Sealing Natural Stone
By Mark Ortiz, Stone Restoration Specialist
This months subject is about Sealing. We want to protect our investments whether its our new car, our clubs, our finances, so why not our natural stone? Protecting stone ALWAYS begins with understanding how to care for it and how to prevent damage. Go to or Recommended Care Products page for more information or ask your stone supplier for their recommendations.
The most commonly asked question about stone is, “What do I seal my stone with?” Even though sealers have been around for decades, I’m not surprised that many people have no idea how it works. Why? Because we get a new cycle of people selling, designing, installing and buying stone every few years. Recently we have heard from the engineered quartz world, that unlike stone, the advantage of going man-made is that it doesn’t need sealing. Is that true? My goal of this newsletter is that we can confidently and more accurately explain sealers to our clients.
Here are some facts about sealers:
Fact 1 - Not all stone needs sealing. Many dark colored granites and marbles are too dense to accept a sealer or absorb liquids, therefore sealing isn’t highly effective.
Fact 2 - Penetrating sealers are intended to help repel staining liquids that may discolor the stone such as oily foods and liquids, they are not barriers to keep everything out.
Fact 3 - Sealers are not intended to stop acidic liquids from dulling the stone (called etching). By the way, almost all granites and natural quartz do not etch.
Fact 4 - There are dozens of penetrating sealers on the market and not all work the same. Just because someone said it was sealed, doesn’t guarantee it will repel staining liquids or prevent discoloration.
Fact 5 - Warranties are not all they're cracked up to be. Be aware that almost all warranties either offer more sealer, will reseal it or attempt to remove a stain. But no warranty I’ve read will replace or re-install the stone, reinstall plumbing or replace baseboards due to the sealer not repelling properly.
WHAT IS THIS PICTURE OF?
We don’t want obvious stains on our stone like the one pictured here. Stone sealing companies usually take the time to test the best sealer and educate the customer how to care for it. Not everyone in the stone industry knows how to seal or what to seal it with. Don’t completely rely on the supplier, installer or designer to know what to use.
I have been explaining the reason to seal stone for over 25 years and if I was selling or installing stone to clients, I would say something like the following.
“Most natural stone surfaces will not stain and almost all stones wear excellent under many years of heavy use, but we don’t always know which these stones are so we recommend sealing all natural stone after installation and consulting a stone maintenance company regarding your specific stone application. Sealers are intended to help prevent unwanted staining and aid in maintenance yet it doesn’t prevent etching on most marbles, travertines and limestones.”
The use of natural stone for floors, counters and showers has been around for hundreds of years. It is truly the most beautiful natural product this earth has ever provided us with that will last for decades even centuries. Even though there are many other choices, natural stone stands alone on durability, beauty, practicality and braggadociousness. Don’t hesitate to confidently recommend natural stone for your next project or to your clients.
Thank you for referring Perfect Granite Solutions, the stone restoration experts.
Pass this useful information to your staff and everyone associated with the stone industry. Let us know if you want to be added to our Monthly Education Newsletters. Do you have a topic that the industry needs to know about? Email it to me: email@example.com