Lithium silicate concrete densifiers are fast-acting silicate sealers used to increase the strength and density of the concrete. They chemically react with the free lime and calcium below the concrete surface to create a permanent calcium silicate hydrate barrier within the pores. The barrier formed by the lithium silicate can only be removed when the concrete itself is removed because the results of the lithium silicate reaction are permanent. Lithium silicate sealers are commonly used as part of the concrete polishing process, but other applications include driveways and walkways, and concrete and garage floors.
There are many benefits to using a lithium silicate sealer, including:
- Increase the surface strength of the concrete to reduce dusting and deterioration
- Increase the density of the concrete to reduce the movement of water and moisture through the pores
While lithium silicate concrete sealers all create the same chemical reaction, there are a few main differences between lithium silicate concrete sealer manufactures:
- Concentrated vs. Pre-Diluted: This is one of the largest differences between manufacturers of silicate based sealers. Some manufacturers pre-dilute the silicate so that it is ready to apply, and others ship it to you in concentrate and require water to be added before application. Concentrated lithium silicates are more cost effective because you can change the dilution ration based on the concrete requirements, and you only pay for chemicals, not for water.
- Solids Content: While most lithium silicates are applied between 25-33% solids, some less expensive manufacturers offer solutions at 8-12%. The lower the solids, the lower the active materials. When searching for a lithium silicate concrete sealer you should verify that you aren’t receiving less than a 20% solids solution. While you won’t have this issue with concentrated products, you may run into this quite a bit with pre-diluted products.
Lithium silicate concrete densifiers are one of three primary types of densifiers. Sodium and potassium silicate sealers are the other two types of concrete densifiers. Potassium silicate sealers are very rarely used, but sodium and lithium silicates are constantly competing in popularity. Lithium and sodium silicates create the same chemical reaction and yield the same results. So how to they differ? Lithium silicate sealers are fast acting. The chemical reaction that takes place below the surface happens faster with a lithium silicate than a sodium silicate. For that reason, lithium silicates are commonly used on dense concrete surfaces, and as part of the polishing process.
Best Lithium Silicate Concrete Densifiers