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   How to:  Clean  |  Seal  |  Restore

               River Rock           

Sealing - Cleaning - Problem Solving - Protection - Care

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River Rock are real stone with smooth surfaces created by tumbling around in rivers for many years.  This page is about the natural rock.  For man made river rock, see the "stone, manufactured" page.

River Rock is used for veneer, structural, and flooring applications.

There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. If you would like to see why this is the case and how to properly identify a surfacing material ..... Click here

If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to your knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important. We estimate that 25% of the usage of Aldon products is by "do it yourself" homeowners and we know they are happy because we hear from them.

MATERIAL DESCRIPTION - With Identifying Characteristics
Typical absorption range = extremely low

Testing your surfacing for absorption rate

Testing for acid sensitivity

Note this on your worksheet for later reference

  • A very hard, dense rock with smooth surface.
  • Unless used for flooring, there is no particular need to seal the stone except to enhance the colors.  Using S-B-S Sealer creates the color depth and gloss that looks like a lapidary polished stone.  Here is a small dull gray/black stone sprayed with S-B-S sealer
    river rock enhanced with SBS Sealer
river rock dry stack
"Dry Stack" (no mortar) retaining wall
  • Wide range of colors and shapes.
  • Available everywhere by picking from stream beds - where allowed.
CONSIDERATIONS      (All Are Preventable!)

(Click links for Aldon's solutions to these issues!)

  • Acidic cleaners should be avoided in the installation process for interior projects.  Muriatic acid will create rust pits in metal fixtures within a few months.  If necessary to remove grout smears from the rock face, see Grout Residue Remover/Brick and Block Cleaner.
  • Review Aldon "Grout Easy" before installing. "Grout Easy" is a water soluble coating and comes off easily while grout is being cleaned up with water and a sponge.  This eliminates acid cleaning.

Following are recommendations for products you may need (in sequence of use ) for whichever of the categories applies to you. Please review each and mark your printed worksheet accordingly.

Layed, But Not Grouted

  1.  Grout Easy
  2. Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. Grout Residue
    (should not be needed after using Grout Easy)     
Grouted, But Not Sealed
  1. Grout Residue
  2.  Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. .............Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ...........

Sealer Has Been Applied

Important! - First - Click here!

  1. Aldon Products Premium Stripper
  2. ...........Cleaners   ?
  3. ...........Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ..........

Regarding The Sealer Results Shown Below

An Aldon sealer does far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

Your results may vary somewhat from these pictures due to variations in computer display and the surface materials themselves. Nevertheless, you will be able to see the differences well enough to make good choices. Different areas of the same piece are used as much as possible to minimize raw material variations. Of all the sealers Aldon manufactures, the ones shown are recommended as best suited to this surface type. (Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!)

"S-B-S Sealer"

Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

Recommended for River Rock and its mortar.

Note: This surface is already very low in absorption. S-B-S Sealer is available in spray cans for small projects. For large projects, see information on spray equipment here . For flooring, you can use the standard "pour and spread" of a gallon can.

river rock with SBS Sealer

Small dull gray/black rock sprayed with S-B-S Sealer.

Other care products you might need for this surface type



Dust Whiz

* Note:       will add another level of gloss to any of the above sealed surfaces.
It also prevents traffic wear to the sealers finish.

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Aldon Corporation
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