Natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tile, and grout are durable surfaces. However, if not properly sealed, they are easily susceptible to staining. Natural stone can be very porous. Kiln fired ceramic and porcelain tile are nearly impervious to liquids. Tile grout, on the other hand, is also very porous. Sealing your new stone or tile job is always recommended. A good penetrating sealer will protect against staining and water damage. Sealing your tile grout and stone will also make cleaning easier. Each company will have many different types of sealers. Ensure you use the correct sealer for your specific need.
No matter what brand of sealer, read the entire label before using. Use only as directed. Always test in a small inconspicuous area with a 24-hour cure time to determine ease of application and desired results. Most directions say to allow new grout installations to cure for a minimum of 72 hours prior to application. Make sure surface is clean and free of waxes and coatings. Sealer may be applied to damp surfaces at least an hour or two after standing water is removed. Surface temperature should be between 50°F and 80°F. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated during application and until the surface is dry. Keep children and pets out of the area until foot traffic resumes.
- Apply directly onto grout lines and joints to thoroughly wet surface using a paint pad, roller or brush. Avoid applying sealer on unintended surfaces.
- Allow sealer to completely penetrate into the grout, 5–15 minutes.
- Liberally apply a second coat following steps 1–2.
- Wipe up all sealer from the surface of the tile. Use a clean, dry, lint-free, cotton towel or mop to remove excess sealer.
- If sealer was not completely wiped off and a residue appears, wipe entire surface with a towel dampened with sealer. Use a white nylon pad to loosen residue and follow with a clean, white absorbent towel to remove.
- A full cure is achieved after 24–48 hours; foot traffic may begin in 4 hours. If needed sooner, cover the floor with red rosin paper to protect it until full cure is achieved.
- Clean tools used during application with water.