Fast And Effortless: How To Seal Grout
Home improvements make our home feel more personal and give us the feeling of having an organized and well-kept space. Besides arising as occasional tasks, interior fix-ups can be a significant update to the space in terms of safety and cleanliness. It’s not unusual then that some of these activities feel like a boring and repetitive chore that results in calling for professional help even though we were certain that our skills are up to par.
Replacing and upkeeping our tile grout might seem like a troublesome task that requires a lot of knowledge and skill, but it is vital for keeping the home space safe and spotless. Grout sealing is one of those straightforward handiness skills that compensate with time – once done, it holds efficacy for up to a year. Once you get the hang of how to seal grout on tile floor, you ensure yourself a payback on upkeeping existing construction without additional hassle.
Covering Grout Basics
Grout is a dense, pasty mixture with the ability to harden, usually made out of cement, water, and sand, that is used to fill up gaps in a variety of structures. Because of its specifics, grout is commonly used to seal joints and fill out nooks and crevices on floors, between tiles, and on backdrops.
Grout was intended to keep things in their original shape by preventing chipping and cracks. Nowadays, it also serves as an enhancement to home decor, pairing practicality and visual aesthetics to create an even more homier look.
Grout Sealing: Purpose And Requirement
Grout is usually present in areas with high moisture levels. It’s a material that attracts oils, droplets, and even dirt. Grout sealing is recommended as a protective way of keeping it intact and preventing chemicals and water from being absorbed. This helps prevent an unwanted appearance of mold and mildew.
There is another advantage of sealing grout when using an accurately placed seal. Harmful chemicals like crystalline silica, often found in grout mixtures, can be prevented from spreading in the indoor space. This way, you keep your loved ones and interior protected and unharmed.
It is really recommended to have grout sealing in areas with high water levels and gridlock areas. Although not all tiles consider grout sealing necessary, sealing tile grout like the one in the shower is important.
Getting Familiar With Grout Sealers
To better understand what type of sealer would work best on a surface, it is good to understand the types of grout sealers before choosing a sealing method. There are two sorts of grout sealers on the market: membrane-forming and penetrating.
Membrane-forming grout sealers perform as their name suggests. They create a protective membrane over the grout but are likely to cloud or peel when in contact with residual moisture or other products on the tile’s surface.
Penetrating sealers are more commonly used as they keep “breathing” after absorbing into the grout and tile. They stay unchanged while providing protection when coming in contact with other products, making them more popular to use.
How To Seal Grout: Effective Step-By-Step
Not necessarily a DIY project, but knowing how to apply grout sealer can be a task that people can efficiently do in their homes. It is important to know what type of surface you are working with and the basics of what type of sealer you should use.
Generally, sealing tiled surfaces only requires grout sealing. If tiles are porous, they should also be sealed using another product for that purpose.
Get The Area Ready:
Before applying a sealer, clean the area thoroughly, ensuring the surface is clean of any residue and completely dry to achieve the best effect possible. Tile and grout cleaning should be a priority before applying the seal.
Apply The Sealer:
Apply your chosen sealer with a sponge or a brush, and pay attention to covering all joints and crevices completely. Apply one thick layer and let it dry for about 10 minutes.
After the initial wait, clean up any sealer residue on the tile surface. The spots should be easy to brush away and not damage the tiles.
Test Out the Grout:
Following the wait time on the sealer instructions, to test the effectiveness, you can apply a few water drops on the sealer. If the water beads up on top of the grout, you have sealed the grout successfully.
Reapply if Needed:
If the water lays flat on the surface, the seal has failed the water test. Wipe off the water, wait 30 minutes, and then apply a second coat of seal before performing the test again.
The Opposing Methods Of Grout Sealing
Whether done by an interior enthusiast or a professional, there are two different ways of grout sealing commonly used for upkeep and repairs, each having its own advantages and disadvantages.
Applicator-Only Grout Sealing
Using an applicator, you apply a targeted sealing method focused on each grout line individually. This requires going over every grout line separately in order to spread the sealant. This method results in spreading a generous coat of sealant to every line, which is usually beneficial, especially for surfaces like the shower wall or floor.
This method helps provide a thicker seal layer without sticking and damaging the tile surface. It requires detailed manual work that can be bothersome to the knees and the back, depending on the surface you are sealing.
Even when the sealer comes with a provided brush or a roller applicator, crouching down or staying on your knees for a long time can be an uncomfortable experience. That’s why this type of sealing is not recommended for people with leg or back problems. It is advisable to wear protective knee pads or support your knees on a long folded towel while filling up crevices using this method.
Spraying the Entire Surface
A different way to seal grout is to use a sealing product you can spray on the whole tiled surface. This method requires way less labor as it covers a larger area at once. If it ends up on top of the tile surface, it evaporates as time passes.
This easy to use method may waste way more product, but homeowners have the courage to do it on their own, and it even encourages them to do it more frequently.
On the other hand, some homeowners state that even though it is a chore with less engagement, the product itself does not filter into the gout as beneficially enough as when applied with an applicator. In addition, some of them even reported tile damage because some of the product remains on the surface. Also, since the product is spread on a wider area, it delivers a thinner layer to the grout, so applying a generous amount is a must for an effective seal.
If you decide to apply the spray-on method, it is advisable to use spray-down aerosol sprays instead of hand pump sprays. The first ones tend to create a fine and consistent drip with only a few sprays.
What If Grout Sealer Doesn’t Work?
Some tiled areas like the garden, garage, or workspace are frequently exposed to outdoor conditions, grease, or harsher chemicals such as acid, where even well-kept, sealed grout chips off or falls. In such hard conditions, epoxy grout finds its best use.
Epoxy grout is a strong and durable mixture created from epoxy resins and hardeners. It does not require additional sealing and finds common use in industrial facilities. Early versions of this type of non-seal grout were quick-drying and hard to work with. The new generation of epoxy sealers contains detergents in the hardener that help improve placement and workability while also allowing easy cleaning.
Mind that its contents can discolor porous surfaces like wood, unglazed tiles or limestone. Therefore, seal the working material before epoxy grouting.
Because of its lasting durability, and ability to prevent shrinking, discoloration, and cracks while remaining in place, epoxy grout finds use on tiled fireplaces and modern kitchens and bathrooms.
Concluding Remarks on Grout Sealing
Grout sealing done by a non-professional can be a rewarding challenge that improves with newly gained skills and knowledge. When deciding on how to seal grout in shower or how to seal grout on tile floors, you can choose between two types of sealers and two types of sealing methods that will help preserve the immaculate look of your home.
If you want to get a head start before applying your newly acquired knowledge and decide to do a professional tile and grout cleaning, look no further than Steamy Concepts! A team of well-trained and experienced professionals in their field that provide efficient service with all natural products ensuring children and pet safety in every household. Contact us and book our high-quality services that are adjusted to your schedule!
Is it too late to seal grout?
It is never too late to seal existing grout to avoid and prevent future damage. However, it is recommended that sealing should be done as soon as tile installment is finished in order to prevent future costly repairs.
Will grout leak if not sealed?
Tile grout will not leak if unsealed, but it will absorb moisture, leading to cracking and chipping with the potential of mold development and ruining your tiles.
How many times do you seal grout?
Even though sealers can keep the grout looking pristine for up to a year, sealing should be done at least once a year. Areas like tile floors and walls could use annual sealing. When using grout for decoration and on a backsplash, seal only once since the area will not get a lot of abrasions.
What is the lifespan of grout in a shower?
Knowing how to seal grout in shower means being aware that exposure to moisture and various hygiene products shortens the lifespan of the grout in the shower. Sealing the grout on shower walls or floors should be done every 10 to 12 months.
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