tile guy says don't seal grout - is that right?

jfouxMay 23, 2007

We have glass tiles around the tub and ceramic octagon & dots on the floor. He said he doesn't seal the grout around glass or ceramic tiles because when the sealer gets on the tile it makes it hazy. I thought all grout should be sealed. Is he just saying this because it requires more work on his part?

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mongoct

Some sealers need to be painted on with an artists paintbrush to get it on the grout and none on the glass/ceramic.

Tedious? Oyahyoubetcha.

Which is whay many tilers "let the homeowner save money" by having the homeowner seal the grout themselves. Many tilers even give you a bottle of grout sealer for "free."

Everyone wins.

Sort of.

Mongo

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:36PM
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pirula

Sigh Mongo....

making me feel guilty. I still haven't sealed my grout in the master bathroom.

siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Ivette

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 12:22PM
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bill_vincent

Hey Ivette-- just a quick FYI-- I had my house in Connecticut for four years and NEVER sealed a single BIT of the grout-- not in the kitchen, front entry, or either bathroom, including a marble shower. Not even the bone grout in the kitchen backsplash! Not a bit of it.

And it still looked just as good as day one, the day we moved out.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:32PM
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mongoct

Ivette,

See you're way ahead of the others. I didn't seal the grout in my master bath's walk-in shower either.

The only grout I've sealed is the kids' bathroom floor and the laundry room floor.

The kid's tub surround isn't sealed.

All surfaces look great. The kid's bath floor gets scrubbed once every two or three years. Everything else is no extra maintenance.

Mongo

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 6:54PM
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jfoux

Thanks everyone. I feel better about it now. Not sure how much patience I have for sealing each grout line -- especially on the small octagon and dot tile on the floor. Glad to know it should be ok even if I don't get around to doing it.

Jennie

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 12:17AM
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monicakm_gw

Mongo, what do you scrub the kid's bathroom floor with? Must be some good stuff it it only gets done once or twice a year! I always clean my porcelain and travertine floors with steam but after this remodel, I feel the need to SCRUB it!

DH was our tile installer. When he finished I asked him when he was going to seal the grout. "Sorry Ms McDonald, we don't do that. The homeowner is responsible for sealing the grout". Smartbutt!! (lol) He DID offer me his knee pads tho and yes, I had to roll it on and wipe off the excess when it got on the porcelain. I put 2 applications on it. As for the travertine, that was simple. The tile and grout needed to be sealed (same product).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 7:26PM
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bill_vincent

But Monica, think of the satisfaction you gained from knowing it was done right!!

:-)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 7:58AM
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mongoct

"Mongo, what do you scrub the kid's bathroom floor with?"

What do I scrub it with?

My voice. Something like this:

"Hey kids, go in your bathroom and scrub the floor."

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 8:19PM
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pirula

YAY!!! Thank YOU! I may blow off the whole sealing thing. Enough already, already I say.

I've been using this really great shower/bathroom cleaner from Seventh Generation. It's mostly hydrogen peroxide and does a really incredible job. I noticed a big of lightening on the tile grout in a couple of places last weekend (I'm guessing it's conditioner residue) and it scrubbed it right off. It's also good at getting the hard water spots off the glass. Great stuff.

DS's bathroom is a dark gray grout with 1/16th grout lines. So I'm hoping I was sheer genius on this one and his grout will never be an issue (once he's old enough to clean his own bathroom I mean. Your's truly is currently doing it).

Ivette

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 9:49AM
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bus_driver

My tile work is very limited. I used epoxy grout in one bath and did not seal it- unnecessary, as I understand it. On the other two baths, I did seal the grout with a small brush to save on the cost of sealer- expensive- and the mess of cleanup from the tile. I did two coats of sealer. The first coat penetrated quickly, the second one (two days later) slowly and incompletely. I took that to mean that the sealer is really effective.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 9:26PM
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mpwdmom

Well heck, if Mongo and Bill don't seal their own grout, what are the rest of us worried about then??? I want to be sealer-free too! ; )
Susan ~

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:11PM
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bill_vincent

If you go to the Building a Home forum, you'll see an FAQ section there. In that section, I helpecd puttogether a tile FAQ list a couple of years ago, and you'll see where I've always been against most of the sealing that goes on. However, I'm part of a very small minority in the industry that doesn't believe in wholesale grout sealing. So, when asked, I'll give recommendations based on the sealers I've used, as to which ones are best. Period.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 2:15PM
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pirula

whooo hoooo! No sealer!!!

PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 3:22PM
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mpwdmom

I don't see it Bill, can you link it? I'd be interested in reading your theories. : )

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:47PM
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bill_vincent

Here you go:

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile FAQ

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 7:01AM
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mongoct

If I had tile in a "public entry room" like a mudroom or foyer, and the tile had light grout, I'd seal it. Unlike an upstairs bath that gets barefoot or sock-covered foot trffic, a downstairs public room would be prone to dirt encrusted shoes, etc.

In tiled bathroom tub surrounds and showers it just doesn't seem to be a problem.

A few years ago my wife read some review on bar soap...might have even been Consumer Reports...and Zest soap had the least "soap film residue" or whatever they called it. We switched to Zest way back when.

Not sure if that's the reason, but our showers have never been nasty.

If I had a natural stone shower surround or floor and the stone needed to be sealed, I'd seal the grout as well.

Today's showers (Kerdi, etc) and grouts (anti-microbial, admixed) are better performers than what was available years ago.

Mongo

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 8:38AM
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mpwdmom

Thanks for the link, Bill. Our grout was sealed, but now I won't worry about resealing it.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 12:52AM
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dfcar1

Great forum, new here. I am redoing my bathroom. I havent made final decision as to tile my tub surround or use the 5 piece plastic surround Better quality than some of the paper thin ones), I have not gotten aroud to returning. I looked at Terrestone and swanstone tub surrounds, looks like so much work. If I decide to tile, what is the best kind of grout, epoxy? The more I read the more lost I get, then I walk into big box store and dont know what to choose. Of course I like permetex Right stuff better than silicone, it will seal oil pans and timing covers much better :)(ooops wrong forum)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 1:59PM
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steve_bozeman

I am in the process of gutting a bank repo home we purchased. We decided to go with porceline tile for the bath and kitchen. We want to make sure everything is done correctly and by the book. We will seal all of our grout lines just to go the extra step. they make the sealer for a reason. C'mon folks, lets get busy!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 4:44PM
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muffinpup

Holmes on Homes says never seal your grout!

Here is a link that might be useful: Holmes on Homes

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 8:31PM
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dani_pow_hotmail_com

so...my bathroom tiles have all cracked around the perimeter of the tub...and we called our tile guy about a month after he installed them (didn't seal them to begin with) and he said its industry standard to wait until the grout cracks to seal it with silicone....is this right?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:37AM
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erikaj37

Loved the info on the Tile FAQ and the Holmes on Homes link. Boy will my contractor be happy when I don't ask for the kitchen floor grout to be sealed!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 7:21AM
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