When you have tile or natural stone it is recommended to keep it sealed to help protect the tile or stone’s surfaces. Sealing your tile is a great way to help extend the life of the tile or stone, makes it easier to keep them clean and more. While tile benefits from a sealer, natural stone demands it. When you need to seal your natural stone or tile, you will discover there are many different types of sealers. To better understand sealers and which one is the right one for your tiled floor, Silver State Floor Restoration will cover the different types of sealers.
Natural & Enhancing Sealer
Natural stone needs a sealer to prevent surface damage and erosion. When you need to seal natural stone there are two major considerations. The first is the type of finish. One gives a more natural look while the other enhances the stone. The second consideration is if the stone is inside or outside. For those who want to maintain the stone’s natural color or look, you will want a Natural Sealer.
• A natural sealer leaves the stone looking its natural state. For already polished stone, a natural sealer is a perfect choice.
• An enhancing sealer can help bring out the stone color or even darken the stone. However, if the stone has already been polished, an enhancing sealer will have little effect. Enhancing sealers are best for slate stone and soap stones.
Water VS Solvent Based Sealers
Once you determine if you need a natural sealer or an enhancing sealer, you will also discover there are water based or solvent based sealers. Most people will use the water based sealer as they tend to be more effective. However both types of sealers can protect the stone. Both sealers use a polymer molecule that acts as a barrier. Both sealers seep into the stone and evaporate away, leaving the molecules behind. The sealer helps protect the stone from UV rays, moisture as well as protects the stone from minor abrasions. As both sealers help to protect the stone, we will speak of how are they different.
• Solvent Based Sealer – A solvent based sealer polymer molecules are combined with a solvent to create the solution. When the solvent evaporates the polymer is left behind which leaves a protective barrier.
• Water Based Sealer – A water based sealer polymers molecules are combined with and disseminated in water. Again as the water evaporates the polymer molecules draw together to create a barrier. One of the benefits of a water based sealer is that they tend to be more stain resistant.
Penetrating VS Topical Sealer
When deciding which type of sealer, you need to choose from am enhancing or natural sealer and one that is either a water based sealer or a solvent based sealer. However, there is another element to consider, and that is whether the tile is inside or outside. When it comes to where the tile is located, you will want either a penetrating sealer or a topical sealer.
• Penetrating Sealer – A penetrating sealer is a type of sealer that sweeps into the surface of the stone. Penetrating sealers are effective against stains and prevent the stone from absorbing moisture which makes it a perfect sealer for indoors and outdoors.
• Topical Sealer – A topical sealer is a type of sealer that bonds on the stone’s surface. Topical sealers are most often used indoors and on top of floors and countertops. The topical sealer also helps give the stone or tile that glossy shiny surface.