There are two primary types of silicate concrete sealers: sodium silicate concrete sealers and lithium silicate concrete sealers.
- Molecule size: Sodium silicate concrete sealers have a larger molecule and do a great job at filling in large spaces (porous concrete) while lithium silicate concrete sealers have a smaller molecule and do a great job at penetrating through smaller spaces (dense concrete).
- Reaction time: Sodium silicates are slower reacting sealers than lithium silicates. For this reason, lithium silicate sealers are popular in concrete polishing applications.
- Application: When applying a sodium silicate concrete sealer it is common to flush the surface with water to allow for proper penetration. Lithium silicates, because of their fast-acting nature, typically don’t require this step.
- Price: Lithium silicates are more expensive than sodium silicates.
Sodium and lithium silicate sealers are very different, but they produce the same chemical reaction and the same end result. They chemically react with the free lime and calcium in the concrete to form a calcium silicate hydrate structure within the pores. Once the chemical reaction has taken place, and the calcium silicate hydrate has been formed, there is no longer any sealer left in the concrete. All that is left in the concrete is the calcium silicate hydrate structure which can never be broken down or removed.
When choosing the best silicate concrete sealer, you really only have to decide on whether or not you want a sodium silicate or a lithium silicate. The best silicate concrete sealer for your concrete application will really only depend on the condition and porosity of the concrete surface: For old and porous concrete surfaces, consider a sodium silicate concrete sealer; For new or dense concrete surfaces, consider a lithium silicate sealer. Following these guidelines will help to achieve the best possible penetrating depth, and ease of application.
Best Sodium Silicate Concrete Sealers
- Armor S2000 Concrete Sealer Review (concentrated)
- RadonSeal Concrete Sealer Review (pre-diluted)
- Stone Technolgies X-1 Concrete Sealer Review (pre-diluted)
- Ashford Formula Concrete Sealer Review (pre-diluted)
Best Lithium Silicate Concrete Sealers
- Armor L3000 Concrete Sealer Review (concentrated)
- PS103 Concrete Sealer Review (pre-diluted)
- Lion Hard Concrete Sealer Review (pre-diluted)