How to Protect Sandstone Slabs and Tile
By Torin Dixon
Sandstone tiles and slabs are becoming more and more popular due to their earthy colors and distinct patterns and veining. What most people don’t understand is that Sandstone is Very Porous and Difficult to Protect.
Think about this, you are enjoying a sunny day at the beach, and you reach down and grab a handful of beach sand. Think about how many thousands of individual grains you are able to hold in just one handful! Then think about how many tiny spaces lie in between each and every grain. It doesn’t seem like much, but in just a handful of sand, there are literally thousands of spaces in-between each grain of sand.
This is the difficulty in protecting Sandstone slabs and tiles. The smaller the grains in your stone, the more difficult it is to protect the stone from staining. The volume of spaces that need to be filled is incrementally more than the same size stone in a large crystal pattern.
Even though sandstone is hard, and appears very solid, it is really very much like a sponge (a very hard, incompressible sponge). Between the grains of sand, enough space exists to trap fluids like grease, oil, and other organic materials that cause staining. The holes in sandstone are called porosity (from the word “porous”).
As you can see in this image, there are many spaces between the grains of Sandstone. These spaces are the areas that tend to ‘grab hold’ of oils, and other organic materials that can appear as stains.
Solvent based Impregnators work best because the molecules are smaller than water based impregnators. The solvent is what carries the protectant molecules and surround the grains of quartz and other minerals in sandstone.
As you may know, quartz is impervious and cannot be stained. It is the spaces in-between the crystals that can absorb staining materials.
With more that 30 years of use, I recommend using HMK S31 Silane Impregnator for Sandstone floors and walls. In kitchen areas, I suggest using HMK S34 Silicone Impregnator, as it provides more protection against grease and oils.
For cleaning Sandstone, I recommend using HMK R55 Intensive Cleaner. This professional grade cleaner will remove light stains and prepare the surface for receiving impregnators.
For further assistance, please contact us at 800-380-6881 Mon-Fri 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Mountain Time.