Quartzite is one of the most popular countertop material options due to its timeless elegance and long-lasting durability. This durability is in part owed to its sealant. Quartzite kitchen countertops require sealing before use and are resealed annually to perform to their highest potential.
Most homeowners might be looking for answers to questions such as do quartzite countertops need to be sealed, how often they should be sealed, and what they are sealed with. To find out the answers, keep reading!
What is Quartzite?
Quartz is a natural stone and a metamorphic rock formed under immense pressure and heat in the earth’s crust. It forms under such extreme conditions and is highly durable against heat, pressure, and general physical damage.
Moreover, quartzite is known for its similar appearance to marble. Marble is widely recognized as one of the, if not the hardest stones to maintain, clean, and keep in pristine condition. On the other hand, quartzite has a similar aesthetic appeal while being fuss-free. Therefore, it is a very sought-after and desired stone.
Quartzite is usually available in neutral and light base colors such as white, light gray, cream, and beige. However, many slabs with blue, green, pink, gold, brown, red, and other colors are thrown.
These colors manifest in different forms. They can be veins, speckles, or other types of patterns. The light and neutral base color is because quartzite is formed from sandstone, which has a light color.
During the metamorphic process that pressurizes and heats the sandstone, other minerals can also mix into it. These minerals make up the veins and patterns that are adored today.
Do Quartzite Countertops Need to be Sealed?
Similar to other natural stone surfaces, quartzite has a porous composition. In other words, it has tiny holes too small to see with the naked eye. It is similar to our skins in that regard!
As it is porous, outside factors can easily seep into it to present unwanted consequences.
This is a huge problem considering one of the most common uses for quartzite is in kitchens. For example, spilled drinks, oils, or other food particles can collect in tiny holes. As these holes are so small, they are impossible to fully clean.
Therefore, the particles of food and drinks can collect in them, spoil, and cause mold or bacterial growth over time.
For this reason, quartzite countertops must be sealed before they are used. The sealant allows the quartzite countertops to resist stains, discoloration, bacterial growth, and mold that outside factors can cause. The sealant fills in the holes; therefore, liquids and food can’t get into them.
Moreover, the sealant protects against general dirt as well while making the countertops much easier to clean.
How Often Is Quartzite Sealer Needed?
Generally, it is advised to reseal your countertops annually to maintain quartzite. It is essential to keep up with resealing quartzite countertops to keep them in pristine condition. Resealing makes it easier to clean quartzite.
Moreover, the sealant gives the countertops a shiny appearance.
You can know if the countertops need resealing if their shine has started to dull or if you notice that they tend to get discolored easily and are generally less resistant. If your countertops begin to display such characteristics, it is time to reseal them, even if it hasn’t been a year yet.
Kitchens that are very busy and get daily use might need to be resealed more frequently than those that are less used. The reason is that the sealant on the constantly used countertops will fade quickly. In that case, it is best to contact a professional so that they can reassess whether or not your countertops need resealing.
If you are unsure whether your countertops need to be resealed, it is best to do it just in case.
There is no such thing as oversealing the countertops. Remember that the sealant protects your countertops and increases their longevity. In other words, you can consider this procedure to be an investment toward longer-lasting countertops.
Best Sealers for Quartzite Countertops
When it comes to stone sealers, there are many different types. The two main types used most often are water- and solvent-based sealants. Another distinction is between topical sealants and penetrating sealants.
The reason why they are called penetrating sealants is that they seep into the surface of the stone and become repellant.
In other words, they don’t coat the surface; they get soaked up by the stone so it can protect them from the inside out. Furthermore, the protective properties last longer than topical sealants. However, this type is harder to apply and is more expensive.
Topical sealants are generally made from natural wax, acrylics, and polyurethanes. They are cheaper, easy to apply but wade away quickly and scratch easier than penetrating sealants.
Topical sealants and penetrating sealants come in water-based and solvent-based versions. One rule to keep in mind is that regardless of the brand you are using, you should not mix different types of sealants.
For example, if you have sealed your countertops with a solvent-based penetrating sealant in the past if you try to reseal it with a water-based topical sealant, the base layer of sealant underneath it will reject it. In other words, it won’t be able to stick to the surface. You can think of it like water and oil.
Once you apply oil onto a surface, the water will just float on the top.
It is best to have a conversation with your fabricator during and after installation. They will most likely recommend a sealant for you to use during the resealing.
However, as the user of the countertops, you should also pay attention to how the sealant and countertops behave. Is it getting stained? Are you noticing watermarks? If this is the case, you should inform them so that they can reseal or use a different sealer to eradicate the problem.
In short, before it can be used, installers will seal quartzite to ensure it is ready for the kitchen. Depending on how active your kitchen is and how often you cook, you will need to reseal quartzite countertops. Generally, at least annually, but sometimes every six months is the advised amount.
You should use a sealant and stone cleaner that your fabricator advises to keep your countertops in the best condition, and if you are having problems or have any questions, contact them immediately. If appropriately maintained, quartzite countertops can last you a lifetime.
Therefore, it is always better to be safe than sorry and to take every precaution to help them reach their potential.
- How often do you need to seal a quartzite countertop?
Quartzite countertops, in general, should be resealed annually. If you notice that the shine of the countertops is starting to dull, or if cups leave water marks behind and stains occur frequently, it is time for a reseal.
- What happens if you don’t seal quartzite?
Quartzite is a porous stone and the stone can absorb all of the liquids that will spill over it. When these spills occur, they will leave stains and discoloration behind.
Over time it can even cause mold or bacterial growth as these holes cannot be thoroughly cleaned due to their size. This is an especially big health threat considering the kitchen prepares the food.
- Can quartzite be permanently sealed?
Quartzite can’t be sealed permanently. Some types and brands of sealants offer more long-lasting protection compared to others. However, even these will need to be reapplied after a certain amount of time.
- What kind of sealer do you use on quartzite?
You can use many of the sealants that are suitable for natural stones. Water-based, solvent-based, topical, and penetrating sealants can all be used for sealing quartzite countertops.
However, make sure not to mix different types and follow your fabricator’s advice, as mixing different types can cause the sealant not thoroughly to coat the countertops.