How Much Does It Cost To Seal Granite?
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When it comes to the best kitchen countertops, many homeowners opt for natural granite. Not only is this sturdy stone attractive, but it resists chips, cracks and scratches. Keeping granite countertops in tip-top condition requires regular maintenance like cleaning and sealing. This handy guide provides homeowners with valuable information regarding costs for sealing granite, the different types of sealers, the pros and cons of sealing, common-sense tips for granite care and step-by-step instructions for the sealing process.
As always, if you need help with your project, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four granite sealing contractors.
Table of Contents
- Granite Sealing Price
- Why Seal Granite?
- Countertop Sealing Vs. Cleaning
- Types Of Granite Sealers
- Advantages Of Sealing Granite Countertops
- Disadvantages Of Sealing Granite Countertops
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Seal Granite Countertops
- Find A Pro
Granite Sealing Price
Breaking down costs often proves beneficial for homeowners considering a granite sealing project. The chart below shows average costs homeowners should budget for when sealing 250 square feet of countertop space. The labor involved includes project planning, materials acquisition, setup, countertop preparation, sealing and project cleanup.
Sealant and other supplies
Four hours of labor
Cost per sq. ft.
To determine the costs for DIY countertop sealing, simply subtract the amount listed for labor. Homeowners who wish to hire a licensed, insured and dependable professional should expect prices on the higher end of the spectrum. Flexibility with scheduling and combining the job with related projects can help reduce costs when hiring a pro to seal countertops. Project costs may also increase if your state requires a sales tax on materials and if permits or inspections are required to complete the work. If professionals are overseen by a general contractor, homeowners should expect to add 15 to 25% extra to arrive at a final estimation of the cost.
Why Seal Granite?
Although granite looks and feels hard, it is a natural stone with differing levels of porosity, depending on the type. Most types of granite require sealing. Otherwise, spills and messes can penetrate the stone and cause stains. Sealing helps maintain the condition of granite by keeping messes and spills out.
Most experts recommend professional cleaning and sealing of granite every one to two years. To determine if it's time to seal or reseal a countertop, place a few drops of water on the surface. If the water beads up, the seal is fine. If the granite absorbs the water, then it's time to seal or reseal.
Countertop Sealing Vs. Cleaning
If granite withstands the water test, it may just need a good cleaning. Unlike tile countertops, which benefit from acid-based cleaners, stone requires a neutral (non-acidic) cleaner to remove dirt and grime. When it comes to the care and maintenance of granite, homeowner's should follow a few guidelines:
- Clean spills immediately to prevent staining
- Place mats, pot holders or trivets under hot cookware
- Use mats or potholders under dishes or cookware that might scratch the surface of the countertop
- Use coasters for beverages
- Don't use scouring brushes or pads when cleaning granite countertops
- Don't use abrasive cleaners like scouring powders
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water to stains, cover with plastic wrap, let sit overnight and wipe with a soft, wet cloth
Types Of Granite Sealers
Although there is a wide selection of granite sealers on the market, products essentially fall into two main categories: coatings and penetrating products. Each offer differing advantages and disadvantages when it comes to protecting granite counters.
Advantages Of Sealing Granite Countertops
Coatings provide a protective layer on the surface of the stone. These products are economical and the sealing process is easy. Certain types of coatings make countertops slip-resistant and provide varying levels of shine.
Penetrating products soak into the surface and do not change the granite's appearance. One application often lasts for several years. Because they work below the surface of the granite, penetrating sealers are not affected by UV rays. For this reason, they make a good choice for outdoor granite countertops.
Disadvantages Of Sealing Granite Countertops
Because coated sealant sits atop the granite's surface, it is vulnerable to scratches and scuffs and may need regular honing, buffing or re-application. Poor quality coating products can produce a plastic appearance when layers build up, or they can turn yellow if exposed to sunlight. The process of buffing and stripping coated sealants from granite and the chemicals used in the process sometimes results in damage to the stone.
Because of the high level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in some solvent-based penetrating sealers, use is restricted in some states. Ingredients can be flammable and noxious, so ventilation is always required when using these products. The cost for penetrating products is typically higher than for coated sealants.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Due to dangerous ingredients in penetrating sealers, professional application with these products is highly recommended. Homeowners who prefer to seal countertops on their own can use coating products or use a penetrating sealer and follow the instructions below.
How To Seal Granite Countertops
Before starting the sealing process, it is a good idea to determine whether a granite countertop has been sealed or whether it is a type of granite that doesn't require sealing. Perform the water drops test listed above or place a wet paper towel on the granite and check back in 10 minutes. If water soaks into the countertop, it will appear darker in the area of the paper towel. This is an indicator the countertop requires sealing. Homeowners should purchase a penetrating sealer and follow these steps to keep countertops in prime condition.
- Clean countertop surfaces with a neutral stone cleaner. Wipe with a dry towel and allow 24 hours for the granite to dry completely.
- Ventilate the kitchen area well, and use gloves and a face mask for personal protection. Apply an even coat of sealer so that countertops are damp, but not soaked. If using a spray sealer, apply lightly in a back and forth direction. To apply liquid sealer to countertops, use a brush or a lint-free cloth.
- Allow the sealer to absorb into the stone for as long as the product instructions require (usually about 20 minutes for one coat). Leaving sealer on for too long can lead to discoloration.
- Apply a second coat of sealer if needed. This should be applied after approximately 15 minutes, when the first coat is not quite dry.
- After the required drying time, wipe up any remaining sealer with a clean rag. If sealer is left on granite, the countertop surface can become dull and cloudy.
- Allow the sealer to cure for 24 to 48 hours before using or washing the countertop. Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific recommendations.
Here is an easy-to-follow video offering visual steps and instructions for sealing countertops:
Find A Pro
Proper sealing on granite countertops helps prevent stains and buildup of bacteria. Hiring an experienced professional ensures a high-quality seal and long-lasting use. Use our free lead generator to find reputable contractors in your area for all kitchen maintenance and remodeling projects.
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Last updated on Dec 23, 2016