What is Grout Sealer?
Grout Sealer is very important to the tile installation project.
Grout Sealer is used to prevent stains and moisture from penetrating the spaces between the tiles that are filled with tile grout. Sanded grout is made of cement and sand, while Unsanded grout doesn't have any sand. All Sanded and Unsanded grout will perform as needed without sealing, but grout sealer will add a topical layer of protection, like waxing a car.
Grout Sealer will prevent water and other liquids from entering the grout, and will help to keep stains from liquids reduced.
Please note that cement based grouts modified by polymers and other additives such as latex have a degree of stain resistance. No cement grout requires sealing to perform as designed but ease of maintenance and more improved stain resistance is achieved with the use of a grout sealer.
Is it Hard to Install Grout sealer?
No, it is easy to apply grout sealer. It does take some time to install the grout sealer, but it is something any homeowner can do. All manufacturers of grout sealer have detailed instructions for using their products on the bottles of grout sealer. Some of the grout sealers can be applied with a foam applicator pad, making the entire job move fast if using small tiles like mosaic tiles. If using large format tiles, then there are some grout sealers with application brushes to allow you to focus on the small grout lines.
When and How Often Should You Apply Grout Sealer?
Grout sealer should be applied to new tile installation projects after the grout is fully dry. Any water remaining in the mixture will not allow the grout sealer to fully impregnate the tile grout. It normally takes 24-72 hours for the tile grout to dry, and the grout manufacturer will have installation instructions specifying the drying time. We've tested many brands and recommend products by Laticrete International, Stonetech Bulletproof Sealer and Stonetech Enhancer Pro Sealer. An enhancing sealer will darken your grout by several shades, and is great if you want to make your grout deepen in shade. You can find this product online and at many professional tile stores. The affiliate links below will take you to Amazon to order.
Older tile grout will need to be resealed with grout sealer every 1-2 years. Grout sealer acts like car wax. A car that has wax on it will make any water that lands on the surface bead up. Your tile grout should have the same effect, and you can test your grout sealer by dropping water on the surface. If it still beads up, then the grout sealer is still good. If not, then it's time to re-apply the grout sealer.
Should I seal Epoxy Grout or Pre-Mixed Grout?
Epoxy Grout is similar to a fiberglass or a plastic type product after it cures, so it never needs sealing with grout sealer. Pre-Mixed Grouts contains lots of Acrylic and Latex, and also acts like a plastic when it cures, so it doesn't need grout sealer either.