How to Seal Natural Stone Floors
Natural stone floors are a beautiful way to brighten up your home interiors. They are gaining popularity over traditional flooring materials like concrete, wood or ceramic. However, these are delicate and hence need to be sealed so that the natural appearance and glow is intact. Sealing is needed to protect the natural stone from damage by stains as well.
Tools and Materials Needed:
• Vacuum Cleaner
• Proprietary residue remover
• Stone Sealant
• Paint roller
• Soft-bristle brush
• Microfiber Piece
Step 1: Cleaning
Cleaning is the most necessary requirement for natural floors before you start sealing them. Use your vacuum cleaner floor brush to clean the surface thoroughly. Make sure that the floor corners are cleaned as well. After vacuuming, take a cloth and dip it in a solution of warm water and a mild non acidic floor cleaner. Wipe the entire floor with this cloth. Check if the stone pores are filled with any dust or debris and remove them before wiping. Do not scrub with any harsh material as this spoils the natural stone.
Step 2: Removing Stains
Let the floor dry up completely. In case there are stains on the floor that refuse to go, you have to use some proprietary residue cleaner. Apply the cleaner on places where the stains are with a soft bristled brush. Leave this for ten minutes. Rinse off by wiping the portion with a wet rag.
Step 3: Drying
After cleaning and letting the floor to dry, take a soft small microfiber piece and wipe all over the surface of the floor so that all moisture is removed. This is necessary before application of the sealant.
Step 4: Selecting Sealant
Choose a sealant for your floor according to your taste. That is, if you want the natural stone floor to have a polished finish or an unpolished one, you will have to buy a compatible sealant accordingly. The sealant must be based on fluoropolymer technology. Every type of natural stone has a separate sealant that can be used on them. Make sure that you choose, keeping in mind what stone your floor is made of.
Step 5: Sealing Method
It is integral that you know when exactly you need to seal the stone, as separate stones have separate methods for sealing. In case you have terracotta, limestone or sandstone flooring, these need to be sealed right before laying and grouting of the tiles. Before these are laid, their sides, front and back surfaces have to be sealed. Other stones like marble, travertine, marble and granite need to be sealed at the edges and the top areas after they are laid out and grouted. Wear gloves during the sealing process.
Step 6: Application
The work area must be well ventilated. Read the instructions on the pack of the sealant you purchased, as an extra precaution. Dip a soft paint brush or roller brush in the sealant solution, after you prepare it according to pack guidelines. Now, evenly apply the sealant on the stone floor. Make sure the floor is saturated with the sealant. The sealant must be applied in long rush strokes, in a uniform direction so that it covers the entire surface of the tiles or floor.
Step 7: Finishing Steps
Leave the sealant to cure for an hour or as required, according to the pack instructions. Extra sealant needs to be wiped off with a clean piece of cloth so that there are no streaks on the stone surface. Once the sealing is completed, it is sure to last for at least five years before re sealing is required.