Tile and Grout Cleaning, Sealing tips
by Lee Wallender
- Stained grout
- Moisture working into the grout
- Mildew and mold growing within the grout
- Mildew and mold growing under the tile
Ready to think more seriously about sealing tile grout? We thought so.
Understand What Grout's About
After you've laid down the tile in its bed of mortar and let it harden, it's time to grout it. Whether or not you do the actual tile job, understand how it is laid down:
Grout, either natural or colored, is smeared onto the tile and forced into the tile seams. It's like the glue that holds the tile edges together. And if you're using the aforementioned colored grout, it also adds to the beauty of the tile.
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The "Where" of Tile Affects Its Grout
Sealing Tips for Tile and Grout
Tile can be used almost anywhere: kitchen, bathroom floor, kitchen backsplash, even inside the shower. Depending on the location, tile can get a little moisture, a moderate amount, or it can be absolutely deluged with moisture (in the case of a shower built with tile).
You've got to protect those grouted seams. Cement-based grout is porous, so it allows water to percolate inside (epoxy-based grout is different and is not covered in this article because it does not need sealing).
Sealing tile grout means that you apply grout sealer to the grout and let it infiltrate the porous structure—before the moisture can do this.
I cannot think of many tile installations that don't need grout sealing—perhaps a kitchen backsplash or any kind of tile that is purely decorative and never has contact with hands, feet, moisture, or anything.
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