Grouts like any other surface require protection by means of using a sealing compound, but a grout sealer is unheard of in many households. You may be aware of how important it is to seal your tile grouts but you still need to know how to properly do the job yourself. Here is a do-it-yourself guide for grout sealing:
Choosing a grout sealer
You can choose between a penetrating grout sealant and a membrane-forming grout sealant. While penetrating sealers provides a lasting protection for your grouts as it seeps into grout pores, it requires careful and tedious application especially on unglazed tiles. Membrane-forming sealers on the other hand, form top layer grout barriers and are recommended for unglazed tiles as it will not penetrate tile surface. However, they tend to wear off with age and needs more maintenance job than penetrating sealers.
Grout surface preparation
You have to examine every grout line and joint and remove any dirt, grease, oil, and any excess debris. Also remove all excess sealant debris if the grout has been previously sealed and make sure to repair cracks, gaps and other grout damages. Before you begin with your grout sealer application, be sure that all the grout lines are completely clean and dry, free from any damages. Also, make sure all the tools and equipment you need are within reach and wear protective clothing like masks and gloves.
Applying the sealer
You can use the spray-on method or direct application method when applying grout sealants. While most grout sealers are the spray-on variety, some types only permit direct application using a brush or sponge. Grout sealer Work along grout lines and joints and be sure to cover all the grout lines and every joint corner. You can do this by systematically working from top to bottom on the left side and working your way to the right to make sure every grout is covered. You should have lots of rag ready on hand to wipe off any excess sealant on the tile you’re working on before going to the next. Be extra careful when applying penetrating grout sealant on unglazed or glass tiles, for it will readily penetrate the surface and could cause discoloration or hazing which is difficult or even impossible to remove. You need to apply 2-4 coatings, depending on your desired effect and make sure you apply an even, smooth coating every time. Let the previous coating be completely dry for about an hour or so before applying the next coating.
You can test your sealing job when the last coating has completely dried by pouring some water directly on the sealed grout. Once the sealing grout process is complete and dry, water beading should appear on the grout.