Granite is an investment. It’s costly, and, in fact, it may be the most expensive feature in the kitchen or bathroom. But when the longevity of natural stone and the extra value it adds to the home are taken into account, the cost may justify the purchase. A properly maintained granite surface can last up to 100 years.
To get the most value out of such a large purchase, take care of your granite. Regularly sealing the porous surface to protect it from penetrating liquids, foods, and stains can help keep granite looking its best for its whole life. Read this guide for assistance in choosing the best granite sealer for your stone surfaces.
- BEST OVERALL: TriNova Granite Sealer & Protector
- RUNNER-UP: Granite Gold Sealer Spray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black Diamond Stoneworks GRANITE PLUS!
- BEST WITH POLISH: Rock Doctor Granite & Quartz Care Kit
- BEST FOR COUNTERTOPS: CLARK’s Soapstone Slate and Concrete Wax
- MOST VERSATILE: StoneTech RTU Revitalizer, Cleaner & Protector
Types of Granite Sealers
Granite is a big investment, so homeowners want to keep it in tip-top shape. That means keeping it clean and regularly maintaining it with a sealer. Not only should granite be sealed, but it also must be cleaned. A wide variety of products are available for cleaning granite surfaces.
A plethora of granite care products are available in today’s market. Many of those products serve the same purpose, but they do so with different methods. The three most popular sealants are penetrating, enhancing, and topical sealers.
Penetrating, or impregnating, sealers protect granite surfaces by plugging the porous surface with resins. Solvent- and water-based penetrating sealers are available, both of which help the resins soak into the pores. Once the water or solvent dries, it leaves the resins behind to protect the surface from stains.
Penetrating sealers do most of their work from under the surface, so they don’t offer much protection against scratches and etching from acidic substances. Also, these sealers offer stain-resistance, not stain-proofing.
Older granite surfaces may need an enhancing sealer. They enrich the look of the countertop by soaking deeply into the surface to create a shiny, wet look. They often can reinvigorate older, dull surfaces.
While the process is complicated to explain, the idea is that an enhancer helps the stone do a better job of reflecting light, creating a shiny, yet darker, surface. Most enhancing compounds also provide a bit of sealant protection, much like an impregnating or penetrating sealer.
Topical sealers create a layer of protection on the outermost layer of the stone. They create a shiny, glossy finish, and they protect the surface from scratches, dull spots, and other undesirable marks. They work well on flooring, mantels, and other rougher stone surfaces. The rugged texture of these materials gives these types of sealers a “tooth” onto which they can grip to create long-lasting protection.
Topical sealers aren’t always ideal for countertops. Some don’t apply particularly well to smooth surfaces, and they can also block moisture from escaping the stone, causing cracks when the moisture tries to escape. Use a product meant specifically for countertops.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Granite Sealer
Besides the different types of granite sealers, there are other features and attributes to look for in a sealer. This section outlines the most important things to keep in mind while shopping for the best granite sealers for your stone surfaces.
Granite sealers come in a few different forms, including sprays, liquids, waxes, and polishing compounds. Consider each type of product’s capabilities to determine which may work best for your needs.
- Liquids, whether in a spray bottle or jug, have the best chance of penetrating into the granite, enhancing and protecting the granite from within. These sprays also come in aerosol cans, allowing fast coverage.
- Polishing compounds, which are usually thicker, take a bit of elbow grease to apply. Much like waxing the surface of a car, the compound must be worked into the surface of the stone to ensure even protection.
All sealers help protect granite surfaces, but some can leave behind a shiny finish that looks great.
A basic sealer helps create a shiny finish that reflects a bit more light than a non-sealed surface. An enhancing sealer provides a wet look, but to really create a bright, light-reflecting surface, a granite polish works best.
Polishing the granite surface creates a very glossy, shiny surface that can make an impact. Moreover, polishing the stone usually reduces the amount of tiny scratches that rob the granite of its light-reflecting properties.
Sealing granite surfaces can take a bit of effort. For example, to seal granite flooring, the countertops must be cleaned and all furniture removed from the room.
Experts vary in their recommendations as to how often to seal granite, but most say it should be sealed every 3 months to once a year. In high-traffic areas, 3 months might be a good goal, while every 6 months may be enough for other places. Many of the best sealers can last several years.
The chemicals in granite sealers are no more dangerous than those in most popular household cleaners. Sealers need to cure to be effective. It may take a day or two for some sealers, but once cured, they’re completely safe to touch, prep food, and anything else you might do on a granite surface.
If it’s a solvent-based sealer, pay attention to the directions on the bottle. Many manufacturers suggest using these chemicals in a well-ventilated room, which can pose a challenge during colder months. However, once the solvent dissipates, which is rather quickly, the surfaces are safe.
Also, many manufacturers recommend that users wear gloves and safety glasses as they seal their countertops. Wearing a mask to avoid vapors or odors also might be a good idea.
Considering how to apply the granite sealer is a major factor in choosing the best granite sealer. While a spray bottle might work well for a countertop, an aerosol probably works better on a large floor or shower. Also, some sealers need to sit on the surface longer than others to soak into the stone.
Understand what each sealer requires to provide adequate protection. Finding a stain because you missed a step is an expensive mistake that could cost a lot to remedy.
In homes with a variety of different granite or stone surfaces, choosing a sealer that works on multiple surfaces may be the best bet. Stone sealers can work on multiple materials.
Most importantly, however, check that the product works specifically on granite. Granite has some different properties from stone like sandstone and marble, but some products will seal them all with one formula.
Our Top Picks
With this background on the types of granite sealers and the important factors to keep in mind, it’s time to start shopping for the best granite sealer. Below is a list of some of the best granite sealers on today’s market.
For a one-stop sealer that both penetrates and creates a protective surface layer, Granite Sealer & Protector from TriNova is worth checking out. This sealer comes in an 18-ounce spray bottle for easy application on countertops and other granite surfaces. Because it’s water-based and doesn’t contain volatile chemicals, it’s safe to use in closed spaces.
The TriNova formula is easy to apply. Simply spray it on the surface, allow it to penetrate for one to two minutes, and then wipe it off. It cures completely within an hour.
Those who need a food-safe countertop sealer that’s easy to apply and versatile for several surfaces may want to try Granite Gold Sealer Spray.
This spray, a water-based sealer, comes in 24-ounce spray bottles and provides a protective surface layer that resists stains and scratches. It works on granite, marble, travertine, and other natural stones.
Applying Granite Gold Sealer Spray is a straightforward process. Simply spray the surface of the countertop and immediately wipe it off. The surface might require two or three further applications, so wait 20 minutes between each application. The sealer will cure completely in 24 hours.
For one of the most straightforward approaches to both cleaning and sealing granite surfaces, check out Black Diamond Stoneworks GRANITE PLUS! 2-in-1 Cleaner and Sealer. It’s easy to use and leaves behind a streak-free, protective shine. Its environmentally-friendly formula, which works on stone surfaces, comes in a pack of six 1-quart bottles.
To use this Black Diamond Stoneworks sealer, simply spray it on the granite surfaces and wipe until it’s clean and dry. The built-in sealer leaves a top layer that seals the porous surface and protects it from stains. It also makes stone surfaces easier to clean in the future.
Rock Doctor’s Granite and Quartz Care Kit might be just the ticket for those looking for a kit that not only cleans and seals, but also polishes stone surfaces to a bright, shiny finish.
This kit includes three aerosol cans: a cleaner, sealer, and polisher. After using the spray cleaner to clean the surface, use the sealer to penetrate and bond with the stone, creating a long-lasting seal against stains.
After the surface is clean and sealed, the polish creates a water-resistant protective coating to further prevent stains, spills, and etching. The polish contains carnauba wax and special emollients that will fill small cracks and scratches, leaving behind a shiny and smooth surface.
Instead of using chemicals to clean or seal the granite, CLARK’S Soapstone Slate and Concrete Wax uses all-natural ingredients, such as beeswax, carnauba wax, mineral oil, lemon oil, and orange oil. Clark uses a higher concentration of carnauba wax than most of its competitors, so it can provide a tough layer of protection against water and stains.
To apply the wax, simply rub it onto the countertop and allow it to absorb into the surface. Once it dries to a haze, buff it off with a clean pad.
For one product to clean and protect several surfaces, check out StoneTech’s RTU Revitalizer, Cleaner, and Protector. This 1-gallon bottle works on granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, sandstone, flagstone, and quartzite. It cleans and protects countertops, vanities, and tile surfaces. The water-based formula is safe to use in the home, and it’s biodegradable.
The simple spray-and-wipe formula makes it easy to apply to a surface. It has a built-in sealer that remains behind after wiping to create a topical coating to protect from stains and scratches. The sealer also makes future spills and cleanup easier, and it has a pleasant citrus scent.
FAQs About Granite Sealers
The following section is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about granite sealers. If you still have questions about using the sealer, reach out to the manufacturer and speak with a customer service representative.
Q. How often should you seal granite countertops?
Experts disagree as to how often granite should be sealed. A good rule of thumb is to test the surface every 3 to 6 months to determine if it needs sealing. To test it, simply drip a bit of water onto the granite and wait half an hour. If a damp ring appears around the puddle, you should seal the granite.
All the granite experts agree that no granite surface is exactly the same. In fact, darker colors like black, gray, and blue might not require much sealing at all.
Q. How long do you have to wait to use countertops after sealing granite?
Each product has its own curing time. Some cure within an hour, but most products take about 24 hours to cure completely.
Q. Does granite sealer darken granite?
Sealers that penetrate the surface can give granite a darker appearance, but this is simply the sealer enriching the countertop’s color. It doesn’t actually darken the color, and it will lighten over time.