What is the hydrophobic treatment for?
Natural products in construction are one of the most valued construction materials and over the years they have become the protagonists of many exterior and interior decoration projects due to their physical characteristics and their extreme hardness, which links them to concepts such as permanence, quality or luxury.
In addition, natural pieces such as stone or baked earth have excellent conductivity and high thermal capacity, being one of the most efficient natural coatings for any architectural project.
Uses of natural stone and fired earth
Natural stone and baked earth are very versatile materials, with many applications and that we can install on facades, walls and floors.
Some of its most common uses are:
- Tiles for outdoor paving.
- Pieces for floors and stairs.
- Coating for interior walls and floors.
- Finishes for sidewalks or driveways.
- Pieces for stonework elements, such as vaults, moldings, cornices or columns.
- Benefits of natural stone
Using natural stone has many benefits, including:
- high durability
- Natural stone is a very resistant product. In addition, its appearance is maintained over the years, giving environments a lasting aesthetic that does not go out of style.
- High insulating capacity
- Due to its great mass (Kg/m3), natural stone has a high thermal inertia that will help us save on heating and cooling. This material is also a good insulator to muffle outside sounds.
Natural stone offers many aesthetic possibilities in textures and colors, being perfect for any environment and space.
The tones can range from the lightest to the darkest, as you can see in our Airslate collections (with unique pieces of slate), or Habana Dark (a black marble with orange veins).
Natural stone finishes can be polished, rustic or natural, and always generate a certain exclusivity: each stone is different, inimitable, unique and timeless, which gives projects a more noble and authentic character.
Lastly, natural stone is a fire-retardant material that offers complete fire safety on exterior facades and allows its use in applications for heat sources in interior spaces.
What is the water-repellent treatment of natural stone for?
The maintenance of natural stone (natural stone being understood as a set of materials that include marble, slate or granite) is simple: it can be cleaned with plenty of water, accompanied by neutral soaps and avoiding aggressive products such as bleach, degreasers acid base, ammonia or limescale removers.
However, many people wonder if it is advisable to apply a waterproofing agent to natural stone before installing it.
The waterproofing or waterproofing treatment for natural stone consists of applying a chemical compound on this material in order to protect it from humidity and water. Basically, it is a coating that cares for the surface of certain pieces, in this case stone, preventing them from absorbing liquids.
Hydrophobic products can have a protective or non-slip function. In the first case, what is sought is to protect the stone coverings so that they maintain their original appearance; while in the second the objective is to protect natural stone floors that are in contact with water and humidity, for example slate or marble in bathrooms, showers or kitchens.
→ It may interest you: Tips for choosing natural stone for your bathroom
Water-repellent products for natural stone are usually transparent, so they do not affect the style and texture of the original surface.
Other features are:
- They do not change the appearance of the stone.
- They do not form a "visible" film on the surface.
- They repel water and oil.
- They facilitate the transpiration of the substrate.
- They prevent the absorption of water
- They prevent the formation of organic deposits and dirt.
- They reduce efflorescence (crystallization of certain water-soluble salts).
- The usual thing is to do the water-repellent treatment of natural stone to keep exterior surfaces such as facades or surroundings of swimming pools or terraces in good condition.
- Before waterproofing natural stone, the surface must be completely clean and dry. For example, if we use pressurized water, we will have to wait several days to apply the water-repellent product. We can apply one or more layers of it, depending on the type of material and the manufacturer's instructions.
Is it worth applying a water-repellent product for natural stone indoors?
All natural materials age and, in part, that is their charm and beauty, because it tells us that they are "alive" and that they are part of nature. Therefore, just as we can have an unvarnished wooden window, we can have a natural stone cladding or element without waterproofing.
However, it is true that this type of treatment will help us to better preserve said material. In fact, if we choose the right water repellent, it will not be seen that the stone is treated (its appearance, color or texture will be maintained) but we will prevent dirt and water from penetrating inside.
Applying the Bioprot treatment for natural stone from l'Antic Colonial will provide the material with a protective layer, allowing the material to age more slowly. In addition, the Bioprot product provides an innovative and differentiating quality.
In any case, our recommendation as experts is to seek advice from the best professionals.
Regarding when to apply the waterproofing, it depends on several aspects. Many times two layers of product are used:
- The first can come from the factory (the material will be pre-treated) to facilitate cleaning after installation.
- The second layer will be applied once the material is in place, with the aim of also sealing the joints between plates or pieces.
- The average duration of the treatment will be five years, in which the natural stone will be protected.
Natural stone collections
Natural stone is one of the best options that we can use for decoration. Some ideas may be Travertine (perfect for bringing freshness to spaces) or the DQS series (a mixture of natural quartz and glass bonded with resin, resistant to scratches and acids and perfect for making kitchen countertops).
If you want to know more about the characteristics of our products or are looking for inspiration for the installation of natural stone, get in touch with us.