Why do I need to seal my natural stone kitchen benchtop or vanity?

Stone benchtop sealing is a necessity on natural stone kitchen benchtops, bartops, tables and bathroom vanities as these surfaces are highly susceptible to staining from coloured foods, cooking oils, drinks, make-up, dyes and soaps.

A sealer is a solution applied to the surface of natural stone to protect it from staining. Note that sealing with a penetrating sealer does not prevent etching. Etching and staining may be prevented on benchtops by having a film called Tuffskin applied to the surface.

Marble, limestone, travertine and onyx

Marble, limestone, travertine and onyx are popular stone choices, often used for benchtops, bartops and vanities. Natural, porous stones such as these, can become permanently damaged over time if not sealed.

Granite 

Granite benchtops are not as porous as the softer stones, however they can still stain with constant exposure to oils and soaps, and will also benefit from sealing.

Engineered stone 

Engineered stone benchtops, bartops and vanities such as Caesarstone, Essastone, Quantum Quartz, Silestone and HanStone, do not usually require sealing according to their manufacturer’s warranty, as they come with a factory seal. If staining does occur contact the stone manufacturer to discuss a solution.

Prior to sealing, existing stains will need to be removed by polishing or honing the stone benchtop, carrying out a scrub using Nano technology, or applying a poultice. Once the stone is clean and damage free, the stone can then be sealed to prevent future staining.

The Marble Man Technicians will ensure even coverage and the best, most appropriate products are used to seal your stone benchtops, bartops and vanities.

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What type of sealers will be used to protect the surface of my stone benchtop?

Penetrating sealers are the most effective type of liquid sealer, used to protect natural marble, limestone, travertine, onyx and granite benchtops, bartops, table and vanities from staining.

A penetrating sealer works by soaking deep into the stone benchtop and filling the gaps in the pores of the stone.  The molecules in the sealer bond with the minerals in the stone to form an effective barrier.

The Marble Man uses high quality, professional grade penetrating sealers, that will not peel, flake or turn yellow as some surface coatings do.

Natural Look and Enhancing Penetrating Sealers

A natural look penetrating stone benchtop sealer will not change the colour or surface finish of the stone. 

An enhancing penetrating stone benchtop sealer will deepen the colour of the stone, highlighting its natural features.

To see examples of the colour enhancement caused by an enhancing penetrating sealer, visit the Marble and Stone Sealing Gallery.

Water Based and Solvent Based Sealers
Natural and enhancing penetrating sealers can be water based or solvent based. Both offer the same protection and warranties. The application is also the same.

A water based sealer is easily absorbed by porous stone benchtops, made from marble, travertine, onyx and limestone, that have a low sheen, honed finish. A high gloss finish does not easily absorb water based liquids so a solvent based is more effective in this case.

A solvent based sealer works more effectively on high gloss, polished stone benchtops. A high gloss stone benchtop finish will always be somewhat more protective than a matt, honed finish.

The Marble Man Technicians will assess your stone and discuss with you which is the most suitable sealer.

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Marble Benchtop After Sealing
How is a penetrating sealer applied to my stone benchtop?

Prior to stone benchtop sealing, The Marble Man Technician will assess your stone to determine if tough stains need to be removed with a poultice or if polishing or honing is required.  A water based sealer or solvent based sealer will be used depending on the type of stone, location, finish and use.

If the natural stone benchtop has a high gloss finish, a solvent based sealer may be used. If the finish is matt or satin it may be more porous, therefore a water based sealer may be used.

Step 1
The day prior to the stone benchtop being sealed, the stone will be cleaned with special detergents to remove grease, oil, dirt and contaminants. If the stains are deep, the benchtop may require polishing or honing or a poultice.

Step 2
The day after cleaning, restoration or repair, two thick coats of penetrating sealer will be applied to the stone benchtop, with 10 minutes in between applications.  Before the first coat of sealer dries completely the second coat will be applied.

Step 3
Once the sealer has settled into the stone, the residue will be buffed off with a towel.

The stone benchtop can be used immediately, however water must not touch the sealed stone surface for at least 6 hours for a water based sealer or 12 hours for a solvent based sealer

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How will Tuffskin protect my stone benchtop, vanity or bartop?

Marble and stone benchtop sealing with a surface film is an alternative to using a liquid penetrating sealer.  TuffSkin is a laminate film designed to protect the surface of marble, travertine and onyx benchtops, bartops, tables and vanities from staining and etching. If this type of damage occursit will require polishing to repair the damage.

The Benefits of Using Tuffskin

  • TuffSkin is made from ‘hard coat’ technology and will resist the daily wear and tear associated with high use surfaces
  • The material used has no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) so there is no smell
  • The protective film will prevent etching and staining on stone kitchen benchtops, cocktail tables and bartops exposed to: wine, lemon juice, coffee and tea rings, oils and food
  • TuffSkin is ideal for bathroom vanities and will prevent etching from: make-up, toothpaste, mouthwash, toiletries and perfume
  • Gloss or matt finish is available, which allows a matt, honed stone surface to be transformed to gloss without being polished, or a gloss finish changed to a matt appearance.
  • The film can be removed if it is no longer required or needs replacing, without damaging the stone
  • The surface is easily cleaned with Rejuvenata and a soft cloth

When professionally applied TuffSkin will enhance the look of your marble, travertine or onyx benchtop, bartop, table or vanity. Your stone will be protected and look magnificent for longer.

For more information download the Tuffskin Information Sheet or watch the Tuffskin Videos.

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