To help your installation last the test of time, Natural Stone and Tile Design recommends that you use products designed to clean, protect, maintain, and restore natural stone, tile, or masonry surfaces. For decades Miracle Sealants Company has manufactured a complete line of products that have been proven to enhance and protect these types of installations. Natural stone, and the various types of tiles available today, need products to satisfy the protection and maintenance issues of the home owner and commercial contractor. Natural Stone and Tile Design carries the complete line of Miracle Sealants Company products. Impregnators and topical sealers, cleaners, strippers, enhancers, polishes, conditioners, poultices and restoration products are in stock. You are welcome to contact us for any of your needs by emailing Jason@naturalstoneandtiledesign.com. You may also link to www.miraclesealants.com to get further information that you can read or down load. You may also call our toll free telephone number 877-748-3617.
Topical Sealers are made from urethanes or acrylics. Topical Sealers sit on top of the surface of the material and are effective as a sacrificial layer on top of clay tiles or brick pavers. As a result they tend to wear out relatively quickly, especially in high traffic areas. In time, you will need to strip them off the surface and re-apply them. In the long run it can be very costly to maintain. Topical Sealers will change the look and will cause the surface to be more slippery, especially when the surface is wet.
Topical Sealers will prevent the surface from “breathing”. They do not allow water vapor or gases to escape from the substrate. If used on porous tile or stone surfaces a phenomena called efflorescence can occur. Heat and moisture cause the soluble salts trapped in the substrate to hydrate and rise to the surface. They get trapped under the topical sealer and appear to be cloudy or milky. The only way to fix this is to strip the topical sealer off of the surface, clean off the efflorescence, and start over again. Topical sealers over the long haul are very expensive.
Another negative affect is when topical sealers are applied to natural stone. Using them to make a stone surface shine is extremely detrimental. Again, in this scenario, the topical sealers will trap the moisture and prevent it from migrating out of the stone. The topical sealers will “choke” or prevent the stone from “breathing”. In time, vapor build up will cause blow-outs in the surface of the stone. This is called spalling, or defoliation. There is nothing that can fix this challenge. You must replace your stone. The only way to change a honed or dulled stone finish to shine, is by means of mechanical abrasion techniques or the use of non-acidic abrasive powders.
Impregnator Sealers use silicates, fluropolymers, and/or silanes, that are carried by solvents or water into the surface. The solvents or water simply act as carriers of the protecting molecules. Solvent based impregnator sealers allow the silicates, fluropolymers, or silanes to go deeply into the surface on a molecular level. Water based impregnators, according to laboratory tests, do not work as well as solvent based impregnator sealers, but do offer better protection than not having any impregnating sealer at all. Water based impregnators go into the surface but not as deeply. Nor do they break down the protecting molecules as small as solvent based impregnators are able to do. However, when allergies or the smell of solvents is an issue, water based impregnator sealers are necessary for adequate protection of surfaces.
For safety, be sure to check the Hazardous Rating (HR) of the solvent based impregnators. A HR1 is as dangerous as laundry detergent. An HR3 can be dangerous for prolonged use without some sort of respiratory protection. In any case it is always good to have cross ventilation when applying these impregnators.
Impregnator Sealers do an outstanding job protecting surfaces from greases, oils, and water-based stains while allowing vapor and moisture to escape. In addition, many will protect against salt intrusion, efflorescence, and spalling. In some cases they will increase the slip resistance, acid resistance, act as a grout release, and help harden the surface.
The following Tile and Stone Care Guide by Miracle Sealants Company is an informative guide that will help you decide what product is best used to clean, protect, maintain, or restore your flooring surface:
• Granite and Marble
• Quarry Pavers and Grout
• Sandstone, Flagstone, Slate, Porcelain and Ceramic Tile
• Travertine and Limestone