How to seal Grout
Knowing how to seal grout sometimes goes beyond the scope of cleaning. This is one task you might not get out of your maid service. When you are trying to sell a house though you definitely need to know this skill. Here is another how to for all my homeowners and real estate hustlers out there.
Ceramic tile floors are beautiful, durable and easy to maintain. The problem with maintaining the new look of ceramic tile floors is not the tile itself but keeping the grout clean. There are a number of ways to address the maintenance of your grout but the most important thing to understand is the appropriate care for your flooring.
Keeping your grout clean
Let’s discuss the tile floor. The tile is the largest surface with the grout lines slightly at below the tile. The grout line becomes a sink where the fluid runs off the tile and collects water and soil. Since grout is porous, any moisture that gets in the grout is absorbed into the grout. Since the fluid is the carrier, after the fluid evaporates what remains are the solids or stains. These solids or stains can build-up over time providing unsightly grout lines.
With this understanding, there are things a home owner can do to help maintain the clean appearance of the grout lines. Like any other floor, dirt and material that stains are the enemy. Placing rugs or mats at entryways and high traffic areas to help capture the dirt is beneficial. Daily living provides many other items that stain and can find their way into the grout so it best to understand how to minimize exposing your grout.
Unless stain-proof grout was used, the grout will need to be sealed. Allow the grout in new floors to cure for 30 days before sealing. If the grout is stained or dirty, use a mild bleach solution and scrub brush to clean it, then allow the floor to dry completely before sealing.
Grout, used to fill the gaps between ceramic tile, stone tile, and masonry, is made of a mixture of cement, sand, and water. It is extremely porous and stains easily. Seal it twice a year with a penetrating grout sealer, available from home centers or hardware stores, following the label directions. It is best to apply the sealer to the grout with a small foam brush; excess can be buffed off the tile and will not leave any lasting residue.