Concrete is a “wonder material” of sorts. It can be formed and shaped into nearly any configuration, layout, and plan that you can think of. Then there are its physical properties: it’s incredible strength, resilience, durability, and versatility.
Perhaps “wonder material” is overselling its merits somewhat, but there’s a reason that it remains the most ubiquitous building material in the world thousands of years after it was first created.
Like all materials, concrete requires some level of oversight and maintenance in order to perform at its best. In this post, we’re addressing a common question that our customers ask us: is it important to seal my countertops?
Let’s find out.
What is the Purpose of “Sealing” Your Countertops?
Other countertop materials – the most notable being granite – require sealing. Sealing prevents the countertops from being inadvertently stained or damaged.
Given that potentially damaging materials and compounds are often found on countertops in the kitchen, the chances of wine, coffee, or other items finding their way onto the countertop is high. Porous materials, including granite, can quickly become a victim of accidental stainage.
Sealing Your Countertops Protects Their Surfaces
Porous materials are notoriously difficult to clean, especially if the stain in question has had time to set in and get comfortable.
Sealer fills these pores and provides a smooth, uniform surface that acts as a protective barrier. Most sealers are transparent, so the natural beauty of the countertop is able to stand out while the sealer provides protection.
In Some Ways, A Porous Material is Not Unlike a Sponge
While a stone countertop won’t suck up water or other liquids in the same way a sponge would, it does have pores that liquids can seep into if left on the surface long enough. This is what makes stone stains so difficult to remove: extracting all the liquid from the pores, and removing the stain they’ve left behind, is quite the challenge.
By sealing your countertop, you close these pores and prevent liquid from seeping into them.
Yes, Sealing Your Concrete Countertops is Important
Concrete is indeed a porous material, and that means that it’s important to seal it. Doing so will protect your investment and provide a surface that you can use with confidence.
Sealing Countertops Doesn’t Need to be a Big Job
Quite a few customers over the years have expressed concerns about how they should seal their countertops. Concerns regarding quality, time, and other intangibles inflate what is, in reality, a pretty straightforward job.
Anyone can seal their own countertops at home. It requires a few steps, but it’s not an inherently difficult or complex task.
Of course, if you’d rather leave it to the professionals, we are happy to refer you to some of the excellent contractors that we work with.
A High-Level Overview of How to Seal Your Countertops
- Clean your countertops first – Remove all decorations/appliances. Using a damp cloth, wipe away dirt, gunk, and stains.
- Allow your countertops to dry – A few hours should be sufficient.
- Apply sealer using a brush per the directions on the label – Almost all sealer comes with usage instructions. These instructions are usually “apply a modest amount to your brush, cover the countertop in a thin and even coat.”
- Allow your sealer to cure before placing appliances/items back on the countertops. Usually, this period takes a several hours.
- That’s it!
Each brand may differ slightly, but the above process is typically how it goes. Of course, we’re happy to help- pop in and pay us a visit!