Installer said grout does not need to be sealed (is this correct)

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by mike08054, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. mike08054

    mike08054 New Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    60 year old house. Broken lead pipes in the (small) upstairs bathroom lead to the remodel. After demolition the plumbing was replaced. New tub installed. We had 3 people over to talk about tile. Went with the contractor who does tile (wetbed) only. He did a great job. Tile looks great. He was in and out in a matter of days. One day for the scratch coat, then after drying, a couple more days to tile and grout. The grout lines are very thin. I asked about sealing the grout and was told that it is not necessary. The grout has an inhibitor to prevent mildew. Won't be a problem but if I want to seal it won't hurt.

    Is it really not needed? Should I seal it anyway? Last time I sealed grout I used a clear sealer in a brush bottle from H.D. It wasn't much work. The last thing I want is to see mildew or discoloration on the grout. The grout is non-sanded white.

    Thanks for your help, Mike
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Sealer slows, but won't stop stains from being absorbed. All grout except epoxy can benefit from sealing. You don't need to be all that careful when sealing. The only cardinal rule is don't let it dry on tile, as it will leave streaks. Put some on, let it soak it, then buff it off before it dries. Depending on the grout, you may have to do this several times before it won't absorb any more. There may be slight variations, depending on the brand and type.
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  4. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Feb 20, 2008
    If it makes you feel better then seal it. It does not need it, although you will benefit from it.

    I use an exterior grout additive for mixing, even on inside tile. Never a grout failure or problem with that stuff. Not required to be mixed for interior applications but I do anyway.
  5. cc777z

    cc777z New Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Sealing tile

    Sealed tile will be easier to clean and keep clean. It helps to repel water and stains. All grout should be sealed. And the epoxy grout that claims not to need sealing is only good for a few years.

    Make sure your tile is cleaned and dry before applying any sealer.

    Two coats of sealer should be sufficient for most situations.

    Cleaning Tile and Grout:

    Most important thing to remember about cleaning grout is not to mop it. Mopping fills the grout lines with water and soil. The edges of the tiles act like squeeges and the dirt and grim will settle in the grout lines. Instead use one of the home tile cleaning machines. They are made for hard surface cleaning and actually vacuum up the cleaning solution into the machine. They cost anywhere from $150 to $300. I believe Hoover makes a decent one.

    As for cleaning tile DON'T use bleach or strong acids. They will damage and over time destroy the sealer. This is true for floors and tiled showers. Use a tile cleaner made for cleaning tile.

    If you want a truely bullet proof sealer you can do a color seal. It is more time consuming to apply but in small areas like bathroom it can be very beneficial. One coat should do it. The rule of thumb is you can easily go darker with one coat. However, if you want to go lighter in color you will need two coats.

    In my business I used to provide a service that sealed grout and stone floors and have had extensive training in that area.

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