FAQ's

Why should one seal concrete, stone or porous tiles?

Most natural stone, terracotta, concrete and cement tiles are porous and require sealing. Some sealants help to protect the surface from wear and tear, while others prevent staining and provide ease of cleaning. Consult the sealer selection chart to ascertain the best sealer for the type of surface requiring sealing.

Can one seal a surface and make it stain-proof?

Sealers cannot provide the same results as a glazed tile in terms of stain protection. Sealers are designed to provide a protective surface barrier at the surface enabling the staining material to be cleaned away before it is able to penetrate into the surface where it may cause a permanent stain. Certain sealers offer far greater stain protection and resistance than others. Consult the sealer selection chart.

Which is the best sealer one can use?

There unfortunately is not a best sealer. Although some sealers are better than others in terms of stain resistance or abrasion the best sealer will always be the best sealer for that specific stone or floor type depending on the principal requirement of the client. For certain people no colour change may out way ease of cleaning or life expectancy and durability.

Should one seal glazed ceramic tiles?

Glazed ceramic tiles are the only tiles that cannot and should not be sealed.

How does one choose the correct sealer?

Choosing the correct sealer is often a personal choice based on a combination of appearance and functionality. In most cases only a few options are available for each type of floor or tile type based on the surface porosity. In the case of polished marble only a repellent like STONESHIELD MARBLE & GRANITE SEALER can be used as all resin based sealers will leave a surface layer affecting the marbles appearance. Consult the sealer selection chart for the correct options.

What is the difference between a sealer and a repellent or impregnator?

As a general rule repellents are liquid silicone type products. (Scotch-Guard for stone). They penetrate completely with no visible change or surface film. Repellents are generally the only option for polished, low porosity surfaces like porcelain, marble, limestone and granite. Nearly all wall cladding is sealed using repellents.

When should one use a sealer?

Sealers are resin based systems that dry forming a skin. Sealers are normally selected where surface protection is required as in the case of slate or where ease of cleaning is a factor in the case of natural sandstone.

When should one use a repellent sealer?

As a general rule repellents are liquid silicone type products. (Scotch-Guard for stone). They penetrate completely with no visible change or surface film. Repellents are generally the only option for polished surfaces like porcelain, marble and granite. Nearly all wall cladding is sealed using repellents.

Why do resin type sealers peel?

In most cases a resin based sealer peels when a combination of moisture from below is forced to the surface by direct sunlight or surface heat too quickly causing the sealer to peel through water pressure.

How does one tell if the surface is now correctly sealed?

For new installations: After 2 - 4 hours (depending on type of sealer) place a few water droplets on to various areas. If the water droplets are absorbed the surface will require an additional coat of sealer.

On existing surfaces: wet the entire area in question. If the flooring material absorbs water in patches or darkens in patches the floor will require resealing. Stripping before resealing may

What are self shine polishes for?

Self-shine polishes are liquid polishes that dry to a shine without having to be polished. Their intended purpose is an easy to apply protective surface layer for regular maintenance.

If one wants to apply a coating to a ceramic tile what can be applied?

The only products that can be applied are self-shine or matt polymer polishes. Although they may adhere they will require frequent reapplication. Try STONESHIELD PROTECT & SHINE or STONESHIELD SURFACE PROTECTOR MATT.

What is the difference between water based sealers and solvent based sealers?

The water or solvent is the carrier used to dissolve or transport the different sealer resins. Hence it is possible for an acrylic sealer or silicone repellent to be both either solvent or water based. As a general rule solvent based systems tend to penetrate better than water based systems but will generally darken the tile surface. The exception is repellents where there is no real difference. Quality is determined by the type of polymer or resin, not by the carrier.

How long will the sealer last?

There are so many different types of sealers and so many different types of tiles with so many variables that it is very difficult to answer. Each sealer label should indicate the expected life expectancy. Sealers last from about 1 year to 15 years, again depending on circumstances, type of surface, cleaning methods and traffic.

Why are repellents unable to stop surface wear and etching from acids on marble, travertine and limestone?

Repellents like STONESHIELD MARBLE, GRANITE & TRAVERTINE SEALER and STONESHIELD PENETRATING SEALER are silicone type products which do not form a “skin” or surface layer. They are designed to penetrate the stone and protect from within by repelling the stains. Their primary function is stain resistance and therefore they cannot stop wear and tear and surface damage. STONESHIELD MARBLE CRYSTALISER and STONESHIELD PROTECT & SHINE and STONESHIELD SURFACE PROTECTOR can be used to protect the surface from surface wear.

Why do the tiles have to be dry before sealing?

The tiles should be dry for two main reasons:

  1. All solvent based sealers will be affected by water during the curing period which may result in the sealer turning white or not drying correctly.
  2. Most sealers are designed to penetrate and if the surface body is full of water no penetration of product will be possible.

Why do sealers take longer to dry in cold weather?

Most sealers dry by means of water or solvent evaporation. In cold weather the evaporation process is slowed down considerably thereby slowing the drying and curing time of the sealer. A sealer that dries in 1 hour at 25c may take 4 hours at 16c. Most sealers should not be applied below 16c as sealer performance may be affected.

Why does one have to wait after laying new porous tile before sealing?

The moisture from the tile adhesive and the underlying cement floor needs to evaporate. Sealing newly laid tiles immediately will trap this moisture possibly leading to irreversible picture framing or water staining.

What causes picture framing?

Picture framing is mainly caused when using resin based sealers for two different reasons with the same result.

  1. Sealing of the tiles too quickly after laying entraps moisture. This moisture will generally migrate to the centre of the tile which is drier than the edges causing staining.
  2. Sealing of the grout and tile before the grout has dried out sufficiently will result in the moisture migrating into the tile as it cannot evaporate causing staining.

Can one apply a repellent over a sealer?

The general rule is no. In extreme circumstances professional contractors apply repellents over sealers to boost the oil and or water repelling properties of the sealer. This is done where the surface is too porous for a repellent only and a combination of the two products properties is required.

Can one apply a sealer over a repellent?

In most cases the tile surface should be well scrubbed two to three times with a product like STONESHIELD WAX-OFF which will remove sufficient product from the surface to allow the sealer to adhere. In most cases it would be better to use a solvent based sealer to reseal with.

Should one pre-seal porous tiles before laying?

  1. Pre-sealing should only be done if the tiles are of such a nature that grout staining is probable. Examples are unfilled travertine.
  2. Pre-sealing should be done when the tiles are acid sensitive and grout removal with an acid based cleaner is not possible. Examples are polished limestone, marble and travertine as well as cement tiles and polished terrazzo.
  3. Pre-sealing should be done in the case of wall tiling where cleaning with an acid based cleaner may not be possible. Examples are where carpets, wood or marble floors are already installed.
  4. Pre-sealing should be done for wall cladding where access may be difficult and costly later and where the stone will most likely not require cleaning after installation.

Why can't one use any cleaner on a sealed surface?

Most sealers will be affected by strong acid and alkaline cleaners over extended periods. To prolong the life of the sealer a neutral detergent specifically formulated for everyday cleaning should be used. Use STONESHIELD DAILY-CLEAN.

Why should you neutralize after acid washing prior to sealing?

Any acid left active will cause the tile surface to become acidic which will intern affect the drying and curing of the sealer possibly leading to the sealer failing to dry or peeling.

How does one remove the factory applied wax from porcelain tiles?

Most porcelain tiles have a factory applied wax which will need removing prior to sealing. Use STONESHIELD WAX-OFF or STONESHIELD X-TREME CLEAN to remove the wax coating.

Can Stoneshield Home & Dry be applied to an exterior clay facebrick wall?

Yes, Stoneshield Home & Dry is suitable for use on exterior clay facebrick wall.

Stoneshield Home & Dry is suitable on clay and cement bricks and blocks, fibre cement, concrete and masonry surfaces; natural and artificial stone. Can also be used as a primer for silicone and emulsion paints, and resin plasters.

What is the chemical which gives red color to red sandstone?

It is Iron Oxide.

Can stoneshield home & dry be applied to an exterior clay facebrick wall.

Yes, Stoneshield Home & Dry can be applied to an exterior clay facebrick wall.