Sealers, repellents, impregnators, protectants — whatever word is used to describe them — can provide fantastic long-term benefits for tile and stone installations to help meet the needs of challenging environments, applications and customer expectations. For the purpose of this article, all of these materials will be referred to as sealers.
Sealers come in many forms and types, but by their nature, most fall into one of two categories: penetrating/impregnating or surface/topical. This is determined by whether or not they leave a coating on the surface of the material being sealed. The various sealers may or may not change the appearance of the tile or stone and can be water- or solvent-based. Some, such as many solvent-based sealers, may have odors and fumes that can require special precautions and steps for safe usage.