Maintaining New Countertops

Now that you’ve made the investment of new countertops for your home [a statistically sound one], you are concerned about how to maintain their appearance. Here is where the Sealer Industry comes into play. [20 years ago when I started, there was no Sealer Industry]. A case of filling a perceived ‘need’ as stone countertops became the norm.

 For every stone or faux stone, there is a sealer. Are they necessary? Some, yes. Some, maybe. Some, not.
We buy our sealers from the most experienced chemical company out there, Tenax. We buy the best one they make. We’re not going to scrimp on protecting your investment. That makes no ethical sense. We’re also not going to leave the judgement of whether a particular countertop needs sealing or not to our installers. Their job is to install tops, not make chemical judgements. Everything is sealed, whether it needs it or not. That is simply our policy. It mutes debate.
Some notes on countertop choices:
Marble:
There are numerous types of marble, hards and softs. The overriding common characteristic is the presence of calcites. Calcites are acid-sensitive. A Marketing phrase meaning ‘they’ll etch’ if exposed to acids. Some have more calcite than others, hence they are more susceptible to etching. There is no sealer to prevent etching. However, common sense rules.
Here is a tried and true rule: If you spill something, clean it up. That takes all the guesswork out. Plus, it’s easy to remember.
Granite:
The Tenax sealer we use says it lasts 20 years. We say 10 to be safe. All granites are sealed. No exception. Find something else to worry about. We’ve taken this one out of play.
Faux stone [Engineered Stone]:
The manufacturers say it doesn’t need sealing. I believe we all know plastics will stain. Tenax makes a sealer for it. Need I say more?
Quartzite:
We seal it. It absolutely does NOT need it. A diamond is only marginally harder than a quartzite. Have you people been sealing your diamond rings?
Soapstone:
Virtually 100% talc. Yes, baby butt talc. Nothing penetrates talc. Is it soft? Of course it is. Will it stain? Not possible.
The mineral oil or wax you apply to darken it does not penetrate. It sits on top. The number of coats doesn’t matter. They all sit on top. If you scratch the surface and re-apply the topping, it’ll mask the scratch, but it still sits on top.
A lot of the white veins in Soapstone are quartz. That doesn’t need sealing either.
Travertine:
This is basically air surrounded by some stone.
You could seal it with peanut butter and still have holes. Some are quite pretty, but sealing it [which we attempt] is not effective. A case of ‘it is what it is’.
Hopefully, this covers your questions. If not, ask us. If we don’t know, we’ll find out.