Stone is structurally a very sturdy material. In fact, it's as a result of its strength that it is used as the main construction material. However, when looked at under a microscope, you will notice lots of tiny pores. These are as a result of the natural stone formation process, be it through compaction of grains or organic matter, or the situations where there has been recrystallization under loads of heat and pressure. There are tiny spaces left between the different crystals and grains. Therein lies the problem. The natural stone tiles that have been installed, from the floors and walls to the countertops, become susceptible to absorbing liquids and other substances unless adequate measures of protection are put in place. That's where formulations such as the Faber AC 300 come in.
Porosity varies from one stone to the next, thus affecting the rate of absorption. The igneous stones tend to have a low porosity, while the metamorphic and sedimentary variations clock higher levels of porosity. The liquids being absorbed open a Pandora's Box of problems. For instance, with water, anything from algae and mould, dark spots caused by rinsing damp, all through to efflorescence due the salts left behind as the water evaporates, can occur. When loads of water are absorbed, the structure is weakened, exposing it to risks of fracture. Applying water repellent treatments creates a barrier which will prevent the stone from absorbing liquids. This is achieved with the Faber AC 300, whereby the formulation penetrates the surface of the stone, getting into the pores instead of simply sitting on top of the surface. This has the welcome benefit of preserving the colour of the stone, and it also allows it to "breathe", as it does not block the pores.
Keeping Your Stone Surfaces Elegant
With the Faber AC 300, you have more to look forward to, as it further enhances the performance of the subsequent treatments that are applied. The product does not yellow, due to its resistance to the UV radiation. The water repellent nature of the formulation also comes in handy in reducing drying times that are witnessed after washing the surfaces- like after the final wash that is carried out during installation and grouting. The issue of staining caused by the grout is also resolved, as a result of the protective barrier formed by the Faber AC 300.
The water-based Faber AC 300 is applicable on a wide range of surfaces, for both indoor and outdoor applications. You can use it on cotto, terracotta, cementine, concrete, marble-cement agglomerates and other kinds of porous stones. With a wide 8 to 15m² per litre application rate, you get to cover more surface with each unit of product purchased, which enables you to make savings on your budget.
The Application Process
Start by giving the surface a thorough clean. Getting rid of the dust and grime that is present on the tiles is vital to prevent them from getting in the way of the product penetrating into the material and bonding with it. Let the surface dry before proceeding with the application.
The Faber AC 300 is a concentrated product, and needs to be diluted before use. Here, it depends on the absorbency of the materials being worked on. For instance, when dealing with industrial or glazed cotto, 1 part of product is diluted with 2 parts of water. With the more absorbent materials, a dilution ratio of 1:3 is employed. When it comes to the actual treatment process, the approach used varies depending on your particular situation. These include:
For this case, the tiles have yet to be laid. Here, simply dip them into a container of the Faber AC 300 solution for 10-15 seconds, take them out and place them on a free surface where they can dry. It's recommended that you immerse one tile at a time into the solution.
Here, the tiles have already been laid, and are waiting to be grouted. Apply the Faber AC 300 solution before the grouting is carried out, using a brush, roller, or lambswool applicator.
In case you're working on a recently laid surface that has already been grouted, first wait for the adhesives and grout that had been used to fully cure before treating the tiles with the Faber AC 300.
The drying time
You will notice that the surfaces treated with the Faber AC 300 appear to dry within a very short time. However, before you proceed to grout the tiles or apply subsequent treatments, wait for at least 24 hours.
Note that for both pre-installation and post-installation treatments, in case you're working with a material that has low absorption, there may be some residue of the solution left behind on the surface of the tiles. Simply redistribute it using a brush, lambswool applicator or clean and dry cloth, depending on what is more suitable to your situation.
Remember to undertake regular care of the surface treated with the Faber AC 300. Products from Faber will come in handy, such as the Neugel formulation that is used for routine cleaning, and Disycott for worksite cleaning.
Production line treatment process
The Faber AC 300 is also used in production lines, where the tiles are treated before they are packaged for sale. Here, it is applied with specialized equipment that is compatible with the particular production line in the industry. To get information on the specific approach to use for your particular industry, simply contact the Faber Technical Division.
DO ensure that the treated surfaces are properly maintained. For this, use formulations that have been developed for the task from the same brand. For instance, the routine cleaning can be carried out with the Faber Neugel, and the worksite cleaning done with the Disycott formulation. In case you're looking to enhance the stain-proofing protection of the surface, products like the ATS 60, Hidro 150 and the Pro TW Lux come in handy, based on the type of surface being worked on.
DON'T use the Faber AC 300 on wet surfaces. They should always be dry.
DON'T treat the surfaces when they are overly heated. The permissible temperature range is between 5°C and 40°C.