Choosing the Right Sealer for Your Project Begins with Understanding Y - Black Diamond Coatings

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by David Warren 3 min read

Determine Your Surface First

Choosing the "right" sealer for your project begins with understanding what your surface is made of.

Even if you have pavers, it’s not always as simple as just saying that you have pavers.  Well, are they interlocking concrete pavers or clay brick pavers?  If concrete pavers, are they traditional dry cast or the newer wet cast?  What is the density?  And the list goes on and on…

These pictograms should help you to determine the most common types of surfaces that are sealed so you can then evaluate the sealer options for your surface.  The few pictures presented here represent just a small fraction of the beautiful hardscape choices on the market today.

Concrete Pavers – Traditional (dry cast)

Concrete pavers cast from cement come in a wide variety of looks and sizes that can sometimes mimic natural stone or brick. They can be porous or dense, depending on the manufacturing methods and aggregate used. Check with us if you’re uncertain about your surface. 

Concrete Pavers


Decorative Concrete 

Also referred to as Stamped or Stained, Decorative Concrete is either poured like a traditional slab and then treated with additional decorative touches before the concrete dries – adding texture, dimension and color; or, it can be created as an overlay on an existing concrete surface. Porosity can vary, depending on post-installation treatment. 

Decorative Concrete


Concrete/Concrete Block

This is the standard concrete of your Driveway, Sidewalk, or plain patio slab. Broomed finishes can be porous or dense (e.g., higher strength mixes are denser); smooth troweled finishes typically make the surface denser; and a polished concrete surface can be very dense and should be treated like Natural Stone. 

Bare Concrete


Concrete Pavers – Wetcast Pavers & Specialty Aggregate

  • Wetcast Pavers (can look like wood, stone and so much more)
  • Specialty Aggregate (Exposed Aggregate, Shells, Glass)
Aggregate (or Exposed Aggregate) surfaces can include a variety of additional materials pressed into cement-based pavers –pebbles, glass, shells, and more; or traditional exposed aggregate concrete exposes the aggregate mixture through a chemical process. 



    Natural Stone 

    The most popular Natural Stone surfaces include Flagstone, Fieldstone, and Bluestone. Natural stone can vary in hardness and density, so be sure to check with us if you’re using something less common. 

    Natural Stone



    A type of Natural Stone, Travertine comes a in a wide variety of soft, natural colors; this stone is very dense. 



    Clay Pavers/ Fired Brick

    This includes clay-based bricks, Chicago brick pavers (also called Burnt Clay) and Saultilo Tiles, which are unglazed clay tiles. If your “bricks” are primarily sand lime or cement instead of clay, please give us a call for specific advice.  

    Clay Pavers - Fired Brick


    Faux Stone

    Also known as Synthetic, Manufactured or Veneer, Faux Stone is typically used as stacked stone to mimic popular natural stone colors, textures, and patterns, but they are instead made from molded concrete. Polypropylene (plastic) faux stone tiles do not need to be sealed.  

    Faux Stone


     _ _ _ ~ _ _ _

    Certainly, there are nuances within each category as well.  We are always happy to discuss any specific questions or scenarios to help you determine the best sealer for your project.

    Now Determine the "Right" Sealer

    Once you determine the type of surface you have, you can really think about what you want out of your sealer.  Is it purely about making it easier to maintain?  If so, one of the natural appearance sealers is right up your alley!  Or do you want an esthetic improvement?  Do you seek the "wet look" (color enhanced look) that is so popular?  Did you know that you can enjoy the rich color of the "wet look," and then choose a shiny finish (SG+), satin finish (LG+) or no to low gloss finish (NG+)?

    Building products have many choices and finishes so that you can enjoy a home unique to you and your tastes! Here's a handy chart to match your surface with the finish you're looking for.

    Which BDC Brands sealer is right for you?

    Click on the hyperlinks below to take you to the sealer that sounds "right" for your project!

    DOMINATOR Color-Enhancing Sealers
    SG+ High Gloss Paver Sealer
    LG+ Low-Gloss Paver Sealer
    NG+ No Gloss Paver Sealer
    STONE+ GLOSS Stone Sealer
    STONE+ MATTE Stone Sealer

    Natural Sealers
    AQUA-X 11 Clear Stone and Concrete Sealer

    Take our Product Quiz if you still need help in determining the right product for your project!

    Call us at 800-270-4050 with any questions, or email us at

    David Warren
    David Warren

    David Warren, company president, owned a very successful paver restoration company for ten years. During this time, his company sealed millions of square feet of pavers. It is this extensive knowledge of the sealer industry that is one of the key benefits that set Black Diamond Coatings apart from other sealer manufacturers. Black Diamond Coatings is truly a company “by contractors, for contractors.” Prior to Black Diamond Coatings, David was also a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, so Black Diamond Coatings is proudly veteran owned.

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