I have included some information for my readers who are planning on sealing their Natural Stone Flooring. These photos are the end result of a project I completed recently. I am very pleased at the outcome. These floors look FANTASTIC!
Buy a penetrating sealer specifically designed for natural stones with silicon content. This type of sealer penetrates the stones’ pores for firm adhesion and closes the pores with its silicon formulation. If the tile grout is unsealed, it will be practical to purchase a 2-in-1 sealer that seals both the tiles and the grout.
You may choose either the spray-on or the brush-on type. The brush-on type can be applied with paint or roller brush. This type of sealant is cheaper as compared to the spray-on type. The latter, however, provides convenience in application, since you only have to spray it on the tiles’ surface.
Slate typically comes from Brazil, Vermont, China and India. The Brazilian and Vermont slates tend to have a low absorption rate, while Indian and Chinese have variable absorption rates. The softer slates need more attention with sealants before and after installation than do the harder slate tiles. Slate is a metamorphic rock, starting as a sedimentary rock and with pressure and temperature over time became slate. Because it has some porosity, you may want to seal it to keep it from staining.
The preparation needed before sealing your slate floor tiles is to clean all slate surfaces, and let them dry thoroughly before applying one coat of the penetrating tile sealer. There are surface, or topical, sealers, but the penetrating sealer gives your stone tile better protection, and looks better longer. Apply the sealer in a thin coat, following the grain of the slate and let it dry for at least two hours and reapply (your specific product will tell you how long between coats to let it dry).
After you have applied your coat of penetrating slate tile sealant, let cure for at least 24 hours before walking on the floor. The longer you can let it cure before walking on it, the better protection you will have, and the longer the finish will last.
Maintaining your slate floor is easy. Just clean it with mild soap and water, and dry mop or vacuum in between washings. If you are accustomed to waxing floors, you are in for a treat because wax isn’t necessary on slate. Wax won’t hurt the slate, but will obscure it’s natural beauty, turn the tiles a darker shade, and may yellow the grout; all good reasons to not wax your floor.
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