Grout sealer is vital in the installation of tiles in any construction. It aids in protecting the grout from moisture, which may affect the tiles. The process of applying grout is simple but very tedious. As the size of tiles decreases, the amount of grout to be used goes higher.
For any construction using large tiles, the whole process is fast and more straightforward. The area of application also decides the mode of grout sealer application to use. The spray-on and brush type are the standard modes of the application you can use. The spray-on method is advisable if you are applying to a large area.
So, how can one apply grout sealer?
Choose Your Grout Sealer
Grout sealer also comes in two main types; membrane penetrating and membrane forming. Membrane forming sealers are used on unglazed tiles. It doesn’t bond with glazed tiles, which may leave ugly marks on your tiles. They are also useful on floor tiles since they leave a non-porous membrane. It protects moisture from seeping into the grout.
Penetrating sealers can be used on any tile because of its simplicity. The latex or silicone used in its manufacture fills any pore on the grout hence making it dry. It also reduces the absorption of moisture and keeps the tiles stain free.
Preparing the Surface
It’s essential to ensure the grout you apply on your tiles is dry before sealing it with your sealant. The applied grout will dry up within 48 to 72 hours. You can clean and dirt and debris from the grout lines. Ensure the joints are free from cracks, and they should be even. You can tape off baseboards to prevent them from coming into contact with the sealer.
It would be best if you also looked for a clean and wet rag to clean any excess sealant which escapes from the grout lines. Grout sealers can leave streaks even on glazed tiles, which may be difficult or impossible to remove. For non-glazed tiles, you should be keen to avoid applying the sealer on them, which can change its color.
Choose The Tool For Applying
If you need a smooth application of your sealer, you must choose the right tool to use. The spray-on is convenient and easy to use. However, you may need to use the grout sealers, which require additional tools for you to apply on the surfaces.
If the grout lines are thin, then a sponge will be the most effective tool you can use. A sponge allows you to seal large parts of the floor quickly. You can wipe on the surface at once and ensure the sealer is evenly applied.
If your floor has glazed tiles, the sealer won’t adhere to the tiles. Therefore, you need a tool that will allow you to apply your grout sealer on the grout lines only. A brush can effectively apply your sealer on the joints with limited spillage. Also, some manufacturers produce the sealer bottle with a brush wheel at the top.
After preparation, it’s time to apply your sealer on the grout lines. The sealer comes in two modes of application, and the spray-on is the common one. Despite the type, you can begin applying from a fixed point. It would help if you smeared the sealer systematically and in an even coat.
The sealer should cover any part of the grout line. You can use a left-to-right pattern to avoid missing grout lines. You should ensure that the joints are fully covered with the sealer. You can use a rag to clean the excess sealer from the tiles and don’t let it stay there for more than five minutes. If it dries up, removing the sealer will be a challenge. You can allow the sealer to dry for an hour before proceeding to the second coat.
Apply Second Coat
Once the sealer dries, you can do your second coat. For you to achieve maximum protection, you need two or three layers. After applying the second coat, you can let it dry up. After an hour, you can test it using water drops. The spilled water should form droplets. If the water doesn’t bead-up, you can apply the third coat.
After the application process, you should let your grout sealer dry for 48 hours whereas, some sealers take 24 hours to dry. You should read the user manual before application to ensure you follow the stipulated procedure and guidelines. It may difficult to stay in a room for 48 hours. You can move to a motel and let the sealer dry effectively.
After a day or two, you can inspect the tiles and, if dry clean the surfaces. If the grout sealer is well done, cleaning your home will be easier, and you can use less time cleaning. Pick the best type of sealer for your tiles, and if necessary, you can ask for assistance from a professional sealer.