It is worth noting that old stone floors were never sealed and yet still look beautiful today. All stone is naturally porous to varying degrees, for modern day living and in order to improve stain resistance, we would advise for your stone to be sealed.
There is a large variety of good sealants in the market nowadays and the vast majority of our sealants come from selected manufacturers and are selected according to the specification of the stones that we wish to treat and the final application of the stone too. It is imperative that good practice is observed when installing your tiles to ensure that no building residue is sealed into or marks the product as this can be difficult to remove; tiles should be completely clean and dry prior to each stage of the installation/sealing process, so as to ensure the correct application of the relevant sealant. The guidelines below are general, and there are exceptions to the rules, both in terms of materials and application and sealant required.
Our highly trained staff will be able to advise you based on your individual requirements. All sealants discussed require varying drying times in between applications. When using any sealant, a small inconspicuous test area or off-cut should be sealed first to ensure that the end results are to your liking. The following section gives general advice for sealing, our staff will be happy to discuss and advice on your individual requirements.
Honed & Antique Limestone, Travertine & Marble
These materials and finishes encompass the majority of our stones and they require a base sealant that absorbs into the body of the stone to quell the porosity, followed by a liquid surface wax which provides a slight finish and forms an additional protective layer. Base sealants can be either solvent-based or water-based and the base sealant required differs depending on the density and finish of the material being sealed. Solvent-based and water-based sealant options should not be mixed.
For more porous Limestone, Marble and Travertine finishes a water-based product should be used. Some denser Limestones or Marbles may require different products. These base sealants protect against both water and oil-based stains by soaking into the stone in order to protect the surface.
Once the stone has been fixed, clean it, and once it is thoroughly dry, one coat of sealant should be applied with a brush or sponge before the stone is grouted. This initial application of base sealant helps to prevent grout residues adhering to the surface, and grout pigments absorbing into the stone.
After the grout has been applied and allowed to dry for a suitable length of time, the tiles should be given a further wash to remove any grout polymers which may prevent the base sealant from absorbing into the stone.
Once clean and dry a further 1-3 applications of base should be applied as required, to further protect the stone. Any sealant residues must be cleaned off the tile surface immediately as they may leave surface streaking. More porous stones may take several more coats. The grout joints should also be sealed at this time.
Once the base sealing process has been completed, the stone should be sealed with a liquid wax surface sealant. This forms a protective layer, making it easier to clean daily dirt and grime from the stone. Two coats are required; the initial application being allowed to dry before the second is applied at 90° to the first.