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Tile & Stone Sealers: Impregnating or Surface

Published 20 Jul 2012


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.

Sealing illustration

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.

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.


Still unsure? Try our new product guide to help select the correct products.

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