What is Grout Sealer?
What is Grout Sealer?
Grout sealer is a water-based product that you apply to your grout lines after they’ve been cleaned. It’s like paint for tile and makes your tiles look fresh again. Most of them come in clear, white or grey shades so they blend with most colours.
The sealer will fill the pores between the grout and make any stains or dirt easy to clean off. The best part about grout sealer is that it’s affordable and will last for a long time, even if you are using your shower or bathroom on a daily basis.
Why use Grout Sealer?
There are many reasons why you may choose to seal your grout. One of the main purposes is so that showers and baths don’t leave water stains on your grout lines, which usually happen when you’re cleaning with harsh chemicals or abrasive tools. It also helps if you like to keep your bathroom and showering area clean and fresh-smelling by keeping dirt, grime, and stains away.
Grout is porous so it’s inclined to absorb everyday dust or dirt which can lead to mould and mildew if left alone. Regular cleaning with a damp rag won’t cut it either because the mould spores will still remain on the surface of your grout and will eventually grow back. This is where sealing your grout comes in handy because it prevents the absorption of dirt and particles, which are a lot harder to wash away afterwards.
Do you always need Grout Sealer?
Yes, you need it, except when you happen to be using epoxy-based grout. Grout sealer is not needed with epoxy-based grout because this type of grout naturally sheds water (and any additives applied to the surface). Unfortunately, once grout is applied and dry it becomes especially susceptible to water and so will need a grout sealer to protect against it. Some products like grout pens often have a type of sealer in their formula. Also, grout is usually different to shower sealant (typically applied with a sealant gun), which does not typically require sealing.
How to check if you need Grout Sealer?
Older tile will occasionally need a new coat of grout sealer now and then. Naturally, floor tile that is in areas that are frequented (walked on, touched etc) more will need grout sealer applied more often than other types of tile applications, such as bathroom wall tile, for example.
An easy way to test if you need grout sealer is simple – sprinkle a few drops of water at various points around your wall or floor tiles. If any of these soak in these drops of water then the grout needs to be resealed right away. Alternatively, if the water stays on top of the grout then it is doing its job and does not need resealing.
Benefits of using Grout Sealer
1. Tiles stay cleaner for longer
This is one of the major benefits; tiles will be clean for longer and require less scrubbing to remove mould, dirt and stains. The sealer keeps the grout water-repellant and adds a barrier between tile/grout and dirt that makes it easier to clean. Grout is non-porous so most of the time you can just use a damp cloth or brush without having to resort to chemicals.
2. Increases the life of your grouted area
Sealing your grout will only add more years of life to your home as grout is one of the hardest-wearing parts of a home. A well-sealed floor or wall doesn’t get dirty, cracked or stained easily while sealed grout does not absorb water and prevents mould formation, therefore it protects the tile below it from wear and tear.
3. Keeps dirt out
Grouts are porous and can absorb liquids and get stained pretty easily. Grout sealer will stop all of that from happening as it is a barrier between the grout and any liquids or dirt.
4. Improves appearance
Sealed grout will prevent staining, discolouration, and improve the overall appearance of your shower wall or tiles. Stained grout makes it look dull and grimy while unsealed grout can be stained by any liquid that gets onto it, making your tiles look dull as well. A sealer can also be used to cover old unsightly stains that have accumulated in your grout. Grout sealer will not only cover up the stains but it will keep your tiles looking clean and new for many more years to come.
5. Reduces mould and mildew
Sealing the grout prevents mildew and mould from growing on it. Grout is a good habitat for mildew and moulds to grow in as it gets wet regularly, damp from the cleaning products you use on it. Mould can easily form if there’s no sealer on the grout.
6. Adds waterproof protection
One of the main reasons people buy grout sealer is for the waterproofing element. Without a sealant, dirt and water can seep into the grout lines between your tiles. Cracks frequently appear on your tiles and could force them to break at any time. Sealants help you to prolong your tile surface’s lifespan by minimising damage.
What type of Grout Sealer should I use?
The type of grout sealer you should use will depend upon the application and your requirements. For instance, the grout sealer you’d get for your kitchen countertop would be different to the grout sealer for your shower wall tiles, for example. Ultimately, you will want to opt for a grout sealant that; was developed by a reputable company, doesn’t change shape, and provides long-lasting protection (at least 20 years or so).