Porcelain tiles: they’re luxurious, durable, and a stunning addition to any space. But like any other surface, they require specific care to ensure their longevity and lustrous appearance. An often-overlooked aspect of this care routine? Sealing. Just as we wear jackets in the rain to protect ourselves, porcelain tiles and grout need their protective “jacket” too. In this detailed guide, we’ll delve deep into the world of sealing porcelain tiles and grout.
When Should You Seal Porcelain Tiles and Grout?
Sealing isn’t just a one-time thing. Consider it a chapter in the book of your tile’s life.
- Immediately After Installation: Once your tiles and grout have been laid and the grout has cured, sealing is the next logical step.
- Periodic Re-sealing: Over time, sealants wear off. It’s recommended to re-seal every 2-3 years, but high-traffic areas might require more frequent sealing.
- After Deep Cleaning: If you’ve recently given your tiles and grout a thorough clean, re-seal to protect your hard work.
Choosing the Right Sealer
Ever tried using a flathead screwdriver on a Phillips screw? The results aren’t great. Similarly, not all sealers are fit for porcelain tiles and grout.
- Penetrating Sealers: These seep into the tile and grout, offering protection from within.
- Topical Sealers: As the name suggests, these stay on the surface, forming a protective layer. While they may offer a sheen, they might not be the best for floors as they can become slippery.
- Enhancing Sealers: If you’re looking to accentuate the natural colors of your tiles, this is your pick. They add a slightly wet look and deepen the color of your tiles and grout.
How to Seal: A Step-by-Step Process
- Clean the Surface: Ensure the tiles and grout are free from dirt, stains, and moisture.
- Choose a Small Test Area: Before you go all out, test the sealer on a small inconspicuous area.
- Apply the Sealer: Use a brush or spray, and ensure even coverage.
- Wipe Excess Sealer: Don’t let it pool. After the recommended dwell time, wipe away the excess.
- Allow to Cure: Keep the area free from moisture and traffic for 24-48 hours.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional
DIY is great, but sometimes, bringing in a pro can be beneficial.
Sealing porcelain tiles and grout isn’t just about maintaining aesthetics; it’s an investment in prolonging the life of your beautiful tiles. By understanding its importance and the process, you can ensure a beautiful, long-lasting surface. Remember, as with any protective measure, consistency and regularity are the keys to effectiveness.