Natural Stone Overview
It should be mentioned that old stone floors were never sealed and still they look beautiful even by today’s standards. All stone is naturally porous to varying degrees, for daily use and to increase the resistance to staining, sealing your stone would be the right choice.
Our preferred range of sealants are from the LTP range, and we work alongside LTP to provide high standards of technical knowledge and support. It is a must that good practice is observed when installing your tiles to make sure that no building residues or dirt are sealed into the stone as these can be hard to remove. Your tiles need to be entirely clean and dry before each stage of the installation and sealing process to provide the correct application of the relevant sealant. The guidelines below are mentioned in general, and there are exceptions to the rules in terms of equipment, application and sealant needed.
Our well-equipped staff can provide you a tailor-made quotation according to your individual requirements. All sealants mentioned need different drying times in between processes. When using any sealant, a small inconspicuous test area or off-cut should be sealed first to ensure that the end results are achieved. The next part provides general guiding for sealing, our staff will be happy to advise on your individual requirements.
Honed & Antique Limestone, Travertine & Marble
These materials and finishes make up most of our stone range and they require an impregnating sealer that is absorbed into the body of the stone to quell the porosity. LTP Mattstone, Mattstone H20 or Colour Intensifier and Stainblock are breathable impregnating sealers that will leave the stone with its original surface texture. Impregnating sealers can be either solvent-based or water-based and are breathable so can be used internally and externally.
Once the stone has been fixed, clean with LTP Grimex. Allow the stone to thoroughly dry before applying the sealer. Depending on the porosity of the stone you may need one or several coats of sealer. The aim is to saturate the stone without over applying and should not be left to dry on the surface. Make sure that the sealer is fully absorbed, if not, it must be removed using a microfibre cloth leaving the stone with its original natural finish. This process helps to prevent grout residues adhering to the surface and grout pigments absorbing into the stone.
When the grout is fully dry a further coat of sealer can be applied covering the grout also. NB Make sure that all grout residue has been removed from the surface. If a residue is evident on the surface use LTP Cement Grout & Salt Residue Remover to remove.
As an additional option you may choose to add a surface seal that provides an extra layer to protection or to achieve a satin or gloss finish. LTP Ironwax Satin and LTP Ironwax Gloss will add a further layer of protection to the stone leaving a satin or gloss finish. Surface sealers are not breathable so should not be used in external or wet areas.
This stone is normally less porous than the other Stones. If a natural finish is required, 1-2 coats of LTP Mattstone, Mattstone H20, or Colour Intensifier & Stainblock can be used.
Once the stone has been fixed, clean with LTP Grimex. Allow the stone to thoroughly dry before applying the sealer. The aim is to saturate the stone without over applying and should not be left to dry on the surface. Make sure that the sealer is fully absorbed, if not, it must be removed using a microfibre cloth leaving the stone with its original natural finish. This process helps to prevent grout residues adhering to the surface and grout pigments absorbing into the stone.
If a satin or gloss finish is required, LTP Ironwax Satin or Gloss can be applied without the prior need for an impregnating sealer. The surface sealer is quite sufficient to provide protection. These sealants have high resistance to wear and tear.
Honed & Riven Sandstone
Honed & Riven Sandstone are amongst the most porous of natural stones in our external range but can also be installed internally.
If installation is to take place internally, a thorough application of impregnating sealer is needed to make sure that it is well protected. Again, the aim is to saturate the stone without overapplying. After applying the impregnating sealer, it is advisable to apply 1 or 2 coats of LTP Ironwax Satin or Gloss, LTP Clear or Antique Beeswax. This will stop the grout from adhering to the surface texture. This will also aid future maintenance.
After grouting, further coats of LTP Ironwax Satin or Gloss, LTP Clear or Antique Beeswax can be applied to provide extra protection.
If fitting takes place externally, the stone can sealed with LTP External Stone Sealer. The aim is to completely fill the stone without over applying it. LTP External Stone Sealer can be applied to damp stone. This breathable sealer with allow the substrate to breath and not trap in the damp.
After grouting, if a residue is evident on the surface use LTP Cement Grout & Salt Residue Remover to remove. Apply a further coat of sealer if needed.
Natural terracotta Is extremely porous and should only be laid internally. It can be sealed synthetically or traditionally.
The synthetic approach would be to seal with LTP Mattstone H20 and a surface seal of LTP Ironwax Satin or Gloss. The traditional approach would be to seal with Boiled Linseed Oil and a surface seal of LTP Clear or Antique Wax.
Again, it’s best to apply the surface seal prior to grouting to prevent the grout residue from adhering to the surface texture. NB, Both of these processes are non-breathable. If there is no damp proof do not apply a surface seal.
Polished Limestone, Marble & Travertine and Honed Slate
These stones have lower porosity levels and will not absorb as much sealant as other finishes.
LTP MPG Sealer an impregnating sealer specifically designed for lower porosity stones.1-2 coats need to be applied prior to grouting. After the grouting, it is very important that the tiles are clean and free from grouting residues as these require chemical treatments that will damage the surface of the stone.
Flamed & Brushed Granite
Granite is a thick and crystalline material available in a Flamed & Brushed finish for interior use.1-2 coats of LTP MPG Sealer should be applied before grouting. Due to the nature of this material, a surface seal is not mandatory but can be applied if a finish is required.
These products have an extremely coarse surface texture because of the nature of the stone. They are generally made from a geologically diverse range of materials. They can be sealed with 1 or 2 coats (porosity dependent) of LTP Mattstone, Mattstone H20 or Colour Intensifier and Stainblock.
Generally, these are used as feature walls. Should not be used in a shower area unless a relevant tanking system has been installed.
Full Bodied and Polished Porcelain.
Very dense tiles with very little absorbency. Grout residue and grout staining can occur during installation. Apply 1-2 coats of LTP MPG Sealer to avoid any of these issues.
Crackle Glaze Gloss Tiles & Zenon Gloss
Grout residue and grout staining can occur during installation. Apply 1-2 coats of LTP Crackle Glaze Sealer to avoid any of these issues. If using a grout with a colour pigment apply at least 4 coats and do not buff off excess. Allow 2 hours between each coat. Leave to dry for 48hrs before grouting. Grout in the joints and remove excess immediately using a sponge and water.
Maintenance of Stone & Porcelain.
Maintenance is very important. The sealer protects your tiles, the maintenance protects your sealer. Not surprisingly, heavily trafficked areas will demand more maintenance than those that are rarely used.
A key part issue is not to use abrasive household detergents, as this will gradually breakdown the sealer. For most of the part, the main maintenance regime for a stone or porcelain floor is regular sweeping and vacuuming.
In addition to this, the floor should be mopped regularly with LTP Waxwash if an impregnating sealer has been used, LTP Floorshine if a surface sealer has been used. LTP Porcelain Floor Cleaner can be used on all polished finishes and is specially designed not to leave residues that will accumulate dirt.
Stains, marks, incorrectly applied impregnators or sealants all have antidotes. If that is your case, please feel free to contact us for the best advice. It is advised that before using any sealing, cleaning, maintenance or restoration product on stone or porcelain, testing them on a small inconspicuous area may help to get the best results as the minor results can be viewed on the testing area first. You can refer to the Ancillary Product Price List or one of our branches for more information.
All our ancillary products have been widely researched over the years to make sure of their compatibility and performance with our stones. All our suppliers are considered specialists in their own field/area. Additionally, prices are checked to make sure they are competitively priced in the market and we are glad to state that there is no obligation quotation for aforementioned products alongside your stone. Where alternative products are being used, please make sure to check their compatibility with the suppliers or manufacturers before any application. All stones photographed for this website, printed media and displayed in our showrooms have been finished with the ancillary products advised by ourselves. If you have any special considerations or needs for your project, please feel free to contact us and we can advise you with the correct advice and products for the situation.
All advice and instructions given above are offered without guarantee. All products should be tested out in an inconspicuous area.