Nu-Tech Tile offers complete stone sealing, restoration and maintenance, and all stone polishing, grinding, and honing. Below we describe what is involved in sealing, restoration, and maintenance.
Sealing and Sealers
Impregnators are a silicone-based penetrating sealer. These sealers penetrate the porous surface and the silicone hardens providing a barrier to potential contaminants such as oils and acids which can stain surfaces.
Prices range from $20 to over $200 per gallon depending on the amount of silicone contained.
Application is usually "hands and knees" to ensure proper and adequate coverage and proper removal from surrounding surfaces (which can be problematic if left to dry).
Enhancers are impregnators which darken, enhance, and deepen the characteristics of natural stone. Like impregnators they range in price and difficulty of application.
Commonly used on slate, travertine, and some clay tiles.
The choices in topical sealers which will coat and protect the surface, leaving a low to high sheen are as follows:
Water-based sealers use acrylics that harden over a few weeks providing good stain protection and a beautiful sheen. These sealers are designed to walk off and require re-application in high use and traffic areas. If properly maintained, they provide a very functional floor and are environmentally friendly.
Oil-based sealers are petroleum based and is more difficult and time consuming to apply. They require the least maintenance, but are flammable and toxic. Restoration could be expensive and they darken with age.
I do not recommend epoxies or urethanes because future restoration is nearly impossible and very costly.
Grout Colorants are water-based with an epoxy binder. This product is an excellent sealer with a long life and can correct any cosmetic problem. There are many colors to choose from and special colors can be ordered.
Staining provides minimum protection against surface contaminants and must be followed with an impregnator or surface sealer. Commonly used on saltillo tile.
Restoration is an art form within itself. It still amazes me the beauty brought out by stripping an old sealer off a floor. This is the most difficult service I provide and it is also the most gratifying for me personally.
Choosing tile over carpet is a very wise decision. The natural stones and clay tile never go out of style and can be restored to almost brand new when the time comes, eliminating the environmental impact regarding disposal. Tile is easy to care for when properly sealed and minimize dust and pollutants that cause allergies.
The method of restoration will depend on what floor tile you own. If properly sealed upon installation, saltillo will need to be stripped and re-sealed about every ten years. Marble will need to be re-sealed at least every five years as well as grout and all natural stones.
The location and lifestyle will also determine the longevity of the sealed floor. Kitchen and counter tiles will need more frequent attention. Families and pets will also take their toll on sealed floors but the good news is, they can restored beautifully.
Some clay tile, like saltillo or de hanis, require coatings of sealer which need to be re-applied yearly and we provide the "hand and knees" service to our customers for a nominal fee.
All floor tile, including natural stone, marble, and grout, must be re-sealed at least every five years and we also solve any problems that may have come up during that time.