Quite often, a paver, walkway, or other surfaces in or around your home took significant time, energy, and money to construct. As such, it only makes sense that you would want to protect that investment and ensure that it retains both its resiliency and beauty for years to come.
This is where stone sealers come into play. These products either bond on top of or chemically to the stonework, often penetrating deep into the porous structure, to help protect the substrate material and maybe even provide a cosmetic flourish. However, figuring out which one is right for your stonework can be difficult.
That is why we have put together a list of the seven best paver sealer including numerous cosmetic and material types. Then we offer a helpful paver sealer buyer’s guide, so you can make an informed decision and choose the best paver sealer for you.
Best Paver Sealer 2018
|Product Name||Sq ft per gallon*||Based on||Finish||Wet Look|
|Foundation Armor AR350|
|175 - 325||Solvent||Satin Sheen||Yes|
|Black Diamond Stone|
|Endura Seal 100% Acrylic Sealer||150 - 300||Solvent||Semi Gloss||Yes|
|Eagle Paver Sealer||100 - 200||Solvent||Gloss||Yes|
|Foundation Armor SX5000||125 - 300||Solvent||Matte||No|
|Black Diamond Color Enhancer Sealer||100 - 400||Water||Matte||No|
|Foundation Armor AR500||175 - 325||Solvent||High Gloss||Yes|
* Coverage is approximate and depends on surface, porosity, temperature and method of application.
1. Foundation Armor AR350 – Best Paver Sealer for a Wet Look
Foundation Armor is a bit similar to Black Diamond in respect to the brand’s reputation within its market. However, where Black Diamond often offers a product with particular specificity, Foundation Armor simply tries to provide a sealer that is inherently multi-purpose.
Much like the Black Diamond on this list, that allows for some degree of versatility but sacrifices top end quality for various types of substrate as a trade-off.
In fact, most of the Foundation Armor lineup, regardless the other qualities, is best suited for concrete application. This is not to suggest that these products can only be used on concrete, but you will definitely get better results with that substrate than say slate or granite. This is important because the ostensible versatility of the AR350 sealer is somewhat lessened by the fact that if you use this sealer for non-concrete applications, then you are definitely overpaying for a lesser quality result. That being said, the AR350 – and all of Foundation Armor’s products – do carry with them some impressive qualities that put them in another class of sealer.
In fact, this product, as well as the other Foundation Armor entries on our list, boasts up to five years of protection before needing to be reapplied. Of course, this will be heavily dependent on the type of substrate sealed and the surrounding circumstances of how that surface is used.
For instance, if you seal a natural stone with AR350 or if the area you seal encounters a fair amount of foot traffic, you are likely to have to reseal the surface in as a little as two years instead of five. Still, two years is significantly longer than some of the other budget sealers on our list and that is this product’s floor, not ceiling.
How to apply a Solvent-based Acrylic Paver Sealer
2. Black Diamond Wet Look Stone Sealer – Best Water-based Paver Sealer
Black Diamond is one of the brands on our list that has a fairly well-known reputation within the sealer market. They offer a range of products that actually extends well beyond stonework and will cover other types of flooring options, notably tile and laminate. However, the overwhelming majority of Black Diamond products focus exclusively on some type of stonework with many of them applying to a specific, common type of stone.
This has the added advantage of the versatility and can even allow you to use a single product for numerous projects around your house. Unfortunately, this also makes this product a bit of a Jack of all trades, master of none. Still, the versatility extends a bit further in that it is well suited for both indoor and outdoor use.
While technically every brand will claim to be useful indoors and out, some of them are better at backing that claim up. For instance, numerous paver sealers on our list are technically able to be used indoors, but if you already live in the space, chances are you will find that a difficult proposition.
For one, the need to move everything out of the intended area can be frustrating, but the largest problem comes with preparation and curing. Basically, applying a sealer requires as sanitized a surface as possible and must remain undisturbed for differing amounts of time during the curing, or drying, process.
How to apply a Water-based Paver Sealer
3. Enduracoat Endura Seal – Best Concrete Driveway Sealer
Enduracoat does not possess the same reputation cache as Black Diamond and not even to the somewhat less respected Armor Foundation brands. However, Enduracoat definitely makes it a point to strike specifically at a singular niche market: concrete. In terms of this specific substrate, Enduracoat offers a full suite of products from preparation to maintenance. Still, it is not advised that you use this product or its line on any substrate other than concrete until such time that the brand actively seeks to offer products directed towards those other substrates.
In terms of concrete, however, Enduracoat does provide a decent product, though there are numerous limitations beyond simply the singular substrate. For one, this sealer is best used as either a new construction or outdoor sealer.
In fact, many users have noted the presence of a strong odor that made them feel light-headed days after the application was supposedly complete. This likely means that the Enduracoat contains more VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, than some of the other brands on our list, though all products on our list are within strict compliance standards in this regard.
Still, many brands have actively sought to further limit VOC inclusion in their sealers, because consumers are often not comfortable with the inconvenience that VOCs present. Ultimately, this means that while applying the Enduracoat indoors, you will likely need a mask regardless of how well-ventilated the area may be.
Still, if you are looking for the best bang for your buck that appeals to the largest group of consumers, it will be difficult to find a better option on our list than the Enduracoat. For one, this begins with the finish and often overlooked factor. This is the only product we reviewed to offer semi-gloss finish which provides some of the shine that many consumers crave without creating the harsh and garish glare that high gloss reflects in well-lit areas.
4. Eagle Sealer EPS1 – Best Acrylic Paver Sealer
While the Enduraseal may be a solid all-around value, if you are a professional contractor who needs to seal substrates every day with a quick turnaround, then the Eagle Sealer’s EPS1 is likely the best product for you. Keep in mind, if you are sealing a surface for a high-value project you might want to look elsewhere, but if your stock and trade is day-in, day-out sealing, this is the product for you.
The Eagle Sealer accomplishes this in a few ways. First, there is no product on our list that is less expensive than the Eagle Sealer. If you need to purchase numerous five-gallon drums of sealer for a multitude of simultaneous products, you likely would prefer to spend less than $1000 – something that is more likely than not with some of our better rated sealers.
Still, the total value may not be quite as great with the Eagle Sealer. For one, the coverage is a tad lower than desired. The Black Diamonds and Enduracoat sealers offer anywhere from twenty to forty percent more coverage per gallon than the Eagle Sealer. Still, this brand is on par with the Armor Foundation, so it is not a terrible value.
5. Foundation Armor SX5000 – Best Block Paver Sealer
Our second Foundation Armor sealer is not at all like the previous Foundation Armor product. In fact, this sealer is entirely different than all the other on our list in a chemical way. While most of the sealers we reviewed use a solvent-based, acrylic formula, the SX5000 is our only sealer that uses a Siloxane formula.
This difference provides it some unique advantages, but it comes with a few caveats. First, this is easily one of the more durable sealers on our list for most applications. This means that dirt, water, and UV radiation will affect this less than others. Moreover, this sealer will hand foot traffic – even somewhat heavy foot traffic – much better than the other products on our list.
Still, the Siloxane formula does offer a much deeper penetration than the other products on our list which use a solvent-based acrylic formula. As such, this is the only Foundation Armor product we reviewed which is well suited for porous, natural stone. Keep in mind, while the others will work, they will not allow the stone to breathe as well as SX5000 will.
This has a few implications. First, this means that substrates located near water which are liable to stay wet quite often are well-served by SX5000. This sealer will allow any water particles to escape evaporation. However, this also means that substrates sealed with SX5000 are naturally less slippery than some products which simply sit atop their surface as the water does not accumulate nor is the substrates natural traction completely smoothed over.
6. Black Diamond Color Enhancer Sealer – Best Travertine and Limestone Paver Sealer
Our second product from the Black Diamond lineup is another unique entry on our list. This is the first product marketed as a color enhancing sealer. Unfortunately, this carries with it some disadvantages that make it unsuitable for more situations than most of the other products on our list. However, it also provides an advantage for a distinct setting: indoors.
In fact, even the other entries on our list which are suitable indoors will still pale in comparison to this product. For instance, the other Black Diamond sealer is our next best indoor sealer, but this model improves on the former in one specific way. This is the least odorous sealer on our list. This means that assuming you are working in a well-ventilated area, you can work without a mask even inside.
Another reason this product is well-suited for indoor applications is the fact that it is more of a beautifying product than a true sealer. Keep in mind, this product will definitely still seal the stonework onto which it is applied, but it does not have near the same level of durability that many other sealers we reviewed have – though, it does not have the worst durability either.
Still, this means that this sealer is better suited dealing with the occasional spill and standard foot traffic rather than having to endure the elements or withstand the rigors of hot tires. Unfortunately, this limited versatility is even further heightened by the fact that this is the most expensive product on our list. It could even be argued that the absence of a five-gallon drum combined with the higher cost suggests that it is an indoor sealer since that region is liable to have less exposed stone than outdoors.
7. Foundation Armor AR500 – Best High Gloss Paver Sealer
Our final product also comes from the Foundation Armor brand and is more like the AR350 than it is the SX5000. Part of this has to do with the formula. This sealer utilizes an acrylic formula, much like the AR350. However, unlike the AR350, the AR500 is technically a lacquer which carries with it some disadvantages.
Specifically, this sealer has a somewhat higher concentration of “solids” in its mixture. This allows the sealer to provide a smoother surface which allows it to maintain a brilliant high gloss finish, whereas the AR350 only provided a soft satin finish. Still, these solids present some issues when it comes to water.
Thankfully, the AR500, as well as other Foundation Armor sealers, is versatile enough that it can be applied on top of other types of treatment or even completely untreated substrates without losing its ability to bond. Still, this means that you will have to pay even more money for a fairly expensive paver sealer.
Paver Sealers – Buyer’s Guide
It does no good to spend all that time and money applying a paver sealer if it cannot stand up to the rigors of daily use. However, just like not all paver sealers are as durable as one another, not all substrates nor areas of use will require the same level of durability.
For example, the floor of a garage will require an entirely different paver sealer than a garden walkway. For one, the garage is likely to see daily traffic and will also have to deal with the heat from tires if a car is parked inside. On the other hand, a garden walkway is likely to encounter dirt and moisture in higher concentrations and is liable to be more of a beautification addition than a utilitarian space like a garage.
Most sealers will advertise that they protect against water, dirt, UV radiation, scuffs, and various household chemicals. Not all of them will suggest they can handle the rigors of hot tire pickup – consequently, those latter sealers are not at all suitable for a garage unless it merely serves as a storage area.
Keep in mind, the durability of a sealer is not merely limited to its external constitution but includes its internal integrity as well. Essentially, how long does the sealer maintain its structural integrity before beginning to flake or, in worse cases, crack? This will determine how often you need to reapply the sealer – which all sealers require, regardless how durable.
The effectiveness of your sealant will often heavily depend on how well it penetrates the porous nature of the substrate. However, this is often determined by a couple qualities of both the sealer and the substrate in question. As such, few sealers will be universally better at penetrating all types of stonework.
For the sealer itself, penetration is generally determined by the thickness, or viscosity, of the sealer with a special regard for the solid content. Basically, all sealers are somewhat free flowing in terms of their composition, but many seek to seal the substrate completely. These sealers will not allow moisture to flow freely out of the substrate which can be both a good or bad thing depending on the setting.
However, a sealer that does not “breathe” can also create issues of rot or slickness, again depending on the setting but with the added caveat of the stonework’s smoothness as well. Regardless, these sealers often have a high solid content which allows them to completely seal in the substrate. This will also have the additional effect of offering a mild smoothing or leveling effect – though it is by no means noticeable or effective enough to be used as such.
The other determining factor for penetration involves the substrate itself. Oddly, this is actually a bit counter-intuitive where the most porous substrates generally do not allow for the best penetration. This occurs because an exceedingly porous substrate will generally require far more applications of the sealer than you may be willing to apply – often far more than the product itself even recommends.
In this case, you would be far better served using a sealer that does not simply settle on top of the stonework but instead chemically bonds with it. However, these types of sealers will not actually seal the substrate entirely, though more comprehensively, and ultimately allows the finished product to breathe – something that is not well suited for areas with consistent moisture like a pool.
Most sealers will claim to be non-slip, but the results can often be a bit mixed. Because sealers aim to penetrate the stonework and generally layer on top of it, the sealer will often smooth out the natural texture of the stone underneath – depending on the material of the sealer. This often inherently leaves less traction on the stonework.
One of the solutions for this is to include some type of additive either with the sealer or, more commonly, before application of the sealer. Unfortunately, this means that you will likely have to add an additional cost to the project – though some sealers do include their own non-slip additive.
The alternative is to select a sealer that is inherently non-slip. However, that can be a bit difficult to determine since they all generally want to say that they are non-slip. Generally, the more penetrative and chemically bonding the sealer, the more liable it is to be truly non-slip. Of course, those sealers often provide mixed results for other qualities, so it will be important to identify which needs are most relevant if you opt for a naturally non-slip sealer.
Most of the time, consumers purchase paver sealers for their driveway, walkway, or some other personally made surface. Because of the ease of mixing, pouring, and cost, this quite often happens to be concrete. It does not hurt that concrete is readily available and can be stretched further than bulk solids.
However, many people prefer to favor aesthetics over cost and opt for materials that are less budget-friendly than concrete. Moreover, these same people often have the same desire to protect their investment while providing a beautiful sheen as well.
That is a why a truly great paving sealer needs to bond not only with concrete but with other types of stonework as well. Keep in mind, few pavers are exclusively effective when bonding with concrete, but that does not mean they bond with other types of stone nearly as well.
Of the other types of materials that your paver should bond well with include granite, slate, and of course brick. Aside from the fact that these materials are all porous, and thus excellent candidates for a sealant to protect them against the elements, they are also all fairly common building materials.
This is ultimately a purely cosmetic concern and will not affect the functional qualities of a sealer – regardless the finish chosen. That being said, most surfaces being sealed involved significant investments. This can include time, money, and effort, but ultimately, it means that the surface sealed deserves to look good.
However, there is no “best” finish and instead is simply a matter of taste. If you want a shiny, sleek look, you are best suited to go with a high gloss finish. On the other hand, if you prefer a subtler shine that still pops, you may prefer a semi-gloss finish that will not reflect light as harshly.
On the other end of the spectrum, matte finishes provide a more natural look without reflecting light, allowing the rich color and textures of the substrate to stand on their own. With a satin finish, you will appreciate how the entire substrate looks smoother without losing character, while the matte finish offers the most natural look and reflects the least amount of light.
For instance, if you are looking for an outdoor sealer to handle the rigors of Mother Nature, the Foundation Armor SX5000 is an ideal product with excellent durability. On the other hand, most indoor applications will be better served by the Black Diamond color enhancing sealer.
However, the garage is an entirely different type of surface altogether. While it may be indoors, it will still suffer more environmental stresses not to mention hot tire. That is why we recommend Foundation Armor’s AR500 which is both durable and long-lasting.