Grout sealer? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-05-2001, 08:22 PM
I put in a tile floor in our kitchen about 6 years ago. It has white sanded grout. The grout gets very(!) dirty over time, and I have to use either acid or tilex to clean it.

In the past, I've tried some of the spray/paint on grout sealers, but they don't seem to work. What's the best sealer to use for this type of grout? And what is a realistic expectation of how long it should last?


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Bud Cline
06-05-2001, 09:45 PM

I must first warn you that repeated use of acids will enentually damage your grout and may cause irrepairable damage to your tile, so that's not the best idea. I can understand your desire to clean your grout though.

As far as grout sealer, the life of your grout sealer is determined by the traffic your floor gets and the frequency with which you clean your floor. Obviously the more traffic and the more you clean, the more you wear on the sealer.

It is my opinion that repeated application of a grout sealer can't be anything but good. Grout sealers should be applied repeatedly until the grout begins to resist the penetration of the sealer. You'll be able to see the rejection. Some grout sealers will build to the point that your grout will become shiny. You be the judge of that.

It wouldn't be unusual for a high to medium traffic floor that is maintained with regularity to require reapplication of grout sealer on a regular basis, maybe several times a year. Especially the challenging white or light colored grouts.

There are many grout sealers being marketed today, you would just have to look around. I would go to a full blown tile store (not a Big Box) where they should be able to answer your questions with some professionalism.

06-05-2001, 10:51 PM
Take a look at The company is SCI(Stone Care International) Very informative site in the care of tile,natural stone and grout.

John Bridge
06-06-2001, 05:34 AM
White floor grout? Use a grout colorant.

Rob Z
06-06-2001, 05:52 AM
Bud is right about the continuous use of acid. Try to restore the color with a colorant, then use a high quality sealer to preserve it. The el-cheapo sealers at soem of the home centers don't seem to last long.

I use Aqua Mix Sealers Choice 15 and Aqua Mix heavy duty tile and grout cleaner. (


06-06-2001, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the replies. How permanent are the grout colorants? Also, does anyone have any experience with Home Depot's "TileLab" brand?

06-06-2001, 09:13 AM
Yessir, I use Tilelab sealer myself.It works well but you need to apply it untill the grout won't soak up any more then reapply once a year in low traffic areas,twice a year or more in high traffic areas or areas subject to grease spills and the like,ie;kitchens and bathrooms.They have a little bottle with a narrow brush on the top to apply the sealer with.Be sure and follow the manufacturer's directions closely.Make sure you get a "penetrating" sealer.

John Bridge
06-06-2001, 03:33 PM
"Tile Lab" is a trademark of Custom Building Products, an old and respected company in the trade.

And like Rob, I recommend the Aqua-mix products

And no, I am not Bob Vila, and no, I don't get paid for plugging these products. (I ought to, though.)

Bud Cline
06-06-2001, 07:08 PM
I don't seal nothin'. "Ain't my yob mon". I simply tell the customer if they want to pay me I would be happy too do it but it is really easy and you can do it in a couple hours. I then send them back to the store where they bought the tile. I have done it and would again anytime they want to pay my regular hourly rate.

06-06-2001, 09:13 PM
Well...I have been known to throw in a "free" seal job on a small bath or kitchen in front of the stove and sink.

Bud Cline
06-06-2001, 09:50 PM
OH SURE Keith.

Make me look like the money grubbin' low down theavin' scoundrel I am.

06-07-2001, 05:32 AM
Grout colorants or stains, will last at least a few years, and will allow you to change the color of your grout if you choose.

They are a water based epoxy normally and will be more resistant to staining that sealers.

Make sure that wipe stain off tiles as you go so the clean up process will be easier. Also buy a white doodle bug with the stain, it is similar to the green scrubby on the back of your kitchen sponge. It will help remove the stain left on the tile the next day.

To all the pros out there, have you ever tried H & C concrete stain? Sherwin Williams and the big Orange stock it. You can have it color matched to most all colors and it will cost you around $20.00 a gallon. A big cost savings.

I have found a lot of grout cleaning and colorant companies and services in south Florida, even Stanley Steamer. There is some good money to be made.

I went to a local home show at a convention center a few weeks ago and these tub and shower enclosure people were there. I got to thinking, why does any one want to use these? Is it they can't keep their grout clean? Tubs clean?

When these tubs and showers are enclosed with these fiber glass panels, what have they done about the molds and mildews left underneath their application? How would you like to be the guy who removes them 20 years from now? or have you done it?