What is a Tile Sealer?
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:
The two main types of sealers for ceramic and porcelain tile are penetrating sealers and surface sealers:
- Penetrating Sealants 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 Sealants 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 add a slight luster as well.
- The surfaces of most ceramic and porcelain tiles do 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 manufacturer recommendations and read the instructions on any product being used.
The above information is a selected set of guidelines. For further details, it’s a good idea to ask a BuildDirect product expert or a professional installer about which type of sealer performs best for the tile you’ve chosen. While considering color change and stain resistance, it also important to consider whether a penetrating sealer or surface sealer will work best for your project.Do you need a sealer for your tile installation?
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