Let’s say that you just installed tiles in your bathroom and that you then completed the grouting process. Of course, you did everything according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the label and advices you got from professionals. You probably think that your job is done now and that you can finally enjoy in your latest DIY masterpiece.
Well, I’m sorry I have to disappoint you. Your job is not done. At least, not yet. The missing piece is the process known as applying sealing to tiles and in the few paragraphs below I will show you how to apply grout sealer and protect your flooring.
Although people usually think that sealing is not needed, here are some facts that can help you to change your mind:
sealant is the only solution we can use to protect tile grouts and keep them clean and tidy for a long time.
It is the only efficient method we can use to prevent penetration of the moist and dirt between tiles
It is the only proven solution for preventing the so-called discoloration
I hope that you now understand why this step is crucial and why your previous work can be ruined if you forget to do it. One more thing. Putting this protective layer on your tiles is not something that should be done only after you finish with the initial installation.
According to my experience and experience of my colleagues, this process should be repeated every six months or even sooner, depending on the condition.
Now you are ready for real action.
Best Way to Apply Tile Sealer
#1 Scanning the situation
The very first thing on the list is checking the current condition of your tiles to see is there something you should repair before application process. Check all grout lines and search for cracks and imperfections. Even the smallest holes or color changes could be a sign that you will have to use a little bit aggressive approach.
So, if you find mentioned imperfections, the first thing you should do is to repair them. If the situation is really bad, you will have to regrout the whole surface. Yes, it sounds like the worst scenario, but it just has to be done if we want to have long-lasting results.
On the other hand, if grout lines look nice and if you cannot find any serious damages, you can start with cleaning right away.
You can use specialized products for this, but an ordinary bacon soda and vinegar solution will be equally efficient. Whatever you do, make sure to clean all dirt from the surface. Remember that the final result depends on these preparation steps, so make sure to do it properly.
#2 Choosing appropriate product
As I already said in one of my previous articles, there is no universal solution when it comes to sealing. There are just too many different products on the market these days, and their efficiency usually depends on many factors, including tile type, location, application method, or the effect we want to achieve.
The best advice I can give you here is to read specification to see which product would be the best for your project.
It is just not the same if you, for example, want to apply sealer to a shower tile, ceramic tile or backsplash, or you want to put it on a glaze or non-glazed tiles. The point is to be careful and to follow all specifications of a product you want to use.
#3 The choice of the grout sealer applicator
Now you need to pick the grout applicator tool and decide how you want to apply this protective layer. You can get these in the local store. Home Depot or Lowes are usually good choices.
The same as in the previous situation, you should choose the application method based on several criteria, including the type of the sealant, and the effect you want to achieve.
As you can see, there are many options here – the sealer applicator brush, rolling wheel, sponge or spray are some of the options we have here. Bear in mind that if you have installed epoxy grout, you don’t need to seal it at all!
#4 It’s application time!
We have finally reached the point when we need to unpack our products and show to the world that we are capable for the biggest achievements. I suggest you to start with small areas to make sure that you have covered everything.
Spread the material on the surface with the applicator wheel (or spray, sponge or brush) by using identical moves: from the left to right and right to left. This is especially important in the very beginning, when putting the first layer is on the schedule.
You will see how grout lines become more consistent every time you put a sealer between tiles. This is what you want to see on the whole surface.
Also, make sure that you have a dry sponge or rag to wipe off all sealant from the tiles before it gets dry. Remember, if you left it on tiles and if it dries there, you will not be able to remove it at all. So, be very careful and methodic.
Congratulation, you just finished the first coat. However, it is not finished yet. After hour or two, you are ready to do exactly the same thing and apply the second coat.
Again, read the specification and see what the optimal drying period is. In some cases, your tiles or shower will need and the third layer of the protective substance.
You will know that everything is OK after this small experiment:
Once the latest coat is completely dry (after 24 hours), take a drop or two of water and spill it on the surface of your tiles. Pay attention on the grout lines. If the water despairs, you will need to continue with your wok. It the water stays on the surface, you did a great job!
Here are few things I forgot to tell you in the beginning of this how to apply grout sealer guide. Before you start with sealing, make sure that all windows in the room are opened!
The proper ventilation is crucial in this situation. Remember, almost all grout sealers are extremely dangerous if we are exposed to them in a long period of time. Keep this in mind and stay safe.
In the case that the room does not have windows, you will need to wear a protective mask with adequate filters.
Besides this, you should also wear protective gloves and glasses.
Only after these security measures, you can proceed with your work. Of course, you can always ask for the help if you think it is beyond your capabilities. And keep track of the situation. If grout lines start to crack or they begin to lose their original color, it is time for another round. After all, it is always better to have beautiful and protected tiles, then just beautiful. What you think about it?