Photo: diy network
If you know how to seal tile grout properly, you can extend the life of your tile and keep spills from ruining the floor. Here’s how to seal tile grout, and some other tips for maintaining tile.
First, note that you may not need to know how to seal tile grout if you buy stain-proof grout, such as the product offered by TrafficMaster. However, stain-proof grout doesn’t work for all tiles and applications. You should seal any other type of grout around all new tiles. Also, check existing tile for a good seal. Pour a small amount of water onto the grout. If the water beads or drips off immediately, your sealant is good. If the grout absorbs water, you should add sealant.
Sealant manufacturers offer specific directions on how to seal tile grout, but it’s helpful to know what is involved before you buy a sealant. There are easy and hard approaches on how to seal tile grout. Either way, the process begins about a month after applying grout. The grout must be fully cured, then cleaned and dried before sealing.
The easy method is to spray or pour on a thin layer of sealant, then wipe it off the tiles and mop up any excess sealant that pools in the grout lines. But that’s not how to seal tile grout properly, according to many homeowners. They insist on brush-on grout sealants. They are thicker and milkier, and must be more carefully applied.
Use the small roller or brush that comes with the sealant. Those who know how to seal tile grout perfectly around glass tile or any non-glazed tile insist this is the only option, and it must be done very carefully. Many sealants can dry quickly and leave a permanent, blurry film on the tile, so they must be cautiously brushed on.
Even if you know how to seal tile grout properly, don’t assume you will make the tile and grout indestructible. Most sealants block stains. However, dirt can still grind into the grout, so be sure to properly clean the tile and grout. Sweep regularly, and follow the tile and grout manufacturers’ instructions for specific cleaners to use occasionally. Alternatively, many homeowners swear by a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water for cleaning most tiles.
If you learn how to seal tile grout and properly clean tile, you should get many years out of the tiles you love.
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Author Steve Graham is an expert on green building who writes for several home improvement publications. He’s full of great, practical home improvement answers, and incidentally, he’s pretty funny – so send him a message.