The 10 Best Concrete Sealers
This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in October of 2018. From driveways and basements to countertops and furniture, a dependable sealer will safeguard your concrete surfaces from harsh weather and everyday wear and tear. Our list has options for projects of all sizes -- both indoors and out -- that will provide lasting protection for years to come. We’ve even included formulas capable of producing the glossy or natural appearance you’re looking for. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 06, 2020:
For the uninitiated, concrete sealers may all seem to do the same thing, create a protective seal on the surface of the concrete. However, this, in fact, somewhat false. While all concrete sealers will offer protection to the substrate they are applied to, they do this in very different ways, which makes a big difference in how they perform. They can generally be classified into two categories, film-forming and penetrating, and each of these formulas utilizes different ingredients.
Film-forming sealants, such as Foundation Armor AR350, SuperSeal 2000, Surecrete XS-327, and Rocklinite Lacs Tuff Duck contain acrylic. As the category name suggests, these provide a physical layer on top of the concrete that acts as a protective barrier to various forms of damage. Because they have this physical layer, they will often darken the color of the substrate they are applied to, as well as give it a richer look. It is worth nothing, however, that film-forming acrylic sealants won't last as long as the penetrating variety and will generally need to be reapplied within three years if used outdoors.
Penetrating sealants, such as Foundation Armor SX5000, ToughCrete Penetrating, Ghostshield Siloxa-Tek 8500, and Concrete Sealers USA PS101 are made with silane, siloxane, or other silicates. As the name implies, these penetrate deeply into the substrate and chemically react with the pores of the material to give them hydrophobic properties. Since they don't sit on top of the concrete, they generally don't alter its appearance and, other than causing water to bead on the surface, it is difficult to tell they have even been applied. Another benefit of penetrating sealants is their longevity. Unlike film-forming varieties, penetrating sealants can last as long as 10 years outdoors without requiring reapplication.
While some of the options we have selected are touted as being low-odor, we recommend you wear a respirator when applying any of them, as well as protective gloves of some kind. In addition, it is vital that you follow all of the manufacturer's recommended guidelines regarding and how and where to apply them.
November 27, 2018:
In order to suit projects of every type, we included everything from commercial-grade, five-gallon selections to sprays and smaller quantities, with many capable of sealing surfaces other than concrete. We also added an assortment of water- and solvent-based solutions that meet varying VOC requirements and ensured that some contained no volatile organic compounds whatsoever.