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To Seal or Not to Seal
Deciding whether to apply a floor sealer is an important decision, and it’s one you can’t make unless you understand what the product is and what it does. So here’s an overview of all the essential information you need.
What is floor sealer?
Floor sealer is a highly durable coating that’s made from polymer. When applied, it creates a protective film that blocks pores which would otherwise have become clogged with dirt. Sealers can be used instead of floor finish, or alongside it if you want to achieve a high shine.
What type of floors are sealers used on?
They were initially meant for use on vinyl tile floors, but over the years sealers have been found to work well on various other types of porous flooring. It’s best to seek professional advice to determine suitability.
What are the benefits of sealers?
The polymer molecules used for floor sealer are larger than those used for the floor finish. This means they fill porous surfaces faster and form a much stronger protective film.
Although sealer costs more than finish you only use half as much, so if you just need one of these products then sealer is the more economical.
When pores are blocked with sealer the floor is easier to clean, which means it’s easier to maintain. The polymer prevents dirt from reaching the tiles and therefore minimises the number of times you have to strip the floor coating, saving both time and money.
Sealers can also make floors safer to walk on because they create improved traction.
When to avoid using floor sealer
If you plan to strip your floor at least once a year then it may not be wise to use sealer. This is because it tends to be harder to remove than finish, which will make stripping a more arduous task.
Does the floor sealer have a sheen?
The larger polymer molecules do not reflect light as well as the smaller molecules, so if you use a sealer rather than a finish your floor will not shine.
A burnisher can sometimes be combined with a sealer to aid reflection, or you could use a sealer/finish hybrid product. However, if a high shine is a must for your floor then you should put a finish over the sealer.