Uses of Grout Sealer
- Grout sealer is mainly used on unsealed tile grout to protect the grout from stains and damage. It helps to keep the grout between the tiles from looking old and worn over time, especially when it comes into constant contact with water. Grout sealer comes in many different brands and may be used on a variety of porous cement surfaces. If, however, you have a surface that has been previously sealed with grout sealer, you may want to test a small area first before applying grout sealer again, to make sure there are no negative interactions.
Choosing a Grout Sealant
- The two main types of grout sealer are membrane-forming sealer and penetrating sealer. They can be applied using a sponge or sprayed on. Membrane-forming sealer produces a glossy finish and is usually used on unglazed floor tiles to protect the tile from stains. Penetrating sealer is made of silicone or latex and is the most commonly used grout sealer. This type of grout sealer fills the pores of the grout and reduces absorption of moisture and hard-to-remove stains such as mold and mildew.
- Before you apply grout sealer, the grout has to be clean, dry and free from dirt, dust, grease, wax, oil, soap, peeling paint or varnish or any other foreign matter. Additionally, the grout should be even and free of cracks. Having a clean, wet rag within your reach is important, to wipe off excess penetrating grout sealer that may leave streaks or spots on the tiles.
- When applying grout sealer, you should always make sure that you have adequate ventilation, by opening all windows and doors. The sealer should be applied liberally and evenly using a clean sponge, microfiber cloth or small brush. The grout sealer should be applied to the lines and joints of the grout beginning from one fixed point and continuing in a consistent left-to-right pattern. A second coat can be applied after the grout sealer has dried completely.
- Grout sealer usually dries within one hour of application, if the surface was clean and dry, had access to fresh air flow and was exposed to moderate humidity. You can test the sealant by dripping some water on the surface to check if the grout absorbs the water. If the water stays on the surface of the grout line, the sealant has properly dried.