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             Surface Types    clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

Alphabetical listing of all types of surfacing - from A to Z

                               Including pros and cons of each type    -  help with flooring


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Customer assistance

Very important! - This page will help you confirm you have the surfacing you think you have.

Often surfacing is sold under names that are confusing and misleading in relation to sealing and cleaning. This page will aid in surface identification as to type and absorption. For instance, there are "Quarry Tile", "Quarry Stone", "Quarry Stone Tile", "Stone Look Tile", "Stone Tile", "Slate Tile", and on and on. These are very different materials when it comes to sealer absorption and cleaning concerns. This page will help to determine what you really have despite its name. Please do not order products unless you are confident.

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

Here are two explanations ( with videos) to tell you how to:

  Determine Absorption

Determine Acid Sensitivity

Below is a listing of surfacing "types" (for example: "brick").  You will not find a "marketing name" (for example, "Acme brick-buff" or "Old Chicago Brick") for the surfacing because it does not matter and there are thousands of marketing names.  It is the "type" that determines how you care for it. If you cannot find your surfacing, see How To Choose The Best Sealer For Your Project for further guidance.

Tip: any of these surface types that will darken temporarily with a drop of water will also take a stain and must be sealed for protection.  Any that are soft or flaking can be made stronger with the right sealer.

Agglomerates

( see also - Terrazzo at bottom of list. )

Shiny - Looks like Terrazzo, but the marble/quartz chips are in a polymer resin & marble dust binder. Also known as "composite engineered stone"

Silestone and Ceasarstone are in this agglomerate category because they are over 90% quartz chips and dust with a polymer resin binder.

Terrazzo tile is a cement binder, not polymer resin - see below

Agglomerate Tile - cleaning and sealing

Bluestone

Relatively dense sandstone

Tones of blue, green, purple

"Pennsylvania Bluestone" variety - uniform blue/gray and highly absorbent.

Bluestone - Pennsylvania - cleaning and sealing

bluestone patio

Brick - Clay

"Replica Used" are newly manufactured to look used

"Embossed" have a pressed pattern in the face

Clay Brick - cleaning and sealing

  Embossed Brick - cleaning and sealing 

Used Brick - cleaning and sealing

Face Brick - cleaning and sealing 

Flashed Brick - cleaning and sealing

brick flooring pavers

 

   

Brick - Concrete

Solid or cored - Many colors and finishes

Many similar in appearance to the clay bricks.

Concrete Brick - Cleaning and Sealing

concrete brick wall

Concrete Block (also known as CMU)

Regular Block

Dry stack "Retaining Block"

Split Block

Slump Block

Burnished Block

Shot Blast Block

Pavers (see "Pavers" below)

concrete block, CMU, cleaning, sealing concrete block, cmu, split, slump
Concrete Slab Treatments

Sidewalks - garages - pavement - driveways

Colored with pigments or acid reactive stains

Stamped, textured, all finishes

  Stamped Concrete - Cleaning and Sealing

 

 

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Cleaning and Sealing

acid color stain stain concrete          

       exposed aggregate patio

Concrete Tile

  • Concrete (cement) body
  • Not installed, but already sealed? - see "Factory Sealed"
  • Thick Pavers - see Pavers below
  • Some known as "encaustic tile"

App. 3/4" thick


Many shapes, colors, and sizes


Extruded and cast

cement concrete tile

concrete tile

Factory Sealed Surfaces

( Also known as "Pre-Sealed" )

For stone tabletops - see "Tabletops"

Mexican Tile, Saltillo - Cleaning and Sealing Picture shows a Mexican tile as received from the distributor with a sealer already applied.
It now has unique installation and treatment requirements.
   

Glass Tile

See Mosaic tile below as both are treated the same way.

Sedona Red Flagstone, Sandstone - Cleaning and Sealing 

Arizona Flagstone - Cleaning and Sealing

flagstone pool deck
   

Flagstone (sandstone)

Flagstone is a generic name usually referring to sandstone.

Sedona Red Flagstone, Sandstone - Cleaning and Sealing 

Arizona Flagstone - Cleaning and Sealing

flagstone pool deck
   

Granite

slabs - tiles - all finishes

Some kinds of granite do not need to be sealed, and others do need to be sealed.

Polished Granite - Grey Swirl - cleaning and sealing 

Polished Granite - Dakota Mahogany - cleaning and sealing

polished granite

honed granite countertop       

        polished granite floor

   

Grout or Mortar

("Grout" and "Mortar" are the same thing and treated the same way)

For tabletop grout issues - see "Tabletops" Standard cement/sand grout

Additive modified (latex, acrylic, etc.)

Specialty grouts (epoxy)

Grout - color and natural - cleaning and sealing

Grout - color and natural - cleaning and sealing

Grout - color and natural - cleaning and sealing

kitchen grout

   

Limestone & Marble

Tiles - Paver Slabs - Trim and Accent Pieces
All finishes

Note: The name "Onyx" is a marketing name that is confusing. Here is a definition by one credible source of true Onyx used in construction: "The building stone is a form of calcite called travertine. Just to confuse things, it is often called Egyptian alabaster, alabaster and marble onyx."
Assuming this applies to your Onyx, see left column for "travertine", but test to confirm.

Travertine Limestone, Marble - Cleaning and Sealing

Tumbled Limestone, Marble - Cleaning and Sealing

Honed Limestone, Marble - Cleaning and Sealing

honed marble

polished marble          

         honed marble

travertine      

Metal Tile

This page is for true metal pieces, not a metallic "glaze".

See Tile, Ceramic (clay) - Glazed for the discussion of metallic glazes.

copper metal tile   decorative metal tile

 steel tile  antique copper tile

metal tile backsplash

   

Mexican Tile

( Not installed, but already sealed? - see "Factory Sealed" )

Saltillo - Super Saltillo - Tecate


In the family of terracotta tile, but more rustic

Mexican Tile, Saltillo, Tecate - Cleaning and Sealing 

Mexican Tile, Saltillo, Tecate - Cleaning and Sealing

Mexican tile kitchen

   

Mosaic Tile (or Glass Tile)

Not glazed

Same hard fired material and color all through the body

Same characteristics as Porcelain tile

Same characteristics as Glass tile

Small - square, hex, rectangle - usually with a mesh backing for easier installations.

Mosaic Tile - Cleaning and Sealing 

Mosaic - Cleaning and Sealing

mosaic tile

   

Pavers, Interlocking

Concrete or Clay

2 " or more in thickness

Usually sand joints, but not always

Harder than clay or concrete wall brick

Not the thinner, more absorbent clay or concrete tile also called "pavers".

Pavers, Concrete, Brick, sand joints - Cleaning and Sealing 

Interlocking Pavers, sand joints, Concrete, Brick - Cleaning and Sealing

interloacking-sand joint-driveway pavers

   

Porcelain Tile

Not glazed

Same hard fired material and color all through the body

Same characteristics as Mosaic tile

Pictures are top and bottom of the same tile

"Stone Look" has stone texture and colors pressed into the face.  See "Stone Look" for special needs.

Porcelain Tile - Cleaning and Sealing

 Porcelain Tile - Cleaning and Sealing

porcelain tile

   

Quarry Tile

Not glazed

Same hard fired material and color all through the body

Top is a wood pattern quarry tile

Bottom is a slip resistant tread design

Quarry Tile - wood pattern 

 

Quarry Tile - traction surface

quarry tile floor

   

Slate

All slate types including:
Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, Vermont

For slate tabletops - see "Tabletops"

Many types and colors

Top is a green Vermont type. Also red and black.

Center is an import from *India

Bottom is an import from Brazil. Many different colors and patterns.

Some slates require the sealer to provide reinforcement of soft and/or flaking areas.
A crate of Indian or Chinese slate can contain both very hard and very soft stones. The sealer can even out the finish and hardness characteristics.

Vermont Slate - Cleaning and Sealing 

Indian Slate - Cleaning and Sealing 

brazilian slate

slate pool deck         

              slate shower

Statuary, carvings, murals
and other artwork

Discussion of artworks made from all kinds of tile and stone.

protectin statues Missouri Tiger mural
   

" Stone Look" Tile

Duplicates the look of a natural stone

Mfg. in glazed, porcelain, mosaic and concrete types

If concrete - see also Concrete Tile

clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

porcelain stone look tile

stone look ceramic tile floor

   

Stone, Manufactured - man made

cement body

Duplicates the look of all the natural stones

Flat back and used as veneer only.

Cultured Stone, Architectural Stone, Precast Stone, and Stucco Stone are some of the many names for this type product. 

Cultured Stone - Cleaning and Sealing

 

  Manmade Stone - Cleaning and Sealing

 

man made stone
   Stone, Natural

pool deck       

                     Arizona Flagstone - Cleaning and Sealing

River Rock - Cleaning and Sealing 

Indian Slate - Cleaning and Sealing

Vermont Slate - Cleaning and Sealing

quartzite

river rock fireplace              

          quartzite patio

   

Tabletops by ALL manufacturers

Some of the patio furniture manufacturers using Aldon products are shown in the right column. Click their logo for their table care information.

Note: If your stone tabletop is not made by one of these, it can still be refinished and protected as discussed on each of these manufacturer's pages. Refinishing process video

Thinking of purchasing a patio table? Consider how easy it is to wipe off a stone tabletop compared to the cleaning of glass (top and underneath, streaks and spots) and the crevices between glass and frame.  10 seconds vs. 10 minutes?

Agio patio outdoor table

patio outdoor fire pit

Agio furniture     Homecrest patio tables

Bahama Winds - Erwin & Sons  Firestone patio tables
Erwin & Sons

   

Terracotta Tile

Typically an even, light beige color

Not the same as a Mexican Tile

Terracotta Tile - Cleaning and Sealing

terracotta tile floor

   

Terrazzo

Can be a tile, or poured in place in large sections and machine ground to a polished finish.

Shiny, polished finish

Looks like Agglomerate, but the marble or quartz chips are in a cement & marble dust binder. Agglomerate tile is with a resin binder, not cement.

Terrazzo - Cleaning and Sealing

terrazzo floor

   

Tile, Ceramic (clay) - Glazed

Colors, textures, shapes are in the thousands.

Although considered to need almost no care or protection, the new and unique glazed tiles available today do have some characteristics that should be known before installation.

 

glazed tile edge 

Stone Look Glazed Tile and Grout - Cleaning and Sealing

metallic glaze tile

Glazed Tile and Grout - Cleaning and Sealing

            glazed ceramic tile entry

   

Tile, Ceramic (clay) Unglazed

Clay body - Fired - Not glazed or coated

  • Mexican Tile - Saltillo
  • Mosaic Tile
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Quarry Tile
  • Terracotta Tile
  • For tile tabletops - see "Tabletops"
Each of these tiles is a category by itself. Scroll up this page and you will find each one.
Mexican Saltillo Tile - Cleaning and Sealing

Mexican Saltillo tile

   
Surface type not listed?  >>>
See How To Choose The Best Sealer For Your Project
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