Protect Your Floor With Faber Natural Stone Sealers
Protect Your Floor With Faber Natural Stone Sealers
While natural stone installations are elegant and durable, their porous nature makes them susceptible to staining and water damage. Whether they are spills on countertops or floors, they all cause stains that can be difficult to remove, especially if they penetrate deeper into the material. How do you protect your installation? Turn to natural stone sealers. Rising damp is particularly problematic to floors. Here, damp marks, flaking of the surfaces, salt efflorescence – they all ruin the appeal of the surface. For instance, the efflorescence is attributed to the water with dissolved salts rising through the stone and getting to the surface. The water evaporates, depositing the salts, which will recrystallize. A powdery salty residue is formed. This white film looks unsightly, taking away the appeal from your floor. With natural stone sealers, you get to ward off such issues, and enable your installation to look elegant for longer.
A Guide To Buying Natural Stone Sealers
Level of protection
Firstly, you want a natural stone sealer that is water-repellent. After all, its goal is to prevent moisture from being absorbed into the stone, and avoid the troubles that come with water damage. Next, it should have stain-proofing properties. Here, the purpose is to buy you more time to clean up the spills and messes, and prevent those unsightly spots from becoming more permanent. This will reduce your workload when it comes to the routine cleaning and maintenance of your floor. Given that there are some natural stone sealers that come with additional attributes like increased resistance to foot traffic, this can be a consideration especially when intending to treat floor installations.
Effect on aesthetics
How will the sealer affect the natural stone surface that is being treated? Does it alter the tone or colouration of the material? If you want to retain the original appearance of the surface, then you should ensure that the product that you acquire will not lead to any changes.
This looks at the safety of the personnel carrying out the treatment process, to that of the occupants of the building. You don’t want your loved ones getting exposed to toxic fumes. In case the target application is tiles to be installed in areas like kitchen countertop, food safety factors in as well.
Here the focus is on how much usage you can get out of each product. The natural stone sealers can come concentrated or ready-to-use, and each has their coverage rate indicated on the product label. The size of the package will also be a key determiner in how much of the product you get and the cost effectiveness of the purchase. From 1L bottles to cans holding as much as 25L of product, different situations will call for different amounts of product.
Popular Faber Natural Stone Sealers
Let’s look at some of the leading sealers from this world-renowned brand:
Faber Hidro Protector MM
One of Faber’s high-performance natural stone sealers, Hidro Protector MM is an impregnating treatment that has been formulated to protect the structure from both staining and water damage. The water-repellent nature of the formulation means that you won’t have to worry about issues that come with rising damp – like those pesky damp marks, rust formation, and flaking. The stain-proofing properties kick in to make maintenance of the treated surface much easier.
Since floors form a majority of natural stone surfaces that need to be treated, this product comes with additional properties to increase the durability of the surface, enhancing the resistance to foot traffic and wear from dirt. It is especially highly resistant to dewaxing action – all this contributes to make the surface that has been worked on safe from everyday abrasion. The Faber Hidro Protector MM gets deep into the natural stone, in order to deliver a longer lasting protection, all while still maintaining the natural breathability of the stone surface, since it doesn't not form a film on the stone.
With this kind of natural stone sealer, you get to preserve the original colour of the material being treated. Has the surface been brushed, polished or flamed? You can use the Hidro Protector MM on it, even for the glossy compact surfaces. In case you want to provide the protective attributes of the formulation to surfaces that are rough or unfinished, use the product with a stain-proofer to maximise the effect. Here, the Hidro Protector MM will act as a primer, preparing the surface and increasing the durability and effectiveness of the treatment that is to follow.
Given that the Hidro Protector MM is a 100% water-based formulation, and that it lacks volatile organic compounds, this makes it an eco-friendly formulation. it is safe for the environment and the occupants of the building - and even the personnel carrying out the application won’t be at risk. What’s more, this formulation has been certified for use on food-contact surfaces, making it a suitable natural stone sealer for treating kitchen worktops.
Working With The Faber Hidro Protector MM
This formulation can be applied in 2 main ways:
For this approach, the stone is treated before being installed, since it provides maximum protection right from the onset. You don’t want a case where the installation absorbs moisture from the screen and adhesive on the laying bed, or during processes that follow, from bonding and grouting to mechanical polishing. This is further broken down into:
This covers all the sides of the tiles or slabs, and provides maximum protection. The installation then follows, through mechanical fastening, or with a high quality adhesive. The 6-side pre-treatment can be accomplished with a brush, roller or lambswool applicator. Alternatively, you can immerse the individual tiles wholly into a container with the product. Immerse one tile or slab at a time, and give it 10-15 seconds before pulling it out. Any residue on the surface can be redistributed using a cloth, then wait for the slabs or tiles to dry – which should take at least 24 hours. You can then proceed to have them installed, and you can open up the area to foot traffic immediately.
If there won’t be additional processes to follow, then the installation can be done with a medium to high quality adhesive.
If just a cement-mortar mixture is being used for the installation, or you’re working with a medium-low quality adhesive, then you should apply an additional treatment to the bottom of the slabs or tiles.
Treating the natural stone on site or right at the factory during this "dry laying" stage, is beneficial since it allows each single tile or slab to be individually assessed. The pre-treatment is especially recommended before you get the stone surface smoothened and polished. This is especially if the natural stone comes with a high degree of absorption, or there will be heavy usage of abrasives like diamond discs for the polishing. What’s more, the Hidro Protector MM actually makes the polishing easier, as it will limit water absorption into the stone, and prevent issues that come with moisture passing into the material. This also means that there will be less time required for the drying. The equipment used for the polishing also benefits, given that the workload will reduce, and chances of overheating will decrease, translating into a longer service life.
Treating already-installed stone
You still get to benefit from the protective attributes of the Faber Hidro Protector MM when the laying of the slabs or tiles has already been done. The difference will be the level of protection you obtain against the rising damp. This will depend on the moisture levels currently within the material. This is because the stones being laid will have already been exposed to moisture during the installation process. Here, it is recommended that you ensure the surface is as dry as possible before you treat it, and also that there aren’t any old damp stains on it. However, the most ideal approach is still to treat the natural stone before installation.
For the post-installation treatment with this product, ensure that you have applied it evenly over the entire surface. First spread out the product, then give it 5-10 minutes and even out the residues across the surface. You can use a lambswool applicator, brush, or roller for this, and ensure that it has been uniformly done. You can use a damp cloth or white pad to remove the dried residue if you’re working on a small area, or work with a floor polisher for the larger floors. Speaking of which, if the surface being treated is to be polished later on, then don’t worry about the residue. The polishing process will remove them by default.
For situations where the Hidro Protector MM has been applied post-installation, you can allow foot traffic onto the area after 2-3 hours. In 24 hours, the product will have dried completely. During this time, it is particularly important that you protect the surface from coming into contact with water.
You can use the Hidro Protector MM on a wide range of natural stone materials, from marble, limestone and granite, to marble-cement and marble-resin agglomerates. Note that for the surfaces that are more absorbent, the natural stone soaks up the formulation without leaving behind any residue. Here, it is recommended that you apply a second coat of the Hidro Protector MM.
DOs And DON'Ts Of The Hidro Protector MM
DO allow the surface to dry before treating it with the product. It should never be applied onto a wet surface.
DO redistribute any residues over the surface after application.
DO ensure that the surface temperature of the stone being treated ranges between 5 and 40°C
DO allow the grout or any adhesive used for the surfaces that have been recently laid to first dry before application.
DON'T dilute the formulation. It comes ready to use.
How do you maintain surfaces treated with the Hidro Protector MM? Its recommended that you use products from the same brand, especially those that have been directly suggested by the manufacturer, since this will give you optimal effect without ruining the integrity of the treatment. For instance, you can use Faber Neugel or AlgaFloor for the routine cleaning. If there are particularly troublesome dirt spots and grime that you want to get rid of, then use Faber 30 or Deterfug - with the choice here depending on the particular type of natural stone being attended to. To further enhance the stain-proof protection of the treated surface, you can use the B1 700 or Hidro 150 formulations, both from Faber as well.
Faber AC 300
This formulation has been specifically developed for use on cotto and terracotta, but it can also be used on marble-cement agglomerate and porous stone installations. It is recommended that you have this impregnating treatment applied before the installation, since it will be effective in reducing the absorption of water by the highly absorbent natural stone materials. With this formulation, the performance of the treatments that are to follow is not impacted. In fact, it adds to their performance and protective attributes, giving you more value for your funds. You can use the Faber AC 300 on both indoors and outdoors surfaces as the formulation itself is resistance to UV radiation.
Benefits Of The Faber AC 300
Aids the grouting process
Applying the AC 300 before installing the tiles or slabs will enable the grouting process to be caried out much easier – all through to the washing stage at the end of the installation. Grouting can get messy, especially with the grout staining the surrounding surfaces. However, the protection provided by the AC 300 prevents this, reducing your workload.
Water repellent properties
Rising damp and other moisture related issues are a key problem for cotto and terracotta structures, thus the importance of stone sealers like the AC 300.
Retains surface breathability
You won’t have to worry about the Faber AC 300 forming a film on the surface of the tiles or slabs being treated. This ensures that the breathability is retained. It also doesn’t affect the adherence of the material to the adhesive used.
By drastically cutting down moisture absorption by the tiles and slabs that are being treated, the Faber AC 300 reduces the drying time required after the final wash. This means that the treatments to follow can be applied much sooner.
Maintains the aesthetics of the material
With the Faber AC 300, the colour and tone of the treated material is not affected. That natural look and feel is preserved, providing the protective attributes without affecting the decor of the room. What’s more, you won't have to worry about the formulation yellowing over time.
Applying The Faber AC 300
The application can be made through different approaches, from production lines in factories, spray and immersion on site, to working with a brush and roller or lambswool applicator. There are just a few pointers to take note of:
The tiles or slabs to be treated should be clean. There shouldn’t be any dust or dirt on the surface of the area being worked on.
The surfaces should be dry. While the AC 300 can be applied onto surfaces that are slightly damp, it is ideal to ensure that they are as dry as possible.
Start by diluting the formulation. The ratio to use here depends on the material that will be treated. For industrial or glazed cotto, you can use a 1:2 dilution ratio. However, for handmade cotto or materials that are more absorbent, a 1:3 ratio can be used.
The treatment process can be done in two main ways:
Here, the tiles are totally immersed into a container holding the solution. One tile should be immersed at a time, then given 10-15 seconds dwell time in the solution.
Remove the tile and place it on a clean surface to dry. This should take at least 24 hours. Note that the tiles will look visibly dry in a short while after the treatment, but it is still necessary to wait for a day before proceeding to lay them on the site.
For the natural stones that are not very absorbent, there will be some residue that remains on the surface after the immersion. Simply use a brush to even out the residue. It’s important that you do this before allowing the tiles to dry.
This is done after the tiles have already been laid, but before the grouting is done. Start by applying a thin and even coat of the formulation onto the surface. Different tools like brushes or rollers can be used based on your particular preference. Simply ensure that you achieve a uniform application, and cover the whole tile surface.
While the formulation dries quickly and doesn't form residue, there are materials that will be compact and have a lower absorbency – in which case some slight residue will be left behind. In this situation, use a dry, clean cloth or a lambswool applicator to redistribute the residue.
In case you’re using the Faber AC 300 solution on a highly absorbent stone, feel free to apply it abundantly on the surface. Speaking of which, the formulation achieves an 8 to 15m² per litre coverage rate, depending on the mode of application and the dilution ratio used.
Note that if there will be worksite washing carried out on the surfaces being treated with the formulation, then you should allow 24-48 hours after the washing before you use the product on the target area. Some extra measures include:
Ensure the surface is not overly heated. The optimal temperature range is 5 to 40°C.
Before you go ahead with the application, it is recommended that you first test a small area to check the results and determine the suitability of the formulation to the situation.
Do you intend to use the Faber AC 300 to treat the tiles in an industrial production line? Special equipment is needed for this, depending on the particular situation. This can be expounded on further by Faber’s Technical Division.
Maintaining Natural Stone Surfaces Treated With The Faber AC 300
Cleaning is a key part of maintenance. Here, it’s recommended that you use products like Neugel for the routine cleaning, and Disycott when cleaning worksites. Both are also products from Faber. For those intensive cleaning sessions where you’re dealing with mounds of stubborn grime, you can use Dec 21, Decera P, or Disycott depending on which type of material you’re working on. The stain proof protection can further be increased using products like the Faber ATS 60, the Hidro 150 or the Pro TX Lux.
Equipment that has been used to apply the Faber AC 300 can be washed with water.
Faber Protex WB
This easy-to-apply formulation enables you to protect the natural stone installations from staining, rising damp, and other effects of moisture in the material. Here, you get the protective attributes of water resistance and stain-proofing in one formulation, and it’s especially ideal for use on glossy surfaces. As the Protex WB penetrates into the stone material, it doesn’t leave behind a film on the surface – so you won’t have to worry about the breathability of the tiles or slabs being affected. In fact, it doesn’t change the original appearance of the surface – meaning that the natural colour and tone of the structure gets to last for longer, especially with the additional protection that will come with the treatment.
Benefits Of The Protex WB
Shield your floor from rising damp
An impregnating sealer, the Protex WB gets deep into the material, and its water repellent nature prevents rising damp from damaging the floor. This means that cases of those persistent damp marks, issues like flaking, salt efflorescence and other kinds of surface aggression are avoided. The formulation has a high penetrating capacity, even getting into the subfloor for superior protection.
Resistance to dirt and foot traffic
The Protex WB is a powerful formulation, extending the protection of the floor to everyday soiling and the abrasive effect of foot traffic. In fact, it has a high resistance to dewaxers – meaning that the treated surface gets to obtain more durability. The Protex WB is a versatile product, and can be used both indoors and outdoors, on a wide range of surfaces – from Marble and its agglomerates like marble-cement and marble-resin, granite, limestone and basaltina, to sandstone, slate, porphyry and quartzite.
Firstly, this is a 100% water-based formulation. The person applying it on the different surfaces, plus the occupants of the building, will be safe. In addition, it does not have volatile organic compounds (hence the “V.O.C. Free” tag), making it one of the popular natural stone sealers that are eco-friendly. Moreover, this is also one of Faber’s natural stone sealers that have been certified to be suitable for use on food contact surfaces.
Application is a breeze
You can work with different kinds of tools – from brushes, lambswool applicators and rollers, to incorporating it into an industrial production line. You can also immerse the tiles or slabs into a container holding the formulation.
Like the other natural stone sealers mentioned here, the Faber Protex WB can be applied as a pre-treatment, or post-installation. The 6-side pre-treatment ensures that the tiles or slabs have maximum protection, and after this the installation is carried out with a high-quality adhesive, or through mechanical fastening. For the 5-side pre-treatment (when the product is only applied on the top and edges), the installation can proceed without any additional processes, in which case the adhesive used should be of medium to high quality. In case the slabs are to be simply installed with a cement-mortar mix, or using a medium to low quality adhesive, then the Protex WB can be taken though the 5-side pre-treatment, followed by also applying a layer of the product to the underside to offer more protection.
Why is pre-treatment preferred? Well, by treating the tiles or slabs right before the installation you get to give them more protection from the problems that would arise from moisture being absorbed from the laying bed, or during additional processes like grouting and mechanical polishing. A key factor to consider during the pre-treatment is the performance of the adhesive to be used, and the absorbency of the surface being worked on.
Certainly, you can also apply the Protex WB after the tiles or slabs have already been laid. However, note that the level of protection here against the rising damp will depend on the amount of moisture that is already present within the material. But you can increase the level of protection by ensuring that the surface being treated has dried as much as possible, and that there are no damp stains on the natural stone.
Here are key points to factor in during the treatment process:
Ensure that you have formed an even coating of the product, covering the entire surface being worked on.
After dipping the tiles or slab in the solution, or using the brush/roller/lambswool applicator to spread the Protex WB onto the surface, give it around 5-10 minutes (just as long as the product hasn’t been allowed to dry first), and even out any residues that are remaining on the surface. It’s recommended that you redistribute the residues until they are finished completely. Doing this at this stage will be far much easier than removing the residues after the product has dried. However, if the latter happens and there is residue after the treated slabs or tiles have dried, you can use a floor polisher or white pad to remove them, with a tinge of water. If the floor is to be polished afterwards you don’t have to trouble yourself with the product residue, since the polishing process will remove it.
After treating the tiles or slabs, give them 24 hours before laying them. Once they are laid on the floor, then foot traffic can resume immediately.
There are cases where the materials being treated are highly absorbent, such as for the natural stones that are more porous. Here, you will notice that the Protex WB will be absorbed without leaving behind any product residue. It is recommended that you apply a second coat of material.
Protex WB by itself offers superior results when stain-proofing surfaces that are glossy and compact, whether they have undergone brushing, polishing, or flaming. In case you want to use it on an unfinished surface, or on rough and matt natural stone surfaces, then you can combine it with a rough specialised surface stain-roofer for that particular type of stone to enhance the performance of the latter. Here, the Protex WB will be acting as a primer.
Speeds up buffing and polishing processes
Whether the Protex WB is being used for pre-treatment or post-installation application, it will be effective in reducing the amount of water absorbed by the material. This also happens to be beneficial during the natural stone buffing and polishing processes to be carried on after ways, which typically involve lots of water to prevent overheating of the equipment – but in this case the amount of water absorbed by the stone will be limited due to the Protex WB sealer. This cuts down the drying time, enabling the task to be completed much sooner.
Extra Tips For Applying The Faber Protex WB
Ensure that the area being worked on has been thoroughly cleaned before application.
The tiles and slabs being treated should be dry. Sure, the product can be used on slightly damp surfaces, but its insisted that you allow the surface to first dry as much as possible before proceeding with the installation.
Cover any adjacent sections that are not to be treated.
When setting the working area, ensure that the spot onto which the treated tiles or slabs will be laid out to dry will be large enough, and clean as well.
During the 24 hours waiting period for the treated slabs or tiles to dry, you should ensure that they don’t come into contact with water.
You can get the Protex WB in different packages, depending on your particular needs. It comes in 1L bottles, and the larger 5L and 25L cans.