Concrete countertops in kitchens and bathrooms need to be sealed so that they are not damaged over time. The countertops themselves are eco-friendly so it makes sense to do this using a non-toxic sealant. These sealants can be found in some stores as well as online. They can also be purchased directly from the countertop fabricators. It is sometimes important to wax the countertops after the sealant has been applied as the last step sealing process. This article will explain the different types of sealants and waxes to look for.
Sealing countertops isn’t particularly time-consuming and it is an achievable task for the intermediate do-it-yourself enthusiast.
Using No-VOC and Low-VOC Products
Non-toxic concrete sealants are particularly important on countertops in the kitchen where food is prepared but they should also be used in the bathroom. Many outdoor sealants have harmful chemicals and should not be used for inside jobs. It is important that no-VOC (volatile organic compound) products are being used, especially in the kitchen. There are low-VOC choices when there is a lack of no-VOC choices in an area. These should still be food safe.
Restoring sealants are available for use on concrete countertops. These are gloss sealers and are water-based. Once the countertops have been cleaned using water and dish detergent, they can be dried by wiping with a dishtowel. The restoring agent is applied using a soft sponge or rag. This sealant does not have a strong odor and is also non-toxic.
Water-based sealers work by soaking into the concrete. As this happens, the sealer closes the natural pores in the countertop. This is an important step in defense against stains and anywhere from one to three coats should be applied depending on the brand and the instructions provided. Do not worry about streaks. They will not be evident when finished. Water-based sealants are considered to be penetrating sealants and are applied before being wiped away. The area is then allowed to dry. Sealants may use resins such as epoxy or urethane that are supposed to be food safe.
There are natural waxes, such as beeswax, that can be used on concrete countertops. The wax is applied after the water-based sealer has had time to dry. It is okay to buff the countertops after the wax is applied. Doing so will provide a semi or high gloss to the countertop which is visually attractive. Apply at least two coats of wax to protect the water-based sealant every 6 to 12 months. Waxes are considered topical sealants. The addition of wax can darken the look of the countertop.
Satin sealants are also available. These are different in that they can be tinted with color or even purchased to add texture to the countertop.
Sealing concrete countertops is important in order to keep them looking in good condition. It will also help to protect the countertops from damage such as staining. Sealing a worktop correctly and resealing when necessary will help the countertops to last for many years.