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How to Seal Grout (and Why It’s Important)

Sure, your grout was sealed when you first installed your tile, but did you know that you’re supposed to reseal grout? It’s true. Grout sealant can erode away with harsh cleaners and hard scrubbing. In order to protect your grout, you need to maintain a good sealant. Check out the tips, tricks, and tools you need to seal grout.

how to seal grout

Where & When to Reseal

Tile in any part of the home may need to be resealed. From the kitchen to the bathroom to a tile entryway, it’s important to make sure tile seams are being protected. However, only cement-based grouts need resealing. Because this type of grout is porous, it can eventually wear down and develop stains over time. Ideally, cement-based grout should be resealed every six months to one year, though not all areas need it done this often.

Epoxy-based grout, on the other hand, does not require resealing. In addition, you don’t need to worry about any tile areas that aren’t exposed to water, dirt or high moisture levels, as is the case with many decorative tile pieces.

Prepping Your Grout

seal grout
Photo via Flickr by Rubbermaid Products

Before you get started with sealing, you want your grout to look as crisp and clean as possible. That means taking time to scrub away any discoloration, dirt, and mildew. Use rough brushes to get into the cracks for a clean finish.

If you find that your grout has lots of cracks or mildew that has penetrated the surface, you may need to consider regrouting the tile. Fortunately, most grout can be cleaned up with some good cleaning products and a little elbow grease.

Successfully Seal Grout

Now that your tile is all prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start sealing. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure you get the stunning results you’re looking for.

  1. Clear everything away from the tile so you can reach all the grout. This also gives you more room to work and eliminates the worry of getting sealant on other objects.
  2. Ventilate the space by cracking windows and turning on ceiling fans.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to give your tile one last clean sweep. This is a precautionary step to remove any dust particles or debris. Make sure the grout is completely dry.
  4. Apply the sealant. Use a grout sealant applicator brush or sponge to effectively coat each grout line.
  5. Wipe off the sealant with a clean, dry rag. Be sure to follow the instructions on your particular brand of sealant for how long to wait before wiping the sealant off (usually 5 to 10 minutes).
  6. Allow the sealant to cure for at least 24 hours before allowing anything to touch the area, including moisture. Again, check your sealant instructions, as the wait time may be longer with some products.

This job is simple, but it does take some time. However, your attention to detail will really pay off when your bathroom or kitchen looks sparkling clean.

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