Sealing Tile and Grout
Having been in the tile and grout cleaning
business since 1992, one of the more common questions I get asked is, "Should I seal my tile and grout after cleaning"? The answer of course is yes, but the reasons why are what can take a bit to explain. Sealing your tile and grout
provides a layer of protection against spills, stains and water penetration into your grout joints.
New grout requires time to cure, usually 72 hours before applying a sealer, so the grout will be dry before applying. After cleaning the tile and grout, you will only need to wait a few hours before sealing. When sealing, it is important to know what kind of flooring you have. By this I mean, do you have ceramic tile, porcelain tile, or a natural stone. Depending on your tiles you could need different types of sealer. With a ceramic or porcelain tile you will not be concerned about sealing those tiles, just the grout. Those tiles would not be very porous and so you would just want a grout sealer. On a natural stone such as limestone, travertine, marble, or granite you would need to seal the tile and the grout and would need a sealer for that particular stone.
When choosing a sealer there are many choices, but generally the better ones are found at specialty stores and not a big box store. I would look for one that will not leave a haze on ceramic or porcelain if a little bit gets on the tile while applying. A lot of sealers come with an applicator bottle where you just run the applicator down the grout lines. However, this can be very tedious work. I would suggest looking for some sealers that are applied with an aerosol can. You can actually stand up with these sealers while applying and the length of time to apply them is drastically less.
It should also be noted that once you seal your tile and grout it doesn't mean that it is sealed forever. You should reapply the sealer every year or two to keep your protection up. Sealers will wear off with time, cleaning, spills,etc. This way you can enjoy your tile and grout for years to come.