Impregnating sealers are sealers that penetrate the stone's surface and repel substances in order to protect the stone from absorbing liquids and other contaminants. Like other types of sealers, such as
topical stone sealers (or waxes), these are designed to protect; just in a different way. When a stone absorbs a liquid substance, the stone can become discolored and this discoloration can be detrimental to the appearance of the surface. Impregnators can be water-based or solvent-based repellents that do their work beneath the surface of the stone. This type of sealer keeps contaminants out while allowing moisture to escape. As a result, impregnators are described as "breathable"; they allow for vapor transmission. Impregnators generally come in a couple of types. These types include:
- Hydrophobic Impregnating Sealers (water-repelling)
- Oliophobic Impregnating Sealers (oil-repelling)
Water Repellent (Hydrophobic) Impregnators
Hydrophobic impregnating sealers are designed to repel very specific liquids. Namely, water and water-based chemicals. These types of sealers are great for protecting stone surfaces from the following common liquids:
Since the above liquids are water-based, hydrophobic impregnating sealers would repel them.
Oil Repellent (Oliophobic) Impregnators
On the other hand, if you are in situation where you need oil-based liquids to be repelled, then it calls for one of the oliophobic impregnators to be used. These impregnators are formulated to repel water, water-based, and oil-based liquids. So in addition to the list above, these impregnators would also repel the follow liquids:
- Cooking Oil
- Body lotion
- Oily Salad Dressings
- Olive Oil
While Oliophobic impregnators will repel water-based substances, Hydrophobic impregnators will not repel oil-based substances. Therefore it is important to become familiar with the various types of
natural and engineered stone sealers and educate yourself on which to use in a given environment and project.
Impregnating Sealer Advantages
Sealers that perform their work below the surface have some advantages to them. Some of these benefits include:
- Most of these sealers do not change the appearance of the stone.
- Require less frequent applications as a general rule. This is because the impregnator is actually working below the surface of the stone.
- Since light cannot actually get to where the sealer is doing its work (below the surface), most impregnators are not affected by UV light.
- As mentioned above, your typical impregnator is water repellent (hydrophobic) and some of them are even oil repellent (oliophobic).
In some situations, impregnators that are applied to resined stone will cause the stone to take on a cloudy appearance, discolor to some degree, or fade the colors. It is important that you become familar with which impregnator to use for a given situation. You can find a nice overview by browsing our
stone sealer use chart. Using the wrong sealer for a specific application can present additional work to correct the issue. Hence, we recommend that you contact us with any questions regarding what sealer to use for your specific project.
Some of the various types of impregnating sealers available form Tenax include: