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Are you wondering whether you really need to go through the hassle of sealing the grout after installing those gorgeous new tiles?
We understand. You've spent so much time picking out the perfect tiles, and now you're faced with the question: Is grout sealing worth it?
Well, here's the deal—deciding whether to seal your grout can greatly impact how long your tiles look great, or said another way whether your tile’s sidekick – the grout – becomes stained and begins to reflect poorly on your tile. If you overlook this important step, you could end up with stained, discolored, or even damaged grout. Yes, it could go from beautiful to UGLY and EMBARRASSING. (Don’t they clean their floors?) when the very “act of cleaning” is contrinbuting to “grout staining.”
Grout sealing involves applying a penetrating sealer or a protective treatment to the grout lines as a shield against stains, dirt, and moisture. The sealers job is to fill in the open pores in your grout. Your grout begins life as a “concrete sponge” ready to absorb any liquid it encounters – including that dirty mop water. Think of it as a safeguard for your grout, preventing it from absorbing unwanted substances so it can maintaining its pristine appearance.
Grout is porous nature, which means it has a tendency to absorb liquids and other materials like a sponge. When you leave grout unsealed, it becomes susceptible to stains caused by absorption of spills, food particles, and everyday dirt buildup. How does this dirt “build-up” occur? The very “act of cleaning” sees us solubilize the dirt on the top of the tile into our liquid cleaner and then transfer that dirty liquid to the lower grout line where it is allowed to dry. In drying the water evaporates leaving the dirt behind. That is, unless you are using the appropriate mopping technique of “damp mopping” versus the more common and erroneous method of “wet-mopping.” Don’t be concerned most people – mop “incorrectly.” The intent is to LIFT the dirt and oil off the floor and place it into the mop bucket where we rinse to dirt off the mop. This way no water collects in the grout line. This slows down any grout staining on an unsealed floor.
Over time, these grout stains can become stubborn and incredibly difficult to remove, because they are not really ON the grout but rather IN thr grout. This eaves your grout looking discolored, dirty and less appealing. So goes your grout, so goes your floor impression.
First and foremost, grout sealing protects against stains.
Imagine accidentally spilling red wine or dropping spaghetti sauce on your pristine tiles. Without sealed grout, these spills can seep into the porous grout lines, leaving behind stubborn stains that are tough to remove.
Moisture-rich environments like bathrooms and kitchens provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Cleaning mold is never fun, but it is a lot easier when it is ON the surface, than IN the grout pore below the surface. Unsealed grout readily absorbs moisture, creating a hospitable environment for mold and mildew to flourish- dark and dank. Sealing the grout makes cleaning much easier. This reduces the their proliferation and ensuring a healthier living space.
Sealing grout at the right time ensures its effectiveness and longevity. Let's explore when and how to seal your grout for optimal results.
The ideal moment to seal grout is after the tiles are completely fixed and the grout has had a chance to dry. Generally, tiles take around 24 hours to fix, but waiting at least 48 hours before sealing is advisable. This is important. If the grout is wet, that means that water is in the grout pores still blocking the sealer from penetrating into the pore. The water becomes a blocker. Once dry, the open grout pore will readily accept the sealer allowing it to enter set-up and prevent dirty water from entering in the future.
Once in place the sealer will skin over quickly, meaning it can be returned to use within hours, but full cure may take 7-days, as the seal will cure top down.
Once the grout has cured, dried, you can proceed with the sealing process. Keep in mind that grout sealing is not a one-time affair.
It is advisable to reseal your grout annually, or immediately after a known acidic spill. Never clean with vinegar or an acidic cleaner, as these materials can remove a penetrating sealer. (This is why MARBLELIFE developed its MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL system which eliminates this historic sealer weakness). Spill a coke, slope the vinegar when preparing a salad, and you have introduced an acidic substance to the sealed area. A sealer is designed to provide you time to clean up a spill. . Regular sealing helps maintain the integrity of the grout and ensures its continued resistance to stains.
Sure. Your seal is designed to be invisible. If it is in good shape it does not need to be replaced or refreshed. The problem is that there is no good way to ascertain whether it is in place. The industry myth is a sprinkle water on the surface, if it beads it is sealed. The problem is that knowing this is what people may try, most sealers now include a hydrophobic additive that creates this symptom independently from the sealer. This imparts immediate change to the surface, even though the sealer may not have cured sufficiently to provide the desired response. It is recommended that the grout be periodically resealed, because the cost of sealing is substantially less, than the cost and nuisance of addressing a stained surface.
Ultimately, the decision to skip grout sealing rests with you. However, it's advisable to consider the long-term benefits of grout sealing and consult with professionals if you have any concerns or questions. When you consider how quickly this can be done, it is more about remembering to do this WIPE-ON / WAIT / WIPE-OFF process than even the time. We recommend using daylight savings time adjustments as the trigger to replace batteries in the fire detector and re-seal your grout and natural stone surfaces.
When it comes to grout cleaning and sealing, MARBLELIFE offers high-quality products designed to meet your needs:
This professional-grade sealer protects against stains,. It keeps dirt on the surface, making it easier to clean and remove. Backed by the world's leading stone service company, it is easy to use, made in America, and comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Don't underestimate the importance of grout sealing for your tiled surfaces. Skipping grout sealing might seem tempting for the sake of convenience, but the risks of staining and damage to your grout outweigh any short-term benefits. Take the time to seal your grout—it's worth the effort for long-term durability, or wake up to ugly grout and as a result ugly floors
If you need assistance or want expert results, turn to MARBLELIFE. We are here to help with their professional services and high-quality products that make grout sealing hassle-free and effective.
Choose to protect and preserve your grout today. Whether you take on the task yourself or seek professional assistance, investing in the maintenance of your grout will pay off in the long run.
Get in touch with MARBLELIFE today to get started.