Applying sealant to your natural stone tiles is highly recommended. It doesn’t matter where they are installed, it is recommended that you seal your stone tiles for longevity and better maintenance.
If your tiles are installed in high-traffic areas or places like bathrooms and poolsides where they are constantly exposed to moisture, you could double seal them or regularly re-seal them every year.
It is important to note that while sealing provides some protection against water and stains, you should always keep your tiles clean. The best practice is to remove stains as soon as you can to avoid having any permanent marks on your beautiful tiles.
Types of sealant
There are two types of sealant that you can use to coat your stone tiles. The first one is tropical and the other one is impregnators.
The most common and cost-effective sealants you can find are the tropical. They add a layer of protection to natural stone by not allowing water or oil to be absorbed into the tiles. Tropical sealants do change the colour of your tiles slightly.
To enhance their colour, you can also use a colour intensifier that will make the colours more glossy and polished.
The other type of sealant is impregnators. These sealants do not change the colour of tiles and instead of coating the tiles with a layer of sealing, they get absorbed into the tiles and protect it. Impregnators are water-based and they are often more expensive than tropical sealants.
How to Seal Your Natural Stone Tiles
Clean the Tiles
The first and most important thing to do is to make sure your stone tiles are clean and do not have a layer of dust sitting on them, which is often the case.
To do this, you can use a wet sponge. Simply rub a wet sponge on the tiles.
If your tiles are not new and you have some stains on them, make sure to clean them and get rid of all the stains. Once your sealant is applied you won’t be able to remove any of that anymore.
Give your tiles a good deep clean using the correct cleaning products. We recommend Lithofin Stone Cleaner for this purpose.
Wear Protection Gear
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to gear up!
Sealants are chemical products. Although they are often harmless, it's a good idea to take preemptive measures and be cautious. Wear gloves and cover your face and eyes with masks and goggles.
Test Your Product
Then the next step is testing the products.
Never go all out and start pouring the sealant onto all the tiles at once. Try it on a small part of your tiles and ensure it is not ruining them.
Stop using the sealant if you see any hazy residue or if colours start to fade away.
Apply the Sealing
Now it’s time to apply your sealant onto the natural stone tiles. For this step it is important to follow specific instructions given by the manufacturer of the sealant.
Contact a tiler if needed. Usually the instructions on the packaging will answer your questions. If not, the store where you got the sealant from will provide you with the manufacturer’s instruction on the details of applying the sealant. Follow them closely.
The general rule of thumb is to cover areas where you don’t want to seal such as sinks and windows.
Remove the Sealer
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how long you need to keep the sealant before removing the excess. Based on that timeframe remove the excess sealant. Some of it will get absorbed and some of it will stay on top of the tiles.
Congratulations! You have sealed your tiles.
Apply Additional Sealing
Here is where you can apply additional sealing such as a colour protector. Again you need to make sure you are following the instructions from the manufacturer and tilers because every kind of tile will have its own specific instructions.