Which Sealer Should I use for Slate Tiles in Kitchen?

David from New York called to ask:

I am installing 12″ x 12″ slate tiles on a kitchen floor. In the past I have used HMK S35 Matte Finish Sealer on other materials with good results. Should I use this on cleft finish slate with high traffic? I also want to see the stone color enhanced as well.

Answer:

David,

S35 Matte Finish Sealer is great for many materials, particularly on honed Travertine and Tumbled Travertine. S35 is a “topical” acrylic sealer and will lay on the surface with a second coat and does help to protect from stains and spills entering the pores of the stone. However, in high traffic areas where there may also be bar stools and chair legs scraping along the tile, this option may prove to be a “high maintenance” solution.

I would suggest using the HMK S44 Color Enhancing Impregnator. This is an Impregnator that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to both enhance the color of the stone, and protects against spills, dirt and stains. For very porous stone like slate, travertine and some limestones, you likely will need two coats.

For a new installation, I suggest that once the tiles are set and prior to grouting, you apply one coat of the HMK S44 Color Enhancing Impregnator. This will act as a ‘grout release’ making it much easier to clean up the grout when drying. This helps to keep the grout out of the clefts of the slate. After one day of curing, I suggest using HMK R55 Intensive Cleaner (diluted with 6-8 parts water to 1 part R55) to clean up grout residue. Completely rinse area two times with clean water. Allow to dry and cure for one week.

After the grout has cured for one week, apply a second coat of HMK S44 Color Enhancing Impregnator over the tile and grout to protect the slate and grout from stains. Keep in mind when selecting a grout color to choose a color slightly lighter that what you want to achieve, as the Color Enhancer will darken the grout along with the slate tiles.

(If you are looking for an invisible sealer that will not enhance or change the color, we suggest using HMK S34 Impregnating Sealer)

For specific help on Natural Stone installation, protection and maintenance, please contact Torin Dixon for assistance. Email: info@stonecareonline.com or call Toll Free:
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StoneCareOnline Expert Blog is managed by Torin Dixon who is an expert in natural stone importing, distribution, fabrication, installation and maintenance of all natural stone surfaces regardless of finish or texture. We are here to assist you in your StoneCare needs.
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