Sealing tile grout can be a difficult and time consuming task.
But there are a multitude of problems that can result if you don’t properly seal your tile. These include moisture in the grout, stained grout, and mildew and mold growing under the tile or within the grout. So now that you see it is essential, you might as well include it as part of your tile laying project.
You can use tile flooring in many places, like showers, backsplashes, and bathroom and kitchen floors. Sun-room floors also are nicely complimented by tiles, and they feel warm on your feet when the sun shines on them.
Depending on where you or your professional are laying tile, it may be exposed to only small amounts of moisture, or a lot of moisture. So you need to protect the seams that are grouted.
GETTING READY TO GROUT
Once your tile has been laid in its mortar bed and has hardened, it’s ready to be grouted. If you have someone else doing the job for you, it’s still a good idea to know how it’s laid down. Colored or natural grout is spread on the tile and forced into the seams between the tiles. It’s basically the glue that will hold the edges of your tile together. If you are using colored grout, it will even add to the beauty of the finished job.
GETTING READY TO SEAL THE GROUT
Sealing the tile grout will occur when you use grout sealer to it and let it fill in the porous grout structure, so moisture doesn’t beat you to it. There are very few installations of tile that won’t need tile grout sealer. That will only occur if they are decorative tile patterns that doesn’t come into contact with any kind of moisture.
SEALING CERAMIC TILES
Ceramic tile surfaces are glazed, which means that they have already been sealed. In installations with ceramic tile, you will use a grout sealer that only needs to be applied to the lines of grout. The liquid will look milky, and it comes with a brush and an applicator.
- Follow the grout lines with the applicator.
- If you happen to smear any grout sealer on the tiles, it will come off eventually.
This seems like quite a job, but it is well worth the effort. And when you think you’re done, remember it needs to be done once a year to maintain the seal.
SPRAY ON SEALERS
You can also seal the grout between the tiles by spraying the whole surface (do this only with glazed tiles). This type of sealer penetrates the pores in the grout and lays on top of the tiles, and what doesn’t evaporate will wear off. There are mixed reviews on this spray-on grout sealant.
Some installers feel that the spray-on sealant just does not penetrate into the grout quite as thoroughly as the sealant that is brushed on. There are a few reports that have said the spray-on sealant damages the tile caulk, which is never a good thing. Select the best products so that your tile grout finish will last a long time. Also read our guide on dealing with grout grime and dirt.