While penetrating sealers will offer the best level of protection, they are typically designed to leave a natural finish, and depending on the installation and type of material used, an enhanced look or "wet look" may also be desired. A "wet look" usually refers to a surface that has been darkened after getting wet and not a shiny or glossy look. StoneTech's enhancing sealers combine properties of both enhancers and penetrating sealers to deepen and enrich while also providing protection against stains. To get an idea of how an enhancer will look, wipe a damp cloth across the surface of the material. For a deeper look, multiple coats may be applied.
Penetrating sealers sit below the surface and in the pores of the materials. A carrier, either water-based or solvent-based, penetrates the surface and coats the pores with a deposit of polymers that will repel or resist stains once cured. Depending on the sealer's formula, the sealer may repel just water-based stains or both water-based and oil-based stains. For kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas that come in regular contact with oils such as cooking oil, grease, and body oils, a sealer that protects against both water-based and oil-based stains is the best choice.
Penetrating sealers use either a water-based or solvent-based carrier to deliver polymers into the pores. Solvent-based sealers are often more effective on difficult to penetrate surfaces including dense granite, polished surfaces, and porcelain tile because they have a smaller molecule size than water-based sealers. Premium sealers will repel liquids better, allow more time to cleanup, and last longer than economical sealers. However, even with premium sealers, spills still need to be cleaned up in a timely manner because staining can occur if left unattended for an extended time. Additionally, penetrating sealers sit below the surface and will not protect against surface damage including scuffs, abrasions, and acid etching caused by acidic foods and liquids.
Enhancer - Economical, water-based enhancing sealer. Interior use only. Standard protection against oil and water-based stains.
Enhancer Pro - Premium, solvent-based enhancing sealer. Interior / Exterior use. Heavy duty protection against oil and water-based stains. VOC Restrictions.
Topical Sealers / Finishing Sealers
To add a shine or glossy finish, a topical sealer (or finishing sealer) will provide the desired finish with many will also providing color enhancement. Topical sealers are different from penetrating sealers because they sit on the surface and do not penetrate into the pores. They also provide protection against surface damage but work best on rough and textured surfaces including natural stone and manufactured material such as terra cotta and Saltillo tile. Topical sealers should not be used on polished or glazed surfaces.
While topical sealers are great for adding a finish and color enhancement, they do have some limitations and are not suitable for all applications. Areas around pools, bathrooms, and other areas in contact with water should not have a topical sealer applied because a surface with a topical sealer can become very slippery when wet. Additionally, if moisture gets under a topical sealer, cloudiness, mold, and mildew can become problematic. Topical sealers also tend to wear unevenly, show scuffs marks more readily, and often require stripping before each reapplication. Finally, not every topical sealer is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Semi Gloss Finishing Sealer - Two-in-one water-based, enhancer and topical sealer with semi-gloss finish. Interior use only. Superior protection against oil and water-based stains.
High Gloss Finishing Sealer - Two-in-one water-based, enhancer and topical sealer with gloss finish. Interior use only. Superior protection against oil and water-based stains.