Top Concrete Sealers

A review says a lot about a concrete sealer, but it doesn't say everything. Of the thousands of products sold each year, less than 10% of people come back to leave a product review. A customer may be extremely overjoyed with how a product worked, or come back to order 10 times, but just because they like a product, or love it, doesn't mean they will go through the extra steps required to fill our a review form. Did you know that most consumers will only take the time to post a negative review? Sounds funny, but possitive reviews don't offer customers any benefit, while negative reviews often provide them with free product or a no hassle return. When looking over reviews trying to find the top concrete sealer, we think it is important to look at more than just the review.

Here are a few of the criteria that should be used when researching the best concrete sealers:Top Rated Armor AR350 Concrete Sealer Photo

  1. Look at the reviews - not just the good reviews, but the bad reviews. Was the issue with the product caused by a product defect, or was the issue caused by a misuse of the product? Did the customer apply the product to properly prepared concrete? Did the customer apply the correct amount of product? Did the manufacturer reply and if so, does their response provide a justifiable reason? Read the good reviews, and analyze the bad reviews.
  2. Look at the company - remember the phrase, "don't judge a book by its cover"? Well, it goes both ways. A bad website doesn't necessarily mean a bad manufacturer, and a really nice website doesn't necessarily mean a good manufacturer. Live chat with a representative or call the company because the level of service you get now, will be the level of surface you receive from the point of sale forward. Do they offer or sell samples? If so, that is great! It shows they aren't afraid to let customers try before they buy!
  3. Test their knowledge - are they trying to sell you a product just to sell you a product, or are they actually interested in selling you the best product for your application? If they truly want to help you, they will ask questions about your application and prequalify you. They won't just throw out their highest priced product!

PHOTO CREDIT: The photo to the right is a before and after photo of the Foundation Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer.

How to Choose the Best Concrete Sealer

There are two primary categories of concrete sealers, penetrating sealers and concrete coatings. Which sealer is best for your application will depend on your reason for sealing, and how you want the concrete to look like once sealed.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers are designed to penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react below the surface within the pores. They do not change the look or color of the concrete, and they do not leave behind a visible surface film. Concrete sealed with a penetrating sealer will look exactly as it did before being sealed.

There are three types of penetrating concrete sealers:

  • Sodium and Lithium Silicates - Both sodium and lithium silicate sealers are best known as concrete densifiers and surface hardeners. They are used heavily during the polishing process, and are also used to reduce pores size and increase surface strength. Concrete surfaces that benefit most from the use of a densifier are concrete with water or moisture issues (where a coating will not be used), and weak or deteriorating concrete. Many people will put down a densifier on their garage floor, basement floor, or driveway, to help decrease the movement of water and moisture through the pores, and increase abrasion resistance. Densifiers also help with reducing concrete dusting caused by a weak surface. Densifiers don't protect the concrete, they simplly enhance it. For protection, a water repellent sealer should be applied 5-7 days later to reduce damage, deterioration, and staining caused by water absorption.
  • Siliconate Water Repellents - Water repellent sealers offer many of the same benefits. They reduce the absorption of water on the surface in order to reduce deterioration, staining, and damage caused by water absorption. Not all water repellents however are appropriate for all concrete types. Siliconate water repellents are great when used on white, light gray, or porous concrete surfaces. They require a single coat application and offer an aggressive bead. When siliconate sealers are applied to dense or trowel finished concrete, dark concrete, bricks, or pavers, a white residue or film can be left behind. While this film can be cleaned, it usually requires the use of chemicals and muscle (scrubbing).
  • Silane Siloxane Water Repellents - Silane siloxane water repellents are different from using a silane sealer alone or a siloxane sealer alone. Hybrid products take the strengths of each type of sealer and eliminate the weaknesses so you get protection above and below the surface. They reduce the absorption of water on the surface in order to reduce deterioration, staining, and damage caused by water absorption. Silane Siloxane water repellents can be used on virutally all types of concrete, brick, stone, pavers, granite, slate, flagstone and masonry.
  • Acrylic Sealers - Acrylic sealers are very different from penetrating sealers in that they leave behind a visible surface film or coating. They darken the surface of the concrete in order to leave behind a wet look, low gloss, or high gloss finish. The protective coating left on the surface helps to protect the surface from deterioration and staining caused by water absorption, surface abrasion, and spills. They can often be applied in clear or color, and non slip additives are also available. If you are looking to change the look or color of the concrete, or require complete surface protection, an acrylic sealer is required.

Best Sodium Silicate Sealers: S2000, L3000. What makes these the best sodium silicate concrete sealers? A few things really. First, Foundation Armor was the first company on the market to release a concentrated silicate to the public for purchase online. Their products arrive in full concentrate and require the customer to dilute with water prior to use. Their concentrated form saves on both material and shipping costs, giving customers the best bank for their buck. Second, Foundation Armor sells a silicate sealer for what is is designed to be used as - a hardener and densifier. They don't post any false claims and don't lead consumers to beleive that a silicate is more than it should be. They also inform the consumer that while a silicate will help to increase the strength of the concrete, you really need a water repellent in addition to, or instead of, to protect concrete from cracking, spalling, pitting, or staining caused by water absorption.

Best Siliconate Water Repellent Sealers: SC25. What makes the SC25 the best siliconate concrete sealer? The SC25 requires only one heavy coat. In fact, it starts working so quickly that if you were to apply a second coat, the first coat would cause it to bead off the surface. It is cost effective and offers a variety of benefits including reduced damage, deterioration, and staining caused by water absorption. It also helps to reduce the formation of efflorescence, mold, and mildew.

  • Manufacturer Published Reviews: SC25
  • Amazon Published Reviews: SC25
  • Home Depot Published Reviews: SC25

Best Silane Siloxane Water Repellents: SX5000, SX5000 WB. What makes the SX5000 and SX5000 WB the best Silane-Siloxane concrete sealers? Easy, they are the only DOT approved water repellent sealers available to both contractors and homeowners. While these industrial grade products offer many benefits, they are surprisingly easy to apply and require little to no maintenance for 7-10 years. They reduce damage and deterioration caused by water absorption, the growth of mold and mildew, and the formation of efflorescence. They also help to reduce staining caused by water absorption and some liquid spills, and they help to reduce sub surface moisture.

Best Acrylic Sealers: AR350 (wet look), AR500 (high gloss). What makes these the best acrylic sealers? A few things. First, they are made from US manufactured resins. Many manufacturers use recylcled resins from China in order to keep manufacturing costs down. Cheaper materials result in a cheaper product. While US manufactured resins are more expensive, their value is easily demonstrated and quickly noticed. Second, they go down smoother, bond better, look better, and last longer than similiar products on the market. This is from the use of quality raw materials, good chemical formulas, and years of testing prior to product launch.

Top Concrete Sealer Comparison

Not sure if the top rated concrete sealers can be used for your application? Use this comparison chart to help:

Concrete Sealer Comparison Chart