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- do it yourself, Factory Tile Depot, grout, tile
Natural stone never goes out of style and remains a popular finishing material for both wall and floor applications. When working with natural stone, it’s important to learn how to seal stone and seal grout to properly care for your investment and avoid damage during and after installation.
How to Seal Natural Stone
Many people believe that sealing is the last step in the installation process, but when working with natural stone, like granite, marble, travertine, limestone and slate, we recommend the material be sealed both before and after grouting (after letting the grout cure for a good 48 hours before final coat). The reason? All finishes of natural stone are porous, meaning there are tiny holes often invisible to the eye that will absorb the grout colouring during installation, which will then cause the tile to become stained and/or discolored.
There are two main types of sealers that can be applied to natural stone tile. The most appropriate sealer to use for your project will depend on the type of tile you’re installing.
Penetrating Sealers: Penetrating sealers form an invisible barrier below the surface of the stone that provides maximum protection against the toughest oil and water-based stains. This type of sealer may change the appearance of the material depending on if you choose a natural or color enhanced option but will not leave a surface residue. This is the most popular type of sealer.
Topical Sealers: This group of sealers adds protection to the surface of the material by creating a visible protective barrier on the surface of the stone, often in a gloss or semi-gloss finish. They are effective at resisting stains, but the finish does wear out over time in areas of high traffic.
How to Seal Grout
If you’re installing natural stone, the final (2nd coat) of sealer applied after grouting goes over the entire surface, allowing you to seal grout and stone at the same time. If you’re installing a ceramic or porcelain tile, you will need to apply a specific grout sealer by hand to the grout joints. Ensure you adhere to the recommended curing time of your specific grout before sealing; most formulas require 48-72 hours before application. Then, apply either with the supplied spray bottle or roller to the grout joints directly, wiping any excess off the tile during the application.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying sealers of any kind. Most sealers for natural stone can and should be applied with a lint free roller and/or dry, clean rags. It is important to note that after applying the sealer to the material and waiting 15-20 mins, that you wipe off any excess liquid that has not been absorbed.
Factory Tile Depot is proud to carry a top end water-based line of sealers MORE Surface Care.
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