How to Seal Grout in a Shower
The grout in your shower or bathroom can be a breeding ground for mould, mildew and bacteria. It’s not uncommon to find soap scum on the floor of bathrooms with tile floors. The best way to keep them clean is by sealing the grout lines that surround tiles with sealant. This will protect against water damage and ensure that any dirt you might miss when cleaning gets washed away during showers. This article will show you step-by-step how to seal your grout so that it looks fresh and clean all year round.
Step by Step: How to Seal Grout in a Shower
We have put together this step-by-step guide on how to seal grout in your shower so that you will be able to do it yourself instead of forking out lots of money hiring a contractor or handyman to do it for you. The process of sealing grout is fairly straightforward once you understand the basics and you will be able to keep your shower grout looking fresh as well as prolonging the life of your shower tiles.
Things you will need
Below is a list of things you will need to seal grout in your shower. Not all of them may be required but it is still good practice to get them all, especially if it’s your first time sealing grout in your shower.
1. Work in a safe and well-ventilated area
It is important that where you are working is a safe environment. This means clearing and tidying the area around your shower to avoid tripping or falling over. In addition, you need to make sure the environment is well-ventilated, so you can set up an extraction fan to draw out the vapours from grout sealer or crack open a window etc. Once you have done these things, you can put on your gear and you are ready to begin.
2. Apply the Shower Grout Sealer
Once you have sorted the area and put on your safety gear it is now time to apply the sealer. Depending on the type of sealer, it will advise on how to apply it on the back of the product or in the instruction manual. For example, if you are using a grout sealer in the form of a spray can it will advise that you hold the can a minimum of around 25cm or so away.
Alternatively, if you are using a cartridge to apply grout it will advise that you ensure the sealant touches both the joint and the tile. It all depends on the type of shower grout sealer you have so be sure to follow the instructions on the back. For any grout sealant you go for, it is important that you use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess sealant as you go.
3. Let the Shower Grout Sealer dry
Once you have applied the shower grout sealant, you will need to let it dry. Many products by UniBond for example are touch dry within just a few hours. This will of course vary between grout sealants so be sure to check.
4. Test the sealed area and apply a second coat
Once the first coat is dry, you need to test it by gently sprinkling water droplets onto the sealed area. If the water is absorbed for a minute or so, you will need to follow steps 2 and 3 again and apply a second coat.
Alternatively, if the water drops are not absorbed and “stand” on the grout, then you are ready to proceed to the next step.
5. Let dry for at least 24 hours
Once you are happy with your application of the shower grout and it has passed your testing, you will need to let it dry for at least 24 hours. Some products will advise that 4-8 hours but I have found that sometimes this is not the case. Allowing it to dry for 24 hours will allow the grout sealer enough time to set properly without any worry that it hasn’t dried properly yet.
Popular Frequently Asked Questions
Should you seal grout in a shower?
Yes, you should seal grout in a shower – but this depends on the grout you have in place. Sealing grout in a shower is usually carried out to add water resistance to the grout (because grout isn’t waterproof) as well as add a protective layer to prolong its life and keep it looking fresh. With that said, some grout has waterproofing properties that may not require you to seal it. However, even in these instances, it doesn’t hurt to add yet another protective coat to your existing shower grout.
What happens if you don’t seal grout in shower?
If you don’t seal the grout in your shower, dirt, bacteria and water can seep into it. This can lead to cracks and damage on your tiles, leading them to eventually crumbling and breaking. In addition, if you don’t seal the grout in your shower, it can become discoloured and unsightly over time. By sealing your grout, you add a protective coat to it which prolongs the life of your shower tiles, minimises potential damage and keeps it looking new and fresh.
How often should you reseal the grout in your shower?
You should reseal the grout in your shower at least every year or so. Although many sealers will say they last for several years, it is good practice to reseal it now and then. This way you know that your shower grout always has a good level of protection and will continue to last for a long time.
Does sealing grout make it waterproof?
This depends on the grout sealer you buy but no; typically most grout sealers make grout water resistant – not waterproof. However, over time the initial coat of sealer applied becomes less effective and therefore will need occasional resealing to renew the waterproofing element.