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The complete guide to tile grout sealer

April 14th, 2016 | by admin
The complete guide to tile grout sealer
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What is tile grout sealer?

Grout sealer is a liquid substance that is applied to dry tile grout, to seal and protect it from damage, wear and staining.

Why does grout need to be sealed?

More often than not the grout used to fill the space between your tiles is composed of a porous material. Because of this, the tile grout (if left exposed) will absorb liquid and dirt that it comes in contact with.

Tile is commonly used in areas that see a lot of water and dirt (hallways, kitchen surfaces, bathrooms), and therefore to protect the tile grout, you need to apply a sealant to it.

Applying grout sealant to areas that come into contact with a lot of moisture, in particular bathrooms and showers, will also add protection against mold and mildew buildup. You will want to do everything you can to stop moisture and mold from getting under the tile grout and into the tiles.

grout need to be sealed

What can happen if I don’t seal my grout?

Noticeable discoloration seems to be the number one source of discontentment with un-sealed tile grout; however discoloration is primarily a cosmetic issue. Protecting your grout from wear and tear, as well as from mold/mildew buildup, are the key benefits of properly sealed grout.

How often to I need to apply tile grout sealer

The frequency at which you need to re-apply sealant depends on a number of factors, for example, the foot traffic in the area (floors), the level of usage in shower areas, how well the area is cleaned once dirty or wet, the type of cleaning solutions you use on your tile/sealant (chemical cleaners will eat away at tile sealer). Read the manufacturers labeling of your chosen grout sealer for a recommended sealing schedule. Additionally you may test your grout sealant, using the method described below, to determine if a new coat of sealant is needed.

apply tile grout sealer

Which grout sealer should I use?

Many different grout sealing products exist on the marketplace so be sure to choose the correct one for your tile grout (always read the product labeling). In fact many of the sealers that are recommended for tile use (yes you can seal certain types of tiles), can also be used to seal the tile grout. Before choosing a sealant you need to know what kind of grout you have, the type of look you want (natural, sheen etc), what kind of tile you have (natural stone, ceramic, porcelain etc) and how much sealant you will need.
Tile grout sealer comes in a variety of different containers, such as large 1 gallon bottles, spray bottles, grout pens and grout rollers. The type of sealant you choose could have a great impact on the difficulty of application, and the time it will take to do so.

Is my tile grout sealed?

There are a number of different methods for checking if your tile grout sealant has worn off. One of these methods is done by simply adding a couple of drops of water to your tile grout and waiting to see if it is absorbed.

Will sealant change the color of my grout?

You’re most likely hoping that the answer to this is ‘no’, so to ensure that is the case, be sure to read the manufacturers label of the sealer you have chosen. Some grout sealers will put a ‘gloss’ on the grout and if this is your desired effect, then by all means go with that kind of sealer.

Will the sealer keep my grout free of stain?

The answer to this is 2 part. If you have a well cleaned area, then your grout sealant will act as a protector and do a good job at keeping it free of stains for some time. However, grout sealer will not last forever, and when it begins to wear you will very likely see the grout begin to stain. You do not want it to get to this point, so be sure to re-apply grout sealant as necessary.

Tips for applying grout sealer

1. Ensure your work area is well ventilated.
2. Clean the entire surface before you begin.
3. Allow it to dry.
4. Protect nearby areas which are not intended to be sealed e.g. baseboards.
5. If you’re unsure if the sealer you are using is the correct one, test it in a hidden area first.
6. If you are sure that the sealer is the correct one, then you should still do a test-run in a hidden area. This will allow you to get used to the application process.
7. Avoid getting sealer on your tiles (unless you are sealing those too with the same sealer).
8. Generously apply sealer, but do not allow it to collect on the surface.
9. Apply a second coat once the first is dry.
10. Avoid contact with any part of the tile surface for multiple hours. The sealer should be fully cured within 24-48 hours (the manufacturers label should have relevant information).
11. Test the grout sealant in a few areas using the water test mentioned above. If you have successfully sealed the grout the water should ‘puddle’.

Minimum recommended safety gear for applying grout sealer

– Splash-proof goggles
– Chemical-resistant waterproof gloves
– Fume mask
– Knee pads
– Well ventilated area

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