The Importance of Tile Sealers
There is no such thing as a bad stone tileThe boom years in Ireland saw an explosion in the use of natural stone tiles for both commercial projects such as hotels and also private homes. Where once porcelain floor tiles were the norm , Irish homeowners who were now travelling more and seeing the beauty of marble and other stone tiles in countries such as Italy and Spain began demanding them for their own homes. For a period of a few years, stone tiles went from the exception,as a domestic floor and wall covering, to being the rule as limestone and marble replaced porcelain and ceramic.
A lot of these floors are now giving trouble. Hardly a day goes by at the studio without a call from a frustrated architect or home owner looking for advice in how to improve the performance of their stone tiles, wondering if they have being sold the wrong (or bad) stone tiles or if their tiling contractor
has installed them correctly…. Common reasons for poor performance of natural stone tiles: Incorrect stone installed to begin with: Each natural stone tile has its strengths and its weaknesses hence our belief at Italian Tile and Stone that there is no such thing as a bad stone tile only badly used stone tiles. Too often Irish consumers have been supplied with stone which was never suitable for what they wished to use it for. The most common instances of this are the use of polished marble and filled travertine in high traffic areas such as kitchens, hallways etc. These stones are prone to scratching and breaking down respectively. Too often stone suppliers have not made their customers aware of this. Badly Fitted Stone:In a previous post we looked at the importance of using a professional tiling contractor. This is as important, if not more so when installing stone. Its a common misconception that a good tiler is capable of installing natural stone. This is not strictly true. While there are many professional contractors who are capable of installing both it is important to realise that installing stone requires a different set of skills and tools.
Incorrect sealers: Using the correct sealers for natural stone will immediately enhance the look, feel and performance while also protecting the investment you made in choosing natural stone. Unfortunately the majority of sealers on the market are topical with little or no penetration into the stone. When first applied they can enhance the color of the stone and generally they perform adequately for short periods. However, even small amounts of foot traffic can quickly result in these sealers wearing in a short period of time leaving the stone prone to staining from all manner of everyday products - from garden soil to red wine, oils etc
The next generation of tile sealers pioneered by Dry Treat will thankfully make these issues a thing of the past. Established in in Austrailia in the 1990′s, Dry Treat has approached the question of sealing stone products differently to almost everybody else – rather than trying to protect stone tiles from the outside in as traditional sealers do, they protect the stone (or indeed brick, terracotta etc) from the inside out.
Dry-Treat is the world leader in the production of sealers for porous surfaces, such as stone, tiles, paving, concrete and grout. The chemistry of Dry-Treat’s impregnating sealers is unique, giving superior penetration and permanence, for unsurpassed protection. Benefits include
- Invisible – Dry Treat maintains the look and slip resistance of your surface and protects from staining, water and salt damage.
- Dry Treat can be used anywhere in your home or garden:- suitable for indoors and out, residential and commercial environments, kitchens, bathrooms, patios etc.
- Dry Treat makes cleaning easier, no special cleaners are required, it stands up to house hold cleaning chemicals and even commercial cleaning techniques such as high pressure hosing etc