Grout: What it is and Why You Need it
Redoing your bathroom and tile work can come with a lot of decisions to make. What type of tile to use, what color, who should install it and how, the questions can go on and on. But when you are at the final steps of the renovation, remember; don’t skimp on the steps that will keep your new room looking good for ages. Don’t skimp on grout sealing.
Grout Sealing Tips:
- If you are going to seal your grout yourself, select a high-durability, non-yellowing, penetrating grout sealer. Don’t skimp on this important step by buying a low-cost sealer that needs to be re-applied every couple of years.
- Some sealers are top-coat sealers that wear off easily. Most top-coat sealers do not allow the grout to “breathe”, so any moisture in the grout gets trapped beneath the sealer and causes a milky appearance that shows through the clear coating. It is usually best to avoid these in favor of a penetrating sealer.
- Unless the grout has just been installed, it should definitely be cleaned thoroughly to remove “bond-breakers”, such as grease and oils, before sealing.
- Keep records of the sealers that you use. This information comes in handy if you must later strip the sealer off for any reason. With this information, you can contact the manufacturer and ask for a recommended stripper.
- There are some same-day sealers that may be applied to new uncured grout, but don’t assume that any penetrating sealer is suitable for same-day application. Be sure to read the directions on the sealer packaging to determine how long you must wait to apply that particular sealer to a new installation.
- Some penetrating sealers are colored to match the color of a particular grout product. None of these are classified as same-day sealers. Follow the directions on the packaging very carefully. We have gotten quite a few projects over the years because the home owner did not realize that waiting too long to remove the excess colored sealer from the tile made it nearly impossible to remove.