Stone Sealers: Impregnators vs. Topicals

Stone is a popular surface to install in both commercial and residential spaces. It is sleek, beautiful, and easy to maintain, as long as you take the right precautions in the beginning.

Sealing your stone surface is one of the most important things you can do. This will help ensure a long life for your stone. But what type of sealer should you choose? Here, we break down the difference between impregnators and topicals so you can make the right choice for you.


An impregnator is a type of sealer that penetrates into the surface of the stone. It gets into the pores and creates a barrier that can repel water, oil, and other liquids. Although it penetrates completely into the pores, it also leaves the pores open, allowing the surface to “breathe.”

Impregnators are a popular choice for a variety of reasons like the following:

  • They do not leave a film or coating over the top of the surface, so they do not change the appearance of the surface
  • They can block moisture from both sides of the stone, which is especially helpful for stone flooring, in case water comes up from the ground into the bottom side of the stone
  • They require very little maintenance once applied

The main downside to an impregnator is that they are typically more expensive than a topical sealer at the time of purchase.


Topical sealers are installed over the top of the surface of the stone. They create a coating or a barrier over the entire surface, which keeps moisture from soaking into the stone. They tend to do really well in lower-traffic areas.

The main reasons for choosing a topical sealer are as follows:

  • They are less expensive at the time of purchase than impregnators, making them more economical in the short-term
  • They can leave a sheen on the surface, making it appear more glossy than the stone in its natural state
  • They are often much easier to apply than impregnators

There are a few disadvantages to using topical sealers. Since they create a coating over the entire stone surface, they tend to scratch and scuff more easily and will have to be buffed or stripped and re-applied over time. They can also cause moisture to become blocked between the stone and the sealer, which can cause mold to grow underneath.

Topical sealers also do not protect the bottom side of the stone. So if you’re applying a topical sealer to a stone floor and water comes up from the ground to the bottom surface of the stone, it will not be protected.


Choosing between an impregnator and a topical sealer can seem a little daunting, but don’t be discouraged. Regardless of which one you choose, you can feel good about our collection of MORE Premium Stone Sealers. They can protect your surfaces from moisture damage, stains, and normal wear-and-tear.

Need more information? You can learn about the professional application of these products on our Pros page.