Release Agent vs. Tile Sealer before grouting [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-01-2004, 11:18 PM
Status update : 12" slate-looking ceramic tiles installed in entry hall (6' * 9')...looks great at this point. Now, it's time to grout.

Question : The tile is very rough feeling (not glazed). I'm worried about wiping the grout off and not having it "stick" to the tile.

The tile book I bought says that you should add a "release agent" to the grout mix to help/prevent the grout from sticking to the tile. Sounds reasonable, except that Lowe's doesn't sell the stuff.

The Lowe's tile guy says that he usually just uses a really good sealer, which he showed me, and that it would serve the same purpose.

So what should I do...
- Go ahead and seal, because I should?
- Find a "release agent"...If so, any recommendations?


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John Bridge
01-02-2004, 11:33 AM
Hi Jason,

Home Depot sells a "grout release" by Aquamix that works well. You apply it right before you grout -- maybe an hour or so. Try to keep it out of the joints as much as you can. Some will go in there. Don't worry too much about it. You do NOT add anything to the grout itself.

Another thing. Your floor area is very small. You should be able to point the grout into the joints with a pointer or margin trowel and not get too much on the face of the tiles. Then when you wash, don't smear it all over the place. Take your time.

What kind of tile do you have? Unglazed porcelain?

01-02-2004, 01:19 PM
I thought it was American Olean, but I checked the website...

Dal-Tile 12" x 12" African Slate Ceramic Tile [green]
Item #: 22861
Model: AS531212LWP

So you apply the release to the tile? That's what I expected, but the way that the book read made it sound like you mixed it into the grout...I'm glad that I followed up.

I found the product on AquaMix's website, but it not on Home Depot's. I know that my Lowe's doesn't carry it, hopefully the Home Depot does.

So is the following the right order?

1. Seal the tiles (wait 24 hours before step 2)
2. Apply release to tiles (wait 1 hour before grouting [step 3])
3. Grout using grout bag (overside cake decorator bag)

Secondary question, Lowe's sells a Microban-based solution to use instead of water for the grout to prevent from getting moldy. Have you used it? What do you think?

Thanks and I'll send an update,

John Bridge
01-02-2004, 05:48 PM
Do NOT use a sealer, only the grout release. The HDs around here carry Aquamix Grout Release, but if you can't find it, go to a tile store.

Use clean water in the grout. If you have any doubt, read the back of the grout bag, and follow those directions.

01-02-2004, 10:45 PM
So the Microban stuff is a waste or just expensive for what you get? I'd already bought it, so I can definitely take it back.

I bought Laticrete's grout and it's their Admix liquid too.

Why no sealer? I figured the rough surface texture of the tiles would absorb some stains, ceramic or not.

I'll keeping going and thank you so much for all the help,

John Bridge
01-03-2004, 10:25 AM

You can't add anything to the grout that the manufacturer does not approve. You have to follow directions.

You will seal the grout and possibly the tiles after the job is finished. Use the grout release over the surface of the tiles. It will protect them, but it will also come off when you wash. No pre-sealing.