Definition According To Dictionary of Carl Anders, Tiler esq: Grout sealing : the act of sealing tile grout with a specialist fluid that makes grout waterproof and stain resistant for a short period of time. Usually applied by industrious homeowners wanting their investment to remain beautiful and durable for years to come.
So let’s have a quick informal chat about grout sealing and whether or not sealing your tile grout is worth the hassle.
I get this question every week or there abouts by homeowners. It’s either during the tiling work or after I am done and applying the final touches like silicone sealant etc.
“Do I need to seal the grout?” Is a common opener. Some owners have already gone out and purchased the grout sealer and are already asking “when can I seal the grout?”
I’ll skip the first question as that’s a whole nest of ants wrapped in a honey badger in the hood of your car on a hot day. Don’t ask me what that means but it sounds good.
Facial lacerations anyone?
The answer to question two is: I’d wait about a week for the grout to fully cure and allow it’s chemical processes to cease. Let it harden properly and stop giving off what little fumes it would be doing.
The grout sealer manufacturers say about 48hrs, so you can even go with that if you are in a hurry to start using that new shower immediately.
The first question?
Well sure, you can go and seal your grout, it’ll retain it’s color for longer as it’ll be more resistant to staining, it’ll be mostly waterproof for a while and you’ll have an easier time cleaning it up.
There’s a butt my friends, and quite a large and unattractive one.
Applying grout sealer is not a one-off dealy.
You need to keep up the maintenance and apply the grout sealer atleast annually to retain the benefits of grout sealer.
Ideally, atleast twice a year, even more often in high traffic areas because believe it or not, a liquid solution applied to grout does wear off over time.
Especially if you are good and mop your floors on a regular basis, have a busy family and all that, that’s a lot of stuff rubbing that sealer off your grout.
So if you are happy to reapply the grout sealer to your grout, then sure! Go ahead and apply that bad boy stuff, you’ll be happy for it.
Just remember to maintain it and reapply!
That reason alone is why I very seldom apply grout sealer for my clients, as I have been burned in the past by them.
“Oh carl, you tiled my bathroom 6 months ago and sealed my grout. I have noticed the sealer has worn off in places, can you come and reapply it for me? It’s under warranty right?”
6 months later. “Oh carl, can you reapply my sealer for me?”
4 years later “Oh carl, my sealer has worn off, come reapply it for me under your warranty conditions.”
Just like cars, perishable items that are designed to wear out like brakes and oil, tyres and wipers, are not covered by a warranty.
Neither is grout sealer or silicone.
That stuff needs to be replaced in time and no I can’t come for the rest of your life to come and replace it.
After a few bad experiences and clients who tried take advantage of me cause I look like a nice guy with the busy beard and smiling eyes, I had to take a stand to stop offering it as a service.
And teach my clients how to do it instead!
Oh, and I teach the internet how to apply grout sealer as well!
If you would like to learn how to apply grout sealer, follow this link!
It’ll teach you everything you need to know how to seal grout, which grout sealers work great and many other handy tricks of the trade.
So that’s my stance on grout sealer, it’s a great product and useful for homeowners but it’s not the magical cure-all as it does need maintenance and up-keeping.
If you want a one stop solution that is permanent, get Epoxy grout!
But that’s a barrel of fishes I will leave for another day as Epoxy grout makes a honey badger look like a squirrel in comparison.
It’s one bad mofo that makes grown men cry.