Different types of flooring will have different qualities. Carpet, of course, brings with it a softer feel and is often a popular choice for bedrooms. But tile brings a lot of great design possibilities, along with a very important feature; durability. With tile, the density of the material makes it extremely hardy, and with proper care, can last the entire lifespan of your home with little wear and tear.
However, that kind of longevity means that you can’t neglect it. While tile can stand up to much more force and abuse than a wooden or carpeted floor, you need to still take certain precautions to ensure its condition. One of those considerations is about whether or not to seal either the tile or the grout.
What Grout & Tile Sealing Sealing Does
There are actually two components to a tile floor; the tile itself and grout. The tile is the most visible part of the floor and is the surface you chose and walk on. The grout is similar to mortar in brick walls; it’s a cement-like substance that sits between tiles, binding and holding everything together.
Sealing is when a special extra layer of protective coating is added to the tiles, the grout or both. Once a seal has been applied, both of these surfaces become a bit more durable and resistant, particularly to liquid such as spills from drinks or sauces on food.
If you’ve just installed new floors, or have just bought a newly constructed home, it’s unlikely that the grout has been sealed, although it’s not a bad idea. Grout, like mortar and other forms of concrete, has a curing period. This simply means it needs to be allowed time to complete the chemical process where it hardens into its “final form.”
Grout sealing during this period is not actually a good idea since it can damage the grout and eventually cause it to break down. However, if you want to have this process done once the curing period is over, it’s some great added security. If you’re not sure whether your grout is already sealed or not, try dropping water on it. If the color darkens, that means the grout is absorbing the water and is unsealed. If grout doesn’t go dark, someone sealed it before you bought the home!
Depending on the material, you may or may not need to have your tile sealed. Porcelain and ceramic-based tiles, for example, are usually non-porous and extremely resistant to liquids anyway, so a seal is redundant.
Other materials, however, may be naturally porous, meaning that when they come in contact with liquids, they will not only easily admit the liquids, but if the liquids are colored, they may take on the stain of the liquid permanently. Marble, for example, while beautiful and dense, is vulnerable to liquid penetration.
Let Us Make The Call
If you’re not sure whether your tile or grout could benefit from sealing, we can help make the final determination. Groutsmith has years of experience working with many stone surfaces both as counters and floor tiles. Just contact us and let us know what kind of needs you have for the room. If your kitchen or bathroom tile and grout need extra, added protection from sealing, we can immediately tell, and guide you through the next steps.