Sealing Porcelain Tile?

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Old 07-30-08, 10:37 PM
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Sealing Porcelain Tile?

Hey all,

I am tile-shopping and I found a porcelain tile that is sorted of like tumbled marble that I like. The only issue is it has ....what do I call it......grooves/cracks/holes? in the tile. I am wondering about soap scum and the general maintenance that this tile might require. Are my concerns valid or would sealing the tile help? I don't want to spend excessive time cleaning each groove in the tile.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 07-31-08, 03:47 PM
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I take it this is a unglazed porcelain? Glazed porcelain does not need to be sealed.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 03:37 PM
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HotinOKC,

Its unglazed. I know that it does not need to be sealed, but I am trying to figure out a way to prevent soap scum from getting into the creaks/groove of the tile.

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 04:04 PM
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If it's unglazed, then it needs to be sealed prior to grouting. Use a pre-grout sealer and apply it about 2-3 times until it stops absorbing. Grout, and then apply a final sealer.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 04:40 PM
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Normally, for this type of tile, you want the grout to fill all those little holes. It will be a pia to get all the grout out of the holes anyway. If you dont have grout in the holes, you'll have soap scum, mold and whatever else in there.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 11:45 AM
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HeresJohnny,

but, but, but....I love the tumbled stone look . I guess sealing prevents water absorption but it doesn't prevent stuff from getting into the holes and grooves of the tile. Hmmm, I guess I have to do away with my tile choice which spells disaster this late in the process.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 12:28 PM
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I guess sealing prevents water absorption but it doesn't prevent stuff from getting into the holes and grooves of the tile.
A couple things here. For starters do you really have unglazed porcelain there? Glazed tile does not always have a glossy finish? Does the tile box say unglazed?

If the tile is unglazed porcelain, it will absorb very little sealer and if its glazed, it will absorb none. Either way, the only way to keep the grout out of the pits in the tile will be to get on your hands and knees with toothpicks and a toothbrush (not kidding). If this was a natural stone like travertine, it would be next to impossible to get all the grout out of the pits anyway no matter how many times you seal it before grouting. I'm just telling you whats normally done.

I guess I have to do away with my tile choice which spells disaster this late in the process.
Not necessarily. You can pick a grout color that closely matches the tile color. Right after grouting, do your best to get as much of the grout out of the pits as possible. Unless you spend an eternity of time, you won't get it all. The remaining grout that fills the pits will be less noticeable and will keep all the unwanted dirt, grease grime out of the pits. You'll still have that tumbled look that you like.
 
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