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Unread 05-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #1
Curtis M
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Join Date: May 2008
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Sealing Grout on Ceramic Tiles


I am a commercial property owner and am renovating a fitness shower/sauna area. We are using ceramic tile (4" wall tile and 1" floor tile). Also a 1" glass tile on feature walls.

The installers have said that the floor does not need to be sealed as we are using Mapei's Kerapoxy grout (Epoxy grout), but sealing the walls and ceiling would not be a bad idea as we are using Mapei's UltracolorU (cementitious grout).

A sealing company recommended a "water-based topical sealant" for the walls and ceilings which should last at least 3 years. Is this an accurate representation for a commercial facility and will the sealant have any effect on glass tiles?

I just want to make sure I am not being led astray as this is approximately 10,000 square feet of tile, and a large expense.

Thanks for your imput,

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Unread 05-07-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
Florida Tile & Stone Man
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Location: Naples Fl.
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Hard to say not knowing the brand of sealer, but yes a water based sealer could withstand cleaning for 3 years, but keep in mind sealers are only inhibiting the absorption of stains, not keeping the grout clean.The sauna is a different story,be sure the brand used recommends it for saunas.The floor of course would see the most abuse and epoxy is the perfect choice.The walls behind the tile and the methods of installation will play a big role in the life of the tile job of course.

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Unread 05-09-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
Curtis M
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Thanks Dave,

We are continuing with the Epoxy grout in the sauna on the floor, walls and ceilings and therefore will not be sealing in the sauna. Brick walls, heavy gauge steel strapping, foam insulation, concrete board, waterproof membrane, then the thinset and tiles.

We are using Daltile Ceramic Glazed tiles on the walls and ceilings.

The sealing company just says that it is a "proprietary" sealer, and don't have a brand name. Is there a significant pro/con between a topical sealant and a penetrating sealant?

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Unread 05-10-2008, 06:21 AM   #4
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Hi Curtis

Every once in a while I'll see a commercial installation with a topical sealer applied to the tile and grout. While this would not be my personal recommendation, it does have it's merits. Especially if there may be any chance of graffiti damage.

The whole idea of installing ceramic tile is to ease maintenance issues. If this were my installation I would stick with an impregnating sealer for the grout only. I believe that the topical sealer will simplify the application, because nothing will need to be wiped off after it's applied.
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