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How to Seal Stone Tile

Natural stone countertops, showers, and floors require maintenance. Mold, stains, and mildew return no matter how often you clean stone and grout. Mold and stains make cleaning a never-ending cycle. However, you can easily maintain their cleanliness if you seal natural stone and grout after a deep cleaning.

Why Deep Clean Before You Seal Stone Tile?

Porous natural stone surfaces absorb water and moisture and remain damp. Dampness inside breeds mold and mildew. Even stains penetrate deep and harden.

To remove stains and mold thoroughly, use a deep-penetrating cleaner. After cleaning, sanitizing, and prepping your natural stone floor, shower, or countertop, seal it.

Sealing protects stone and grout.

Sealing stone floors with water-resistant products prevents further water absorption and mold and mildew growth.

Tile sealing is also essential because you can’t control spills, leaks, and other surface dirt. Spills penetrate unsealed surfaces, promoting mold growth.

Sealing travertine, marble, or slate prevents chipping.

Stones like slate also shed dust. Unsealed slate tiles fade quickly from repeated dusting. Thus, sealing slate stone keeps its luster and sheen from fading.

Sealer Choice

Choosing a sealer involves many factors.

Most stones today are factory resonated. Resining strengthens fragile rocks, increasing the supply of usable natural stones. Stone isn’t equal. The absorption coefficient measures a stone’s porosity and how quickly it absorbs liquid. When choosing a sealer, consider this coefficient. Granite absorbs more than polished marble—porous limestone. High absorption makes sealing stones difficult.

The stone finish affects absorption- polished surfaces are less absorbent than honed or flamed. This test determines a stone’s absorbency.

The stone’s location

Stone floor, wall, countertop? Kitchen, foyer, lobby, bathroom? How likely are spills and stains? When choosing a protective product, consider water, oil, heavy traffic, pets, etc. A daily-used marble kitchen floor needs an oil- and water-repellent sealer. Front foyers may only need a water-repellent sealer. Don’t assume a wax coating will protect a busy hotel lobby floor. It may track and scuff easily, requiring expensive maintenance. Moreover, shine and protection may require an impregnator and polishing program.

How is stone maintained?

Are harsh cleaning chemicals used on it? If neglected, a stone floor will have ground-in dirt and grit, and a high polish will wear. It will get dirty and dull no matter how good the protection is. A hotel lobby floor that gets disgusted and wet-mopped daily may need an impregnator. A stone foyer floor that doesn’t get much traffic doesn’t require daily cleaning. Then, an impregnator may be all that’s necessary.

How to protect a stone depends on its type, finish, location, and maintenance.

Assess each parameter. How do we protect the porous stone from staining? Today’s market has many sealants. Best? What works? Stone sealer choices can be confusing. Stone restoration and janitorial industries have released hundreds of products to seal, protect, and polish stone tile.

Coatings:

Coatings act as a barrier to prevent water, oil, and dirt from entering the stone’s pores.

Stripping coatings

Strippable coatings are easily removed from the stone. Acrylics, styrene, polyethylene, and others make up these coatings. Water-based. Many janitorial products are water-based polymers. These coatings are labeled “metal cross-link,” “high solids,” “high speed,” “acrylic,” “thermoplastic,” etc. So, always ask. Strippable floor coatings have hundreds of formulas.

Most are for tile, not stone. Coatings must be gravel specific.

Permanence

Hard-to-remove permanent coatings. They’re made of polyurethane, epoxies, etc. Not for stone.

Sealing impregnators

Impregnators penetrate the stone’s surface, deposit solid particles in its pores, and coat its minerals. Stone repels water, oil, and dirt.

Common impregnators are silicone, siloxane, silane, methyl silicate, and other silicon derivatives. Meanwhile, fluoropolymers are in new impregnators.

Also, impregnators can be oil- or water-repelling (water repelling).

Hydrophobic coatings repel water and water-based chemicals. Additionally, a hydrophobic impregnator repels coffee, tea, soda, etc.

If you want to ensure a reliable and excellent seal for your stone tiles, contact Epic Carpet & Tile for a professional stone sealing in Phoenix today!