Sealing Stone Tile Before Grouting [How, When, & Why]

In today’s houses, stone tiles are highly sought after because of the earthy, stylish appeal they give to floors, worktops, bathrooms, and walls. Slate, limestone, travertine, marble, granite, flagstone, and more are examples of natural stones used in home design.

The porous nature of many natural stones necessitates the use of sealants and finishes to protect stone tiles from stains and moisture. Inexperienced tile installers often seal the tiles first, then reseal the tiles and grout after they’ve been installed.

Should Your Seal Stone Tile?

Before grouting, you must seal your raw stone tiles to stop the grout from clinging to them. Regardless of how old or new the stone is, it is porous, and sealing it first before grouting helps to conceal the pores and safeguard the floor.

There will be grout on the tiles as a result of the messy nature of grouting. You’ll want to seal the tiles as soon as that happens since grout on an un-sealed tile surface might stain the stone because the real stone is porous, microscopic grout particles that are difficult to remove enter the surface.

What Types Of Sealants Should You Use?

To avoid the demand for a primer, backsplashes and new countertops are often pre-sealed at the factory. Sealing the stone in the future will assist in maintaining the natural stone’s appearance and avoiding stains.

Some stones now come pre-coated with resins that serve as a sealer, removing the demand for a separate coat. There are three primary sorts of products to choose from if you have established that the natural stone needs a coating:

Surface Sealant

Because it is applied solely to the surface and may be easily removed if necessary, a surface seal is also known as a removable coating. The sealant is usually a water-based polymer-based sealant, such as acrylic.

Tile floors can also benefit from the usage of surface sealants, so be sure to pick one that is made specifically for natural stone before purchasing. Sealants applied to the surface are less time-consuming, but they must be reapplied on a regular basis.

Penetrating Sealants

Because they are made of polymers derived from solvents, penetrating sealants are sometimes known as permanent layers and are significantly more challenging to remove than surface sealants.

Impregnating Sealant

Professionals are required to apply impregnating sealant, a solvent-based compound because they are not harmed by UV radiation and do not alter the stone’s aesthetic.

They have become a popular alternative for sealing outdoor stone. When applied by a pro, this sealer can last several years before it needs to be applied again.

Reasons For Sealing The Stone Tile

In order to keep debris, spills, and even grout from causing stains, sealers are applied to the tiles. It’s a good idea to protect your investment in natural stone tile and the labor required to install it.

Sealing your stone is essential for more than just protecting your stone from scratches on the surface and other cosmetic defects. You must seal your stone for these five additional reasons.

Preservation

Sealing stone is mainly for the purpose of extending the life of your natural stone’s surface. It’s good to seal your stone to keep the countertops and other surfaces looking their best.

Natural stone surfaces might appear foggy or dull if water, oil, and several other pollutants are left behind by impregnating industry-standard sealers.

Stain Protection

As a result of a liquid-resistant spray, there will be no hassle for any liquid that mistakenly is dropped on the surface. The liquid just dries and rolls away, leaving no trace of its presence.

Sealers for natural stone follow the same logic. To prevent liquids from soaking into the stone, you should seal your countertop with a sealant.

These spills can create stains on surfaces if they are not cleaned up right once or covered with a stain-resistant coating.

Easy Cleaning

Your stone will be easier to clean if you seal it. The amount of “elbow grease” and cleaning time required to remove dirt, crumbs, grease, and liquids can be reduced by simply wiping them away.

Safety

Sealing your stone not only makes it easier to clean but also improves the quality of your cleaning. You won’t have to use as many harmful chemicals to clean your countertops after sealing natural stone, which is safer for the environment and your family.

Lesser Etching

Natural stone such as marble, granite, and quartz suffers from etching when acidic substances are spilled and not cleaned immediately.

In natural stone surfaces, the acid is possible to react with calcium carbonate and eat away at the surface, resulting in dull patches called etches.

Some examples are lemon juice or tomato sauce on the food. There aren’t any stains on the stone; instead, the color has changed slightly.

You can’t get rid of it. It’s possible to reduce etching by having your stone sealed, but it’s time-consuming.

How To Protect Your Granite Countertop From Stains

When it comes to granite countertops, there’s an easy way to assess whether or not they need a fresh layer of sealant. To figure out the amount and frequency to protect your granite, you can do a test to see how quickly it absorbs water.

Time the absorption of 14 cups of water on your granite counter. Apply a couple of layers of sealant every year and quickly clean off spills to avoid stains if the water absorbs quickly.

However, if the water absorbs within 5-10 minutes, you can skip reapplying sealant for the next 3–5 years if you apply many coats of it first. You need to do nothing if it takes more than 30 minutes to seal your countertops.

The Time You Should Seal Natural Stone

Make things easy for you by checking out this handy schedule to see how often your natural stone should be sealed.

Concrete Driveway

When it comes to sealing, driveways made of concrete are often overlooked. At the time an asphalt driveway requires sealing, the color will gradually fade, which is a simple way to know.

When it comes to concrete, determining if it requires sealing might be more complicated. Since concrete is so hardy, it doesn’t need to be resealed frequently.

Re-sealing your concrete driveway every five years is recommended by most professionals. Five years might be a stretch, but it all depends on your environment.

Call a specialist if you find any cracks forming.

Natural Stone Outdoors

Many individuals worry about how often they should seal their natural stone. Slate, limestone, and flagstone are just a few of the common natural stones used in both indoor and outdoor buildings.

It’s vital to seal these stones every couple of years to keep them looking their best, despite being usually highly durable.

The grout should also be treated with a water repellent when sealing the outdoor stone. When it comes to water or ice damage, mortar and grout are often more vulnerable than the stone itself.

This can lead to cracks and crumbles as well as significant expansion, which can make the stone apart.

Shower Grout

You must seal the grout of the shower tiles. Mold might grow in your shower if your grout isn’t properly sealed. The old tile should be cleaned and resealed annually, and the new tile should be sealed again with a gap of six months to a year, say most professionals in the field.

Frequency Of Reapplying Tile Sealer

Sealant for tile should be applied again as needed. The simplest method to say is to douse it in some water and see whether it changes color.

The surface is sealed if the water creates a drop and rolls around. You know it’s time to seal if it soaks in. Every year is a good rule of thumb; however, this varies depending on the surface.

What kind of traffic does the neighborhood receive on a daily basis? While a tiled wall may require to be treated once every two years, a hardwood floor may need to be sealed more frequently. The water test is the best method to find out.

Process Of Sealing Stone Tile Before Grouting

Once your stone tile floor has been properly sealed, here is our recommendation for the following two-step process:

Cleaning

After the tiles have been installed, you’ll need to remove any leftover dirt or mortar. Commercial stone tile cleaners will successfully remove any surface residue when used for this purpose.

A mop and a bucket of water aren’t going to cut it when it comes to cleaning the floors! Once the sealant is sprayed, dust particles left behind from a standard mop job will become trapped in the micropores of the tiles.

A smeared look is the common effect. Before sealing your stone flooring, ensure that all of the liquid from the cutting step of the installation procedure has dried completely.

Additionally, the adhesive for tile applied at the installation time may contribute to residual moisture in the finished tile surface.

Because of the presence of residual moisture, applying sealer to the tile is likely to result in uneven coloring, which is usually an eyesore.

Sealing

After washing the surface, make sure to get a sponge roller or soft pad to apply your stone tile sealer, but stop when the surface can no longer absorb any more of it.

In most cases, this occurs after a period of twenty minutes or so. Before the sealant dries, make sure to remove any excess with a soft cloth.

You may need to apply additional layers of sealant depending on the porousness of your stone tiles.

Curing Time

Allow the sealer to dry for three hours after sealing the natural stone floor before grouting. On the other hand, Commercial sealants typically dry out within an hour of being applied. For up to 72 hours, you should also refrain from cleaning the surface.

Final Verdict

This was all about our guide on sealing the stone tile before grouting. If you have a stone tile, you need to take extra care of the same. Often, people overdo the maintenance.

People get confused about the process of sealing the natural stone, the frequency of doing the same, and most importantly, whether, at all, they should do it or not.

We have covered each area to keep you informed. Hope these guidelines have helped you. Share your thoughts on this.

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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