What do we assume about tile and stone sealers? “If I seal my hard surfaces it will be water proof and never get dirty again”. Wrong! What is tile & stone sealer? People tend to misunderstand the purpose of these sealants. There are basically two types of stone sealers sold on the market today. A topical sealer (coating), and an impregnator neither being water proof what so ever. These sealers are designed to prevent staining agents from entering the grout and/or stone’s pores. They help with clean-up after the installation of your flooring, and that’s about it. When sealer is applied it travels to the imperfections and opened pores of your grout or stone, it then forms a seal in those pores and those pores only prevent any foreign substances from entering that area of your flooring.
What type of sealer should I use?
That’s a good question, it depends on the type of flooring you have installed, and what you want the sealer to do. Most topical sealers are designed for a clay type stone like Saltillo or Mexican tiles. Reason being, topical sealers sit on the surface of the tiles acting as a shield to block everyday traffic and soils from causing damage. The cons about these coatings is that they tend to wear off unevenly in walked on areas. This can leave an inconsistent look to the tiles over time. In order to re-apply these coatings you must strip the entire floor before a second application is put down. This can cost lots of time and money for professional results.
If you have a natural stone installed in your home such as travertine, marble, lime stone, granite, slate, etc. An impregnating sealer is the recommended choice by professionals. These impregnators enter the pores of the stone and once cured they will NOT change the look of the hard surface. They are designed to keep a consistent look of the tile while still protecting it during installation. When re-applying the sealer you do not have to strip the floors, you simply clean the area of concern and apply a second application.
Mostly all ceramic and porcelain tiles do not need to be sealed because they are not porous what so ever. Some may have micro pores that can collect soil, but a professional cleaning will be able to remove the build-up. It is recommended that a sealer is applied to the grout only if you have ceramic or porcelain. For high traffic areas it is recommended that hard surfaces are professionally cleaned and sealed every 18-36 months. If you are interested in professional tile and stone cleaning/sealing at a competitive rate contact us at 951-787-8787 serving Riverside, CA and surrounding areas.