Does a food safe life time granite sealer exist?

mudwormNovember 7, 2012

To be honest, I didn't know granite needs to be sealed until our remodel. I think many people, even those who own granite countertop, don't think about it unless their top starts to look weird. So, when I told DH that one advantage quartz over granite is it does not require sealing, DH argues that granite does not need it either -- that's what his colleagues told him.

Anyway, one fabricator we talked to did not help the matter. He claims that the granite he fabricates and installs is sealed for life time. That got me thinking... if that stuff exists, why don't all fabricators use it? I'm all suspicious about it now.

I must say the thought of having some chemicals over the countertop for sealing is further driving me towards quartz. But I know the overwhelming majority of countertops (of non-laminate) out there probably are still granite.

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You probably should have done more research on granites before you chose the granite you did. I have had my Uba Tuba for 14+ years. Never been sealed. It does not need a sealant. Still looks great after all these years. There are many other granites that also do not need sealing. If memory serves me, a list was made some years ago on this forum for granites that don't need sealing. You might give the search function a try(altho it works very seldom and is not that good).

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:22AM
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ther is a product called "hydroshield" which is a polycoat like clearcoat on an auto paint job. it truly is "lifetime" and it is warranted against staining. a google search should help you find someone locally that does it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Is your Uba Tuba polished or honed?

I am wondering how it'd look honed and if it'd be too dull.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:59AM
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That's weird. I received an email notification for each reply and I swear there are more notifications that what I see here. I especially appreciate a long post by "Countertop-Tips". Or, maybe he did it via email? Anyway, I truly appreciate you all taking your time to address my concern!

I guess the take away I have is: sealing or no sealing, or the product used by sealing should not be a deciding factor in choosing one over the other. Both will be durable and both will be safe. I should just find the right color and pattern.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:20PM
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I do not seal my granite, and it looks like the day it was installed. I do not baby it. I have Piracema granite, aka Wave, and it has a low absorptive rate so that it does not need sealer.

For granites that have a higher absorption rate and need sealer, my understanding about "lifetime sealers" from previous threads here is that they are a bit of a scam, or at least not a good use of your money. You can buy good-quality sealer for $20-30, which will provide many applications. Takes a couple of minutes to apply and needs no particular skill.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:38PM
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There are many granites that don't need sealing. Tell us which ones you are considering and we can help you.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:30PM
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If you read the fine print on our "lifetime sealer," you find that lifetime = 15 years. I'm OK with that. We did have ours done by the fabricator and the cost was minimal.

I'm with your conclusion: the sealer issue shouldn't be your deciding factor. If it makes you feel better about looking at quartz, my read is that quartz is rising in popularity and granite declining. Not that granite will make it to out with the out crowd, just moved over and sharing the spotlight.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Read the fine print - what does a 15 year or lifetime guarantee get you - will they actually replace the granite - I doubt it - more likely they'll refund you the cost of the sealer :-)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:26AM
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As noted some granites naturally won't take sealer. Many of what were once considered more delicate/easily stained granites are available resined and will not take a sealer.
Food safe? how about cooking steaks on the granite?

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking steaks on resined granite

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:43AM
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I've never sealed my granites and have no plans to do so. Personally I would never buy a granite that required sealing - it just seems very contrary to the whole notion of granite, which is basically a tough chunk of stone (in most cases, but not all as others have pointed out above).

After all, the tagline is: "Solid as a rock".
Not: "Solid as a regularly-sealed rock" :-)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Wow- I learned new information from this post. I thought all granite needed to be sealed. Guess my local friends and family picked the wrong granites.
On those that are not sealed - are the still absorbent. My lab rat friend is the one who iced the cake against granite when she told me how granite absorbs bacteria. Guess I will have to surf more on this before bathroom remodels.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:22AM
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a2gemini This is a link of a study. Not sure why it won't turn blue, so might have to copy/paste

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Well, that study only discusses what they found inside granite, which was spore forming bacteria that was mostly several varieties of one type. Based on previous findings they believe the bacteria got there via groundwater infiltration.

These were not bacteria that were deposited on the surface and wandered in. I don't know how big an issue surface contamination would be, that's a different issue than the one discussed here. For the spores found in the study to be infective, enough water and nutrients to activate the spore would have to get far enough into the stone to reach the bacteria, then the bacteria would have to have a path to the surface with water and nutrients.

I just don't think that would happen with normal use. Especially for resined, sealed, or particularly nonabsorbent varieties. It would be hard to duplicate saturation by groundwater in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:24AM
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There are other studies showing surface contamination.

I am not recommending not using granite- just to be aware of the issues and use normal safeguards.

Having been a victim of a careless pot luck dish and getting severe campylobacter food poisoning - I keep my alert up.

Back to the original thread - if you aren't comfortable with granite - you have some references. If you go with granite- just use standard precautions.

In any case, pick something that you like.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:03AM
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That makes a good case for standard precautions and removable prep surfaces such as wood cutting boards. Since only one counter surface was tested, no conclusions can be made about if it's more or less likely to have cells adhered. I'd love to see a study of multiple counter surfaces!

But in the end it probably doesn't really matter. Even an antimicrobial surface needs proper cleaning and time, and then we're back to the original food safe question with antimicrobial treatments!

I know wood surfaces and soapstone can be conditioned with food quality oils, so food safe. I would have to imagine a sealer for kitchen counters would have to be food safe in terms of contact, but I don't think I'd necessarily want to cut things where that sealer may be scraped off into the food I'm cutting. Guess I have another thing to add to my research list...though I might just skip it as we always use a cutting board. Running out of brain cells to devote to kitchen research at this point :-)

Speaking of oils for soapstone, I ended up ruling it out because a lot of products are walnut oil based, and I have a walnut allergy. Didn't want to worry about that. Something to think about if you have friends or family with tree nut allergies.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:17AM
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