One of the biggest design decisions in a kitchen remodel is choosing your countertops. Quartz, granite, marble, quartzite – the choices can be overwhelming. As part of that decision, you need to consider the care and maintenance involved. We opted for honed quartzite countertops as part of our kitchen remodel, because I loved the look of natural stone and quartzite is also very durable. Given that quartzite is kind of the new kid on the block, I had a lot of questions about maintenance and care.
- What kind of sealer do you use on quartzite?
- How often do you seal quartzite?
- How do you get water rings out of quartzite?
- How do you get oil stains out of quartzite?
- What will stain quartzite?
- How do you clean quartzite?
Do quartzite countertops need to be sealed? Yes. Typically, your fabricator will seal them once they’re installed. Although one thing I discovered in this process, is that not all stone sealers are created equally. When it comes to sealing out stains, oils and water marks, it took some work to find the best sealer for quartzite countertops. This post contains some affiliate links.
Our fabricator said that since the counters were honed, they may need to be sealed multiple times, and I had them seal the counters twice after installing them (as we were getting water marks after they were initially installed, and he told me to call if we had that issue). Despite repeated sealing by our fabricator (and myself with the sealer they recommended), we still were having issues.
What do I mean by issues?
Water marks were one thing that we encountered. If you left a glass of ice water on the counter, it would leave a ring from the condensation. It would go away, but my fabricator warned me about it, and that you didn’t want it. Over the long term, it could cause the counters to look that way permanently. Not a good look.
How do you deal with water marks? Water marks we had, went away, but I would get anxious any time one would appear. The key to managing water marks is to let them fade, and then reseal your countertops, as that’s an indicator that they aren’t protected.
What Will Stain Quartzite?
Stains were another concern. While I never had any issues with tomato sauce or red wine, oil-based stains are something that like to soak right in to honed countertops and leave a mark that doesn’t go away. Not to fear, oil-based stains can be removed with a this oil stain remover, which is made for natural stone surfaces and grout, or even a mix of water and baking soda to a poultice/paste that you cover with plastic wrap. It will pull out the stain, and your counters will be fine. But, it’s a worry that stresses me out, and something I thought the sealer should remedy.
I was frustrated. The last thing you want to worry about is staining your new countertops, and feeling like you have to treat them with kid gloves. So, I was on the hunt to find something that worked.
Sealers: What I Tried
I tried two water-based sealers (this one and this one) and one solvent based sealer. The first sealer was the same one that the fabricator used. After continuing to have issues, I opted for the second one. Similarly, I continued to have problems. I did a deeper dive, and came upon a solvent based sealer that had great reviews. Specifically for honed quartzite. Honestly, I think some of these sealants are fine on other surfaces (i.e., granite surfaces). I don’t know if it’s the fact that we opted for quartzite, or that it’s honed quartzite that made it a little more tricky. We had granite for years, and I never had an issue (although it was dark vs. light like our quartzite).
What Kind of Sealer to Use on Quartzite?
In reading through posts in the kitchen remodeling group I’m in, this is not a new issue for some homeowners with quartzite. But I was convinced I just didn’t have the right sealer. This problem is a solvable one. Then I came upon this one – Stain Proof Premium Impregnating Sealer. This is the secret sauce, the winning formula, the protector I was seeking. Why? I think it’s because it’s solvent-based. I’m all for using avoiding harsh chemicals and using water-based products whenever possible, assuming that they do the job. But in my case, a water-based sealer just wasn’t protecting my countertops. So when that happens, I go for the product that is going to give me maximum protection.
Suggestions and Precautions
- This sealer is solvent based, so it smells. Open the windows if you can, wear a mask, and use gloves when applying it.
- It’s a liquid, and I found the best way to apply it was with these sealer applicator pads.
- If your countertop appears darker, and looks as though it’s pulling every stain that had already occurred previously, don’t panic. I kind of panicked (ok, I totally panicked) when this happened, but the color will come back to your countertops, and the stains that you’re seeing won’t remain.
- Seal it at least two times for good measure. Since it’s solvent based, the process moves pretty quickly, so it’s not difficult to seal it twice.
- Allow a full month for the seal to take effect. Don’t panic if things aren’t perfectly sealed right off the bat. Use trivets to keep things off the counter if you’re feeling extra paranoid in this time period. It’s an impregnating sealer, so it takes time to work into the stone. But it works! Just be patient.
- I would also highly recommend this sealer for marble or granite countertops. Although if you have marble countertops and are experiencing scratching or etching, that is something different than what a sealer is designed to address. Sealers create a barrier against stains and water marks, whereas scratching and etching are related to the type and hardness of the natural stone. Marble is a softer stone, and more prone to scratching, chips and etching (which is why we opted for quartzite).
How Often Should You Reseal Quartzite?
Many of the sealers that I’ve seen say that they’re supposed to be good for 10-15 years. I’m kind of a cynic at this point, so I recommend resealing any time you see an issue arise. A water mark? An oil stain? Reseal. My fabricator told me that you can’t “overseal” your countertops, so there is no worry in doing harm. An impregnating sealer is designed to penetrate into the pores of your countertop and harden in order to protect your countertop. Ideally, you should be well protected, but if you’re ever in doubt, reseal.
What Cleaners Can be Used On Quartzite?
There are a lot of natural stone cleaners that are on the market, and I can’t say that one is necessarily better than another. But the makers of my recommended sealer, also make a spray cleaner, so based on my trust level, I would recommend the Stain-Proof Daily Countertop Cleaner. I also clean it with water and Dawn dish soap on a regular basis.
I hope this post is useful to anyone experiencing similar issues with their countertops. It’s very upsetting to spend a lot of money on countertops and then have to worry about maintenance that you didn’t expect. I chose quartzite for its durability and beauty. I love the look of marble, but I didn’t want the maintenance, so quartzite was the perfect compromise. Life happens. Spills happen. I feel confident that I have found the best sealer for quartzite countertops, and am glad to have this product in my arsenal.
What is your favorite countertop surface these days? There are so many to choose from, so many factors to consider, and I know firsthand it can certainly be overwhelming. Would I chose quartzite again? Absolutely.
J. ManthaSeptember 19, 2022 at 1:39 pm
Jenny, your timing is impeccable as I have recently noticed my quartzite (acidic spots) and marble (baking soda toothpaste) stone surfaces are showing damage. No one has steered me towards a workable solution thus far. And then I read your post you are a godess among homeowners. Thank you for your post!!!
JennyOctober 5, 2022 at 6:58 pm
You are too kind! I’m glad I can help!
NicoleSeptember 19, 2022 at 4:32 pm
You should totally do a step by step:)
Thanks for the tip, I’m buying some today!
karen kenningSeptember 20, 2022 at 11:31 am
I have white princess quartzite in my kitchen that has some dull green (not green bloom) stains on it. Mostly on the island. I wonder if this would pull those out? that would make me so happy as I love the stone but these stains have really bothered me.
JennyOctober 5, 2022 at 6:57 pm
I would certainly give it a try – it seems to work wonders from the times I’ve used it.
dee yaklichSeptember 21, 2022 at 10:04 pm
We just bought a house with a darker granite counter top. Will this work on granite?
JennyOctober 5, 2022 at 6:56 pm
DaphneSeptember 22, 2022 at 1:54 pm
Great article. I do have a question. We remodeled our kitchen in 2021 as well and have polished quartzite. We have not had any problems with staining at all. We are building a home next year and I’ve thought of using honed quartzite there for a more marble-like look. (We’ve always had polished granite and now quartzite.) Would you recommend the honed now that you realize it might take more work?
JennyOctober 5, 2022 at 6:56 pm
I still love the look of honed quartzite and would totally choose it again.
CharlesNovember 5, 2022 at 9:31 pm
Nice article, but I have a question. After trying many products on a Brilliant Black Leathered Quartzite(looks more like honed),
the installer used mineral oil to get the darker finish that we preferred. Is this Ok to use as a sealer? Should we initially apply more than one coat on the countertops?
JennyNovember 8, 2022 at 12:07 pm
I don’t really know anything about mineral oil as a sealer. I would ask your fabricator to find out, but my gut says it would not serve as a sealer. That said, I would find out what kind of sealer you could use on top of mineral oil to make sure there isn’t an issue with the mixing of different materials being an issue, if that makes sense.
MariusDecember 4, 2022 at 9:45 pm
Just the post I was looking for! Did you first strip the sealer that the fabricator initially put on the quartzite? If so, what product did you use?
JennyDecember 7, 2022 at 11:31 am
I did not strip the first sealer. I was told there is no harm in putting additional sealers on top of old. You can’t “over seal” it, from what they told me.
David PabichDecember 21, 2022 at 8:04 pm
Jenny – our new Sky White quartzite counters are beautiful but insanely sensitive to oils! We have been so stressed about every tiny drop of oil, or even oily crumbs (even an Oreo crumb overnight leaves a mark!)
Complete family stress has been relieved by my applying this sealer!! Total game changer! Your warning about not freaking out when the counters darkened during application was going through my mind when I was freaking out, which was helpful. Thank you for that. (I’m glad my wife wasn’t home during the process – she would have completely lost it). Neither my fabricator nor my supplier suggested this sealer – the sealer they did suggest and applied seems utterly useless.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post. We are all breathing a sigh of relief.
JennyJanuary 5, 2023 at 11:59 am
I’m SO GLAD to hear this! It’s awful to feel like you have to tip toe around your new countertops, and I’m so glad this sealer gave you some relief! I can totally relate!
Jen HerrmannJanuary 13, 2023 at 5:10 pm
This was so well done, thank you! This was the same product our counter store old us to use but I was happy to find confirmation! What do you use/recommend as a daily cleaner?
JennyJanuary 16, 2023 at 11:37 am
I haven’t committed to any specific daily cleaner – I do like Method products though – just depends on what strikes me when I’m looking.
Terri ChildersFebruary 8, 2023 at 4:05 pm
Jenny thank you! Just had white Pearl quartzite installed and need a sealer. Any advice for application instructions and where did you purchase? Also how did you feel safe this solvent based one would not harm counters or color? Thank you
JennyMarch 12, 2023 at 3:30 pm
I bought mine on Amazon (linked in this post). The counters do darken while you’re applying the sealer, but that is temporary. They suggest doing a test before doing all of the counters, but this was my personal experience.
Elizabeth P BotelerFebruary 19, 2023 at 10:53 am
Jenny- thank you for sharing this info! Unfortunately, our light colored quartzite countertops developed darkened edges along everywhere, within 2 weeks of install. Not sure why, as they repel all water and oil on the surface. Have you heard of a sealant causing darkened edges?
JennyMarch 12, 2023 at 3:28 pm
I haven’t heard of sealant causing darkened edges, but it could be the result of the water used when cutting the stone. I would speak to your fabricator, but imagine it could be something temporary.
CarolineMarch 31, 2023 at 9:55 am
Hi! We’re installing a sueded quartzite in our kitchen bc we thought it was a ‘safe’, low maintenance choice over marble, but I’ve been finding many posts online, like yours about etching & staining, that are making me second guess my choice! Have you found this sealant to remedy the oil stains you mentioned? And how often are you resealing your counters? Have you experienced any stains that you haven’t been able to remove thus far?
JennyMay 13, 2023 at 7:36 pm
Yes! This sealer has remedied my staining issues. I think since I have honed countertops, it is more porous and more prone to staining, so perhaps that’s why I needed to seal repeatedly. But I did find that the solvent based sealer worked WAY better than any of the water based ones on my particular countertops.
Aileen JamesApril 1, 2023 at 6:23 pm
Hi I really like the color of this counter because it has some warmth in the veining, yet still looks white to me. Maybe I missed it, but can anyone share the color since I am shopping at this time please? Thank you!
JennyMay 13, 2023 at 7:34 pm
Bianco Supiriore honed quartzite.
Caroline MApril 2, 2023 at 10:25 am
Hi! We are installing a sueded quartzite which we chose bc we thought they were a lower maintenance option over marble, but I’m starting to have second doubts! How often have you had to apply the sealer? has it continued to work? and has it helped with the oil stains as well? Sorry for all the questions, I’ve just been seeing lots of horror stories about quartzite and I’m truly second guessing our choice!
JennyMay 13, 2023 at 7:33 pm
It has helped with all of the staining issues I had. I applied 2-3 coats of the sealer (if memory serves) and it has made all of the difference. When in doubt, seal again. No harm in it from what I was told by my fabricator.
Deborah S PechacekApril 5, 2023 at 4:34 pm
OK. I am looking at your comments, I do not see the name of your product. What is it? I just got new quartzite countertops and the fabricator out regular sealant on it. I expected a better product.
JennyMay 13, 2023 at 7:32 pm
It’s included in the blog post, but here is a link to the sealer – https://amzn.to/3VYvQPp
Haley LarsenApril 21, 2023 at 2:02 am
Thank you so much for this article! We have had our quartzite countertops for a month and every splatter of grease (it is our backsplash too) and water leaves a mark! I have been sick about it! I have one question. I haven’t used the countertop for 5 days while I have been getting the oil stains out but some of the water stains are still there (in the past they’re disappeared after a while). So you know if I can seal it while those marks are still there or will it seal them in? Thanks!
JennyMay 13, 2023 at 7:31 pm
I have sealed with water marks still in place. They seem to lighten over time if they’ve been there and are a bit stubborn.
ShaneApril 22, 2023 at 1:36 am
Oh wow my days of living on towels and placemats draped over the whole kitchen are done. Jenny you’re the bees knees. Whatever that means ( something good).
I haven’t tried it though. Plus there’s some weird scuff marks from install and failed cleaning trials. But we have hope now.. maybe too much. The darkening thing did freak me out as these are like glaringly white counters.