To Seal or not to Seal Grout that is the Question

You must care for the grout just as much as you would care for the tiles. Does it sound a little funny that the material you use to protect tiles from cracking and chipping itself needs some protection? Well, you cannot just ignore the aspect of protecting the grout surface because grout is a porous material that absorbs liquids and dust and dirt particles can also adhere to it. If liquids penetrate inside the grout, it can weaken the material from inside and even damage the substrate material of the floor. For protecting the floor, you must protect the grout by sealing it, and you should know the best grout sealer to use. After installing new tiles on the floor, countertops and shower walls, it is necessary to seal the grout surface after giving it adequate curing time for the grout.

Applying a sealer on grout when it is yet to dry can have adverse effects which are why you must seal the surface only when you are sure that it is completely dry. The process of grout sealing and recoloring has many benefits because it not only protects homes but also protects your investment.

Effects of sealing

  • Spillages are common on floors and if grout sealing is improper or not done it can cause staining on the floor that looks ugly and even damage the tiles.
  • If liquids pass through the grout, it creates a moist condition that encourages mold and mildew growth which you can avoid by sealing grout.
  • Sealing enhances the strength of grout and reduces the effects of wear and tear thereby ensuring long-lasting floors.
  • Unsealed grout is susceptible to water absorption, and grime can also find its way inside the surface which if allowed to persist can crack tiles and even break it.

Sealing helps to avoid all the adverse conditions stated above and prolong the life of the tile surface.

Epoxy grout needs no sealing

The purpose of sealing grout is to prevent absorption of liquid through the grout surface because most grout materials are cement based products, hence porous. However, all types of grout materials are not porous like epoxy grout that does not need any sealing. Epoxy grout is suitable for use on a non-porous surface like glass and offers excellent protection against water and stains. Another advantage of epoxy grout is that unlike cement grout it is quite flexible and does not crack. Chances of chipping are also less. When using epoxy grout on any stone surface, you should seal that surface before applying grout.

Sealing is also not necessary on some types of tiles like the non-porcelain ceramic tiles. The durable glaze finish of ceramic tiles does away with the need of sealing the surface because by default it becomes stain resistant.

To know if the grout needs sealing, drop a few drops of water on it, and if the water passes through the grout, it shows that you must seal the surface to make it non-absorbent. Even if you seal the surface resealing might be necessary after a few years.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.