Stone sealing: need to know whether a new stone, tile or paver is sealed? Read on…

In a technical article featured in Discovering Stone #34, Fred Gray, LATICRETE Australia Technical Service Manager, provides an informative discussion on checking the status of stone sealing

Checking Status Stone Sealing

If you need to know if the new stone, tile, paver or existing installation is already effectively sealed, partially sealed, not sealed or whether it can be sealed, continue reading!
“Determining if a stone is sealed is an important question which must be answered prior to considering the application of a new sealer treatment. Realising if an unsealed stone surface will be able to accept a sealer is also critical in determining how to move forward. There is a simple “Water Test” that will help you determine, not only if the tile is sealed or not, but give you a guide as to what sealer should be used. 

How to check whether a new stone, tile or paver is correctly sealed:

  1. Apply water to a few different areas of the stone and/or grout.
  2. Make each application of water approximately 25mm in diameter
  3. Measure the approximate size of the circle of water, without disturbing the water, and make a notation of position and size
  4. Place a drinking glass over the water to protect it from evaporation and let it sit undisturbed for 20 minutes
  5. After 20 minutes, remove the glass and observe the results

How these results determine the quality of your stone sealing:

  • No change – if the water appears the same as when it was applied and the water measures the same diameter, then a sealer is already present or the stone/tile is very dense and does not require sealing. In fact, a very dense stone/tile may not accept a sealer (since the material has to be somewhat absorbent to accept a sealer).
  • Slight change – if the water is still present in a bead but appears to be absorbing into the surface, then a sealer may already be present but requires re-sealing. Or the stone is not sealed and is sufficiently dense enough to allow for slow absorption of water.
  • Complete change – if the water is completely absorbed into the surface and the spot appears to have grown in size, then the stone is not sealed and the use of high-quality sealer is recommended.
  • This quick and easy test can provide valuable information about the current state of the stone surface. It will not only help you determine if a sealer is present or required, it can also provide good information as to how many coats and what sealer to apply.

    Another useful tip: if the water is being absorbed slowly and you surmise a worn sealer application, you can confirm this with another simple test. This is carried out by cleaning a small inconspicuous area with a heavy duty cleaner and then perform the “water test” again.

    If the water absorbs more quickly than previously, you should treat the entire area before the new application of sealer. If there was no change in the rate of absorption, then there was not likely any sealer present and the new sealer application can be made.


    For information on STONETECH®, our floor and stone care range of products or for technical support, call LATICRETE on 1800 331 012 or email to us and arrange a demo or a FREE sample.

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