Sealing porcelain

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Old 01-09-08, 10:15 AM
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Sealing porcelain

I just installed a new polished porcelain tile floor. Do I need to seal the tile as well as the grout, or just the grout? The dealer where I bought the tiles said to make sure and seal the tiles, but I don't know why.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 10:43 AM
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seal tiles

No you don't want sealer on the tiles, or you'll have a problem like a previous poster did. The sealer will wear and look bad. Thats the whole point of the porcelain tile..the fired glaze. Can't believe the dealer told you that, I've never heard of sealing the tiles. As a matter of fact, all the sealer instructions say to wipe it off the tiles quickly if it gets on them.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 01:31 PM
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Sorry Vic, but you are wrong on all count.

Polished porcelain tiles are NOT glazed. Polished porcelain tiles require sealing to fill the microscopic pores that develop in the polishing process. YES, polished porcelain is MORE porous than UN polished porcelain. Often it is required to seal them before grouting. If the same tile was instead UN polished, you might have an argument, although you could still seal the tile. You can even seal glazed tiles, they have pores too.

Penetrating sealers DO NOT change to appearance of the tile or grout in any way. There is NOTHING that remains on the surface. Always follow directions of course. Some people forget to wipe off the excess as directed, leaving a white residue.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-09-08, 03:02 PM
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ahhh polished

OK, Jaz, clear me up some.....

Bathroom tile, you know, the 4 x 4 stuff you can get at HD or wherever, is that a porcelain tile? Or am I confusing ceramic and porcelain?

Maybe i better stick to garage doors and openers...lol
 
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Old 01-09-08, 05:46 PM
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The typical cheap boring 4 1/4" bathroom wall tile is glazed ceramic. Then you have glazed porcelain, unglazed porcelain and polished porcelain. There are other finishing textures but those are also unglazed.

One difference is the density of the bisque irrespective of whether it's glazed or not. Basic ceramic wall tiles have an absorption rate of about 18%. For a tile to be porcelain it has to absorb .5% or less. Many I know of are as low as .02%.

This really has little to do with sealing, but I thought I'd answer your question about basic wall tiles.

Here's another one for you. Applying certain penetrating sealers to glazed floor tiles, whether ceramic or porcelain, will increase its coefficient factor thereby making it LESS slippery.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-09-08, 06:07 PM
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O.K., now that you've convinced me to seal the tile -- as well as grout -- what is the best way to do that? I tried a sample tile under the refrigerator, the sealer beaded up and wiped off leaving a messy fog. It took some rubbing to get it out, still the tile when buffed out was not as shiny as the unsealed ones. I've got over 500 sq. ft. to do. Would it be wise to rent a buffing machine?

Thanks for the detailed info -- it's hard to find elsewhere...
 
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Old 01-09-08, 06:12 PM
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What are the specifications for the tile bought? Real porcelain tile is very hard and dense, impervious and does not need sealed, and is frost free. Don't make a decision until you learn the specs on the tile. If you know the manufacturer, call them. Grout, of course, should be sealed.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 06:29 PM
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It seems the easiest way to get the 'specs' is to ask the dealer, but the dealer already told me the tile needs to be sealed. There seems to be enough debate on sealing polished porcelain (this thread and many previous threads) that I guess I'll just go by what the dealer recommends, which is to seal it. The question now is how best to do that.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 08:04 PM
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OK, one more person over in the corner. ....

Guess I might have to search for a thread we had at another place about 5-6 years ago?

Some people just don't want to believe that polished porcelain should be sealed. Maybe they never used any?

What spec should Walks be looking for? If it's porcelain he will find that it should be sealed. So then if it's NOT as dense you think it would then not need to be sealed? ah..ah..ah..

How do you apply it? What does it say on the container?

Jaz
 
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Old 01-09-08, 08:57 PM
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Unglazed porcelain is usually treated as a natural stone product. Go to www.stonecare.cm to learn about porcelain care.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 09:18 PM
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You keep forgetting we're talking about polished porcelain.

Of all the types of tiles, porcelain is the one that is most UNLIKE natural stone. One is somewhat porous, the other very dense....as even you stated before.

I know this tile stuff can be very difficult, but we'll figure it out soon?

Jaz
 
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Old 01-10-08, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Some people just don't want to believe that polished porcelain should be sealed. Maybe they never used any?
Jaz

JazMan --
You quoted some data on absorption rates: 18% for ceramic tile, 0.5% or less for porcelain. What about polished porcelain?
What is the downside of NOT sealing polished porcelain?
 
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Old 01-10-08, 10:31 PM
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Wow it's late here, just got in. If it's porcelain, it has to be under 1/2 of one percent, (.5%). Many are well under that. Polished porcelain really should have been sealed before it was grouted, and then again after just to be safe.

Your question is impossible to answer because you can not have it both ways with the same tile in the same room. All I know is that it will not hurt to seal it now even if in the end it didn't really make any noticeable difference. I mean...how would you now?

If you'll take a few hours and do some research you should be able to find the info I know? Also try to find a sealer that doesn't mention porcelain as one of the types of tiles it's made for. Well, it's beyond that because I'm sure the manufacturer of your tile wanted you to seal it, unless they applied a thin glaze to it?

Give me the brand, series and color or your tile, I will check into it further.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-11-08, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Polished porcelain really should have been sealed before it was grouted, and then again after just to be safe. Jaz
Why??
I did not seal it before grouting. The grout cleaned up real nice. What will happen if I don't seal it at all? Dirt buildup? Cracking? Discoloration?


Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
All I know is that it will not hurt to seal it now even if in the end it didn't really make any noticeable difference. Jaz
It's close to 600 sq. ft. and a lot of buffing -- a significant investment of time. That would hurt (my budget) -- if it's really not necessary.


Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Give me the brand, series and color or your tile, I will check into it further. Jaz
It's 20"x20" "Paladino Bellizzi", made in China, distributed by Emser Tile (main office = Los Angeles).

Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 06:39 AM
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Polished porcelain does have pores and will absorb some sealer. It certainly wont hurt to seal them. Also it will be difficult to just seal the grout and not get some sealer on the edges of the tiles. This may slightly change the look of the tile edges. See this link from the emser site.

http://www.emser.com/showroom/tporcelain.html

I could not find your particular tile there but look at the very bottom of the link page above. It says

"Maintenance
While it is not necessary, it is always recommended that unglazed porcelain tile be sealed. Emser representatives can recommend appropriate sealers."

Polished porcelain is unglazed.
 
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