Pros and Cons of Sealing Your Natural Stone Fireplace

So you have made the choice to invest in a beautiful natural stone fireplace – great choice!  A stone fireplace is an investment that serves as an elegant centerpiece to any room in the home.  Not only does it add visual appeal but it also adds real value to your home.  There are many types of natural stone fireplace to perfectly accentuate any type of architectural design.  There are traditional stone fireplaces, transitional stone fireplaces, and even modern stone fireplaces in a variety of stone types, sizes, styles and colors.

Some homeowners may be intimidated by natural stone because they think it requires more maintenance and care.  And, while it is important to take care of your fireplace, there are different ways to care for it depending on the stone type and your preferred look.  Stone can be sealed and preserved to look as new as the day it was installed.  Or, if you prefer, you can leave natural stone unsealed and allow it to develop its own natural color and patina over time.  Both are beautiful and the desired appearance is really up to the homeowner.  Below are the pros and cons of sealing your natural stone fireplace.

  • PRO: Preserves the Stone’s Original Appearance
    • A natural stone fireplace will naturally weather and change over time because of heat, smoke and use. This can be incredibly beautiful but some homeowners prefer their natural stone to look unblemished and desire to maintain its original appearance over time.  When you apply seal, it can help prevent staining and color changes so the appearance stays the same as when it was installed.
  • CON: Seal Must Be Regularly Re-Applied
    • Though seal will preserve the appearance of your natural stone fireplace, it will have to be re-applied on a regular basis to continue to be effective. The length of protection varies depending on the specific seal and how it is applied but seal may have to be applied every 1 – 3 years to provide continued protection.
  • PRO: Seal May Provide Appearance of Luster
    • When you apply seal to your natural stone fireplace, it may add a subtle but elegant luster. This luster will help your fireplace stand out and beautifully adorn your room.  If a subtle luster will enhance your architectural style and décor aesthetic, this is an advantage of sealing your fireplace.
  • CON: Seal May Provide Appearance of Luster
    • Yes, this CON is the same as the previous PRO. That is because while some homeowners may love the look of luster, others may not.  The tradeoff of adding luster may not be worth the advantages of sealing it if you do not enjoy the look of luster that the seal may develop on your natural stone.  If you want a more rustic or matte finish, there are some seals that can provide the look but any seal that is applied will somewhat change the natural appearance of the stone.