sealing granite

gracie-2006June 9, 2008

Do you seal your granite every year? How do you seal yours? I was told to use acetone first to clean it then apply the granited sealer twice- wet on wet. Then dry off. What type of cloth should I use? Thanks for your help in advance!

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It would help a lot if you could tell us what stone you have. Not all stones need to be sealed and in some cases sealing stone could cause more problems than leaving it "au naturel".

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Do you need the specific name of my granite?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:16PM
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    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Yes Gracie, the specific name or names that it goes by would be sufficient. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Can I jump in too, I was about to ask the same questions?!!? My granite at first I was told was venitian gold lite, but then told Santa Cecelia. I believe the later to be correct. I also have uba tuba on my dining room built-in-buffet. And jubile (jibile) sp? in our master bath. They sealed everything on install, but dh and I don't trust their work. How should we test, reseal, and with what product? Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:25PM
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VG and SC need to be sealed. Ubatuba doesn't. As for the last one, I'm not familiar with it, so I'll let Adrianna answer that one. :-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:41PM
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I've got a similar thread going today headed "strawberries," but I have the same questions. My granite is azul macaubas and I love it. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 5:04PM
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How about giallo ornamentale?

I am dismayed by how easily my sample stains. Is there a particular sealant that will provide really serious stain resistance?

At HD I was told about a sealant that is supposed to be good for 15 yrs. Does this provide better protection (what I want) or just longer protection (not necessary because I think I can handle annual sealing)?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Before everyone starts coming in and asking if their particular granite needs to be sealed, do one of two things. Either go to one of the two links at the top of the link below (A-L or M-Z) and find your stone. Anything with less than .25% absorbsion DOES NOT need to be sealed. If you can't find your stone listed, then try this test: Take a sopping wet sponge, and lay it on your stone. After about 2-3 minutes, pick it up, and dry the stone with a paper towel. if you see a dark spot where the sponge was, then your stone needs to be sealed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite Tables

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Bill, thank you for the link.

I still have a question, though. The granite I've selected does need to be sealed. That works for me AS LONG AS the sealant will provide adequate stain protection.

Am I right that (for example) a coffee ring that doesn't get wiped up for 30 mins should not stain sealed granite? or that my kids' markers will not stain sealed granite when they inevitably color off/through the paper and I don't notice for 30 mins?

I just really don't know what kind of protection sealant provides.... I want a surface that will resist the above, and I don't know if sealed granite will provide that.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:17PM
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The only way to guarantee that ANY surface won't stain at all is to wrap it in plastic. Sorry, but if you take a Sharpie to your granite, even sealed with the best there is, you're going to have a nightmare getting rid of the mark. Of course, that would also hold true for solid surface, and laminates, as well. Within reason, yes. It'll curtail staining.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:24PM
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As a rule of thumb, any stone that would absorb water, would need to be sealed. Test a sample of the stone you like by dripping water on the stone, leaving it a few minutes and wiping the drops off. If you are left with dark spots where the water was, sealer would be in order.

There are various qualities of sealer. The TileLab stuff from Home Depot is not worth the money. Lowes sells the StoneTech brand, which is a much better product.

There are long life sealers available, and they would be more expensive and/or require a specialist to apply it. I think one such a brand would be DryTreat.

Home Depot and Dupont (yes, the Corian people) have come out with their own lines of "permanently sealed" stones. Take them for what they are worth. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Verde Butterfly and Black Absolute (the real one), among others, do not need sealer at all, yet are proudly featured as part of the "permanently sealed" ranges of stone.

The question about the Giallo Ornamentale would worry me a little. GO is a Brazilian stone and should be factory resined. Resined slabs should not be nearly as absorbent as you say your sample is. Even unresined, it should only be moderately absorbent anyway. Giallo Ornamentale normally responds well to sealer and we have used it in many many kitchens with great success.

When do you reseal? NOT every year!

Once the sealer has worn out, it needs to be re-applied. You will know when a reseal is in order when water starts to leave dark spots on the stone if you leave it sit for a while.

Why is it bad to seal stones that don't really need it? Sealers are designed to work from inside the stone - they need to be absorbed to work. If they get applied on a stone that is too dense to absorb the sealer, the sealer will form a film on top of the stone causing all kinds of trouble like bad streaking when you clean and "ghost rings". These issues could be resolved by simply removing the sealer.

Stone should be easy to care for. If you choose the correct stone for the correct application, it will be.

Cleaning could be as simple as wiping down with a damp micro fiber towel and following with a dry one to buff, using a mixture of 50/50 alcohol and water in a spray bottle or using any one of the many pH neutral stone specialty cleaning products available.

Taking care of your stone should be easy. A lot of people try to make it a lot more complicated than it really is :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:32PM
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StoneGirl, I have Impala Black (.05-.15%) that the fabricators sealed after it was installed.

I love the look, but hate the finish which seems to be both shiny and dull. I'd like it one way or the other.

Should I remove the sealer and if so, how?

I have no idea what kind of sealer was used.

We do have streaking problems, not sure about ghost rings.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:55PM
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Our first granite was Juparana Lorean. The fabricator forgot to seal it (or at least some if it). We got lucky b/c first day, we were marveling at the beauty and I sat my drink glass on the granite. It was hot and the glass was sweating somewhat. When I picked it up, there was a nice dark ring where the glass was. We were careful not to put anything on the granite until I called the fabricator/installer. He came out and sealed our granite with K.R. 33, a product made in Italy I believe. The granite darkened slightly but the tones and colors took on a very rich look and it was great; it really brough out the granite's character. He said seal it once a year so I did it about twice a year with never a problem (same stuff KR33).

Fast forward to our kitchen in our new house. I called fabricator (same one) and he assured me that they sealed the granite from the shop which I believe they did (water test left no change in color).

Anyway, fabricator said the K.R. 33 is really good so clean the granite with denatured alcohol to remove any other sealer then use the K.R. 33. I have 2 granites in my kitchen - Verde Jewel on the island and Ivory Coast on the rest of the counter tops. It seemed that the sealer just beaded up on top of the granite even after cleaning with the denatured alcohol.

I could not find the Ivory Coast on BV's link at all but did find a similar granite to the Verde Jewel which listed the absorption rate at .1-.25%. The Verde Jewel seemed from the beginning to be VERY dense, almost like glass so it would seem that it probably needs no sealer. For the long way around to my question, how about Ivory coast? Does it need routine sealing? If so, is this K.R. 33 really the best?

Sorry for the long winded dissertation but I find the input so far in this thread to be extremely helpful.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:16PM
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My stone doesn't show up on the table Bill V linked to. I know it as Arcobaleno. My husband's research indicates it's a quartzite and is often lumped with Azul Macaubas though it's not quite the same thing.

Here's my dilemma: Granite installers sealed it with StoneTech. Even after the sealing, water is still absorbed.

(result of lid with some steam on it left on the counter for about 20 minutes)

OTOH, we also have a nasty, horrible white lacy "film" that supposedly indicates over-sealing. We had the granite guys come back twice. The first time he just added more sealer. That just made the film worse The second time they wiped the counters down with acetone and re-sealed.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:30PM
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stonegirl--could you tell me what you mean by "ghost rings"?
I have Kerala green (0.2-0.3%) in my kitchen. It has been sealed with a product by Stonetech which is suppose to last forever. My granite installer said to use Stonetech revitalizer/cleaner once a week or so. Do I need to do this? When wet mugs and such are left on counter awhile they leave a funny mark which goes away when I rub it with a microfiber cloth. Is that a ghost ring? Granite has has been in for almost one year. Also, I tested a piece before installation and a black sharpie cleaned right off even when left on overnight! Is this because of the granite or the sealer? Thank-you for any input on this.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:43PM
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Pushing this back to the top because of some additional questions have been directed at the stone experts.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:41AM
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    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Thank you, Bill...what great information. We have chosen Mascarello and that isn't on the chart either. Are you familiar with it...does it need to be sealed?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 5:07PM
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Just an fyi for everyone....

I was horrified by how badly markers stained my sample, and it was sealed. When I went back to the granite showroom to choose another type of granite that would be less prone to staining, the salesman was very surprised that I'd seen any staining at all. He told me that it was probably because my sample was honed. Even with sealant, he says, honed granite will be more likely to stain than polished granite will.

I went home with another sample of the same granite--polished this time--to try. I'll post the results because this test might be useful for those trying to decide between honed and polished.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:22PM
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Dear Stonegirl,

My calcutta marble bathroom (walls & floor) was sealed using HD's TileLab. Even though it says it lasts 15 years or so, what's the truth? The installer thought it was good when he put it on. Should I change the sealer to something else like Aquamix or 511? Or just keep checking for when it needs to be resealed?

I thought once a brand of sealer is used, that brand of sealer needs to be consistently used when resealing. Is that true?

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:43PM
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SoneGirl, when you say "real" AB/BA, do you mean AB/BA vs "dyed AB/BA" (i.e., a stone dyed to look like AB)?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I have Giallo Veneziano in our kitchen and two bathrooms. The kitchen granite is sealed but I assume the bathrooms are not because a dark spot is left when water drips on the granite. It does disappear after a while. Is this a problem? This granite is in a new house and we were not there when the granite was sealed. Since the bathrooms don't seem to be sealed I guess this is how the fabricator does the bathrooms? Opinions please.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:15AM
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I have just purchased Verde Butterfly granite for my kitchen. I have heard conflicting information regarding sealing.
Do we get it sealed or not?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:38PM
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    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 6:35PM
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We have Verde Butterfly in the kitchen and Black Galaxy in the master bath and according to advice posted on this forum and information from links posted by our resident experts (THANK YOU ALL!!), neither one requires sealing, nor should they be sealed.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:21AM
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