Sealing Stone Outside.

Limestone, Sandstone, Travertine, Marble, Slate, Granite, concrete:
Regardless of what type of flooring you choose, the likelihood is it will require some form of sealing.

This is because natural stone is porous, and therefore if left unsealed, any moisture will be soaked up by the stone making it very difficult to remove, and potentially leaving the surface permanently stained (sometimes even fallen leaves can cause stains).

The best way to prevent all this is to seal the stone.

When you seal a stone, you are essentially filling any voids or pores of the stone with the sealer. This prevents any further liquid to absorb in to the tile, as demonstrated here with this close up shot of a water droplet on a tile sealed with LTP Mattstone.

When sealing natural stone outside it is important to use a breathable impregnating sealer, this will allow the transition of moisture from underneath.
Examples include LTP Mattstone H20 & LTP External Stone Sealer both are water based breathable sealers and ideal for use outside.

It is important to note that all stones located outdoors are susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence.
This blooming is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself.
We have a blog here all about efflorescence.

Its also very important when laying Natural stone to make sure that its fixed on a full bed of adhesive and not spot fixed.
The end result could look like this if its spot fixed.
Spot fixing issue Sandstone

If this has already happened to your patio, we have a blog here.

When sealing different natural stones, what will vary the most will be how many coats the stone will need before it is fully sealed.
Each stone exhibits different levels of porosity. A tumbled Limestone may have a higher porosity level than a Honed and filled Limestone.

Sealing natural stone with Mattstone H20

Shake bottle before use.

Test the porosity of your stone with water and a teaspoon, using the LTP porosity test.

Once surfaces are clean and dry, apply the product to the surface evenly using a sealant applicator pad, brush or soft cloth.

When sealing its important not to over apply the sealer and redistribute excess, avoid letting the sealer pool on the surface, as this can cause white marks to appear on the stone when it dries.
On highly absorbent surfaces apply several coats wet-in-wet.
After 15 minutes, remove any excess sealer with an absorbent cloth. Do not allow residues to dry on the surface.
Do not walk on the surface for 3 hours.

Sealing natural stone with External stone sealer.
Apply evenly to the surface using a foam roller or paint brush. On more absorbent surfaces apply further coats at hourly intervals until the surface is completely saturated. Remove any residual sealer if still visible after one hour.

Cleaning Tiles Outside

Before you start sealing your stone it is important to make sure your stone is clean and dry, other wise you will just seal in dirt and grime.

Old layers of sealer, dirt residues and light deposits of organic matter and algae must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone.

This can be done by either using LTP Grimex which is a intensive cleaner or LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner.

To Clean with LTP Grimex, dilute 1:3 with water, apply to the surface with a sponge or water brush and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for as long as it takes for the dirt to release. (5-30 minutes depending upon the level of dirt). If areas look as if they are drying out just add a little more solution to keep the area wet.

Agitate the surface with a stiff deck brush after approx 10 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).

Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface with water or scrubber machine.

Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues. Use a power washer if necessary.

Allow the surface at least 24 hours to dry before sealing.

To clean with LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner, Shake well before use.
Surfaces to be treated should be completely dry before application.
Pour solution undiluted directly onto the pavers and spread out evenly using a sponge or paint brush, Garden sprayers can also be used and leave for a minimum of 1 hour.

Apply a little water and agitate with a stiff Deck brush or emulsifying pad to release the dirt and grime, and then rinse thoroughly using a hose or jet wash.
Some stubborn stains and black spot may require a longer treatment, in which case apply and leave on surfaces overnight. If some black spot remains after treatment, It should fade and disappear after a few days following the treatment. If not: re-apply. Keep pets off at all times during treatment. In case of contact with metals, fabrics and painted surfaces rinse with water immediately. Do not use on warm surfaces. Do not apply if rain is imminent. Avoid contact with ponds & plant life: if contact is made rinse well with plenty of water.

General Maintenance.
Weekly or daily depending on conditions, use a hose and a brush to remove any debris that may be lying on the stone.
Then annually if required use LTP Grimex, this will remove surface dirt and grime, possibly every 6-12 months depending on condition.
Dilute Grimex 1:3 parts water and apply the solution on to the surface and agitate.
Leave for 10 minutes before agitating again and then rinse with water.
Allow 24 hours to dry and then if necessary re-apply a light coat of sealer.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

How do I clean my external paving?

Featured

Patio’s can give that refined and uniform look to a garden area, a clean cut from grass to stone, and when newly laid they look fantastic.

olive-limestone

If you had them laid before the winter months however they probably won’t look the same now as they once did. With the amount of rain that we have had over the last few months, the probability is that you will have some form of green growth on the tiles.

This green growth is a mix of Algae, moss and lichen which builds up on the tiles, normally more common in areas of higher rainfall, as this is the perfect place for algae to grow, high rainfall and with areas for the algae to cling to.

However this isn’t the end of your patio, as this can be easily fixed with the correct tools.

Cleaning Patios With LTP Mouldex

Firstly you will want to brush the stone with a stiff bristle deck brush to remove any leaves, dirt or debris from the surface of the stone.

Making sure the area is now free of loose debris, pour LTP Mouldex direct on to the stone and spread out over the area with a brush or sponge. (Garden sprayers can be used)

Black limestone with LTP mouldex applied on it with a sponge.

Leave for a minimum of one hour, then add a little water and agitate with a emulsifying pad or stiff deck brush to help loosen algae, dirt and grime.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Garden hoses and jet washes can be used. Be careful though as jet washes force water at the surface at high pressures and can cause damage to some stones.
Some stubborn stains and black spot will require longer treatment, in which case apply and leave overnight.

Rinse well with plenty of water

Rinse well with plenty of water

Once fully dry, (normally 24 hours) we recommend sealing with LTP Mattstone H20, this will prevent moisture and organic molecules from absorbing into the surface.

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

LTP Mouldex is a highly effective HSE registered product which has been developed to Help restore natural stone and paving to its original colour.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

KILLS & REMOVES:

  • Algae
  • Black Spot
  • Mildew
  • Mould
  • Lichen
  • Fungus
  • Pollution
  • Pollen stains

Anti-bacterial action helps prevent re-growth.

Suitable for use on all external stones and concrete paving.

Simple to use….apply and leave….scrub and rinse.

The fast acting formula will restore external paving and help prevent re growth.

Protecting stone surfaces after treatment with LTP Mattstone H20 will further reduce the possibility of black spot and mould spores from returning. It will also help prevent deep staining from falling organic matter and make any future cleaning much easier.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

One 5ltr can will treat up to 50 sq.m deepending upon the extent of soiling.

LTP Mouldex 5ltr only £39.54 Inc VAT.  (click here to buy or find your nearest stockist)

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For further information on the application of LTP Mouldex watch the video below.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Cleaning, Sealing and maintaining stone surfaces

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces 

Natural stone has been used on floors and walls for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

 

Natural Stone Surfaces – Internal Application

The following instructions are appropriate for Travertine, Limestone, Marble, Sandstone, Terrazzo and some Granite.

STEP ONE: INITIAL CLEANING 

Before sealing natural stone must be thoroughly cleaned to make sure that sealing of the surface can be achieved effectively. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting. Equipment recommended for this step is a bucket, mop, white emulsifying pad, 4pcs pole, sealant applicator & pad holder, microfibre cloth, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.Stone_cleaning_and_seal_Pack1

Newly installed surfaces

LTP recommends LTP Grimex as the solution for cleaning newly installed natural stone surfaces before sealing. LTP Grimex removes grease, dirt and grime from the surface ensuring the natural stone surface is best prepared for application of a sealing product.

Cleaning newly installed stone surfaces

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:10 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Under floor heating must be off.
  3. Agitate to release the residual dirt and grime from the surface with a mildly abrasive pad (LTP White emulsifying pad).  Rinse well using a sponge & water.
  4. Do not use acidic cleaners, such as LTP Grout Stain Remover.
  5. Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).

Cleaning natural stone with LTP Grimex

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

  • Before sealing the stone must be thoroughly cleaned. Old layers of sealer, residues from aftercare products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone. Film forming layers of sealer should be removed with LTP Solvex before washing with LTP Grimex.
  • Depending upon the levels of dirt, dilute LTP Grimex 1:3 with water. Apply with a sponge or cloth and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for 5-10 minutes.
  • Agitate the surface with a white emulsifying pad (for polished, smooth or honed surfaces) or scrubbing-brush ( LTP Deck brush) for Rough Cut surfaces and leave for a further 5 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).
  • Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface using a cloth or scrubber dryer machine.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
  • Allow the surface to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the protective seal.
  • For the removal of other types of dirt: Do not use acid based cleaners on limestone or marble. If you are unsure please call our helpline on +44 (0) 01823 666213 for advice.

STEP TWO: PROTECT YOUR NATURAL STONE SURFACE FROM STAINS

To protect stone surfaces and help prevent staining natural stone should be sealed. LTP recommends applying LTP Mattstone for a natural (invisible finish) or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock for an enhanced appearance. LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock deepens the colour and enhances the appearance of the stone surface.

Sealing prepared natural stone surfaces

  1. Surfaces must be clean and dry. Ensure under floor heating is off.
  2. Apply the product to the surface evenly using either LTP sealant applicator,a sponge, brush or soft cloth.
  3. Redistribute to remove excess product and avoid pooling on the surface.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface for at least one hour.
  5. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least 3 days.

Sealing natural stone with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier.

  • LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier will make the surface water and oil repellent.
  • Prevents stains, aids cleaning and simplifies the removal of surface stains.
  • Provides an invisible barrier of protection that will not greatly alter the surface character.
  • There are no health concerns once the product has properly cured.
  • LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier are micro porous and so can be used on surfaces that have no damp proof course.
  • Suitable for internal and external use.
  • If surfaces are properly maintained we recommend touching up the protective treatment every 3-4 years.

NB. Always test the product on an inconspicuous area. Wet or non absorbent surfaces cannot be treated. LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and Colour Intensifier are impregnating sealers which need to fully absorb. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface. Carefully buff with a soft cloth or machine to remove any excess. Remove unabsorbed impregnating sealer, if left to dry on the surface, by rubbing over with a little more sealer. Some stones may be darker after application. Acidic substances, if left on the surface, may damage stone.

STEP THREE: MAINTAINING YOUR NATURAL STONE WALL OR FLOOR

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your floor seal, provide additional protection against staining and make sure your floor looks great. Common household cleaning products often contain harsh substances that can breakdown sealing products applied to stone. For this reason LTP recommends using LTP Waxwash on floors and LTP Stonewash for surfaces.

LTP Waxwash (for floors): Formulated for use on unglazed tiles such as travertine, stone, limestone, slate, terracotta and quarry. Ideal for washing floors sealed with LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. Use routinely in place of normal detergent.

LTP Stonewash (for walls): This gentle surface cleaner is formulated for use on limestone, marble, granite, slate and polished porcelain. Will clean without breaking down and removing protective seals.

Regular maintenance on stone floors

  1. Add one cap full of product per litre of water in a bucket.
  2. Wipe surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
  3. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.

Maintaining natural stone with LTP Waxwash

A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.
At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer
a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on
+44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. 
Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to purchase from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Natural Stone Surfaces – Traditional and Ageing Method

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces – Part Two

Natural stone has been used on floors and walls for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

This is the second in a 16 part series of posts that will offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning, sealing and maintaining all types of stone, porcelain, quarry, terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles and surfaces. This post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces where a traditional or aged appearance is required. Using traditional oil and wax based sealers will greatly enhance the appearance of reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone. If desired it can also provide stone surfaces with an instantly aged appearance. Traditional sealers will give natural stone a softer natural look. The following guide will explain the process and help keep your surfaces maintained and in good condition for many years.

Natural Stone Surfaces – Traditional & Ageing Method

The following instructions are appropriate for reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone.

Step one: Initial cleaning

Before sealing natural stone must be thoroughly cleaned to make sure that sealing of the surface can be achieved effectively. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting. Old layers of sealer, residues from after care products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the tiles. Equipment recommended for this step is a bucket, mop, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.

Newly installed surfaces

LTP recommends LTP Grimex as the solution for cleaning newly installed natural stone surfaces before sealing. LTP Grimex removes grease, dirt and grime from the surface ensuring the natural stone surface is best prepared for application of a sealing product.

Cleaning newly installed reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:5 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Turn off under floor heating.
  3. Agitate with a nylon pad or scrubbing-brush.
  4. Rinse well with clean water.
  5. Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).

CLEANING NEWLY INSTALLED RECLAIMED FLAGSTONES, ROUGH CUT, HONED AND TUMBLED STONE SURFACES

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

  1. Before sealing the surface must be thoroughly cleaned. Old layers of sealer, residues from after care products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the tiles.
  2. Depending upon the levels of old wax and dirt, first remove old wax layers with LTP Solvex.
  3. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:5 with water and apply to the surface with a sponge.
  4. Agitate the surface with a nylon pad or scrubbing-brush and leave for a further 5 minutes (use scrubber machines on harder stone surfaces if required).
  5. Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface using a cloth or scrubber dryer machine.
  6. Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
  7. Allow the surface to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the protective seal.

For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the list below. If you are unsure please call our helpline for advice.

  • Care product residues, oil, grease and dirt – use LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper.
  • Wax and acrylic layers, tar, paint, bitumen residues – LTP Solvex and then LTP Grimex.
  • Deeply engrained oil stains – LTP Spot Stain Remover and LTP Fullers Earth.

Step two: Protect your natural stone surface from stains

To protect reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled natural stone surfaces and help prevent staining LTP recommends the application of LTP Stone Oil or LTP Stone Oil Antique. Surfaces should then be finished with an appropriate wax. Your choice of product will depend upon whether a traditional or aged appearance is desired.

The equipment you will need for this task: bucket, sponge, grout float, sponge, paint brush, soft cloth.

Traditional method

LTP Stone Oil and LTP Clear Wax: Will help to protect against water, oil, grease, dirt, grime and aid maintenance.

  1. Apply evenly with paint brush or soft cloth. Turn off under floor heating.
  2. Fully saturate the stone with sealer. Remove any excess sealer on the surface after 1 hour.
  3. Grout the joints and clean off any excess grout from the surface within 12 hours.
  4. Allow the surface to dry and dust off any remaining cement residues.
  5. Finish with a good coat of wax. Buff well with a soft brush or machine.

Protect your natural stone surface from stains - Traditional method

Ageing the appearance (internal surfaces only)

LTP Stone Oil Antique applied after a coat of LTP Stone Oil and after grouting will deepen the colour of the stone and joints. This will give an aged appearance. The number of coats applied determine the depth of colour. Finish by polishing with LTP Antique Wax or LTP Clear Wax. To establish the correct number of coats for the desired finish, test this process on a spare piece of stone before proceeding.

Protect your natural stone surface from stains - Ageing method

Further information on traditional and ageing method protective seal treatments

  • LTP Stone Oil, LTP Stone Oil Antique and LTP Clear Wax will render the surface water and oil repellent.
  • These products help to prevent staining, aid cleaning and simplify the removal of surface stains.
  • LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique will alter the natural character.
  • LTP Clear or LTP Antique Wax will give an easily maintainable hard-wearing satin sheen.
  • There are no health concerns once these products have properly cured.
  • LTP Wax is film forming so should not be used externally or used on surfaces that are damp or have no damp proof course.
  • LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique are suitable for internal and external use.
  • If surfaces are properly maintained we recommend touching up the protective treatment every 3-4 years.

NB. Always test the product on an inconspicuous area. Wet or non absorbent surfaces cannot be treated. LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique are impregnators which need to fully absorb. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface. Carefully buff with a soft cloth or machine to remove any excess. Unabsorbed sealer if left to dry on the surface should be rubbed over with a little white spirit.

Step three: Maintaining your reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your floor seal, provide more protection against staining and make sure your floor looks great. Common household cleaning products often contain harsh substances that can breakdown sealing products applied to stone. For this reason LTP recommends using LTP Waxwash on floors sealed with LTP Stone Oil and LTP Stone Oil Antique and finished with wax.

Regular maintenance on reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

  1. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash newly sealed surfaces for 3 days.
  2. Add one capful of product per litre of water in a bucket.
  3. Mop surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON RECLAIMED FLAGSTONES, ROUGH CUT, HONED AND TUMBLED STONE SURFACES

A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.

Should you use a professional floor restoration company?

The application techniques described above are achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast using the products as described. However, natural stone products are often expensive and by nature each stone has its own characteristics. We often find that many of our customers prefer to use the experience and skills of a professional stone restoration and cleaning company to make sure that their project finished to the highest standard.

LTP is pleased to be associated with the following companies that specialise in natural stone restoration and cleaning:

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Basalt stone – Dealing with white patches

Basalt stone case study

A Basalt tiled floor showing white patches of discolouration.Issues with white patches appearing after sealing Basalt tiles

We were recently contacted by a customer who was having problems with white patches appearing on their newly installed Basalt tiles. This is a common problem, so we thought we should share why and how this issue sometimes occurs. The pictures in this post supplied by a customer show a charcoal grey Basalt tile that has been sealed with a reputable stone tile sealing product.

The customer explained:

“The dark tile is where a colour enhancing tile sealing product was used by the tiler to test to see if it might remove the lighter patches but as you can see this has only enhanced them; the tiled shelf has not had the sealer applied and displays the similar distinct lighter patches; one of the tiles has very distinct striations where it appears the saw marks have not been completely ground out; the floor looks dusty but it is not.”

Basalt floor tiles with white discolouration patches Basalt floor tiles showing white discolouration

How and why discolouration can occur in Basalt stone surfaces and tile installations.

Understanding Basalt stone

In geological terms, basalt is quite a young volcanic stone. When volcanic eruptions take place and volcanic material is formed, excess argon gas can get trapped within lava flows. This argon is held primarily in lattice vacancy defects within the minerals that form to make basalt. These pockets of argon gas are sometimes released when the stone is quarried, cut into blocks, sawn into slabs and then honed on the surface to make it ready for use as a cladding and tiling material. This ensures that Basalt has an extensive capillary make up.

What can cause discolouration and hazing?

Moisture and polymer from adhesive used to complete installations can be drawn up through the natural capillaries within the stone. This can release minerals and salts from within the stone, causing a light bloom or haze from within. In this instance, there is no chemical cure or cleaner that will remove the stains from the stone.

It is also common to see grout floated across the surface (in order to complete grouting between the tiles). This will often fill some of the open capillaries contributing towards a mottled and uneven appearance. In this case, grout on the surface can be removed using a chemical cleaner but grout that has settled within the open pores is likely to be impossible to remove. No amount of scrubbing or cleaning will make any difference. In both cases any additional sealing would only further highlight the marks left by the adhesive and the grout.

Removing the discolouration and hazing

There are two alternative approaches to addressing this issue:

  • For surface grout stains attempt to clean back the surface of the tile with a specialist intensive cleaner and reseal.
  • Remove and replace the tiles.

Intensively clean and reseal

Please note that the following advice should be completed on a small area (single tile) to establish if it will result in a more satisfactory finish:

Clean thoroughly with LTP Grout Stain Remover. This will effectively etch the surface of the stone and should dry to leave it more even in appearance. Note that this treatment will change the texture of the stone making it feel a little rougher. Rinse thoroughly and leave to dry. Re-seal using LTP Mattstone H20 applying as many coats as necessary to achieve saturation. Do not let the solution dry on the surface. Remove any visible excess from the surface within 20 minutes.2.

Remove and replace

Unfortunately, where staining has been caused by moisture drawn up through the stone or grout cannot be removed the only other option would be to remove and replace the tiles.

How to avoid issues when installing Basalt stone

When the new stone is fitted, make sure that the underside of the stone tile is sealed before laying. Use a good quality water-based sealer such as LTP Mattstone H20. After laying and before grouting, seal the surface of the stone with as many coats as necessary to reach saturation point. Before completing the general application of grout, test a small area for grout ingress. Grout ingress is caused when grout material is forced into the surface of the stone during the grouting process and can be difficult to remove. If grout material is absorbed, then a further coat of sealer may be required before proceeding.

Once all residual grout has been removed and surfaces are clean and dry, finish with a further coat of sealer making sure to cover the grout joints as well.

Please note: Always read the product label instructions before using any LTP product and contact our free Technical Helpline on +44 (0) 1823 666213 for further information or assistance if required.

At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.

Stone and Tile Sealers: Surface v Impregnating

Understanding the difference between surface and impregnating sealers

Essentially there are two types of sealing product available on the market suitable for sealing natural stone wall and floor tiles.

Shows how sealers effect stone1.     IMPREGNATING SEALERS
Impregnating sealers are suspended in a liquid carrier which is either spirit or water based. This ensures that the sealer is absorbed into the tile just below the surface, sealing the small pin holes and open fissures. Once absorbed the carrier evaporates, leaving the sealer behind. General characteristics of impregnating sealers are that they give a natural matt or colour enhanced finish and are micro porous. Meaning they are breathable, moisture repellent and resistant to staining. Generally impregnating sealers are effective for interior and exterior use.This includes use in wet areas such as swimming pools and wet rooms.

2.     SURFACE SEALERS
In general these tend to be water based. They will give an alternative type of protection to the surface of natural stone wall and floor tiles. Depending upon the circumstances they are used on their own or with an impregnating sealer. It is practical to seal natural stone wall and floor tiles with either an impregnating or surface sealer, or sometimes both. There are a number of factors that will guide your choice.

These are:

  1. The type of finished look you want.
  2. The situation the tiles are used in.
  3. The level and type of traffic the surface will carry.
  4. Internal or external use.

Choosing your finish

There are three basic types of finish:

  1. Matt,
  2. Colour Enhanced Matt
  3. Gloss/Satin

Matt and Colour Enhanced Matt are achieved using impregnating sealers and will keep or enhance the natural appearance of the surface. If a polished or shiny surface finish is desired then a gloss or satin surface sealer should be used.

Lets us help you if your are not sure

Deciding which type of sealer you should use is a difficult choice.
This is why we have developed a simple online 3-step identification guide and
offer a free no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call
on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you.

If this article has helped and you wish to purchase one of our comprehensive range of products please visit www.ltp-online.co.uk

The LTP Range of products