A grout sealer is essential to protect the tiles from water damage and staining. It is advisable to be used after grouting ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles in bathrooms, kitchens, patios and anywhere else you have tiles around your property.
Grouting and sealing is not that difficult, but it does take a lot of time. And the fact is, the smaller the size of the tile, the more grout area there will be to cover. This is an important matter to keep in mind, especially when choosing the type of sealer for your project – that is if you want to save time and effort of course.
Here are 4 grout sealer types and how to use them:
1. Brush-On Grout Sealer
This is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind, especially for those who are familiar with sealing tiles. A brush on sealer has a milky appearance and is ideal for large tiles or lesser grouting area because it tends to be tricky to use, requires some reapplication and can take a long time to dry. In addition, this one is tricky to remove if you get a lot of it on the tile itself.
2. Roller Grout Sealer
Rollers are more manageable compared to brush on ones. This type of sealer lets you move down the tile seam line without much need for reapplication. In essence, the outcome is less sloppy and finishes more quickly. It still has so many hours of drying time though.
3. Spray-On Grout Sealer
Spray-ons give the convenience of not having to follow grout lines so in theory it seems like the easiest and fastest option. However, since it is a spray-on, it requires a little more tile surface cleaning time, especially if you use it on glazed surfaces.
4. Epoxy-Based Sealers
Now by technical definition, this one is not a sealer but in effect, it kind of is. See, if you use epoxy-based grout in grouting, sealing is no longer needed because it is kind of a two in one thing. The pitfall though, is that epoxy-based grouts can be much more expensive compared to the other kinds of sealers.
Some reminders on using a grout sealer:
• No matter which type of sealer you use, always read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions before working.
• Make sure that the surface you will use the grout sealer on is clean and dry, and it is not to be used until curing time is finished.
• Ensure that there is proper ventilation before, during and after you are done grouting because there will be some chemical smells.
Article by Jason McCoy