DID YOU KNOW THAT IMPROPER CLEANING IS A SIGNIFICANT REASON STONE RESTORATION IS NEEDED?
We make it a point to educate our customers on proper stone care.
To keep your stone, tile & grout surfaces looking their best, we strongly recommend to our customers that you use only quality products designated safe for natural stone.
Are you a little confused about whether or not to seal your natural stone?
You’ve done your homework and researched the topic on the web only to find that there are opposing opinions on the topic. Most experts recommend sealing all stone while others emphatically state that not all natural stone needs to be sealed.
Let’s make it simple.
To be safe, let me say that for the most part, all stone surfaces should be sealed for maximum protection. The worst case when you are dealing with a stone that is not very porous is that the stone will absorb very little sealer to achieve maximized protection. Don’t look the cost of the sealer as a waste of money though. Consider it added peace of mind.
STONE ABSORBENCY TEST
To get a general idea of how absorbent the stone is, place several drops of water on the surface of the stone and time how long it takes for the water to completely disappear. If the water disappears in under one minute, consider the stone very porous.
If it takes up to 3-4 minutes, consider it porous. If it takes more than 3-4 minutes, consider it slightly porous. This simple test will also give a good indication of the quantity of sealer needed to protect the entire area.
Choosing the Correct Sealer
Many factors need to be considered when choosing the correct sealer.
Many, if not most stones today are resined at the factory. Resining adds strength to more fragile stones thus creating a much larger supply of natural stones that can be used. You can learn more about resining by searching the Knowledge Base at
All stone is not created equal. How porous a stone is and how fast it will absorb a liquid is called the absorption coefficient. This coefficient is extremely important when choosing a sealer.Granite generally will have a higher absorption coefficient than a polished marble. Limestone can be extremely absorbent. The higher the absorption coefficient, the more difficult it will be to seal the stone adequately.
The finish on a stone affects its absorption coefficient. A polished surface will be less absorbent than a honed or flamed finish. The above absorption test will determine how absorbent a stone is.
Where is the stone located? Is the stone on the floor, wall, countertop? Is it in a kitchen, foyer, lobby, bathroom? What are they chances of it being subjected to spills or staining agents? Exposure to water, oil, heavy traffic, pets, etc. all need to be taken into consideration when choosing the proper product for protection. For example, a marble kitchen floor that is used daily will need a sealer that has both oil and water repellant properties. At the other end of that spectrum, dealing with a front foyer may only need a water repellant sealer.When protecting a busy hotel lobby floor, don’t be falsely assured that a wax coating will provide the optimal solution. It may track and scuff too easily, requiring costly upkeep. A quality impregnator and a polishing program may be needed to maintain the shine and protection.
IMPORTANT: Impregnators will do nothing to protect acid-sensitive stones from etching. They are designed to penetrate the stone’s surface to create a shield to protect staining agents from penetrating below the surface of the stone. Etching occurs on the surface of the stone.
Sealing: Do it Yourself or call in a PRO?
Is sealing a job for the homeowner, or should you hire a qualified professional to do it for you?
Consider the following pros and cons.
The obvious pro for doing it yourself is you save on labor costs. However, if it is not done correctly it could result in problems.
For example, the surface must be thoroughly and completely cleaned. If not, you take the chance of sealing in dirt and debris.
Also, keep in mind that the sealer is intended to fill the pores and coat the exposed minerals in the stone, not to coat the surface.
If residual sealer is not completely removed from the surface of stone, it may cause problems, including a haze on the stone’s surface that may develop as the sealer dries. Once it has dried completely, sealer can be very difficult to remove, often requiring professional assistance.
Different sealers perform differently in different environments and on different stones. Hiring a pro to do the job may end up saving you in the end.
A pro will know which is the best sealer for the job and will use equipment and techniques that allow them to get the job done efficiently.