Can You Seal Sandstone Paving? [Explained]

A stunning sandstone driveway or patio has been installed at your home. The installer may ask if you desire to have it sealed, and the choice is up to you.

You can seal sandstone paving, but it is not necessary. This type of natural stone was formed under pressure at the bottoms of bodies of water and can withstand natural elements. However, sealing sandstone can offer additional protection primarily in regards to stain prevention as well as some other benefits.

This article describes more in detail about sandstone paving, the benefits of sealing, and tips for installing this kind of paving.

Sealing Sandstone Paving

Sandstone is a natural sedimentary rock consisting of mineral grains of quartz or feldspar sand. 

These minerals are cemented together with pressure from the water, forming weather-resistant sandstone. Sandstone is harvested from the bottoms of rivers, lakes, and oceans.

The durability and weather-resistance of sandstone mean that sealing is not necessary to protect it from weathering elements.

However, sealing sandstone can protect it from other issues. These issues stem from the fact that people are using sandstone for various projects and purposes.

Use Of Sandstone In Home Improvement Projects

The slabs of sandstone can be cut into consistent shapes, such as squares and rectangles, and then installed for patios, paths, driveways, and more. Sandstone may be used inside for countertops or tiling as well.

The pavers may have a smooth or rough finish depending on how they are processed at the factory. 

Indian sandstone is commonly used for paving, and may also present with patterns such as grain lines or swirls. Some pavers may even have natural fossil detailing in them. 

This sandstone is imported from India, comprised primarily of quartz grains, and comes in a variety of colors, such as the following:

  • Light to dark grays
  • Combination of buff, yellow, and beige tones
  • Earthy tones of green, brown, gray, and plum
  • Shades of brown with buff and gray hues
  • Combination of gold, buff, and orange tones
  • Ivory and cream tones

Why Sealing Sandstone Is Beneficial

Sealing sandstone offers some benefits that a homeowner may desire. 

Sealing can slightly darken the appearance of sandstone as it is absorbed. However, there are clear (or invisible) sealants as well as ones that will enhance the colors.

1. Stain Prevention

Sealing to prevent stains is the main reason why sealing is done on sandstone.

Sandstone is porous, absorbing water and other liquids. This makes it hard to remove liquids that are not clear, such as animal feces or droppings, oils, beverages, and so on.

Sealing acts as a barrier to stains and spills from vehicles, foot traffic, and other sources. These types of stains are even more visible on lighter tones of sandstone.

Once sandstone paving is sealed, a mild water and soap solution can be used to clean up spills or a power washer can blast them away.

2. Reduces Deterioration Or Fading

While sandstone is very resistant to weather, it can deteriorate or fade at a slow rate over much time. Sealing it will stop or slow down this process even more.

Some homeowners may prefer the natural aging process of sandstone, and therefore do not seal the paving.

3. Prevention Of Vegetative Growth

Some parts of the world, as well as some parts of your yard, will tend to be damper than others.  

The porosity of sandstone will allow water to seep in, which makes them excellent grounds for growing algae, lichens, or other vegetation. This vegetation could also cause some staining in consistently wet areas.

Sealing sandstone paving prevents vegetation from easily growing within the pavers. If it does, it is easier to remove without leaving a stain behind.

4. Extra Layer 

When purchasing sandstone for a project, it may be already pre-sealed as it was cut into shapes. 

However, an extra layer of sealant forms a consistent layer over all of the pavers and the installation materials, such as cement.

5. Protection From Cracking Due To Ice

Under extreme frozen temperatures, and much like other porous materials, sandstone can crack if water freezes within it. 

By sealing sandstone, it maintains the integrity of the stone, and water cannot turn to ice within its structure.

Tips For Installing Sandstone

Whether you decide to install sandstone paving yourself or hire a professional, there are a few things to keep in mind for installation purposes:

  • Rinse the pavers off before installing them to remove any processing dust
  • Install pavers on a firm, level surface that drains water away from structures
  • Driveways should have underlying layers to promote adequate drainage and create a stable foundation for pavers   
  • Use edge restraints around the exterior edge of the area that is paved
  • The backs of pavers need a cement-based primer and a mortar base layer
  • Joints and seams should be filled in with a sand-based cement mixture
  • Follow cement drying and setting instructions to allow paving to be fully set. 
    • This could take a considerable amount of time, depending on climate conditions.
  • Sealing should be done once the cement is dry at its deepest depth. 
    • Test an inconspicuous area first, and refer to the sealant’s instructional label.

Having the right base for laying down pavers is essential for proper installation. This video demonstrates how to do that:

In Conclusion

Since sandstone is very durable and not likely to break down over long periods, it is not necessary to seal it. 

However, since it is a porous stone, it can readily absorb stains from animal droppings, oils, and more. Sealing sandstone will make the surface easier to clean and also drastically reduces the chances of discoloration, fading, or growing algae or other vegetation. 

Additionally, sealing sandstone in areas that get freezing precipitation and ice helps to maintain the integrity of sandstone, reducing the chances of cracking.

Lisa Burlison

Lisa is a freelance blogger, literacy specialist, teacher, and self-published author with a vast DIY experience. When she’s not writing for PlumbJoe, Lisa enjoys testing homemade cleaners and doing repairs around her home. Her other hobbies include birding and bicycling.

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