Concrete is a very versatile material that is used commonly in construction worldwide. Not only is concrete quite inexpensive but also it is very sturdy and strong. While concrete sealers have been used for both outdoor uses and for garages in homes for several years, recently, the use of concrete sealer has become quite popular for floors and other interior concrete areas in homes too.
Best Penetrating Concrete Sealer
Best Wet Look Concrete Sealer
Concrete is very porous and requires maintenance over time, it tends to suck up water, liquids, or any other material it comes into contact with. The exposure to water, ultra violet rays, chemicals, and wear and tear can damage the concrete and the presence of water can also cause the growth of mold and mildew that can damage the structural integrity of your home in the long run. This is why it is extremely important to seal concrete.
You can preserve the new concrete in your home by using the high quality sealant. In this guide, we deep dive into the types of concrete sealers and their functions to help you choose the right concrete sealer for your project.
Table of Contents
- Our Reviews of Concrete Sealers
- Other Popular Types of Concrete Sealers to Consider
- What Is Concrete Sealer?
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Concrete Sealer
Our Reviews of Concrete Sealers
Concrete is porous and vulnerable to water, UV rays from the sun, chemicals, salt, mold and mildew growth, and general wear and tear and all of these can damage its surface. Over time, the onslaught of all these elements can cause the concrete to crack. The best way to protect concrete driveways, floors, pavers, walkways, countertops, and other concrete surfaces in your home is by using a high quality sealer.
Applying a high-quality concrete sealer can help create a protective shield that offers invisible protection for the various concrete surfaces in your home and also prolong the life of the concrete by covering the cracks; preventing damage caused by de-icing salts in the winter; preventing water seepage through the basement, walls, and foundation; preventing the concrete from pitting and spalling; and improving the appearance of the concrete surface by adding shine.
Other Concrete Sealer Types to Consider
Type / Use
Best for: Garage & other high traffic floors, enhancing stamped & colored concrete
Best for: Exterior concrete, interiors floors, projects needing a fast drying solution
Best for: Countertops & food preparation areas, high traffic floors, cement overlays
Best for: Decorative concrete, indoor floors, outdoor concrete surfaces
Best for: Concrete driveways, footpaths, concrete pool surroundings
There are so many types and brands of concrete sealers on the market that choosing the right one can be quite confusing. The best choice for a concrete sealer depends on various factors such as the type of concrete surface you are sealing, the type of concrete sealing job, and whether you are sealing interior or exterior concrete.
Best Penetrating Concrete Sealers
Foundation Armor SX5000 Penetrating Concrete & Masonry Sealer
Foundation Armor SX5000 solvent-based concrete sealer is made of silane/siloxane and is a high solid formulation. This product creates an invisible barrier that repels water and the clear sealer is approved by the DOT (Department of Transportation). It penetrates quite deeply into the concrete surface and the bond it forms with the surface is quite strong, which makes it durable and long-lasting and reduces the damaging effects of water, UV light, and dirt.
Armor SX5000 sealer has low VOC and causes water and other liquids to bead instantly when it comes into contact with the surface. This sealer allows the concrete to breathe and allows any trapped moisture to escape. The Armor SX5000 sealer does not make the surfaces very slippery.
Armor SX5000 reduces the absorption of water by around 95% and offers strong alkali resistance and superior efflorescence protection which helps to resist concrete dusting, mildew, mold and fungus, efflorescence, pitting, spalling, cracking, and damage occurring from freeze and thaw cycles, and de-icing salts.
This product can be applied to unsealed concrete, brick, and pavers; does not change the appearance of your concrete; and lasts for up to 10 years. Five gallons of Armor SX5000 sealer will cover around 500 sq. ft. with two coats. All in all, if you are looking for a high-quality product that provides industrial-grade protection, then the Armor SX5000 sealer is a great product all round.
ToughCrete Concrete Sealer
If you are looking for a penetrating concrete sealer that protects the surface of the concrete as well as under the surface, then ToughCrete is an excellent option that offers long-lasting protection. This product from ToughCrete penetrates deep into the surface of the concrete and provides protection from damage and deterioration caused by water and salt for up to 10 years.
This siloxane based sealer offers excellent protection for all concrete surfaces including your patio, driveway, sidewalk, and garage floor. You can also use this sealer for other outdoor concrete structures such as outdoor fireplaces, chimneys, bricks, cinder blocks, blocks, CMUs, and pavers.
Not only does ToughCrete protect all the concrete surfaces in your home but also it helps in enhancing the value of your home. This sealer is safe to use and eco-friendly and has been approved by the DOT (Department of Transportation).
Best Wet Look Concrete Sealers
Foundation Armor AR350 Wet Look Concrete Sealer
If you want the concrete surfaces in your home to have a wet and fresh look, then the Foundation Armor AR350 solvent-based sealer is a good option. Applying this sealer instantly renews faded and dull concrete surfaces. You can use this solvent-based acrylic sealer for both interior and exterior concrete surfaces, aggregate concrete, natural stone, bricks, and pavers.
Foundation Armor AR350 sealer is a great choice for warehouse and garage floors and also for patios, pool decks, driveways, etc. You can either go in for the traditional clear sealer or choose from a range of color choices, including the non-slip and matte options. The application of this sealer is very easy—you can use a pump sprayer or roller.
The coating is low gloss, which is UV resistant, water, salt, heat/cold, mold, mildew, efflorescence, and hot tire pickup and helps to reduce surface abrasion and deterioration and also protects the concrete surface from chemicals and enhances the color of the stone.
Foundation Armor AR350 sealer can be applied to unsealed concrete surfaces or surfaces which have been sealed earlier using a solvent-based concrete sealer. This product is very easy to apply and is self-priming, non-yellowing, and does not need a lot of maintenance. This breathable sealant has excellent bonding properties and lasts for 1 to 3 years on exterior surfaces and around 3 to 7 years on interior surfaces.
You can seal around 1000 sq. ft. with a single coat of 5 gallons of Foundation Armor AR350 sealer or 500 sq. ft. with two coats—this depends on the porosity of the concrete and the application method being used. It is stain-, water-, chemical-, and salt damage-resistant and you can use it on poured concrete, stamped concrete, traditional pavers, and integrally colored and acid stained concrete.
Black Diamond Stoneworks Wet Look Stone Sealer
The Black Diamond Stoneworks sealer has been designed, used, and tested by professionals and offers your concrete or stone surfaces with an attractive, effective, and long-lasting gloss finish. You can use this sealer for both interior and exterior surfaces and it offers extra protection and resistance to water, UV ray damage, general wear, and harsh chemicals.
So, if you are looking for a sealer that will protect your concrete driveways, patios, pavers, garage floors, masonry brick and stamped, exposed aggregate, colored, or decorative surfaces, the Black Diamond Stoneworks sealer provides good protection, shine, and gloss without turning yellow. This product is clear and will not darken the surface. It's easy to use and can be applied quickly with a sprayer, roller, or paintbrush and it is easy to clean too.
One gallon of the product will cover around 600 sq. ft. When applied, the Black Diamond Stoneworks sealer is white, which is extremely useful because it allows you to see where you have applied the sealer already and also ensures that it is spread evenly. After around 20 to 30 minutes, the whiteness fades and it dries clear. The sealer creates a shiny surface and also helps the natural colors of the stone to be enhanced and pop.
Other Popular Types of Concrete Sealers to Consider
While penetrating sealers and wet-look sealers are usually the most sought after concrete sealers, you may be looking for a specific type of sealant or for a specific purpose. So, if you are on the lookout for the best acrylic concrete sealer or a urethane concrete sealer etc., then here is our review on the best concrete sealers in specific categories:
Best Polyurethane Concrete Sealer
Rain Guard CLEAR-SEAL Acrylic Urethane Low-Gloss Sealer
The Acrylic/Urethane Low-Gloss Sealer from Rain Guard is among the best concrete sealers for high-traffic areas. The sealer is a blend of acrylic and polyurethane (or urethane for short) and offers a coating that is both powerful and durable. This product can protect your sidewalk, driveway, or other concrete surfaces from the elements. This sealer can be used on its own or you can use it as a protective topcoat over a painted surface.
The non-yellowing formula prevents damage caused by water, UV rays, chemicals, and salt and also helps to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. This Rain Guard sealer also helps in resisting hot tire pickup and is suitable for application in commercial, residential, automotive, and warehouse uses. This sealant offers protection from stains, UV rays, and wear due to vehicular and foot traffic.
Rain Guard's CLEAR-SEAL sealer is very easy to apply with a brush, spray, or roller and can be used for indoor or outdoor and vertical or horizontal concrete, stone, wood, or masonry surfaces. The sealer is non-toxic, has a low VOC, and is very safe to use. The sealer offers coverage of between 200 and 500 sq. ft. per gallon; however, this depends on the porosity of the surface.
Best Acrylic Concrete Sealer
Foundation Armor AR500 High Gloss Acrylic Concrete Sealer
If you are looking for a high-quality acrylic sealer, then the Armor AR500 is the best sealer in this category. This product seals the concrete surface well and safeguards against the weather and external elements. The strong formula does not stick to the surface; rather, it penetrates the surface deeply through the pores and bonds chemically to it.
The formula of Armor’s AR500 sealer is non-yellowing and long-lasting. It produces a breathable finish that restores dull and faded surfaces, giving them a high-gloss finish and making them look fresh and new. It's very easy to apply and you can use a roller or a sprayer for the application. The Armor AR500 sealer consists of top-quality resins and has a non-toxic formula making the sealer very safe to use.
You can use Armor AR500 sealer on all interior and exterior surfaces and the multipurpose sealer can be used for your garage floors, sidewalks, patios, pool decks, basement floors, etc. This product is durable and offers around 2 to 5 years lifespan on a 2-coat application before you need to reapply the sealer. Around 5 gallons of the product covers up to 500 sq. ft. with two coats; however, the coverage depends on your method of application and the porosity of the concrete surface.
Armor AR500 sealer can be used on stamped concrete, poured concrete, aggregate, concrete pavers, etc. and it can also be used on unsealed concrete surfaces or surfaces that have been sealed using a solvent-based acrylic sealer previously. So, if you are looking for a professional-grade sealer to seal your concrete structures, the Armor AR500 is a great choice that delivers robust protection against UV rays, cold and hot temperature, abrasion, and hot tire pickup.
Best Epoxy Concrete Sealer/Coating
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Professional Floor Coating Kit
If you are looking for the best epoxy concrete sealer/coating for the money, then the Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield probably the perfect one for you. Designed for use on garage floors, the garage floor coating contains a high-solid epoxy resin which offers excellent durability and gloss to the concrete surface.
The coating is not water-based and so, you can use it as a waterproofing agent; however, before using the coating, you should ensure that the floor is completely dry. Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield coating is completely resistant to contaminating and organic corrosive materials such as oil, gas, grease, water, and other chemicals, which are ever present in garages and if you do not have a strong and durable coating on the concrete floor, it will turn dark quickly.
Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield not only helps to resist these materials but also enhances the shine of the surface and keeps it that way for a long time. You can get coverage of around 200 sq. ft. at a very affordable price. The coating dries and hardens very quickly and within just 1 day, you can walk on the surface and in just 4 days, it is traffic-ready.
The epoxy coating has excellent adhesion power, which makes it resistant to peeling and scratching and its high-temperature resistance allows you to park your car with a hot tire after a long drive without any problems. So, overall, Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield is very durable and offers excellent resistance against contaminants and corrosion, making it among the best concrete floor epoxy coatings.
Best Water-Based Concrete Sealer
Foundation Armor SX5000WB Water-Based Concrete Sealer
Foundation Armor SX5000WB is a silane-siloxane water-based concrete sealer that penetrates the surface deeply. This product forms a chemical barrier that is water repellent in nature and also reduces the amount of water absorbed by the concrete surface. Upon application, Foundation Armor SX5000WB sealer does not change the appearance or color of the concrete surface, nor does it leave a film on the surface.
Foundation Armor SX5000WB sealer prevents any damage to the surface caused by salt, efflorescence, mold and mildew, cracking, spalling, and pitting. It's suitable for application to different types of interior as well as exterior surfaces such as concrete, natural stone, brick, pavers, and aggregate and is a great solution for patios, pool decks, garage floors, basement walls, and driveways.
The Foundation Armor SX5000WB sealer offers easy application with a pump sprayer or roller and the coverage depends on the applicator and the porosity of the surface. It contains around five times more active ingredients compared to other products and helps to reduce damage and deterioration caused by cracking, staining, spalling, and pitting. It also reduces concrete dusting that is caused by the movement of water and moisture through the pores of the concrete and surface abrasion.
Foundation Armor’s SX5000WB sealer offers a natural unsealed look to the concrete surface and the product is breathable and provides 10 years of lasting performance. This sealer has a low VOC and is approved by the DOT. Not only has the Armor SX5000WB sealer been approved by the DOT but also it has been used by the department in many states to protect roads and bridges against staining, mold and mildew growth, and freeze-thaw cycles.
Best Solvent-Based Concrete Sealer
EnduraSeal Solvent-Based Concrete Sealer
Made of 100% acrylic, the EnduraSeal Concrete Sealer is a high-quality solvent-based sealer. It produces a semi-gloss finish for a wet look and is suitable for any kind of concrete and can protect colored, stained, exposed, or stamped concrete; stained pavers; stones; and terrazzo. The non-yellowing sealer is highly durable and not only works well as a sealer but also enhances the look of the concrete surface.
Upon application, it penetrates deep into the surface and when it dries, it produces a semi-gloss finish. When you apply the EnduraSeal, not only does it seal the pavers but also it stabilizes the paver joints. The EnduraSeal must be applied in thin coats and you must wait for at least 48 hours before you can step on the surface safely.
The sealer darkens the surface slightly; however, you get a smooth, polished feel. After sealing the concrete with EnduraSeal, you can wipe off the grease, oil, de-icing salts, etc. easily just by using soap and water. Five gallons of this sealer covers around 150 to 300 sq. ft. depending on the porosity of the surface. Overall, EnduraSeal Concrete Sealer is an extremely durable product, which is much more affordable compared to urethane and epoxy sealers.
What Is Concrete Sealer?
Concrete sealer is a chemical that is applied to concrete before sealing. A sealer will protect your concrete by repelling water, preventing stains, and keeping dust, dirt and other particles from penetrating into the pores of the concrete. This will add ease of maintenance to your concrete project and extend the life of the project.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Concrete Sealer
When it comes to sealing your concrete, there are a few factors to consider for your concrete sealing project. For home use, you'll want a basic sealer that helps protect against water damage, mold and other weathering. Concrete sealers can be used on driveways, patios, sidewalks and any other area that is made of concrete. There are many different types of sealers with different pricing and application methods.
Use a concrete sealer that is formulated for your particular project. For instance, if you intend on polishing the final product, you will want to go with a semi-gloss. If you plan on leaving the surface textured, or if your concrete hasn't been sealed in years, choose a water-based or epoxy sealer.
Exterior Concrete Surfaces: Because it renders a protective barrier that prevents water penetration and may ward off stains and discoloration, penetrating sealers are your best bet for ideal exterior concrete sealing. It also provides protection against salt and chemicals that might be introduced to the surface of your concrete through weathering or other means of wear.
Decorative Concrete Surfaces: When sealing your decorative concrete, you want to make sure you use a high-quality sealer that will not only protect the surface but also enhance its color and character.
Concrete Countertops: Sealer forms a protective shield on the concrete to prevent stains and other things that can ruin your countertops. Make sure you have the right sealer, some are better at protecting than others.
Concrete Floors: Concrete floor sealer is what best protects your concrete floors. As an investment, you should want to protect the overall integrity and quality of your concrete floors — from being able to withstand years of wear and tear.
Exposed Aggregate: Sealing your exposed aggregate concrete will make it last much longer. This is one of the most important steps in the process when it comes to sealing exposed aggregate concrete.
Concrete Driveway - Driveways are, whether it is an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway; very important to the property as well as to the homeowner. For minor repairs and for complete coatings, you will need concrete sealer.
When shopping for a concrete sealer, it is important to decide which type of finish you want. Different finishes will give your concrete a more professional and tailored look, so be sure that you know what different types of finishes there are — and what each does.
Durable finish: Durable finish refers to the quality of the coating a sealer has on it. The protective coat should be thick enough to protect your concrete from any elements (such as water, UV rays, or chemicals) that may compromise its integrity.
Natural finish: This is a natural look sealer that is a translucent color. Most of the time you won't see much of a difference between the concrete with and without it, other than the surface being shinier.
Glossy finish: A glossy finish on a sealant gives elegant sheen levels on the surface of a floor. The term "wet look finish" is more commonly used for concrete sealer, and it is also known as shiny finish.
Broom finish: Broom finish is the process by which sealer is applied to concrete so that it looks like a broom has been dragged over the surface. This gives an appearance of high-quality, professional work, and the sealer protects your concrete from moisture, stains and other damage.
Traditional concrete sealers are solvent-based and can leave a sticky residue on the surface of your concrete. Water-based concrete sealer, on the other hand, is eco-friendly. Not only is it safer for use around people and pets, it's still just as effective as its solvent-based counterpart.
Water Based Sealer: Water based formulations are high-performance sealers with a low sheen and are generally low in VOC. The polymer particles are typically dispersed in water in a water-based sealer and when the water-based sealer is applied to the concrete surface, the polymer particles get closer when the water evaporates. As the water continues to evaporate, the particles get deformed and bond together, forming a clear and continuous coating.
Solvent Based: Solvent-based acrylics are widely used for outdoor concrete surfaces, which help to augment the color of the concrete and also protect the surface. In a solvent-based concrete sealer, unlike the water-based ones, the polymers do not exist as separate particles. The solvent and the polymer are mixed for a clear and continuous solution.
Epoxy Concrete Sealers: Epoxies are essentially a thermosetting polymer coating which also acts like a concrete sealer. These types of concrete sealers form a high-build film on the surface of the concrete and produce a hard finish which is resistant to abrasion and wear. Epoxy sealers are also water repellent.
Acrylic Concrete Sealers: Acrylic sealers require a very thin coating to be applied and they dry very quickly when applied. Acrylic sealer is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and is known as a film forming sealer. Film forming sealers form a protective film that offers protection against the intrusion of water and chloride, while allowing the moisture in the concrete surface to escape, which makes these sealers ideal for use around the pool areas.