Making sure that you seal your grout properly is a task that is comparatively easy to pull off but it is one thing that does not pay back a lot. If you are the type of person who does not mind making use of a rolling applicator or even a can of spray sometimes, you can potentially save yourself a lot of time that you would otherwise have to spend cleaning and you can even save the tile itself. In order to understand why exactly grout sealing is so important, it would help you a lot if you knew a bit about the backstory of grout itself. Read on to know more.
Why you need grout between your tiles
Tiles that are made out of ceramic, stone, or porcelain are normally laid in a bed that consists of mortar and it is then left for the purposes of curing. During this point, there exist open seams between your tiles. When the tile gets to be solid enough with regards to the mortar and when it is sure that it will not shift and move around, grout is then applied across the tiles’ face with the help of rubber float that is soft. When the grout has reached a seam, it is then deposited in that seam and it collects there.
Just as long as pressure is maintained lightly with the help of the rubber float, the grout will not move around and it will remain at its place. The rubber float is also made use of in order to get rid of scrapes of grout off of the face of the tile and it picks up most of the excess in the process. The absolute last and tiny amount of excess is left to stay on the face of the tile as a form of haze from the grout. This is a layer of minerals that are so tiny that only special cleaners are able to pick it up. However, you’ll need to clean the grout occasionally though.
Grout for tiles works in two different and significant ways. The main job of the grout is to make sure that debris is kept out of all the seams. It does this by displacing the areas that are open. Secondly, grout is typically considered to be a very small structural element whose job it is to keep the tiles together. One of the more underappreciated benefits of grout is that it really does add a lot of beauty to the tiles. If, for example, you choose a grout that is tinted in color, you are not just getting something that is functional but also is something that holds a lot of aesthetic value.
How Exactly Does The Grout Sealant Work
Tiles are extremely multi-purpose and it is for this reason that they can be used almost anywhere. They can be used in kitchen backsplashes, kitchen floors, bathroom floors, etc and they can even be made use of in spaces that have a lot of moisture in them such as the shower or the bathtub. It completely depends on the location with regards to how much moisture the tiles in that location will get to experience.
Grout that is based on cement is generally porous. The purpose of these pores is that they allow the water to percolate inside. This is very similar to rainwater that seeps into the concrete of the outdoors. When you apply a sealant, what you are effectively doing is beating the water to the punch. What you are doing is essentially making sure that the porous structure of the grout is covered with hard, stable, and also a non-porous substance so that water cannot get in.
When you prevent water from getting into the pores of the grout, you are making sure that mold and mildew do not grow there. Another thing that you are doing is making sure that water does not seep through to the grout as if that happens, the water can reach the other side of the tiles and that can cause damage that is irreversible.
It is important to point out here that quite a few tile installations actually have no use for grout sealing. Tiles that are installed with grout that is epoxy-based will not need sealing. Tiles that are mainly decorative also do not need any kind of sealing.
Make sure to seal grout with an applicator
When you use this method, all of the grout lines are brushed individually with the help of a small brush and also a sealant.
Owing to the fact that the surface of ceramic tiles is normally glazed, that means that it is already sealed. Grout sealant only really needs to be applied to the lines of the grout and not much more really. Grout sealers of this variety normally come with attached roller-tips or brush-tips. Make sure that you use knee pads when applying the sealant as you will have to be on your knees for a while. If by accident you happen to spill a bit of the sealant on top of the tile, know that it will eventually come off. You do, however, want to make sure that you are doing the best you can in order to keep it away from the surface of the tile.
Seal Grout by Spraying the Whole Surface
Another method by which you can seal grout is to spray the entire surface with the help of a grout sealer. The idea here is that the grout sealer is able to penetrate the porous parts of the grout and seal it off. One thing to mention is that the sealant stays on top of the tile surface that is glazed. After some time has gone by, the sealer that is on the surface of the glazed tile evaporates partially and it also partially wears off after being used.