those compounds are volatile and they won't remain in your countertop. More likely they are there to help the product "flow" into the pores and then they evaporate. So, while you can look at the MSDS and see ingredients you certainly don't want to eat, I don't know how likely it is that those compounds will truly come into contact with your food.

One easy alternative would be to use a water-based sealer. Of course, using no sealer at all sidesteps the whole issue nicely.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Good to hear, Kiko. What kind of granite, do you know? If you chose your counters, do you know if they were sealed by the fabricator? I was told today that the quarries do some kind of slab treatment as they surface them, as do fabricators.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:47PM
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You could always look into Vermont/NY slate, it is honed and requires no sealent, ever. Please note I am not talking about Indian or South American slate, but true North American slate mined in Vermont and NY, it is a durable stone that requires no maintenance and has a velvety, honed surgace. Downside is that it is dark; black, gray, red. green and purple, but no white.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Thank you sandyponder and Karin! I hoped for a light color, but will check out slate. Karin, I know stone is your specialty, but can you explain anything about the water based sealers? I'm thinking that whatever remains (after the vehicle evaporates) will come in contact with my food. If it were something inert and "known" like silicone, that would be reassuring. I'll google search this, it has certainly been asked before....but if anyone knows a good answer I'd sure appreciate help!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 5:58PM
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There are plenty of bulletproof granites that don't require sealing. Uba Tuba. Blue Pearl. Emerald Pearl. Tan Brown.........and the list will go on and on. The darker ones are typically denser and less porous. The lighter ones may require sealing, but a penetrating sealer is in the pores doing it's job to not let anything else into those pores. It's not sitting on the surface ready to flake off. It's not going to hurt you at all, even if you roll out dough on it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I appreciate the list Greendesigns. And I imagine you are correct about sealants not hurting people...and then I remember that we once thought lead in paint didn't hurt people, and BPA in plastic was fine. I purposely broke mercury thermometers as a child so I could play with the nifty silver stuff. I lived in Mississippi when cotton poison was widely used indoors and two children died. No one intends to hurt others with home improvements like asbestos and chinese drywall, but sometimes harm is done.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:22PM
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