* To Seal or Not to Seal Natural Stone

* To Seal or Not to Seal Natural Stone


There is a good chance you have heard from multiple sources you need to seal all-natural stone! This is because many of them, such as marble, are porous. Therefore, it may surprise you to learn this isn’t true, and not all-natural stone should be sealed! Don’t worry if that is confusing now because as you continue to read, it will all make sense! It will change what you have accepted up to this point regarding it.

This misinformation continues to circulate online. It doesn’t help when salespeople and distributors are also sharing that information. Most people selling natural stone don’t know all the details about it. They know the basics enough to share some info with interested consumers. Yet, they lack real education about the product. While natural stone is beautiful, it is also complex. There are plenty of exceptions when it comes to the issue of sealing or not sealing.

Get Correct Information

When you start digging around, you will discover marble isn’t porous! Yet you can find pages and pages of information online saying it is! The same is true with travertine. You can try it on your own by placing some water on such materials. It will take a very long time for it to be absorbed, and in many instances, it won’t be absorbed at all! If such materials were porous, then they would absorb the water right away. This isn’t how it works for all materials.

Another reason consumers believe such materials are porous is signs of staining on them. This is due to the acid found in various products placed on those materials. They aren’t actually stains, and they aren’t water rings either. It all comes down to the chemicals in a given product and not how porous the materials are. This is why sealing such natural stone isn’t going to make a difference when it comes to those types of staining.

Some of the information out there is true. For example, all granite should be sealed, and it is very porous. Yet that doesn’t just solve the problem because many of the products sold have other materials in them besides granite. The chemicals in the sealer can actually cause damage to them. With any granite, the wrong sealant can create discoloration and other problems for the materials.

The conclusion with this and with all-natural stone by those who have studied it in depth is to leave it alone! Sealants only help when you match up the correct type of stone with the correct type of sealant. The problem is the products often aren’t compatible, and the product doesn’t offer any benefits. Dense stone doesn’t need to be sealed because it is softer. If you worry about spills and such in a busy kitchen, a sealant will not give you the protection you think it will. With dense stone, the sealant is a waste of money. The product can’t be absorbed due to the makeup of the product.

Etching Problems

There are tons of customers who struggled with etching problems on their granite. They couldn’t figure out what caused them or get them to go away. These blemishes made the product appear older and worn out. It was frustrating, but some of the customers did find a solution. Once they had the sealant removed by a professional from the granite, the issue with etching disappeared!

Truth be told, promoting sealing all-natural stones needs to be stopped. Salespeople are misinformed, and they pass those details along to their customers. They promote a solution in a bottle with sealant products. This costs the customer more, and in reality, it doesn’t give them a great deal of benefits. Knowing this information when you shop for such products can be a game-changer. This doesn’t mean sealants can’t work, but the right product with the right sealant has to be in place.

Do Your Own Testing

You don’t have to worry too much about the staining; most of them can be removed with easy steps. It depends on the type of stain, the type of stone, and other details. There are ways you can keep the area looking like new for a very long time. Consider your own testing with samples of natural stone materials before you buy them. This can help you decide if you would benefit from sealant or not.

Dust the stones and apply some lemon juice and cooking oil to them. If the stone turns dark immediately, that isn’t a good product for you to consider. It is going to be difficult to keep it looking great! It should take at least 10 minutes for those test items to be absorbed by the stone. If the stones don’t absorb the lemon juice and cooking oil, you know the stone is one you can count on to help you create the look you want and have the quality you need.

When it takes 10 minutes to absorb them or the products aren’t absorbed, you don’t need a natural stone sealant. Applying it isn’t going to offer you any benefits. Testing with lemon juice instead of water is suggested because a given product’s acid content can influence how the natural stone will absorb it. If you do get a product and decide to seal it, the value is also determined by the type of sealant and who applies it.

Real Stains

Let’s go back and talk more about etching concerns. They are often referred to as water rings and water staining. They are created due to the acid in a product that came into contact with the natural stone. They aren’t real stains, and they aren’t due to sealant use or the lack of it. Some polishing may be required to fix this blemish, but don’t use polish or wax designed for marble.

Buffing isn’t going to take care of the problem; you need friction. If you have a real stain, it is going to cause the stone to be darker in that area than the rest of it. Polishing it allows the stain to be removed. There are some kits you can buy to do this on your own. However, you need to be careful because you need to have the right product for specific stains types.


Even though the process of sealing has been promoted for decades, it is time for consumers to have the truth! Understanding options, how a given stone absorbs or doesn’t absorb, and doing your part to reduce acid contact from materials all make a difference.

Take your time to buy the right natural stone for the intended use. Look for those less likely to stain when used in a kitchen. If the natural stone will be used for walls or other locations, there is no reason to worry about it. Such materials aren’t going to come into contact with it there, so it isn’t an issue.

Learn information about the products and confirm if you should seal them or not. Remember to conduct self-testing with the lemon juice and the cooking oil. This will help you decide which materials are right for a project and those that aren’t. Don’t buy them based on appearance only. Verify they will be functional and continue to look great in that capacity.

If the natural stone should be sealed, make sure a professional takes care of it for you. They need to apply the right sealant and use specific methods. Otherwise, the value of it can be compromised. If you already have a stone in place that was sealed and shouldn’t be, have a professional remove it. There is a good chance this will improve the appearance as soon as it is done!

With the most natural stone, leave it alone! This will help you protect your investment and not regret what you paid for. Select a product you can maintain without difficulty. Don’t be in a rush to make a decision, and don’t rely on information from salespeople only. Do your own research and find answers to the tough questions. Use reliable resources, not those that just rehash what they found somewhere else on the internet.

Changing the mindset about sealing all-natural stone is important, and it starts with one informed consumer at a time! Breaking the cycle of poor information circulating about it is important. While those who sell and distribute natural stone have some knowledge about it, they are only sharing what someone else told them about it. This is how the misinformation continues to circulate.

Stand your ground when you buy natural stone products. The salesperson may encourage you to seal it, but you don’t want to. Don’t let them pressure you into something you disapprove of. Now that you have the facts, you can take control and dig deep for details about your specific type of stone. The decision to seal or not seal natural stone should be one each consumer makes relating to their purchase!