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Guide to Sealing Natural Stone Tiles
The number one question asked in the Natural Stone Industry is – ” Should I seal my Natural Stone? ” . The answer is always YES
When it comes to sealing natural stone it is crucial to understand that no two pieces are the same. Some Natural stones are more porous then others, some tend to stain easier and some tend to manage just fine. So when it comes to sealing natural stone it’s an industry recommendation that you seal everything on initial application. Doing so will allow you to keep your stone looking beautiful, avoid damages and allow easier maintenance & cleaning.
When Do Natural Stone Tiles Need to Be Sealed?
This is the tricky part ! Many tile applicators and sealing companies have their own methods which work fine. The most common method is to seal the stone twice – with a primary seal and a secondary seal. The primary seal is the first seal and is conducted before the tiles are grouted. The primary seal is imperative as it greatly reduces the porosity of the stone. The secondary seal is done after the tiles are grouted and it further protects the natural stone. It is important that before you apply the secondary seal you need to ensure the tiles are clean and completely dry. After a few years pass depending on what sealer you use ( generally around 4 years ) you will need reseal to ensure your stone stays protected. It is important to note that at RMS we only sell sealers that allow you to easily reseal. There are many sealers out there on the marketplace that require you to strip the old sealer first before resealing, this is a tedious process and can be difficult. However, the sealers we sell and recommend are all easy to use DIY sealers that allow to seal and reseal with ease.
What are the different types of Natural Stone Sealers?
When it comes to sealing Natural stone there are a few different types of sealers you need to be aware of. In today’s market the most common are penetrating sealers and surface sealers, a penetrating sealer can be either solvent, alcohol or water based , whilst surface sealers are generally solvent based. A penetrating sealer will seep deep into the pores of the stone allowing them to close up , this reduces the likelihood of stains and moisture damages. A penetrating sealer will not alter the appearance of the stone as they are mostly all matte finishes, hence the popularity of penetrating sealers. On the contrary we have surface sealers that are renowned for altering the appearance of stone. Most surface sealers will give the stone a ” wet look ” which generally highlights the stones characteristics making it more appealing to the consumer. However, surface sealers will need more upkeep and regular resealing as they tend to fade and wear much faster.
Who can Seal Natural Stone Tiles?
Sealing natural stone can be as easy cutting the grass if you know what you’re doing. It is important to find out what sealer you require when you purchase your natural stone. For example, if you buy some teakwood sandstone for a pool it is important you buy a penetrating sealer. Once you have the correct sealer it is important to find out the best means of sealing it, each sealer is listed further below with the correct directions on how to apply it.
The most common way and most effective way of sealing natural stone is by spraying it on, whilst others might prefer to mop it on with a lamb’s wool applicator if they can’t spray it.
Please note – DO NOT USE A ROLLER.
Sealing the stone can be done by yourself or a hired professional. The advantage of hiring a professional is the convenience of not having to worry about it, in addition to the cleaning and preparation. If the job is quite small and you’re handy with the tools don’t be afraid to seal it yourself.