LESLIE: Betty in South Carolina needs some help with a granite countertop. What can we do for you today?
BETTY: I had granite counters installed in my kitchen about a year ago …
BETTY: … and I – when the people installed my counter they just installed it and I thought I was all set to go. And a friend of mine recently had a granite countertop installed and they were told that they have to have their granite sealed every year and, until they get it sealed, they set something on the counter and it stains it with moisture and then it dries out.
BETTY: Is there a difference in granite counters; that one would need sealing and one wouldn’t? My dealer had nothing to – didn’t say anything about sealing.
LESLIE: Well, generally, a granite countertop – when you purchase it – will come sealed initially. It sounds like your friend’s, for some reason, either doesn’t have a sealer on it or has a very minimal level of sealant because granite is not going to – especially with a sealer that you’re getting from the manufacturer, it’s not going to get a stain. Like if you spill wine on it, it’s not going to suck through unless you leave it there for days.
But it is true; annually you do want to seal your granite only because the sealer that they put on – when they slice the granite into the sheets that will be the countertop itself, sometimes natural portions of the stone sort of pop out in the cutting process. So when they put the sealer on it, it fills in all of those little divots and then creates a uniform top on the surface of the countertop and then over time, with wear and tear and with cleaning or with dropping pots and pans on it, sometimes those areas that were filled – those divots that have popped out – sort of tends to chip off; especially on the end and especially if you went with a more decorative edge on your granite. You’re going to find maybe, you know a couple months from now, you’ll be cleaning and you’ll feel like a rough spot and that’s an area …
BETTY: I do that now. That’s another concern that I had.
TOM: You know Betty, it’s pretty much normal wear and tear. I mean people put in these countertops and they are gorgeous but they think because it’s granite it’s going to, you know, basically be as durable as a rock. Well, in fact, it’s not because it does need to be finished; it does need to be sealed every once in a while. And if you watch it, as Leslie says, you’ll start to feel some of the finish chip off and know that it has to be redone again.
BETTY: Yeah, OK. Thank you so very much. That was very helpful to me. I appreciate it.
TOM: (overlapping voices) You’re welcome, Betty. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.