Solvent based sealer versus water based

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I recently had a new pool deck installed around our inground swimming pool and I have a question regarding the pros and cons of solvent based versus water based sealers.  We had the contractor give us a stamped finish and wish to have the concrete acid stained.  My main concern is which of the two sealers will be cooler to your bare feet as I live in the South and the temperatures get really hot here.  Also is there any other issues I should be concerned with before we have this concrete stained and sealed?





Lindy A.'s picture
Lindy A.
It makes no difference

It makes no difference whether the sealer is a water or solvent based as to the surface temperature long as the sealers are clear (ie: not some pigmented color).  You will want to keep in mind that solvent based sealers typically bring out more vibrant color and associated with water based acrylic sealers.

Light colored surfaces are cooler than dark colored ones ... in other words dark brownish tones will draw more heat than light beiges or tans (if you were wearing a white tee-shirt you would be cooler in the sun that if you were wearing a black one, just as broom finished/textured gray concrete is cooler than black asphalt surfaces

Texture of a surface has a bearing on surface temperature ... a flat level/smooth surface will be hotter than one that has a texture or contoured imprint; this is due to you entire foot coming in contact with a flat/smooth surface versus random/not full contact with textured or contoured one.

Due to this being an exterior surface around a swimming pool deck I recommend that in order to address slip/skid resistant safety that a fine micro/media be incorporated into the sealer to increase the degree of traction (coefficience of friction COF).  This can range from fine ground acrylics, shark grip, and many other slip/skid resistant additives that depending ont he type used can be incorporated into the sealer itself before it is applied (if it is one of the type that doesn't sink or float) thereby allowing for uniform distribution over the entire surface or scattered by appropriate means into the wet sealer as it is being applied.  I could go into more detail, but your contractor will be able to provide you with insight on various types and means of incorporating it based on the type of sealer being used and his/her common practice. 

Thanks Lindy for your

Thanks Lindy for your response.  I have one other question.  My wife and I would like to achieve a light charcoal grey color for our pool deck.  We have spoked to several contractors and they all have told me that there is not a grey acid stain.  Is this true?  Also you mentioned previously that we need to make sure that we use a clear sealer.  One of the contractors we spoke to stated that we could just seal the concrete and add a metallic additive to the sealer that would give us a darker grey color.  I think that the color he told us was gun metal grey.  What are your thoughts?





scornstain's picture
Shark Grip

Lindy I have found that anti skid or shark grip only works with shoes on. Therfore around a swimming pool you are  barefoot and it will have little effect on bare wet feet.

Lindy A.'s picture
Lindy A.
Anti-skid medias do indeed

Anti-skid medias do indeed provide greater traction when coming ni contact with various types of shoe soles; however, incorporaitng them still addresses safety related concerns when it comes to bare feet on a slick/level/flat surfaces as well, which is why they are specified on public use aquatic use areas where the surfaces are predominately wet (swimming pool decks, spa surrounds, shower room floors, interactive water spray/play park pads). 

I have never done a swimming pool deck at a municipal/public swimming pool or interactive water spray/play park pad, swimming pool deck or acquatic use surface of a hotel/motel/condo, or other like level/flat/non-textured exterior or interior surface that will be constantly or predominately wet (be it from pool water or other aquatic use where bare feet will be constantly tredding over it or those exposed to elements of nature where the property owner, responsible party/management, governmental entities municipal/state/federal, safety engineers, etc. did not specify skid resistant media be incorporated in the sealer/coating in order to meet ADA & OSHA guidelines.  I agree that skid-resistant medias are not as effective on bare feet as they are on certain types of shoe soles, but still something (as to a providing a certain degree of traction is important IMO and is far greater than that of a smooth/level/flat surface having none.

Mitch,  Metallic gun metal


Metallic gun metal will give a grey look.   If your looking for just highlights a dye stain would work also. 

This would be lightly sprayed then the deck is sealed. I think direct colors has a dye stain that is will

work for exterior. Dont know how good it is.

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