How to Select the Right Concrete Sealer

How to Select the Right Concrete Sealer

Although concrete is highly durable, you still need to protect it with a quality sealer. All concrete sealers are designed to prevent premature corrosion, staining, and other environmental damage. However, not all sealers are made the same—if you choose the wrong one, your concrete will not get the protection it needs.

Read on to learn more about the different types of concrete sealers and their common uses, how to determine which type of sealer you need, and how to calculate how much you’ll need for your project.

Types of Concrete Sealers

There are several types of concrete sealers you can choose from, including:

  • Penetrating
  • Acrylic
  • Polyurethane
  • Water-Based

Different concrete sealing products yield different effects. One sealer might increase the sheen of the concrete while another may intensify the color of the concrete’s tint. Note that improperly applied sealer can ruin the appearance of an otherwise perfect installation.

Now, let’s explore each type of sealer in more detail.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating concrete sealers contain silanes, siloxanes, silicates, and/or siliconates. They are effective at chemically penetrating into the capillaries that run through all concrete pads, which, in turn, shields the concrete from penetration by de-icing chemicals and moisture. This type of sealer is best used in exterior applications that are subject to freeze-thaw damage and corrosion.


Acrylic sealers form a thin, protective film on the surface that enhances the beauty of exposed aggregate, stamped, or colored concrete. Acrylic concrete sealers can be water- or solvent-based. Solvent-based sealers are preferred for their color-enhancing capacities and are typically used outdoors. Water-based acrylic sealers are used widely for interior applications in hospitals, breweries, food production plants, schools, garages, stadiums, commercial kitchens, auto factories, and warehouses.


Polyurethane concrete sealers significantly increase resistance to salt water, de-icing products, rain, snow, sleet, hail, and intense sunlight. This type of sealer is available in a range of sheen levels, and is useful for both interior and exterior applications. They also provide excellent protection and are about twice as thick as acrylic sealers. One disadvantage of solvent-based polyurethane sealers is that they tend to get slippery when wet, but you can remedy this issue by purchasing traction enhancers/additives like SureGrip.

Water-Based Sealers

Water-based concrete sealers like our AQUA CURE 15-100 are low-odor, breathable, and non-yellowing. The self-crosslinking properties in the sealers make them highly water-resistant, adhesive, and durable. They also provide superior efflorescence and alkali resistance, and are suitable for green (eco-friendly) concrete applications. Water-based concrete sealers typically perform better than traditional acrylic sealers because they offer better chemical resistance, flexibility, adhesion, and stability.

Determining How Much Sealer Is Needed

Once you determine which type of best concrete sealer is best for your project, the next step is calculating how much you’ll need! Although you will need a calculator for this, determining how much you’ll need is actually very easy.
First, measure the square feet of the slab you’ll be applying sealer. You’ll need to measure the length and width of the slab and then multiply these two numbers together to get the total square footage.

Then, check the technical data of the product you’re using. Most concrete sealers treat about 250 square feet per gallon, but check to be sure.

So, if your treatment area is 20 feet by 30 feet, you will be treating 600 square feet of surface per coat. Two thin coats are typically recommended, so you’ll want to double your square footage. In this example, you’ll technically be treating 1,200 square feet because you are applying sealer twice to a 600-square-foot area.

Next, you’ll want to take the total square footage and divide it by coverage per square foot (as noted in your sealer’s technical data). In the same example, let’s assume that your sealer covers 250 square feet per gallon. You’ll need to divide 1,200 by 250, which gives you 4.8. So, you’ll need to purchase around five gallons of sealer.

On that note, always check to see if you can save money by purchasing a five-gallon container instead of five separate one-gallon containers. And, it’s never a bad idea to keep some in reserve for future needs.

Purchase Concrete Sealer From Stamped Concrete Today!

Get high-quality concrete sealers for your next project from Stamped Concrete, a family-owned and -operated division of Metropolitan Materials, LLC. To browse our full line of sealers, please visit our online store. If you need help selecting the right sealer for your project, don’t hesitate to contact one of our professionals today.