I am just finishing a job where we have laid a sawn edged polished sandstone (Bradstone Fossil Buff) which is pretty porous. Wonder if anyone has any products they'd recommend to seal it?

Want something that won't darken it in colour, and won't make it look shiny, anyone got any ideas to help?

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You can also use products from Lithofin.

The products are realy good and not too badly priced too.

http://www.lithofin-uk.co.uk/

Hi there, I had this exact product ordered this week - due for delivery yesterday but told there was none in the country for 3wks. You must have got the last lot!!

I think most sealers leave the stone looking wet - even the matt one I have gives a slightly shiny look. Let me know if you try any of the above - will be sealing mine in about a wk if I can get it from somewhere else!

Kirsty
Its more about taste and proposed use of the surface. Sandstone doesn't need sealing but if you don't it could stain.

I really seal patios after I have laid them unless the customer asks me to or it is needed due to the usage or if its under deciduous trees, sometimes.

Gaynor Witchard said:
May I ask a question here? I'm not a landscaper - but can you tell me if all Indian sandstone should be sealed?

I run a business which provides consultancy on natural stone applications and we have worked with and for Bradstone, Marshalls and many of the top stone companies in the UK

You do not need to seal sandstone outside but this is your choice.

If you want it to look pristine, then you can use products which will maintain it, rather than the expense of sealing it.

There are specialist algaecides, bleaches, rust removers, oil removers etc available on the market designed for natural stone patios and even if you seal a sandstone patio, algae and mildew will still form, as it will on any surface, just like glass.

This Sandstone is (as are most) quite porous and the best impregnating sealants for stone on the market such as Aquamix, Dry Treat, Lithofin, LTP and Fila will reduce the porosity of the sandstone to nil and prevent oil, grease and water based stains from penetrating the stone.

However, due to freeze / thaw, they will normally last 18-24 months before they degrade and you have to re-apply. (we have yet to test Pave-Gard and it costs considerably less than the other stone sealers)

To render most sandstone impervious requires about 1 litre to cover between 3-6m2. These impregnating sealants cost from £20 to £60 per litre.

The stone must be completely dry to be effective and it should not rain for at least 24 hours to allow the impregnator to start curing.

They will not create a shine because they travel into the stone and do not sit on the surface
All spirit based impregnators will darken the stone very slightly. Water based impregnators, (such as Aquamix) hardly make any difference at all ( do a test first in an inconspicuous area or test stone)

We have tested all the impregnators mentioned independently.

The best value impregnator that works as well as the most expensive is LTP's Mattstone.

The deepest penetrating sealer which lasts longer is Dry Treat's Stain Proof and this comes with the price to match it's quality.

The most popular is Lithofin MN Stainstop which is a very good product and it seems strange that there is none in the country at the moment - try Amazon they are probably the biggest distributor of Lithofin in the UK.

I hope this is helpful for you

Regards

Alastair

Marshalls who probably supply more natural stone than anyone else in the country do not recommend sealing sandstone.

As they are one of the site sponsors it might be worth asking them for the reasons why.

Hi Kirsty. We got ours from Amazon and it arrived within days of ordering it.
Kirsty Blair said:

Hi there, I had this exact product ordered this week - due for delivery yesterday but told there was none in the country for 3wks. You must have got the last lot!!

I think most sealers leave the stone looking wet - even the matt one I have gives a slightly shiny look. Let me know if you try any of the above - will be sealing mine in about a wk if I can get it from somewhere else!

Kirsty
Hi Karl, as you mentioned in your first post - it's not polished as such, but is a sandstone with a pretty smooth finished. Not hammered with any visible dimples, but maybe honed as you also mentioned below.

I used it on a job a couple of years ago and didn't seal it, and although it still looks ok, once the dirt gets into it, it's doesn't seem really possible to just power wash it away - seems to get very engrained in the stone. There is a fair bit in the garden I'm working on, so want to avoid it being a maintenance nightmare for the client.

Karl Harrison said:
Hi Tracey,

Did you manage to find out what was the finish of the stone?

cheers

Karl

Hi Alastair, thanks for all the information, really useful. The extensive website has some MN Stainstop available - might get a small pot of it to try it out. What were your findings about how it dried - matt? Made stone darker in colour?

If I am completely honest, I would rather not seal the stone and then find a good product that can clean it properly every year or so if necessary. There is lawn in the garden and folks walking off the grass onto either the patio or the steps is bound to lead in muddy footprints. This happened in a previous garden I did and getting the muddy stains which seemed to sink right into the paving out was tricky to say the least.

What a minefield this all seems to be!
Alastair Niddrie said:

I run a business which provides consultancy on natural stone applications and we have worked with and for Bradstone, Marshalls and many of the top stone companies in the UK

You do not need to seal sandstone outside but this is your choice.

If you want it to look pristine, then you can use products which will maintain it, rather than the expense of sealing it.

There are specialist algaecides, bleaches, rust removers, oil removers etc available on the market designed for natural stone patios and even if you seal a sandstone patio, algae and mildew will still form, as it will on any surface, just like glass.

This Sandstone is (as are most) quite porous and the best impregnating sealants for stone on the market such as Aquamix, Dry Treat, Lithofin, LTP and Fila will reduce the porosity of the sandstone to nil and prevent oil, grease and water based stains from penetrating the stone.

However, due to freeze / thaw, they will normally last 18-24 months before they degrade and you have to re-apply. (we have yet to test Pave-Gard and it costs considerably less than the other stone sealers)

To render most sandstone impervious requires about 1 litre to cover between 3-6m2. These impregnating sealants cost from £20 to £60 per litre.

The stone must be completely dry to be effective and it should not rain for at least 24 hours to allow the impregnator to start curing.

They will not create a shine because they travel into the stone and do not sit on the surface
All spirit based impregnators will darken the stone very slightly. Water based impregnators, (such as Aquamix) hardly make any difference at all ( do a test first in an inconspicuous area or test stone)

We have tested all the impregnators mentioned independently.

The best value impregnator that works as well as the most expensive is LTP's Mattstone.

The deepest penetrating sealer which lasts longer is Dry Treat's Stain Proof and this comes with the price to match it's quality.

The most popular is Lithofin MN Stainstop which is a very good product and it seems strange that there is none in the country at the moment - try Amazon they are probably the biggest distributor of Lithofin in the UK.

I hope this is helpful for you

Regards

Alastair
Hi again - a wee update on our stone sealing situation. We bought a 250ml trial pot of Lithofin MN Stainstop and tried it on some of our sandstone. It seems to have worked a treat, nice matt finish, didn't alter colour of stone too much. Seemed to repel dirt quite well.

Now just need to stomp on it with muddy boots and see how it copes, but so far so good.

it's going to cost a couple of hundred quid to treat all the paving, but think it's going to be worth it.

Thanks for all the advice.

Alastair Niddrie said:
I run a business which provides consultancy on natural stone applications and we have worked with and for Bradstone, Marshalls and many of the top stone companies in the UK

You do not need to seal sandstone outside but this is your choice.

If you want it to look pristine, then you can use products which will maintain it, rather than the expense of sealing it.

There are specialist algaecides, bleaches, rust removers, oil removers etc available on the market designed for natural stone patios and even if you seal a sandstone patio, algae and mildew will still form, as it will on any surface, just like glass.

This Sandstone is (as are most) quite porous and the best impregnating sealants for stone on the market such as Aquamix, Dry Treat, Lithofin, LTP and Fila will reduce the porosity of the sandstone to nil and prevent oil, grease and water based stains from penetrating the stone.

However, due to freeze / thaw, they will normally last 18-24 months before they degrade and you have to re-apply. (we have yet to test Pave-Gard and it costs considerably less than the other stone sealers)

To render most sandstone impervious requires about 1 litre to cover between 3-6m2. These impregnating sealants cost from £20 to £60 per litre.

The stone must be completely dry to be effective and it should not rain for at least 24 hours to allow the impregnator to start curing.

They will not create a shine because they travel into the stone and do not sit on the surface
All spirit based impregnators will darken the stone very slightly. Water based impregnators, (such as Aquamix) hardly make any difference at all ( do a test first in an inconspicuous area or test stone)

We have tested all the impregnators mentioned independently.

The best value impregnator that works as well as the most expensive is LTP's Mattstone.

The deepest penetrating sealer which lasts longer is Dry Treat's Stain Proof and this comes with the price to match it's quality.

The most popular is Lithofin MN Stainstop which is a very good product and it seems strange that there is none in the country at the moment - try www.extensive.co.uk they are probably the biggest distributor of Lithofin in the UK.

I hope this is helpful for you

Regards

Alastair

We sell a sealant especially for the buyers of our sawn yorkstone, The Sealant wil not affect the colour and will soak through the stone providing the paving with a shield to prevent any staining of grease, oils etc, if wine is spuilt the liquid will bead on top and wipe off.

Sam, thanks for sending on the link. We ended up using MN Stainstop a few weeks back and have finished the garden now. But I will keep the product you mention in mind for the next similar project we do.

Tracy

Sam Scholes said:

We sell a sealant especially for the buyers of our sawn yorkstone, The Sealant wil not affect the colour and will soak through the stone providing the paving with a shield to prevent any staining of grease, oils etc, if wine is spuilt the liquid will bead on top and wipe off.

Hi Tracey & Graham,
I work for Marshalls, and we do indeed have vast experience of imported sandstones from around the world.

In my opinion, most Sandstone’s for external use don’t need sealing-especially the Quartzitic sandstones from the Kota region in Rajasthan which are pretty tough stones with low water absorbency. Stones such as Mint, Teak, Rainbow, Katni and some cheaper Chinese Sandstones from Shandong in China are softer and more porous, which makes them susceptible to going green quicker and potentially de-laminating.

We are not ‘anti’ sealing of our products, but we don’t recommend it for two reasons. Firstly, (as stated above) our Fairstone Sandstone products are made from the tough Kota sandstones (we wouldn’t sell the softer stones in a premium range) so with a simple maintenance procedure the sandstone’s we offer will look good for a longer period of time. You have to remember, as stated by Alastair that all products will go green eventually, that is inevitable, but the more porous ones will do it a lot quicker.

Secondly, recommending particular sealers could open us as Marshalls up to a world of pain; there are too many variables on installation which we can’t control. Weather, moisture, humidity, application method, dirt, volume of sealer used, excess left on the surface etc ad infinitum. If there is a problem with the installation and we have recommended a particular sealer, who is liable? The sealing company will blame the stone or the installation and wash their hands of it, we will blame the sealant and the customer will blame the contractor. Inevitably the issue will probably come down to incorrect installation- and we'll be at an impasse. So what you end up with is an annoyed contractor, an annoyed customer, an annoyed Marshalls and a lot of bad feeling for something that with our products, you didn’t really need to do in the first place!

I do appreciate why people wish to seal and I can entirely see the benefits, but you can probably appreciate our position. We do constantly trial sealers on all our products and our technical teams do have knowledge of most sealants so we know how they react with our products, but we would be reluctant to hang our hat on one particular one.

Chris

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