We had the perfect opportunity to put three of the sealers we have used to the test… against each other. The test study was on samples of a grey flamed granite. Why the flamed granite?
We had a customer in Pittsburgh, who had this floor in her kitchen. The installer applied two coats of impregnating sealer. However, whatever was applied was not working at all, and that’s why we were called.
First: The customer had sample tiles, which had not been sealed. So we applied one coat of our 3 different sealers on each respective tile. They waited 24 hours, tested each piece with water, lemon juice, and oil, and emailed us this photo:
You can see the oil spots remaining on the tile (this photo was taken right after it was wiped off). The customer thought the enhancing sealer performed best, although it did darken the stone, and their preference was for the floor to maintain it’s original grey look.
When we came the following week to clean & seal the floor, here are what the samples looked like:
Notice that the oil spot still shows in the solvent based sealer tile, where it has virtually disappeared from the water-based tile.
I applied a second coat of sealer, waited the appropriate time, and performed this water test:
Look very carefully at the water “bubbles”. On both of the Bridgepoint products, the edges of the water droplets are “jaggy”: the water is not tightly holding it’s shape, but is spreading outwards, slightly absorbing in the stone. But with the Dupont water-based, you can see that the water is maintaining it’s shape better. This shows that the sealer is repelling the water more effectively.
Since this flamed granite is very absorbent, we apply two more coats of sealer (which it readily absorbs). Here’s the water test after:
And here is the oil test after four coats:
Although it’s not very apparent in the photo, the oil did bead up on the oil based sealer.
After the result of our tests, we sealed the floor with Dupont’s Heavy Duty water-based sealer. Since it responded the best after 2 coats, compared to the other sealers, it was the best option at protecting the floor, and preserving the original look of the granite.