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Choosing a Concrete Countertop Sealer

Choosing a Concrete Countertop Sealer

Concrete countertops are an affordable D.I.Y. project that can achieve a truly customized appearance at a fraction of the cost of granite or quartz. Unfortunately, porous concrete can stain easily in a kitchen setting where there are a variety of staining agents. Sealing the surface with a reactive sealer and/or coating system can provide a surface that is easier to keep clean and looking great for years.

Reactive Sealer vs. Topical Coating System?

When customers are deciding between products and need our advice, we first try to find out what they are trying to achieve with their product, and what expectations they have of the finished product. For areas where water repellency is necessary but stain resistance is less necessary, a reactive sealer like our V-SEAL 101 may be all you need (but it's also a great first step to reduce moisture transmission before applying coatings). For areas where higher stain resistance is desired, a coating system should be used to provide a barrier between the staining agent and surface of your concrete countertop. Coatings for countertops come in a wide array of colors and finishes, and many are similar in resistances to floor coatings for concrete.

Color Enhancement, Color, Gloss?

Some clear coatings applied to concrete can cause color enhancement or darkening, making the concrete look wet and often enhancing the colors in the concrete, while others leave the concrete more natural looking. Many coating systems can also be tinted translucently or to an opaque color while different finishes can provide a gloss or satin appearance.
If the wet look is desired, we typically recommend using the StoneLok E3/2K2 Epoxy and Urethane Kits. If less color enhancement is desired, TK6 NanoCoat can be used in place of the StoneLok E3 Epoxy, then top-coated with StoneLok 2K2 Urethane to increase abrasion and heat resistance. When used without top-coating with StoneLok 2K2, TK6 NanoCoat provides good resistances to stains at a fraction of the cost of the StoneLok E3/2K2 System, but offers lower abrasion and heat resistances.

Both TK6 NanoCoat and StoneLok 2K2 are available in Gloss or Extra Low Gloss depending on the desired amount of light reflection.

Abrasion Resistance

Coatings always increase the stain resistance of concrete, but must be cared for over time to maintain resistances and appearance. Coatings that cure to a harder strength are less likely to scratch over time, which ultimately results in a longer wear life. A common test for abrasion resistance is the CS-17 Tabor abrasion test in which a uniform weight and sanding method are used on coatings and the amount removed is measured (less removed is better/harder). Acrylic and other single component coatings are typically about half as hard as epoxies, and a fourth as hard as urethane coatings.
Of the coatings that we offer, TK6 NanoCoat is about twice as hard as acrylic coatings, but about half as hard as the StoneLok E3/2K2 System. Using a two-part urethane for the final topcoat provides the best abrasion resistance.

Maintenance

While the coatings offered here will last a long time if cared for properly, all coatings will need maintained over time with use. The manufacturers of TK6 NanoCoat and StoneLok E3/2K2 recommend the following:

  • Wipe up spills as they occur.
  • Clean regularly with a pH neutral cleaner. (never use abrasive or aggressive tools or cleaners)
  • Never used a sealed countertop as a cutting board
  • Use coasters or felt pads below anything with sharp edges (wine bottles, metal stands, etc.)
  • Do not place pots or pans directly from stove or oven onto a sealed surface
  • If damage occurs, cover or repair affected area to prevent further damage in affected area.
  • Sacrificial coatings like waxes may be used to protect the coatings from damage, but will need re-applied more often as they wear off

To speak with one of our experienced technical advisors about your next countertop project, contact us here:

V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers, 9042 Cotter St., Lewis Center, Ohio, 43035

614-754-4777

 info@vseal.com, www.vseal.com 

 

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Decorative Exterior Coatings - Solvent vs. Water Based Acrylics

Homeowners are always looking for ways to protect their exterior concrete and masonry projects. Decorative exterior coatings are a great way to protect concrete and masonry while enhancing the natural appearance of the surface.
Decorative concrete and masonry coatings that will be used on exterior surfaces must be breathable enough to allow trapped moisture to escape through evaporation, which is why acrylic resins are very popular in outdoor coatings. Less breathable options like epoxy and urethane are generally harder to use outdoor and are rarely recommended for exterior applications, but are great for interior projects with high traffic or where high stain resistances are necessary.

Acrylic coatings generally contain 15-30% acrylic resin (or solids) that is  carried in a water or solvent base. Solvent based acrylic coatings are most popular because they provide moderate to deep color enhancement (darkening) and multiple coats can lead to a glossier finish. Water based acrylics provide less color enhancement and gloss for a more natural finish. Solvent based acrylics are generally preferred because of their ease of re-application and wet look appearance. The best solvent based acrylic coatings are high solids (25% or more), and are carried in slow drying solvents (as opposed to , to allow more time for the product to soak in and adhere to the surface while reducing bubbles.

Volatile Organic Compound (V.O.C.) regulations vary from state to state, but V-SEAL offers options for all states:

Industra-Gloss SB (solvent based) - 25% Solids, for states with no extra V.O.C. regulations beyond the Federal level

Industra-Gloss 350 (low VOC solvent based) - 25% Solids, uses slow drying solvents that are exempt from V.O.C. calculations, same performance as Industra-Gloss SB, but must ship hazardous.

Low VOC States: OH, PA, IN, IL, NY, CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, RI, CA

Industra-Gloss WB (water based, naturally low VOC)

V-SEAL® offers over 1000 products for curing, sealing, and cleaning concrete and masonry projects. A subset of our best selling products are available on our website, but for a truly customized system it is best to talk to one of our experienced technical advisors:

V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers, 9042 Cotter St., Lewis Center, Ohio, 43035

614-754-4777

 info@vseal.com, www.vseal.com 

 

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Commercial DIY Spotlight: Advanced Turf Solutions Showroom Floor

Commercial DIY Spotlight: Advanced Turf Solutions Showroom Floor

When Advanced Turf Solutions decided to expand their showroom floor, they were looking for a durable yet affordable floor coating system that would provide a finished  appearance. They contacted V-SEAL® for our expertise with commercial D.I.Y. floor sealer applications. We knew the floor system applied would have to stand up to forklift traffic and resist damage from harsh chemicals in fertilizers and lawn care products, so we recommended our Industra-Coat Epoxy and Urethane Kits. Advanced Turf Solutions chose an opaque epoxy primer (Industra-Coat 3015) to cover up the old unfinished concrete. While the epoxy was still wet, they broadcasted paint chips provided by V-SEAL® to hide dirt and dust between cleaning. After waiting 8-24 hours for the epoxy to cure to the touch, our clear Industra-Coat 3322 Low VOC two-part urethane gloss topcoat was applied as the final step.

Urethane topcoats provide approximately 2X the abrasion resistance of epoxy coatings and also increase UV and heat resistance for a longer wear life before re-application is necessary. All coatings can make concrete more slippery when wet, so on applications that could become wet, we recommend using 1-2 pints of anti-slip additive per Gallon of urethane topcoat. Anti-Skid can be broadcast or mixed into the coating before rolling. Urethane topcoats like our Industra-Coat 3322 are typically dry to the touch in 4-8 hours, ready for light foot traffic in 12-24 hours, and fully cured in 3-5 days under normal conditions (70 degrees F, low relative humidity).

V-SEAL® offers over 1000 products for curing, sealing, and cleaning concrete and masonry projects. A subset of our best selling products are available on our website, but for a truly customized system it is best to talk to one of our experienced technical advisors:

V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers, 9042 Cotter St., Lewis Center, Ohio, 43035

614-754-4777

 info@vseal.com, www.vseal.com .

 

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Smart Schools Protect Their Infrastructure Investments with V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers

Smart Schools Protect Their Infrastructure Investments with V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers

American educational institutions spend millions of dollars annually on valuable infrastructure such as sidewalks, parking lots, statues, fountains, and buildings.  Often years of research and planning are involved to construct these multi-million-dollar investments.  The most astute institutions also research the best ways to protect their infrastructure, which is why they contact V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers for knowledgeable technical support and superior concrete sealer products.

Cornell University Parking

When the engineers at Cornell University wanted to replace parking surfaces late in the season, their traditional method - water curing, waiting 28 days, and sealing with long-term penetrating sealer - was not going to work due to timing.  They chose V-SEAL® 102 Winter-Guard®, the world’s only true SEAL + CURE®.  V-SEAL® 102 Winter-Guard® is a powerful long-term sealer tested to resist more than 1000 freeze/thaw cycles (10 years in midwestern climates) that passes ASTM C309, allowing it to be applied as soon as new concrete can withstand the weight of a worker without marring.  The photos below illustrate nearly perfect surfaces one year later.

 

Elon University Grand Fountain Restoration

A major project at Elon University was the restoration of the high profile Grand Fountain, so they contacted V-SEAL®.  After consultation to understand their needs, V-SEAL® provided the Industra-Coat Epoxy and Urethane System, which consists of epoxy primer for superior adhesion and water repellence, and urethane topcoat for abrasion and UV resistance.  Industra-Coat Epoxy and Urethane Systems are widely utilized as an attractive long-lasting coating system for fountains, ponds, swimming pools, and commercial and industrial floors.

University of Houston Concrete Floors

The University of Houston wanted to upgrade the appearance of the densified concrete floors in their new $47 Million dormitory.  Originally, the floors appeared blotchy and dull.  The architect for the project contacted V-SEAL® to obtain a custom color, fast drying, commercial grade floor sealer system that could be applied by non-specialized applicators to conceal the discolored areas and provide the intended appearance of polished concrete with excellent abrasion resistance and chemical resistance.  V-SEAL® provided a high-performance copolymer in a custom blended colored primer coat and a clear topcoat.

Bowling Green High School Memorial Statue

When the City of Bowling Green, Ohio wanted to protect a new memorial statue placed at the entrance of the local high school, they contacted V-SEAL for a graffiti repellent, non-slip sealer system.  All surfaces were initially treated with V-SEAL® 101 Multi-Surface, a long-lasting penetrating sealer for concrete, brick, stone, stucco, and other masonry.  To fortify graffiti repellence, all surfaces were coated with NanoCoat and horizontal surfaces were coated with NanoCoat with anti-skid grit.

Other educational institutions that have relied upon V-SEAL® for important projects include Harvard, Penn, Duke, Maryland, Cal Poly, Stanford, UC Berkley, Oklahoma, Clemson, Auburn, Illinois, Otterbein, Jefferson, Western Kentucky, Texas Women’s, High Point, Ohio University, and the Ohio State University.

For informative technical support and superior products for institutional concrete investments contact:

V-SEAL® Concrete Sealers, 9042 Cotter St., Lewis Center, Ohio, 43035 614-754-4777, info@vseal.com, www.vseal.com .

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V-SEAL releases BIM on ARCAT.com

ARCAT a major publisher of building product information has developed and posted on their site, data rich AutoDesk® Revit® BIM objects for V-SEAL Concrete Sealers, LLC. Anyone can use these objects at no charge.

In addition to creating accurate graphics, ARCAT and V-SEAL have added appropriate product data to each object, saving architects and engineers a significant amount of time doing data entry and product research. All of V-SEAL’s objects, graphics and content, are uniform and modifiable for ease of use. In addition to product information, ARCAT has embedded links in the objects to V-SEAL’s CSI 3-Part specs.

ARCAT and V-SEAL uphold the belief that high quality graphics are only the tip of the building information modeling iceberg, and it is the limitless amount of information held within the model that is driving the A/E/C community to adopt parametric software platforms such as Revit.

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Should I Seal My Garage Floor?

Should I Seal My Garage Floor?

All the Answers You’re Looking For In Our Do-It-Yourself Guide To Sealing And Coating Your Garage Floor

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