Most water based sealers can be used by the homeowner or end-users such as maintenance crews. Water based scalers typically remain at or near the surface of the stone because the water “base” does not allow the sealing agents to deeply penetrate the stone’s pores. Therefore, water based sealers are generally easier to remove and most effective when used as a regular maintenance tool to protect your natural stone or terrazzo. Water based sealers may provide stain protection from three months to three years. Factors such as heavy foot traffic and lack of regular cleaning can reduce the time between necessary applications. Sealers with a water base are usually not as caustic as solvent based sealers.
Water based sealers are available in different finishes, glossy (polished) or matte (honed). Most look shiny when they are first applied, but can dry to different finishes. Water based sealers are intended primarily for protection against staining. However, many people are also concerned with how the sealer will look when it is dry. The following are examples of sealers which have a water base, but the finishes will be different when they dry. Both sealers will protect natural stone and terrazzo from minor staining and often contain similar chemicals which act as the sealing agent. Therefore, choosing the appropriate sealer for the job is basically smatter of personal preference as to which finish is more desired by the end user when the sealer dries.
1. Urethane or acrylic polymers are sealing agents that typically dry to a high-gloss finish and will make the stone’s surface look polished. High-luster sealers are often good for application over polished marble, granite or terrazzo. High-gloss water based sealers are usually excellent for marble that has been installed for several years and has lost its natural luster. A couple coats of a water based polish sealer can “revitalize” the shiny appearance. One possible glossy water based sealer Polishing Seal.
2. Some water based sealers dry to a matte or honed finish. These sealers are excellent for those applications where a polished finish is not desired. Perfect for most honed or unfinished marble, limestone, slate, terrazzo or quarry tile. Matte finish water based sealers are usually created by adding a “flattening” agent such as silica to the sealer. Urethane or acrylic polymers (usually glossy) are generally still present in the sealer. Because these sealing agents continue to be a part of the matte finish sealer, several applications and normal foot traffic may begin to show a semi-gloss finish. At this point the matte finish sealer should be stripped and a fresh coat should be applied. A Matte Finish Sealer is one water based sealer that will dry to a honed finish and is user-friendly.