Do You Seal Quartz Like Granite Countertops?

Quartz and granite countertops are popular choices for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their aesthetic appeal and durability. However, there are some key differences in how these natural stone materials are sealed and maintained. Understanding whether quartz requires sealing like granite is an important consideration when deciding between these countertop options.

What Is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90% or more of the material. Unlike natural stone slabs, quartz is man-made in a factory setting, so manufacturers have more control over the look and consistency.

Here are some key facts about quartz:

  • Extremely durable and resistant to scratches, stains and heat
  • Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Non-porous so liquids don’t penetrate the surface
  • Low maintenance and does not require regular sealing
  • Resists most stains and is easy to clean
  • Seamless appearance with no grout lines when installed properly
  • More affordable than natural stone alternatives like granite

Quartz offers the look of high-end stone with excellent resistance to daily wear and tear. The polymer resins make quartz less prone to damage compared to natural materials.

What Is Granite?

Granite is a type of volcanic rock that consists of quartz, feldspar, mica and other natural minerals. Granite forms deep underground and is mined in large slabs for countertops and other uses.

Here are some key granite characteristics:

  • Available in wide range of natural colors and patterns
  • Resistant to scratches, heat and stains but can be etched by acidic foods
  • Naturally porous and requires periodic sealing
  • Can chip or crack if subjected to heavy impact
  • Can develop small fissures that collect grime over time
  • Needs re-sealing every 1-2 years to prevent stains
  • Grout lines need regular cleaning to prevent buildup
  • More expensive than engineered quartz

Granite is prized for its natural beauty and timeless elegance but requires some regular maintenance to keep it looking pristine. The sealing process helps protect the stone’s porous surface.

Do You Need To Seal Quartz Countertops?

No, quartz countertops do not require any sealing, unlike natural stone countertops such as granite. This makes maintenance quite simple.

The resin binders used in the manufacture of quartz make it non-porous and prevent liquid from penetrating the surface. Liquids easily bead up and can be wiped away without leaving stains or damage.

However, it is still important to follow these care tips for quartz:

  • Use a gentle cleaner made for stone
  • Blot up spills quickly to prevent etching
  • Avoid abrasive pads and cleaners
  • Don’t use counter as a cutting board
  • Have porcelain/ceramic knives to avoid dulling and scratching surface

With routine cleaning using a soft cloth and mild soap and water, quartz countertops will retain their flawless factory finish for many years. No sealing or polishing is needed.

Do Granite Countertops Need To Be Sealed?

Yes, sealing is highly recommended for granite countertops. Unlike engineered quartz, natural granite contains tiny pores and fissures that can allow liquids to seep into the stone, leading to permanent staining and discoloration over time.

It’s recommended to seal granite countertops at least once a year to “fill in” these pores and create a protective barrier on the surface. More frequent sealing may be needed for heavily used kitchen countertops.

Here are some benefits of sealing granite:

  • Prevent oils, drinks like wine or juice and foods like tomatoes or mustard from soaking into the stone
  • Allows for easier cleaning by creating a barrier that repels grime
  • Reduce the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew in porous areas
  • Maintain the granite’s original color and prevent dark stained spots
  • Needed after professional honing/polishing due to increased surface porosity

Be sure to use a sealant specifically designed for granite. Look for a water-based and non-toxic formula. Sealers come in different finishes from matte to glossy.

How To Seal Granite Countertops

Sealing granite countertops is a relatively easy DIY project. Here are some step-by-step instructions:

1. Clean and Dry the Granite

Use a stone cleaner to remove any dirt, debris or residues from the granite. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely with a soft cloth. Allow the granite to air dry for at least 24 hours before sealing.

2. Apply Sealant

Use a sealant formulated for granite following the product directions. Choose a water-based sealer without toxic fumes. Use a soft paintbrush or lint-free cloth to apply a thin, even layer across the entire surface.

3. Allow Sealant to Soak In and Dry

Let the sealer soak into the stone for 5-10 minutes. Then thoroughly wipe away any excess with a dry cloth. Drying time varies based on the specific sealer used. Allow the full drying time before using the countertops.

4. Apply a Second Coat if Needed

For the best protection, apply a second coat following the same steps. Adding an extra coat ensures you have an even application across the entire surface.

5. Cure Time

Allow the sealant to fully cure based on the manufacturer’s directions before using the countertops. This may take up to a few days. Avoid placing any items on the granite during this time.

6. Reseal Granite Yearly

Sealing granite countertops needs to be done as part of yearly maintenance. Mark your calendar to reapply sealant approximately every 12 months. Spot treat any problem areas as needed.

Key Differences Between Quartz and Granite

| Quartz | Granite |
| Manmade engineered stone | Natural mined stone |
| Resin binders make it non-porous | Porous surface needs sealing |
| No sealing required | Needs sealing every 1-2 years |
| Resists scratches, stains, heat | Can be etched and stained without sealing |
| Low maintenance | Requires periodic sealing |
| Consistent patterns and tone | Natural variations in veining and shading |
| Seamless appearance | Visible grout lines |
| Affordable option | More expensive material |

Frequently Asked Questions About Sealing Quartz and Granite Countertops

1. Does all granite need to be sealed?

Yes, it is highly recommended to seal all natural granite countertops. Certain very dense granites may be less porous but sealing provides an added layer of protection.

2. How can you tell if granite is sealed?

Perform a water test by dripping a small amount of water onto the surface. If it beads up and can be wiped away quickly, then the granite is likely sealed. If the water soaks in or leaves a dark mark, it needs to be sealed.

3. Do quartz countertops stain easily?

No, quartz is essentially non-porous so it resists staining quite well. Only prolonged exposure to strong chemicals could potentially damage engineered quartz.

4. Is sealing quartz bad?

It’s unnecessary and provides no real benefit. The resin material prevents absorption or penetration. Save your money and skip sealing quartz.

5. What happens if you don’t seal granite?

Over time, unsealed granite will start showing etching, stains, discoloration, and loss of shine. Sealing protects the vulnerable surface.

6. How long does a granite sealer last?

On average, expect a granite sealer to last between 1-2 years. Higher traffic areas may need to be sealed more frequently than surfaces used less often.

7. How can you increase the life of a granite sealer?

  • Avoid using harsh cleaners that can break down sealant
  • Immediately blot up spills instead of letting them sit
  • Use trivets and cutting boards to minimize direct impact
  • Reseal as soon as you notice dark spots or rings forming

8. Is sealing quartz with granite sealer OK?

No, quartz should never be sealed. Using a sealant made for natural stone could damage the engineered material and void any warranties.


When deciding between quartz and granite countertops, consider the maintenance requirements. Quartz requires no sealing, while annual sealing is recommended for natural granite surfaces. For busy kitchens prone to spills, quartz may be a lower maintenance option thanks to its non-porous qualities. Ultimately, choose the countertop material that best fits your lifestyle, priorities and design aesthetic. With proper care, both granite and quartz can remain beautiful focal points in your home for decades.