sealing ceramic tile grout


Old 11-30-04, 05:54 PM
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sealing ceramic tile grout

I recently had ceramic tile installed for my shower walls and after it was grouted it got that white powedery efflorence (or whatever it is called) on it. I then followed the manufacturer's instructions and used a heavy duty stripper/cleaner on it. Then, I went to seal the grout using this TileLab Spray on 20 year grout sealer. It said that grout may require two coats, and to apply it until the grout no longer soaked up water. I have sprayed an entire bottle and a half on that grout (and the stuff isn't cheap) and it still soaks up water in some places. Am I doing something wrong or is there another product, perhaps a "paint-on" sealer I should get? Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Old 11-30-04, 06:06 PM
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On verticle surfaces you can waste a lot of sealer doing it that way and it runs off the grout before soaking all the way into the grout. Bottle and a half? You should be fine. These are penetrating sealers and are vapor emissive. Don't expect your grout to stay looking dry either. Sealers will allow water to pass through but block staining agents from getting into the grout. Once the grout does get wet, it will seem to take longer to dry, but it won't stain.
Old 12-01-04, 10:00 AM
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I agree with that assessment. One of the things you might want to investigate is the higher quality TileLab sealer called SurfaceGuard. It's a sealer you have to apply with an applicator or sponge, but I have to say it's performed better than a lot of sealers I've used in the past. No, there isn't any sealers that will last indefinitely, but this one has performed better on my new bathroom floor than I thought possible.

A good method to applying sealer on a wall is to use a clean sponge with a rounded edge, and wet the corner with sealer right out of the bottle. Soak an area 1' square by working the sealer into the grout in a circular pattern, and keep applying it until it won't soak any more (a couple of minutes of moving the sponge around). Then wring out your sponge with some clean water (keeping the sponge as drip-free as possible) and remove the excess from the tile. Repeat on another area until you have all the walls done. Wait for a while and do a second coat if you want.
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