Frequently Asked Questions
Nothing is maintenance free! Sealing makes your surface easier to clean. Contaminants can sit on the surface longer, so you have more time to clean up before any staining occurs. On some unsealed tiles and stone, staining can start immediately. Think of your stone sealing product as a bottle of time. No stone sealing product will make a porous surface stain-proof, but will make it highly stain resistant. Using the correct stone cleaning products also makes a difference.
Sealing changes the characteristics of the tile or stone. It doesn’t change the environment. If you have a damp shady backyard the stone sealing product can’t change that. It reduces the porosity of the tile or stone and inhibits the growth and makes cleaning easier. In most cases it is worth considering.
No – not without the correct cleaning. Grout is the low point and often the most porous part of the wall or floor, and gathers the grime and residue from mopping. Sealing your grout makes it easier to keep clean. With a good grout sealer or colourant, you will get a much better result when you give your grout a good clean with the correct cleaner.
The truth is porcelain is creating much confusion in the market place and many pages have been written to try to put all issues into perspective. The more questions you ask the more confused you will be. As a rule of thumb, textured and honed porcelain doesn’t need to be sealed, but polished porcelain often does need to be. This is contrary to what may seem logical. The tiny pores that accept staining are created in the polishing process. A good penetrating sealer fills these pores and sets up good stain protection. The textured tiles generally just need a good clean because of the “rough” surface. If you are not sure, do a stain test. Get a sample tile or an off-cut and try to stain it with the things common to that area. If it stains, there is a benefit to having the tile sealed.
Penetrating stone sealing products protect the stone from staining. Often the “stains” are not stains but are etches. These stones are acid-sensitive, and any acid will burn the polish and create a dull or frosty surface. A good example is red wine. On an unsealed stone you will get a red stain and an etch, but on a sealed stone you will only get the etch. Penetrating sealers sit below the surface of the stone and prevent the red wine acid penetrating deeply to set up a stain, but will allow the acid to burn the surface. Acid can be in many forms, as simple as fruit or wine and salad dressings, or in the bathroom, urine may do the damage. This damage can be repaired.