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Porcelain Tile Articles

Sealers for Ceramic Tile � Facts & Considerations

A sealer is a liquid coat applied to the porous surface of the tile or grout, to protect them from oxidation, natural deterioration and day-to-day wear. Typically speaking, sealers are used to protect unglazed tiles and grouts from absorbing stains. Take a look at these guidelines, which are meant to get you started when it comes to choosing the right sealant for your ceramic or porcelain tile project:


There are two types of major types of sealers for ceramic tile or porcelain tile:

  • Penetrating Sealers: These are absorbed into the tile or grout, forming a stain resistant shield just below the surface. Most penetrating sealers will not change the appearance of the tile.

  • Surface Sealers: These are coated on the top of tile and grout, forming a non-porous, stain resistant sealant. The surface sealer will enhance the rich natural colors of the tile and adds a slight luster as well.

Important Considerations:
  • The surface of most ceramic and porcelain tiles does not need to be sealed, although some require a light application of a penetrating sealer to fill the micro pores on the surface of the tile.

  • However, all unglazed tiles including dense porcelains, should be sealed prior to grouting. It will prevent the grout from staining the tile, especially when a dark colored grout is being used with a light colored tile.

  • Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains.

  • Highly absorbent tiles such as hand made Saltillo tiles must be permanently sealed with either a penetrating or surface sealer.

  • Use only penetrating sealers on dense, unglazed tiles such as quarries or porcelains.

  • It is important to follow your distributor�s recommendations as well as reading the instructions on the product being used.

The above information is a selected set of guidelines. It�s a good idea to ask the experts about which type of sealer performs best for the type of tile you have for further details. If color change is a concern, or staining resistance, then these are the questions to put to your seller. Talk to your ceramic or porcelain sales rep, or your local retailer about the latest products for sealing ceramic tile or porcelain tile. Ask about whether penetrating sealers vs. surface sealers with regard to your specific tile and aesthetic expectations � find out which is the best fit for your project.

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