Sealing Ceramic and Porcelain Tile & Grout

Published : 2015-04-12 18:10:06

Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. However, the grout joint between the tiles is usually very porous and generally made of a cement-based material. Therefore, grout joints typically will need to be sealed and maintained properly to prevent stains and discoloration. Impregnating sealers such as  All-Purpose Grout Sealer go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains. Most industry professionals recognize that grout is best protected with a fluorochemical-based sealer, such as Impregnator Pro or All-Purpose Grout Sealer. If the grout joint is epoxy, a sealer is not necessary.

Unglazed porcelain tile should be protected with a penetrating sealer including the grout lines. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.

Cementitious grout must be sealed to prevent or minimize staining. Leaving these surfaces unsealed may greatly hinder the ability to completely remove stains in the future. Allow new installations to cure for 72 hours prior to applying sealer.

For a natural looking protector on interior surfaces (heavy duty protection, water and oil repellency):

  1. Sweep or vacuum all dust, dirt and debris.
  2. Mask off and protect any baseboards or adjacent areas to avoid splashing and overspray onto surfaces not intended to be treated. 
  3. Ensure that the surface is clean, dry and residue-free.
  4. Liberally apply Grout Sealer to the grout using a low-pressure chemical-resistant sprayer, narrow roller or natural hairbrush, focusing on the grout joints.
  5. Allow sealer to completely penetrate into the grout, 5-15 minutes.
  6. Liberally apply a second coat of Grout Sealer following steps 4-5.
  7. Wipe up all sealer from the surface of the tile. Use a clean, dry, lint-free, cotton towel or mop to remove excess sealer. Or, go over the floor with a cotton bonnet on a low-speed buffer.
  8. If sealer was not completely wiped off and a residue appears, wipe entire surface with a towel dampened with sealer. Use a white, non-abrasive nylon brush or pad to loosen residue and follow with a clean, white absorbent towel to remove.
  9. A full cure is achieved after 24-48 hours; foot traffic may begin in 4 hours. Cover with red rosin paper, if foot traffic must resume before the recommended time periods have passed.
  10. Expected coverage is 600-1,000 sq. ft. per gallon based upon grout joint width.
  11. A 3-5 year re-application is needed for interior surfaces.

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