Sealing Stone Using The Correct Type of Sealant
Properly sealing a natural stone with the correct type of sealant, is an essential role in meeting expectations. Proper care and maintenance, will greatly reduce your exposure against common issues and assist in keeping natural stones looking beautiful.
When working with the consumer or an industry professional such as a stone fabricator, we are frequently asked “how to seal granite countertops” and often times it is followed up with “how often should they be sealed”. The best answer is, it depends on what type of stone and what type of sealer will be used. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and other natural stones typically take different kinds of sealers. For instance, sealers used for a granite countertop, wouldn’t necessarily be the best type of sealer to apply on travertine or limestone surfaces.
Sealing a natural stone surface properly with the correct type of sealer, is an essential role in meeting expectations and protecting against stains. When researching different sealers for natural stones, you will find there to be two main types of sealers that have vastly different uses, topical sealers and impregnators.
Impregnating and Penetrating Sealers:
Impregnators, also known as penetrating sealers, are typically recommended for granite and other natural stone surfaces. Impregnators permeate the stone, protecting the stone from allowing stains to absorb while allowing moisture to evaporate out. These sealers are typically hydrophobic, meaning they protect your granite or natural stone surface from absorbing water based solutions. However, there are some impregnators that are oliophobic which repel both oil and water based solutions. Impregnator sealants can be water or solvent based. Both solutions essentially work the same way; however the water based solvents tend to have significantly less VOCs and are therefore less toxic than solvent based sealers. Regardless of the type of impregnator used, they tend to last significantly longer than the topical sealers, and give a greater level of protection for your granite or other natural stone surfaces.
Topical sealers are used to protect natural stone surfaces from stains caused by oil, water and other staining agents. These sealers fall into two categories, strippable and permanent. The strippable sealers are typically water-based and are recommended for tile floors rather than countertops. Because of the soft nature of these sealers, they tend to scuff and mark easily and need to be stripped and reapplied regularly. The permanent sealers can be water or solvent based and are not recommended for stone surfaces. Though topical sealers are less expensive in the short term, they are not resilient sealers for countertops and require more maintenance in the long run.
Cleaners and Resealing Natural Stone Surfaces
When resealing your stone, be sure to use the correct types of sealer and always use a ph-neutral cleaner so the sealer isn’t progressively broken down and or removed over time. What many consumers don’t know is that you can clean, seal, polish and protect against common issues such as stains, hard water spots, mineral deposits and more, every time you cleanse with Supreme Surface® stone care products that contain ioSeal™.
Protect popular stones such as granite, marble, travertine, slate and limestone, against contaminates that cause stains and other common issues with Supreme Surface®.