Tile is an affordable and stylish option that is particularly popular in bathrooms and kitchens. Since it is mainly waterproof, tile is ideal for these environments. However, if you do decide to install a tile floor or countertop, you need to be prepared for the normal maintenance. Since there is so much moisture in these rooms, it is very important that you keep your tile sealed to protect the surface and the grout lines. This article explains the process of sealing grout lines in a tile floor. It will help you decide whether or not you can practically manage the maintenance over the years.
Sealing your grout is a process that you probably need to repeat every four or five years. Of course, certain areas of the room might need to be sealed more often. For instance, if you have tile on the floor of your shower, this will need to be resealed more often than the tile in the rest of the bathroom.
Prepping the Floor
The process of sealing grout is relatively simple. First, you need to thoroughly vacuum and mop your floor. If there is any mold build up in your grout lines, you should try to clean this up first. The floor needs to be completely dry before you can apply the sealant.
Sealing Your Grout
Sealant usually comes premixed in easy-to-pour bottles. The best technique is to just pour the sealant directly on the floor and then spread it around immediately using lint-free rags. You want to spread it all over the floor, completely covering the tile and the grout. Let the sealant soak into the floor for a few minutes. The bottle will usually say how long the sealant should be on the floor. Then, use dry rags to wipe up the rest of the moisture. Most floors will benefit from 2 or 3 coats, but you need to wait for the floor to be completely dry. It might take over an hour for the the floor to dry up all the way, especially on the grout lines. You can speed this up by setting up a fan or two in the room. Obviously, try to stay off the tile while the sealant is drying.
This simple process is absolutely necessary for the long term strength of your tile floor, especially the grout lines. Failure to keep your floor sealed can greatly reduce its lifespan. If you aren't comfortable taking this task on, contact a professional tile company.