All stone and including concrete composites and brick will benefit from sealing and surface protection against organic and non-organic staining. Sealing is beneficial for all stone, whether that’s internal floors, walls, work tops and fireplaces or external walls and patios.
There are many stone sealers to choose from. Not all sealers are the same, so here are a few things you need to know when selecting a stone sealant. Let’s look at the most popular stone sealers available today:
Penetrating / Impregnating
- Penetrating type sealers sit below the surface.
- Usually offer no sheen /natural look.
- There are some designed specifically to penetrate and enhance the colours similar to a stain on timber.
- They work by reducing porosity. They offer NO protection to the surface from either abrasion or chemical resistance.
- Materials that are damaged primarily by porosity such as granite.
- Exterior installations where a natural look or no change to slip resistance is required.
Topical or Coating Sealer
- Provide stain, abrasion and chemical resistance.
- They are commonly referred to as sacrificial sealers.
- Supplied as self curing or as thermoplastic, requiring polishing.
- Interiors (due to stain performance expectations & slip resistance.
- Soft and or textured materials such as marble/limestone and some sandstone.
Water vs. Solvent Based Sealer
Penetrating sealers and coating sealers can be solvent based or water based. The water or solvent is only the carrier that allow the sealer to be transported into the tile.
Tthe pros and cons of either depend upon the material that is being sealed, down time, application, presence of moisture and the surface density of the stone. Whatever type of sealer is chosen it should be fully breathable and allow moisture to permeate.
Solvent based sealers:
- More traditional
- Tests should be carried out as they can alter colour of stone
- Smaller molecules makes it easier to penetrate denser stones or tiles
Water based sealers:
- Recent new technology
- Natural look- more permeability
- Larger molecules makes it more difficult to penetrate denser stones or tiles
There are many sealers available from many manufactures, most today offer a good degree of longevity and performance. At Re-vive we have years of experience of the many sealers on the market and so we are happy to offer advice as to the best product for your stone/tile and budget .