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Sealing Marble Surfaces

When you begin to explore the answers to the question of whether to seal marble surfaces, you begin to find a range of answers. You will find some experts saying that every natural stone needs to be sealed. Others will say that it depends on various factors. And still yet some will simply recommend a different material altogether.

But what if you are helping a customer that has their heart set on marble? Perhaps they want it to be used for a shower, flooring, or other surface in the home. In these cases, many questions about sealing marble surfaces will come up. And then a discussion of other topics will follow. Let's take a few minutes to consider some of the key ideas regarding the need to seal marble. Then we will address a few related ideas about sealing marble and marble sealers.

Does Marble Need to Be Sealed

One of the main penetrating questions that gets asked is, "Should marble be sealed?" As mentioned above the answers to that question will vary depending on who you are talking to. But we are going to consider not only he answer, but also the reasons for the answer in this section of our discussion.

The simple answer given by the Natural Stone Institute to the question, "Should natural stone counters be sealed?" can be found on their website. There they give the following answer:

In many cases it makes sense to seal marble and granite countertops with a quality sealer.
- Natural Stone Institute

Now you get an idea of why some say that natural marble should be sealed and why others simply recommend a different material. In reality, the answer to whether you need to seal marble depends on a number of factors; one of which being whether the stone has already been sealed. Other factors will contribute to the answer too. But remember the statement quoted above, "it makes sense to seal marble".

Another related question to ask would be, "Will sealing marble hurt it?" That is a good question because if it "makes sense" and it does not hurt the stone, then why not seal the marble surface and be safe? And since sealing marble can actually be a DIY project, many opt for this route. But even if you decide to seal marble surfaces, other questions arise.

How Often Do You Seal Marble?

We have already answered the question, "Does marble have to be sealed?" And if you have come to the conclusion that you want to or need to recommend sealer to your marble surface customers, you might be asking, "How often do you seal marble?"

The frequency with which to seal marble is dependent upon certain factors. There are some things that will influence how often marble sealant needs to be applied.

Testing Whether It Is Time to Seal Marble

A simple way to determine if it is time to seal your marble surface is to put a small puddle of water on the surface, if the water begins to be absorbed by the stone quickly, then it is time to add marble sealer to the stone. Adding marble sealer will slow the rate of absorption way down so that the owner will have plenty of time to wipe up any spills that could stian or damage the marble. Now that we have covered how to tell if a marble surface needs sealed, let's look at some factors that will affect how often a given slab needs to be sealed.

Improper Cleaning Increases Sealing Frequency

Marble sealers penetrate the surface of a slab and form a barrier beneath the surface of the stone that inhibits absorption. However, using the wrong cleaner can effectively completely undo all of the work that goes into sealing the stone. Some cleaners that are not made for cleaning sealed stone, will breakdown the sealer's barrier and basically remove the sealer.

Not All Marble Sealers Are the Same

Another thing to keep in mind when determining how often marble needs sealed is the kind of sealer that will be used. There are various types of marble sealer just like there are various types of granite sealer. Both impregnating sealer for marble and topical marble sealers are to common ones used. The idea is to choose the best marble sealer for the stone that is being sealed. So what is the best sealer for marble?

Best Marble Sealer

Much like the question about how often to seal the surface, determining the best marble sealers to use will be affected by many other factors. We will consider a couple of the big ones in this part of the discussion. These factors ave to do with the finish and the location of the surface.

The Finish of the Marble Matters

There are various finishes that are available for marble. Polished and honed marble are two of the more popular ones out there. The reason that the finish is important is that it is related to the porosity of stone. Using the best sealer for the type of finish that the marble has will ensure the greatest degree of success.

Best Sealer for Polished Marble

Polished marble surfaces have a tendency to be less porous than their honed counterparts. This is mainly because the polishing process closes up the pores of the stone. Additionally, other techniques are sometimes used to decrease the porosity of a particular marble slab. This means that it is important to choose the best sealer for polished marble. These tend to be ones that can penetrate through the smaller pores, penetrating deep inside the stone to do their work.

Best Sealer for Honed Marble

Marble that is honed is a different animal than the polished surface we just mentioned. Honed marble has larger pores because of the nature of the finish. This means that the best sealer for honed marble (sometimes referred to as a "matte finish" marble) is one that designed for use with very porous stone.

Wet Look Marble Sealer

One of the techniques for getting the best appearance with a marble surface is to use a sealer that is also a marble enhancer. using a marble sealer and enhancer can add depth to the grain and color of a marble surface while adding a protective seal to the surface as well. Like the sealers mentioned earlier, there are enhancing sealers for varying degrees of porosity. Selecting the appropriate marble enhancing sealer for a given stone is key.

Sealing marble surfaces involves much more than just doing a web search and choosing a product. Furthermore, knowing how often to apply a sealer to your marble surface will take a bit of observation and testing. In the end, knowing a bit about the different kinds of marble sealant products and how various types of marble finishes interact with the products will ensure the best results in the long run.

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