There is no substitute for regular sealing to keep your stone flooring looking its best. Sealing helps protect the stone from stains and damage and makes cleaning easier. Many people are surprised to learn that they can use a sealer on their stone flooring as often as they like.
But Applying sealer too often can actually lead to problems such as cloudy buildup or impaired breathability, which can cause the flooring to trap moisture and lead to mold growth. Also, using the wrong type of sealer can cause hazing, staining, or other damage.
So how often should you seal it? And what’s the best way to seal it? We’re here to help. Continue reading to learn more about sealing your stone flooring.
How Often Can You Use Sealer on Stone Flooring: Reasons
Despite their durability, stone floors are not indestructible. To keep them looking their best, it is important to follow a regular maintenance routine. Re-sealing stone flooring is an important part of maintaining its beauty and extending its lifespan.
But how often should you do it? The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of stone, the finish, and the amount of foot traffic in your home. For example, a high-gloss finish will require more frequent re-sealing than a matte finish.
Most stone floors in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms may need to be sealed every 16 to 20 months. If maintain your floors regularly, you can extend the re-seal time by a few years. On the other hand, in low-traffic areas like bedrooms and living rooms, you may be able to get away with sealing your floors every 4-5 years.
If you’re not sure whether or not your floors need to be resealed, there’s an easy test you can do. By pouring a few drops of water onto the floor and seeing how long it takes for the water to absorb, you can tell if your floors need to be re-sealed.
If the water beads up and sits on the stone surface for several minutes before being absorbed, then your floors are still properly sealed. If the water is immediately absorbed into the stone, then it’s time to break out the porcelain tile sealer. Also, keep an eye out for any discoloration, as this is another sign that it’s time to reseal.
Once you’ve determined that it’s time to reseal your floors, the first step is to remove any old sealant that might be present. This can be done with an intensive stone tile cleaner, which will strip away any grime and build-up that has accumulated over time. After removing the old sealer, you can then apply a new coat.
What Does A Stone Sealer Do?
A stone sealer does exactly what it sounds like – it seals stone surfaces to protect them from water damage, staining, and other forms of wear and tear. But why would you need to seal your stone in the first place? Aren’t stone surfaces naturally tough and durable?
While it’s true that stone is a tough material, it’s also porous, which means that liquids and other materials can penetrate its surface and cause internal damage. By sealing the stone’s surface, you create an impenetrable barrier that protects the material from any harm.
Stone sealers come in a variety of formulations, so it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for the type of stone you’re working with. For example, granite sealers are different from marble sealers, and both are different from limestone sealers. Once you’ve applied the tile sealer, you’ll need to wait to dry and cure before using the surface.
How Do You Apply Sealer To Stone Flooring?
Applying sealant to stone flooring is not a difficult task, but it is important to take the time to do it properly to ensure that the sealant will last. Two main sealers are typically used for stone flooring: water-based and solvent-based.
1. Water-based sealers – These sealers are easy to apply and quick to dry, making them a good option for busy homeowners. They’re safe to use, easy to clean up and have no strong fumes. Despite their longevity, water-based sealers typically last shorter than solvent-based ones.
2. Solvent-based sealers – These sealers provide a longer-lasting protective barrier, but they’re more difficult to apply and have strong fumes. They’re also more difficult to clean up, so be sure to ventilate the area well and wear protective gear when using them.
Once you’ve chosen the type of sealer you want to use, the actual application process is relatively simple. You can apply sealer through a pump sprayer, a roller, a paint pad applicator, or even a sponge or brush.
Here are the general steps for applying sealer to stone flooring:
1. Clean the Surface:
The surface must first be clean to apply a sealant to stone flooring. Any tile grout, dust, or grease will create a barrier between the sealant and the flooring, preventing the sealant from bonding properly. This can be done with a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
Also, you can use mild detergent and warm water to remove any stubborn particles or stains. Once the surface is clean, ensure it dries completely before applying the sealant. If don’t dry the surface thoroughly, the sealant may not bond properly.
2. Protect Surrounding Areas:
It’s important to take measures to protect your floors before beginning a project, like applying sealant. After all, you don’t want any accidental drips or spills ruining your hard work. Prepare the work area by laying down drop cloths or other materials.
Be sure to cover areas you don’t want to get sealant on, such as carpets or furniture. Next, wear gloves and respirator masks to protect yourself from the fumes. The area should also be ventilated by opening windows and doors.
3. Apply the Sealant:
Once you’re ready to apply the sealant, it’s time to get to work. First, always test the sealant on a small floor area before proceeding with the entire surface. This will allow you to check for any adverse reactions and determine the length of time the sealant needs to dry. When you are ready to use the sealant, use a clean cloth or sponge to spread it over the stone surface evenly.
Once the sealant has been applied, use a clean, dry cloth to buff it into the stone. You may need to apply multiple coats of sealant, depending on the type of stone and the desired level of protection. In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and apply more rather than less. With proper care and sealed, your stone floor should last for many years to come.
4. Allow the Sealer to Dry:
After you have applied the sealer, it is important to allow it to dry completely before walking on or using the floor. The amount of time it takes for the sealer to dry will vary depending on the type of sealer and the weather conditions. In general, solvent-based sealers take longer to dry than water-based options.
Depending on the humidity and temperature, it can take 24 to 48 hours for the sealer to dry completely. If possible, avoid using the floor tile during this time to prevent any accidental damage. It’s also best to wait at least 24 hours before walking barefoot on the floor.
What Happens If You Don’t Seal Stone Floor?
Over time, unsealed stone flooring can become stained and scratched. The stone’s porous surface allows liquids and contaminants to seep in, making it difficult to clean and requiring more frequent maintenance. Furthermore, the stone’s surface becomes dull and yellowed from exposure to UV light.
Eventually, the sealant will need to be reapplied to protect the flooring from further destruction. Cleaning and maintaining the flooring will become increasingly difficult if it is not properly sealed. In extreme cases, the damage can be so severe that the flooring must be replaced. Therefore, it is important to seal stone flooring to protect it from liquid damage, particles, and UV light.
What Is the Lifespan Of a Stone Floor Sealer?
The lifespan of a stone sealer is directly related to the quality of the product and the porosity of the stone being sealed. A high-quality sealer applied to low porosity stone will last much longer than a cheap sealer applied to high porosity stone. That being said, even the best quality sealer will eventually need to be reapplied.
On average, you can expect a stone sealer to last between 3-5 years before it needs to be reapplied. There are always exceptions to the rule, though. There is a possibility that this can vary based on the type of sealer used, the porousness of the stone, and the amount of traffic the floor receives.
Is It Worth Using a Sealer On Stone Floors?
While some people may not think it is necessary to seal their stone floors, forgetting this important step can lead to big problems down the road. All natural stone tile needs to be periodically sealed, whether in your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor patio. If these materials are not sealed off, they will eventually degrade the stone, leading to permanent damage.
For these reasons, it is essential to seal your stone floors regularly to protect them from deterioration. So now you know everything there is to know about sealing stone floors and how often to do it. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully to get the best results.
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