How-To Videos

Sealing Grout in Tile Floors

By: Danny Lipford
Using roller bottle to apply grout sealer to tile floor.

Applying grout sealer to tile floor.

While ceramic tile is a durable, low maintenance material, the grout between the tiles is not. Unless stain-proof grout was used, the grout will need to be sealed. Allow the grout in new floors to cure for 30 days before sealing.

If the grout is stained or dirty, use a mild bleach solution and scrub brush to clean it, then allow the floor to dry completely before sealing. If the sealer doesn’t come with an applicator, buy a separate applicator bottle with interchangeable tips.

If the grout has become stained and won’t come clean, use a special grout stain pen that both stains and seals it at the same time.

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9 Comments on “Sealing Grout in Tile Floors”

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  • Diamond Spring Cleaners Says:
    March 24th, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Nancy: Any time you have a heavier fixture on wood floors, there will be some ‘settling in’ of the appliance which will cause shifting and movement and, yes, cracked grout. To compensate, heavy silicon caulk is recommended instead for the seal between the grout and fixture, as well as a new wax seal for the toilet or a pipe tune-up for a sink.

    Irene: I would try some specialty store, such as Home Depot or TruValue. or a large chain general store like Walmart. Then again, you can always order stuff like this online, eBay or Amazon, or direct from the company website in many cases.

    Scott: Grout is grout, but not all grouts are chemically the same. Stain-proof grouts are water resistant or waterproof, while traditional grouts are bonded with lye. It sounds like your grout is deteriorating visibly and you want to curb that. You can treat the grout with any traditional grout seal, no worries. 🙂

    Mary: The grout you see between the tiles is less important for the integrity of your tabletop than the grout that holds the tiles against the table. So long as that bond is strong, the grout between tiles can be replaced, though you’ll see an obvious color change most likely unless you are really meticulous about scraping out all that grout. You’ll want to remove all the loose chunks and any bits that look like they may soon become loose. Make sure you use warm water and bleach or soap to remove as much grease and dirt as possible or the grout types may not cohese. Finally, you must use the same catalyst base in the new grout as the old, so a lye based grout needs a lye based grout overlaid, while a polymer grout needs another polymer grout to bond to. Remember to test a small area before you commit!

    Melissa: The general idea is that you’ll apply grout to a surface then put tile down, spaced apart by plastic Xs, over the surface. This is done in simple steps which you can see on youtube, just search for a grout tutorial for bathroom tile.

    Ace Laurel: Yes and no. You’ll probably get a buildup of sealer if you’re not conservative about application, or depending on the sealant you may have issues of trapping old dirt between layers of sealant. I recommend that if you have time, start treating with floor wax. Floor wax can easily be stripped gently from the grout and reapplied, removing embedded dirt without leaving hard to scrape plasticky gunk in the corners of the room. It’s all about what you can put into the project. ALERT: Removing sealant can cause permanent damage to grout. Always test what you plan to do on a small, out of the way area that can easily be hidden or missed before you start. Find out if you have a polymer or wax based sealant. Wax based sealants are easily removed with hot water and gentle, circular scrubbing with a soft bristle brush. Polymer based sealants must sometimes be chemically removed which can cause damage, but they can also last much longer when properly applied after laying tile. My favorite general bit of advice fits the bill here: Hire a professional to do a section of the room and watch what they do, then do that. How often to apply sealer? It’s up to your best judgment and the instructions on the sealant. Depending on what kind of seal you’re applicating and wear and tear on the surface, that can be as often or as seldom as you deem fit. Good luck everyone!


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    February 25th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hi Linda,
    There are several types of grout sealer available, the easiest and least expensive for sealing an entire floor use a wheel type applicator on a bottle of sealer. For smaller applications, grout pens are available. The one used in this video was purchased in the flooring department of a home center. I’m not sure which one or if it’s still in stock. Good luck with your project!



  • Linda Says:
    February 24th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Where do I get the grout pen and the sealer and applicator and that brush you used. I have spent a week cleaning the grout…and want to seal it so it is not such awful job and the floor is always looking dirty.



  • Nancy Gentry Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    We have ceramic tile on the walls and a one piece floor in the shower. How do I seal between the tile and floor piece, should we just use the grout or a heavier water proof sealant? I am having problems with the water seeping past the door and ruining the wall outside the shower. I am in the process of removing the sealant right now and letting it dry out. Nancy



  • Irene Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Where do you buy a grout stain pen???



  • Scott Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    We just got a granite tile countertop in our kitchen. I don’t think they used a stain-proof grout. What is the best stuff to seal this kind of grout? Is it the same as floor tile grout and do you follow the same rules as for floor tile grout?
    Thanks.



  • Mary Dinisi Says:
    January 18th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    The grout between the tiles on my kitchen counter is coming out and it needs to be redone. Is it necessary to remove all the old grout or can new grout be put over the old?



  • Melissa Davis Says:
    December 30th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I would like to know how to lay down ceramic tile from the beginning. My husband and I are building a house and want to put tile in our bathrooms.

    Thanks



  • Ace Laurel Says:
    October 2nd, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    How often should one seal tile? Can sealer be applied over year old sealer?


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