Do I Need a Granite Countertop Sealer for My New Kitchen?
Granite countertops are relatively hard and resistant to damage and staining. Yet, the question remains, if you’ve installed granite countertops, do you need a granite countertop sealer?
Yes. Academy Marble & Granite recommends sealing granite countertops. With a sealant, granite countertops become almost impervious to damage from stains. After every granite countertop project is complete, we seal the countertops after installation.
How does a granite countertop sealer help?
Sealants don’t form an impenetrable barrier over stone. It’s not like a solid sheet of glass covering the surface. Instead, sealers saturate into granite, soaking into the stone’s porous pockets and then hardens. The sealant fills in the pores to prevent other liquids from soaking in.
Stone countertops can be damaged and/or stained by liquids left sitting on the surface. With a sealed counter, liquids will float on the surface. If you forget to wipe them up, most liquids will evaporate before they are absorbed. The only exception is oil. Oil will not evaporate.
Granite sealer needs to be replaced periodically. The time period between sealing applications varies based on manufacturer recommendations.
Even when sealed, it’s still recommended that you use cutting boards on top of your granite countertops.
What makes granite so durable?
Granite is formed in the earth’s crust from molten rock material, which means it ’s an igneous rock. In igneous rocks, molten rock from the earth’s interior cools very slowly below the earth’s surface and grows crystals within its structure as it solidifies. The crystals inside granite are usually made of feldspar or quartz. Quartz crystals contribute to the shiny polish of granite countertops.
Granite lies under layers of other rock unless it’s been brought to the surface by geologic forces or erosion. Natural granite is visible in many exposed cliffs and mountains that are made of stone. For example, Mt. Rushmore is actually a granite outcropping.
Granite’s durability is the result of its formation. Born in extreme heat, and cooled under the weight of tons of surface stones, it’s so dense and heat-resistant it’s unlikely to be damaged by a cook’s daily use.
Stones are measured for hardness based on their scratch resistance versus other materials. This measurement is made with a guideline called the Mohs’ scale. The low end of the Mohs’ scale is talc which has a rating of one. The high end includes sapphire at nine and diamond which has a rating of ten. Diamonds can scratch all other stones on the Mohs’ scale.
Granite is usually rated a six or seven on the Mohs scale, while one of its primary components, quartz, is rated a seven. Steel is usually rated a six or seven on the hardness scale. Depending on the amount of quartz in your counter, your steel knives will be softer or harder than your granite countertops. This is why, as previously stated, we always recommend using cutting boards. It doesn’t matter if the knife or the countertop is harder at the end of the day. If you use a knife on granite, you will damage the counter or the knife.
What type of granite does Academy Marble & Granite carry?
Academy Marble & Granite has over 20,000 feet of warehouse space filled with marble, granite and quartzite slabs. When you visit our showrooms in Rye, NY, and Bethel, CT, we will help you select the perfect granite slab from a large number of choices.
Granite comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. These include neutral base colors of white, gray, and black, and colored bases such as greens and blues. More dynamic granite options include these base colors and contrasting patterns with veins of golds and rusts. Most design trends for 2019 favor the more neutral granite options with low contrast colorations and fine-grained patterns.
One reason for these subdued choices in countertops is the growing trend of kitchens with cabinets painted in bold colors, featuring showy hardware, and illuminated by focal-point light fixtures. There’s a design ideal that limits the number of patterns and distractions to the eye in a given room. In high-impact modern kitchen designs, neutral countertops provide a smooth, soothing expanse in contrast to other showy elements.
To view examples of granite options and how they look installed, visit our Granite and portfolio pages.
We’re here to help
Choosing the right countertops for your kitchen or bath can be overwhelming without the right assistance. Academy Marble & Granite’s team is ready to help. Visit one of our locations, or contact us today to set up a consultation.