What Happens If You Don’t Seal Granite Countertops?

If you have been around natural stone countertops, you know you need to seal them to keep them looking their best, but have you ever asked yourself what happens if you don’t seal granite countertops? Here are some of the things that can happen:

Stains from food and grease

When you don’t seal your countertops, they tend to quickly absorb food and liquids, leading to deep stains. Since the countertops are bare, the stains develop within a matter of minutes, even if you are quick to wipe the spill.

The countertops not only absorb liquids, but grease and pigments as well. For example, if you leave a carton of strawberries on your countertops, it’s only a matter of a few minutes, and you find a large stain on your countertops that is hard to remove.

Stains from water

Properly sealed granite will repel liquids and prevent them from permeating into the stone. As mentioned above, an unsealed stone absorbs liquids fast, including water. You might have the impression that something as natural as water can’t harm your countertops, but this isn’t the case.

In an unsealed countertop, water will penetrate, leaving behind watermarks which give your stone an ugly, dirty appearance.

Damage from cleaning products

Vinegar and other harsh cleaning products will damage even the sealed surfaces, but unsealed countertops are more susceptible to damage. Since you haven’t sealed the surfaces, the products that aren’t supposed to harm the surfaces end up hurting them.

For example, products containing citrus quickly eat away at the countertop, seep into the stone and damage the finish, causing discoloration. When you seal the surfaces, you plug the cracks and tiny fissures in the stone, keeping the products from going deep into the stone. As a result you can clean the countertops without worrying about damaging them.

Sealing is straightforward

To keep your countertops in top shape, you should seal them at the time of installation then once a year thereafter. While countertop sealing is such an important task, it’s not complex.

Begin with finding a good quality countertop sealer designed to resist water and oil-based stains. Before you apply the sealer, clean the surfaces, and ensure there are no stains on them.

For best results, work in small areas, giving the sealer time to absorb into the slab before applying the second layer. After covering the entire surface, give the countertops a few hours to dry before using them.

Other ways to maintain granite

Other than sealing it, there are plenty of other things you need to do to ensure your countertop lasts for a long time. These things include:

Don’t step on the countertops

Granite is tough, but it can’t withstand a lot of pressure, especially along the edges. When you are looking to reach onto the top shelf, it’s tempting to step onto the countertops. After all, they are made from stone, right? At no time should you step on granite.

If you have to reach on to something on the top shelf, use a ladder or stool.

Don’t place hot items directly on the countertops.

Granite can withstand heat, but when you repeatedly place hot pans on it, you are bound to discolor it or even cause extensive damage. To ensure your countertops last for a long time, avoid placing hot pans, pots, and other items directly on the surfaces. Instead, use pads, trivets, and other protective materials.

Watch your cleaning products.

As mentioned above, even sealed countertops can get damaged by tough cleaning products, so stay away from them. As a rule of thumb, avoid products bearing acids as they will etch at the surfaces or even discolor your valuable surfaces.

Its recommend you use water and soap to clean the countertops. If the surfaces are too dirty and want to use other cleaning products, first enquire from the countertop company whether you can use it.

Don’t cut directly on the surfaces.

The same way certain homeowners have the impression the countertops are tough, so they can step on them, it’s the same way they think they can get away with cutting onions, meat, and other materials directly on them.

Granite companies Rockville strongly advise against this as it not only damages the countertops, but also your knife. When looking to cut anything on the surface, use a cutting board.



How Long Do Granite Countertops Last? Find It Here

One of the reasons homeowners are attracted to granite is because it’s durable. Since it’s made from tough materials, it’s resistant to scratching and heat.

Homeowners know granite is durable, but how long do granite countertops last?  When properly maintained, granite can last for a long time. Experts say the countertops can last for more than 100 years.

Comparing granite to other countertop materials

So how does granite compare to the other countertop materials?

  • Natural stone and granite: 100+ years
  • Cultured marble: 20 years
  • Laminate: 20-30 years
  • Concrete countertops: 20 years
  • Tile: 100+ years

How can you ensure the countertops last for as long as possible?

As mentioned above, you need to do the right things for the countertops to last for a long time. Some of the things you should do include:

Choose the right color.

Did you know the color of the stone has a great impact on the durability of the countertops? When you choose the wrong color for your lifestyle, you will be bored with it fast, or it will get stained, forcing you to replace it. The most popular colors to choose from are:

Black: Black is sleek, elegant, and never gets out of style. Black can also give your kitchen the impression of space.

White: Looking to give your kitchen a modern and contemporary look? White is the way to go. For a great look that you will proud of for years, pair it with white appliances and sinks.

Red: It’s said to be the color of daring and energetic. Many homeowners shy away from it so that you won’t find it in many homes. It’s rare to come across pure red, but it’s easy to bump into red granite featuring white, blue, or light-colored highlights that you can use to make a powerful statement.

Green: For a traditional and earthy look, green is the right color to go with. You can also pair green with bursts of grey and brown to create an old-fashioned, comforting vibe that makes your kitchen one of the most relaxing places to be.

Seal the countertops

Another way to make your countertops last for a long time is to seal them. Granite is naturally porous, so air can pass through it. At the time of installation, you should seal the stone so no liquids can go through and cause stains.

To maintain the sealing properties, make it a habit to seal the counters at least once every one or two years.

You can do the sealing yourself or hire an expert to help you out. Regardless of who does the work, ensure you use a high-quality sealing product.

Clean the countertops regularly

Can you imagine a simple act as cleaning the countertops can give your surfaces a long life? Every day, clean granite with warm water and a soft rag. You also should consider investing in a disinfectant cleaner designed specifically for granite surfaces.

You should avoid regular cleaning products on granite as they tend to be too abrasive, and they can easily break down the sealants, exposing your countertops to stains and damage.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Even if the surfaces are tough, when you hit them with heavy material, they will crack, and you have to replace the entire slab. You don’t want this, do you? To protect the surfaces, don’t hit them with a heavy object.

When preparing your food, always use a cutting board.

Ensure the countertops are properly installed

Everything begins here. If your countertops aren’t properly installed, it’s a matter of time before they break. To prevent this, ensure you use extra beams and other support systems necessary to hold up granite.

This calls for you to hire experienced granite contractors Rockville. While they will be a little bit expensive, they will properly install the countertops, which will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Use the countertops properly.

You will have the most properly installed countertops, but they will crack or suffer from other forms of damage if you misuse them. To avoid damage, don’t stand, sit, or use the countertops for any other purpose other than what they are designed to do.