You take great care to keep the tiles in your home clean, but when grout lines start to look dirty, it can detract from the way they look. Grout is porous by nature allowing grease, oil and water to easily seep into grout that isn’t sealed properly. New grout needs to be sealed after it has been installed and repeated when needed. Tiles on the floors and walls should be resealed once a year and more often for grout that gets more moisture, like in the bathroom. You need to make sure that you follow the directions on the grout sealer you’re using. Doing it the right way will ensure to create a reliable barrier to protect against ugly stains and a dirty appearance.
How to Apply Grout Sealer
1. Clean and repair grout. You must make sure that your grout is thoroughly cleaned and repaired. Repair any cracks in the grout or spots that have started to crumble. If you do not clean your grout you will be sealing in dirt and grime. Use a toothbrush and warm soapy water to gently scrub the grout lines. For tougher stains you can use an equal water and vinegar mixture and do one grout line at a time. Once you’re done, let it dry for about 45 minutes before you start sealing.
2. Pick a sealer. The sealer you pick should be done based on the type of tile you have and where the tile is located. One sealer isn’t meant for all areas. There are many options that allow you to really narrow it down to your specific needs. There are sealers that work best with stone, marble and ceramic tiles, as well as how much moisture the sealer can take, as far as low moisture on a kitchen backsplash or high moisture in the shower. There two basic types of sealers are penetrating sealers and membrane-forming sealers. Read the labels to determine which is better for your grout.
3. Pick an applicator. Pick the tool that will work best for you. You can use a sponge on unsealed tiles with thin grout lines by wiping over both surfaces. You should use an applicator brush for glazed tiles where sealer won’t adhere and only the grout lines need to be sealed. Make sure you read the directions on any tool you decide to use.
4. Apply sealer slowly and methodically. By working slowly and deliberately you will ensure better protection and no spot will get forgotten. Make sure you remove sealer for the tiles before it dries so you won’t have a foggy film left behind. It usually takes sealers about 5 to 7 minutes to dry after its been applied.
5. Apply a second coat. After the first coast is done, allow it to dry for an hour and apply a second coat. Usually it takes one to three coats for good protection. When the second coat is dry you can test it by dropping some water on the grout to see if it beads up. If it does, you’ve achieved a good seal, if not, apply another coat of sealer.
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If you can, avoid the area for a day or two as sealers can take 24-48 hours to cure. Making sure you’ve sealed your grout properly means less time scrubbing. If you don’t have the time to seal your grout, contact Tough Carpet Cleaning to schedule an appointment.