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A1: The solvent and water only serve as “carriers” to help transfer the actual “sealer” into the porous stone, tile or grout. It is the quality of the polymer used in the sealer that dictates the quality, lifespan and performance. Water based sealers like Aqua-Seal Gold+ incorporate the latest C6 Fluoroploymer technology which outperform conventional solvent based sealers.

A2: A sealer is designed to create stain resistance. The objective is to create reaction time, where a stain can be held at surface level where it can be easily cleaned within a reasonable period of time before it is able to be absorbed into the porous surface.

A3: A simple test is to put water droplets directly onto the sealed surface at various locations after the sealer has been allowed to dry. Allow the droplets to remain for 5-10 minutes, then blot dry with absorbent towel. If surface has darkened, it should return to original color with 2-3 minutes. If it stays darkened for a longer period of time, the need for an additional application of sealer is indicated.

A4: This is not normally recommended due to the heavy moisture, chemical exposure and heavy wear issues associated with constant use. Penetrating-type sealers are normally recommended here for stone, grout and even concrete surfaces.

A5: Coating sealers can be used but the reservations must be listed. These Synthetic type finishes can be used in interior areas only and most are not good in wet areas. It must be noted that they should be reserved for textured surfaces only, and that these synthetic finishes will normally increase the maintenance requirements and require periodic reapplication.

A6: It is a good idea to seal grout, with the exception of 100% epoxy grout, which will not accept a sealer. Regular cement grout, even polymer-modified grout is porous and subject to staining if not properly sealed.

A7: If you do not know the previous sealer, identify if it left a shinny surface. Put water droplets in various spots to determine current porosity. If there is no shine or coating and water penetrates, a penetrating sealer should work fine, but always perform a small test area, with a 24 hour cure time to determine desired results. If a coating was used, the coating should be stripped if it is in a distressed condition before re-sealing with another coating sealer. It is always a good idea to contact the technical hotline of the “sealer manufacturer” if there are any questions!

A8: Most marble, granite, and some travertine, quartzite, limestone, and even slate is available with a factory polished finish. These polished stone are still porous, subject to staining, and should be sealed with a penetrating-type sealer.
A9: A good rule of thumb is that with dense, smooth or polished surfaces, only penetrating-type sealers should be used. Coating-type sealers are usually only appropriate on high porosity or med-high porosity textured surfaces. Most coating-type sealers and finishes are recommended for interior areas only.
A10: Most likely not! Most of the glazed ceramics available today have matte, no-shine finishes, yet they are still glazed and will not accept a sealer. In these cases, only the grout should be considered for sealing. All stone, encaustics & tiles should be maintained with regular use of a neutral ph cleaner EzyClean and periodical heavy duty cleaning with XtremeClean.
A11: Porous surfaces like stone, tile, encaustics & grout should be sealed with a penetrating-type sealer to provide stain resistance and help with ongoing maintenance. All stone, encaustics & tiles should then be maintained with regular use of a neutral ph cleaner EzyClean and periodical heavy duty cleaning with XtremeClean. Also the use of a squeegee after using a shower area will help eliminate the buildup of hard water deposits.
A12: No, a penetrating sealer does not coat the surface, so the surface is still subject to acid etching.
A13: Grout colorants are available to change the existing color or even out a discoloured grout and provide a protective seal at the same time. Always use a premium grout colorant like Renue’N’Seal which is a modified waterborne epoxy.  as opposed to a simple acrylic grout paint.
A14: No! Colour enhancers like Enhance’N’Seal are designed to darken and bring out the colours in a natural stone, but do not provide a shine. They are designed to be applied just like penetrating-type sealers. When applied, product that does not penetrate into the porous stone or grout must be completely removed from the surface within a few minutes after application. If a shiny surface is created, this would be an indication of misapplication and needs to be removed ASAP before it cures.