After spending over a decade in various aspects of the granite industry (and to avoid the appearance of being a snake oil sales company), we here at leadership of Trident Sealing Company think it’s necessary to admit something right up front that most other sealing companies will not. Granite is naturally stain resistant. Some stones like Absolute Black or darker shades of other granites are very dense and therefore more resistant to food stains, although they are still vulnerable to oil spotting if unsealed. Truthfully, that’s really not admitting anything revolutionary. After all, it’s one of the reasons people started putting granite in kitchens and baths to start with. (Scratch Resistance and Heat Resistance being the two other largest reasons.) However, as with many things that become popular, as the market grew, so too did the boundaries of what “granite” is. Not every countertop sold as “granite” is completely comprised of granite. There are almost always other minerals and types of rock in a typical slab of “granite”. Some will take stains easily and some will not. Therein lies the problem. We in the stone industry know that we are treating for the weakest link, and honestly most people either don’t know or don’t care which is which. So we must seal to protect your investment.
Most fabricators offer a one-year sealer on their installed countertops for free. These are topical sealers which are closer to waxing your car than to what most people think of as “sealing”. Think of your granite countertops as a big, hard sponge, with pores and valleys throughout it. A standard one-year sealer works by trying to fill the pores to keep any potential stains from getting in there. The problem is that of course, as you use your tops and clean you are constantly wiping and breaking down that barrier. Hence the need to re-seal once every 6-18 months (depending on your particular stone’s porosity).
Our sealer works on an entirely different level- literally. Instead of working strictly on the surface, our unique application process and sealer get deep down in those pores to coat the entire surface while still allowing the stone to breathe (Yes, that sounds stupid, but it’s actually really important for the structural integrity of the stone). This impregnating is important to us for 2 reasons. First, our sealers are designed to be chemically hydrophobic AND oleophobic, which means that they repel water and oils. You can see this when typically, but not necessarily always, water or oil will bead up on our sealed tops. Second, our sealers form a strong bond to the inner surface of the stone as well. In the event that something does get in those pores to dry, it doesn’t get to bond to the stone directly. That helps us to use our knowledge of stone and whatever caused the stain to be able to remove what would otherwise be a permanent addition to your countertops.
While this is slightly cheaper on the front end, it means that the homeowner will need to reseal their own countertops every year. While it isn’t a difficult process, it can be time consuming and frustrating. Imagine clearing your entire countertop, then thoroughly cleaning them (you don’t want to seal in dirt, food, or grime!), then applying the sealer, then waiting up to 12 hours, before finally replacing all of your things and resuming your normal life. We here at Trident feel that a person’s time is worth many times more than the upfront savings.
That’s just factoring in your time. When you look at the fine print on most sealer’s warranties, you will notice an interesting trend- most don’t appear to be very confident that their product will work. Many will guarantee to “replace the stained countertop” (read as “replace ONLY the stained countertop”) or “replace the stone” (which is a nice way of saying they will only purchase the stone necessary to replace your stained countertops, but will pay for none of the cost associated with removing the old tops or installing new ones). And don’t even get us started on the ones that will only refund the cost of the sealer itself! What a joke!
Finally, when you factor in over a decade of real world stone fabricating and sealing expertise, our skill and ability to handle any stain removal should one occur, and the VERY AFFORDABLE cost, and using Trident Sealing Company to protect your investment is a no-brainer.
You might be thinking, “But fingernail polish remover is a normal household item.” And you are right. However, fingernail polish remover contains acetone, which is one of the few things that will break down the chemical bonds between our sealer and your stone. It is also one of the things that we expressly DO NOT warranty against. These things include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
Common in Kitchen/Bath But Void Warranty
- Fingernail Polish Remover (Acetone)
- Comet or other scouring cleaners
- Pure Ammonia, Vinegar, or Bleach
- Homemade or “Green” Alkaline Cleaners/ Lye Soaps
- Concentrated Lemon or Lime Juice
- Colognes, Perfumes, Potions, etc.
There are also a few things that are to most clearly not a “normal” household item, yet from time to time we get asked about. These include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
Uncommon And Void Warranty
- Motor Oil or Brake Fluid, etc.
- Paint Thinner
- Miscellaneous Science/Chemistry Experiments
We should point out that just because these things aren’t covered and will void the warranty, they aren’t necessarily a one-way ticket up the creek without a paddle. We understand that accidents happen and sometimes mistakes are made. If you discover that one or more of these items may have damaged your seal, let us know. We will come out and reseal the affected area and restore your warranty. “Do unto others”, right? You are letting us know of a potential liability issue and we in turn make sure you are protected against staining.