What types of Sealers to Use on Marble
Marble is a very porous natural stone. Whether you have marble on your floor, shower, countertop, fireplace, steps, or walls it needs to be sealed in order to prevent staining and for easier cleaning and maintenance.
Stone sealers work by penetrating into the stone and filling the open pores of the stone face. Since marble is porous it may require several applications of the marble sealer.
There are several types of sealers available.
Topical sealers are those that are applied to the surface of the marble tile or countertop. It is used to create a protective barrier on the surface of the marble to protect against foot traffic, scratches, etching, and staining.
Since it applied to the surface, it eventually wears off and sometimes peals off the polish surface and can discolor.
The application of the topical sealer is fairly simple for a homeowner to do, but it is very difficult to get a streak-free finish on a polished marble floor. Reapplication of topical sealers require that the previous coating be removed and this can be very difficult for a homeowner, since special sealer stripping chemicals, stripping equipment and supplies are needed. This is usually a job for an experienced stone restoration company.
Topical sealers are sometimes used on marble surfaces as an inexpensive way to hide a tired worn out marble floor or when the cost of full marble restoration is prohibitive for the homeowner or commercial property owner.
For long term protection and ease of maintenance, topical sealers are not recommended to be used on marble or any other type of natural stone surface.
Penetrating sealers are those that penetrate the surface of the stone sealing all open pores and capillaries in the stone surface; creating and impenetrable surface. Penetrating sealers are generally breathable, this means that the sealer allows the stone release trapped moisture from inside while not allowing liquid spills to enter the surface of the stone. Penetrating sealers generally do not alter the color or look of the stone surface. These types of sealers last much longer than topical sealers and can change the slip resistance coefficient of the stone surface. Application of penetrating sealer is relatively easy to perform but caution must be taken to ensure that sealer must not be allowed to dry on the surface of the stone, specially polished marble.
Impregnating sealers are designed to penetrate deep into the stone surface creating a bonding effect with the capillary walls of the stone. Impregnating sealers can be found in the water-based or solvent-based. Water-based are easier to use and have less odor and safer. Solvent-based sealers have a stronger smell and strict caution must be used when applied indoors. These types of sealers are considered the best protection for stone and last much longer.
Enhancing Stone Sealers
Enhancing stone sealers are used mostly on hone marble or another honed natural stone surface. These are penetrating or impregnating sealers designed to protect the stone surface but at the same time enhance the texture of the stone. These types of stones sealers make a gray dull hone marble look dark or wet and making the texture of the stone more visible.
Whichever type of sealer you decide to use, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s direction and look for product ratings. It is best to seek help from an experienced stone restoration professional