When discussing tiling and bathroom remodels, we get a lot of questions in regards to sealing grout. The grout lines that bind the tiles together are prone to collecting moisture which can cause mildew and mold to appear, but if the grout is sealed it is much easier to keep clean and can help you stay ahead of unwanted growth on your tile.
How Often Should Tile Grout Be Sealed?
Sealing grout lines will help prevent water and stains and it should be done immediately upon installation. You can probably get away with resealing every few years, but it’s recommended that you seal the grout annually or even every 6 months for high traffic areas.
There are epoxy grouts on the market that claim sealing is not necessary, but they don’t last forever and tend to break down and erode after a few years. If you go the epoxy route, you will eventually need to seal the grout again.
How To Clean Tile And Grout
The most important thing to remember when cleaning grout is not to use a mop. Mopping grout fills the grout lines with water and oil. The edges of the tiles act like squeegees causing the dirt and grime to settle into the grout lines. A great alternative is to invest in a home tile cleaning machine. These machines are made to clean hard surfaces and actually vacuum up the cleaning solution into the machine. They cost anywhere from $150 to $300 and are well worth the investment.
It’s important that you DON’T use bleach or strong acids when cleaning tile – they will damage and destroy the sealer over time. This is true for tiled floors as well as tiled showers. When cleaning tile, you should use a cleaner made specifically for the job so that you protect and preserve the grout long term.
How Do You Seal Grout?
Sealing the grout is actually a pretty simple process that shouldn’t be too overwhelming. The first thing you should do is get the grout nice and clean. Dry the grout off really well. When the grout is dry, spray all the grout with sealer and wait for the sealer to absorb. After about 3-5 minutes, wipe away all of the excess sealer off and allow the sealer to dry for about an hour. Repeat this process 3 more times. After about 3 hours, you can test out the sealer by spraying some water on the grout lines. If the water beads, then the sealer is working. If the water isn’t beading, spray again with sealer one more time, wait a couple minutes and wipe away the excess. The grout lines should now be sufficiently sealed.
Use A Color Sealer
If you’re looking for a truly bulletproof sealer, you can install a color seal. It’s more time consuming to apply, but in small areas (such as a bathroom) it can be very beneficial. One coat should do it. The rule of thumb is, you can easily go darker if you’re only doing one coat, however, if you want to go lighter in color, you will need two coats.
Call Butler Contracting For A Bathroom Remodel
If you decide you don’t want to go down the DIY rabbit hole, consider calling your local professionals! Butler Contracting has remodeled over 75 bathrooms in Central Texas and we’d love to help you design, plan and execute the bathroom remodel of your dreams. Give us a call at (844) 628-8537 or get a virtual quote started by filling out this form and start telling us all about your plans and goals.