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How to Seal and Maintain Slate and Flagstone

September 20, 2011

How to Seal & Maintain Slate & Flagstone

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The following information is based on product application reports and manufactures information and is provided in good faith to assist the consumer. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND PRODUCT LABELS COMPLETELY BEFORE USING. PRE-TEST IN AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA PRIOR TO APPLICATION TO DETERMINE IF THE DESIRED RESULTS ARE ACHIEVED.

New, unsealed, slate & flagstone is subject to surface wear and staining if not properly sealed and maintained. With proper sealing and ongoing maintenance, your slate tile will be more likely to have a long lasting, beautiful and durable appearance.

The sealer selection for slate & flagstone is generally based on the desired “finished” look you want and the degree of stain resistance you need.

There are two basic types of sealers: penetrating sealers and film forming sealers.
Penetrating sealers soak into the surface leaving a natural look, and they make the surface resistant to water and stains. Film forming sealers actually form a coating or film on the surface of the stone.

The film creates a barrier that holds out water and stains. The film may affect the look of the stone (adding a gloss or color enhancement).

To insure that the end result and appearance are satisfactory, it is recommended that the sealer be tested in a small area first.

Always read product label and directions carefully before beginning to use any sealer product.

Finished Look Stain Resistance Recommended Product Comment
Low-Medium Sheen Excellent Slate Sealer* Water-based – Film-forming
Medium-High Sheen Excellent Multi-Purpose Sealer* Water-based – Film-forming
Wet Look” Excellent Lacquer* Solvent-based** – Film-forming
Natural Look Excellent Stain Defense Sealer Solvent-based – Penetrating
Natural Look Excellent Stone Color Enhancer Solvent-based – Penetrating
Natural Look Limited Penetrating Sealer**** Water-based – Penetrating
Natural Look Excellent Stone Sealant Impregnator Water-based – Penetrating
Low-Medium Sheen Poor Floor Polish (Only)*** Gloss or Matte – Film Forming
Medium-High Sheen Poor Floor Polish (Only)*** Gloss or Matte – Film Forming

* Film-forming sealer. (Polish ***) recommended as traffic coat over sealer for interior applications only.
** Lacquer recommended for more porous stone (absorption rate above 5%).
*** May be used indoors on un-sealed, dense tile where oil resistance is not a major concern.
**** Economical water repellant. If oil resistance is needed use Stone Sealer Impregnator or Stain Defense Sealer

After the slate has been installed on a good setting bed and the tiles are thoroughly clean and dry, follow the following steps. Adjust drying times and number of coats to specifics on sealer packages.

Pre-Seal if needed

1. Apply (1-2) coats of sealer as a pre-seal/grout release. All Glaze `N Seal sealers may be used as a grout release before grouting. Use same sealer for grout release as your finished sealer. Allow to dry 24 hours or more before grouting.


2. Grout according to grout manufacturer directions. Clean as you grout to minimize water contact on stone. Be sure stone is clean and dry before sealing. – Wait at least 24 hours, or more.


3. After grout clean up and drying apply sealer to stone and grout.

  • If using Film Forming type sealer; apply 2 or more thin even coats. Allow sealer to dry 1-3 hours between coats, following individual label direction
  • If using Penetrating type sealer; apply liberal coat. Allow to dry and then apply 2nd coat if stone will accept it.

4. After final coat, allow sealer to dry overnight. Limit heavy traffic on newly sealed surface. Allow 72 hours cure time before exposed to moisture, contaminants and vehicular traffic, as sealer will continue to cure and harden for 10-14 days.

5. To test stain resistance, sprinkle water or cooking oil drops on an inconspicuous area. If tile darkens, additional sealer is needed.


6. FOR INDOOR USE ONLY! If film forming sealer is used, it is recommended you apply two (2) or more coats of Glaze `N Seal Floor Polish. Allow 60 minutes drying time between coats. (Use “High-Gloss ” Polish or “Matte ” Polish, depending on desired look).

Routine Cleaning

7. Maintain you floor with daily sweeping or vacuuming of dirt and loose soil. Regularly damp-mop floor with water and Glaze `N Seal Neutral Cleaner. Use a minimum amount of water on floor and dry promptly.

  • Promptly wipe up any spills to minimize staining risk.
  • As necessary, re-apply floor polish to prevent “wear-thru” of polish.
  • If polish is properly maintained, the Saltillo tile should not require re-sealing.

The post How to Seal and Maintain Slate and Flagstone first appeared on Flooring Supply Shop Blog.

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