Granite failed stain test - what's next?

kellienoelleDecember 5, 2011

I am in the beginning phases of planning my kitchen remodel. This weekend I skipped 37 steps and went directly to the fun part, looking at the gorgeous slabs of granite. Now, originally I was thinking quartz because I had heard that it is durable, easy maintenance, stain resistant, all the things that I liked. Then I heard that it can be quite expensive so I set my sights on granite. I am going with a darker stained cabinet so really wanted to offset that with a light, almost white, counter. Off I go and find a lovely lovely stone. It is called River White and has a mostly white background with some gray streaks that look like how sand settles along the banks of a river with flecks of cranberry. I love it! I get a sample! I bring it home! I pour stuff on it! After a couple of hours it is stained horribly, I mean HORRIBLY. So, I went back and read through old threads. I see that this can be mostly hopefully prevented with sealing and quite a few with mostly white granite have lived with it w/o any problems.

So this brings me to my questions, when I take my horribly stained sample back to the granite folks, what do I ask them? How do I know that they treat the granite to prevent this from happening to MY granite? I am not the type of person who will baby my countertops. Obviously I won't be deliberately pouring red wine on it and walking away, but it could happen, so I need to make sure that I consider this when making my selection. I know that white is obviously going to be more prone to staining, but I am not quite ready to give up the dream. Maybe I should add quartz back in the mix.

Thanks, you guys are the best.

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Not sure I'm understanding your question. Are you asking the granite people to seal your granite for you? I did my own, as I'm sure most here do, too. Just make sure you seal it immediately after install. I waited a little too long and had a stain from liquid hand soap and strawberries. I got them out, but learned my lesson to keep my granite sealed.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Yes, once the granite is sealed, all liquids bead up and sit on the surface. I have heard that once this stops happening, it is time to reseal.
I am not sure I understand the point of testing without sealing first.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:55PM
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I would ask the granite people if they seal your granite for you before or at install. And if so, if you could get a sample that has been sealed.

We just had Kasmir white installed, which is also a light granite like river white. Our granite people sealed it twice before install and once after install, and not a stain yet.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:12PM
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Our granite was sealed before installation. Installers recommended repeating every year or so, but not often. The sealer they gave me is just a simple apray-on, wipe-off liquid that is a combination cleaner & sealer.

It may be just superstition, but I wipe the counters well every night, and then put the soap dispenser in the sink (on the grid) so as not to possibly get any stains from the soap dispenser sitting there.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Funny....your granite people sealed it 3 times? Wow! I worked with a designer last year on our master bath and was appalled to find out after the fact that I had to seal it myself, especially since we are all spending a pretty penny on these stone surfaces. I am now doing the kitchen and the granite place is putting on a 15 year "lifetime" sealer.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:36PM
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just re-read the info. from my granite installer. sorry, i was mistaken. granite was sealed only twice. the third time would have been if i had gotten the lifetime sealer, which i didn't get. the guys that did the install said that the lifetime sealer works fine, but it cheaper to reseal own your own twice a year.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:07PM
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I guess I was under the assumption that the samples would be sealed because I would assume that everybody getting samples would do exactly what I did (especially with a white). But, now I know that I should never assume anything. If it wasn't, do I just seal the sample myself with sealer I pick up at my local grocery? I kind of wanted the sample to be just as it would be if I bought it so I would know before making the huge investment.

Funnysunny - Kashmir White was another on my short list, good to know that another white granite is holding up well!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:56PM
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"I am not sure I understand the point of testing without sealing first."

kellienoelle admitted right up front that she skipped directly to step 37. The part about sealing it first was back at step 35 or 36. I'm quite sure that we've all done the exact sort of thing somewhere along the line in our renos.

....some are funnier than others though, and so much nicer when they don't cause a mini-disaster.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:02PM
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Fori is not pleased

What did you try to clean it with? I'd personally require that most stains come off with dish soap and hot water and scrubbing, but would be willing to allow a few that require bleach if I really liked the stone.

So...what stained and how did you try to remove it?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Red wine - I figured I'd break out the big guns and go with what was most likely to end up on the counters. Granted, it would more likely just be a ring over a puddle, but I want to know what I am dealing with. I tried to clean with soap and water. I currently have 25 year old laminate counters that I clean with spray cleaner so don't have any fancy granite cleaner here. Buying that must have been step 33 ;)

Does anybody have a handy dandy step guide available so this goes as seamlessly as possible (or should I just make step #1 to hire a good general contractor)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:16PM
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"(or should I just make step #1 to hire a good general contractor) "

Nah, it's much more fun, and instructive, to do it yourself. Even if you go with a GC, you should know stuff anyway, just in case.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:11PM
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White granites are very porous and will require correct sealing with high quality sealers. Some stone people will tell you that kashmir white is technically impossible to seal due to the composition of the stone. Simply put it is a sponge. However the quality of impregnating sealers have been getting better all the time. I have sealed many white granite tops and while some never seemed to pass the water test even after large quantities of sealer others fared much better. IMO the best way to seal these porous surfaces
is to do very heavy coats left to load on the surface for up to 30 minutes. Then remove all traces of sealer residue from the surface and let cure for 24 hours or so. Then do the water test. See if it is less porous then prior to sealing.Then repeat the sealer application again and again until the water test shows the stone is less or a good bit less porous.Always remember sealer are temporary defences against staining agents left on the surfaces.
Stu Rosen
Then apply second coat

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Hi Kelli,
I'm wondering if you have decided.
I thought it was my post when I read yours (except I did not post anything).... LOL.
I have exact the same question. I did some test with quartz and could not remove the stain. My choice now is River White granite. Did you get your question answered ?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:23PM
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