Tile floors, walls and backsplash installations are usually held together by grout. There are four types: epoxy, acrylic latex, unsanded and sanded products. The choice depends on the location of the tile installation, the material of the tiles and the size of the space in between tiles.
To seal or not to seal
Most of the time, cement grout remains unsealed. In the end, sealed grout is easier to clean because the sealant lowers the permeability of the material. Dirt and stains easily take hold if left unsealed. Ideally, sealing should be performed on grout 72 hours after tile installation. A penetrating sealer is preferable. As part of its maintenance, grout should be resealed annually. For high traffic areas, the frequency should be adjusted. Some people routinely re-seal every six months.
Grout sealing is highly recommended, especially if you want low maintenance tile floors and walls. Apart from the high-quality sealant, you need a tool to apply the product, such as a fine paintbrush. Home improvement stores also sell specially made tools for grout sealing.
While it is time-consuming, you can work one section of the floor or wall at a time. All you need to do is paint in the grout lines. You can also get a professional service for proper grout sealing.
To clean or not to clean
Grout is porous and it takes very little effort from microorganisms and dirt particles to seep into it. Nothing is as easy to stain as an extremely porous surface. Unfortunately, grout easily harbours stains. Cleaning the grout prior to sealing it is necessary, and you won’t need to spend a dollar for an effective cleaner. Warm, soapy water will do. When you ask a tile expert and they will recommend that you start applying sealant on a clean surface.
Remember, synthetic grout does not need sealing, but you’d keep a cleaner, more pleasant looking, and more sanitary home if you seal cement-based grout.