Sealer for White Grout that Won't Stain Glass Tiles or Porcelain

ms222June 5, 2012

So I'm in the process of having my bathroom re-done and the tile guys won't seal the white grout. I'm going to have to seal it since the grout is white and I don't want it to get dirty and turn different colors. Unfortunately, I didnt think about this beforehand, and pretty much everything in my bathroom has white grout.

1) Which sealer can I use that won't haze/stain glass subway tiles?

2) Which sealer can I use that won't stain porcelain?

How do I apply the sealer, with a painter's brush?

Here is my bathroom now (not completely finished yet, the bathroom floor needs to be grouted among other things.

Here was the before:

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I've recently used STT's SB Deluxe sealer (based on some rec's here on GW and from guys over on the JB forum) in two bathrooms, and on newly installed travertine tile throughout the ground floor of our home. We used it on grout, and on the tile itself; travertine, split face travertine mosaic/border tile, White Thassos Marble, as well as porcelain tile. No staining, discoloring, or darkening occurred as far as I could tell. Bonus is the lack of odor--minimal odor, if any.

As for hazing, I personally found this to be the easiest sealer with which to work of the few I've used over recent years (somehow, I always get stuck doing the tile/grout sealing! LOL). The "new" application directions have you applying the sealer until the surface "glistens" and then you leave it alone for 3-8 hours, until all appears dry (small, quarter size spots of sealer might remain here and there). The surface is then buffed with a clean, dry, soft cloth to remove any residue. It really buffs off easily. Repeat the application as needed (for porous stone, for ex.).

For glass/porcelain tile, you needn't seal the tile itself, of course. You can use a narrow sponge "brush" or rag/cloth wet with sealer to apply to the grout lines. You don't have to go nuts being careful to avoid getting the sealer on the tile itself, because it will buff off. The sealer didn't appear to leave a true haze on the tile surface, That is, it didn't leave a dried-on, almost impossible to remove haze like other sealers I've used have. Any non-absorbed excess remained "pliable" (for lack of a better word) enough to "wipe off" with the cloth.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Thanks, I will look into that sealer, yes I know I don't have to seal the glass tile, but I will definitely be getting it on the glass tile as I try to go over the grout, so I wanted to make sure there would be no hazing.

As you can tell by my picture, I have an insane amount of white grout to take care of. The shower floor is 1x1 mosaic' you can imagine all of the white grout.

Never really thought about the negatives of using white grout until I already made all of my choices. I still love how the bathroom is looking though

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:24PM
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It looks terrific so far--forgot to write that in my haste to provide the sealer info! I really like your tile. :-)

Our white grout still looks nice and white. The sanded grout never looked as bright white as the unsanded, of course, but both still look as good as they did on day one.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Thanks cat mom,

The tile looks great and I am very happy with it. I wanted something unusual, so I did glass tiles for the shower, a shower panel will be added, I did a wood floor style 6"x24
porcelain for the floors, and 1.5" mosaics for the shower floor. On another wall I have 1" mosaics that are mixture of glass, marble, and stainless steel. A dark espresso wood vanity and white cultured marble top.

The problem was my installer used all bright white grout on my request, and I didnt realize how much grout and how much of a maintenance issue it could be if I didn't seal.

So I just ordered the STT deluxe for $67 based on your recommendation. I have never done any type of sealing work before, I will apply it with a brush to the lines and not worry if I get it on the glass or porcelain, and I will wait 3-8 hrs like you said and then wipe it off.

For $67 I couldnt find how large of amount of sealant I was getting. I wonder if it will be enough to cover all the grout lines I have! When the project is done I'll post pics! Right now I have all of the floors brown paper covered to protect dirt from the workers staining it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Cat mom,

I may be wrong, however it appears the directions for the STT SB Deluxe Sealer (which is what I bought for $67), says to apply it and let it sit for 45 minutes and then wipe off rapidly.

I know you stated 3hrs-8hrs.

The link below is the PDF from their website with the directions. Tell me what you think

Here is a link that might be useful: STT SB Deluxe Directions

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:54AM
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New instructions, delivered over the phone last year by Stephen (creator/owner STT). He told me to apply enough sealer until the surface glistens, and let sit until mostly all of the sealer has absorbed/evaporated. Said it would take anywhere from 3-8 hours. Now, this was for a large area--FR/guest bedroom/garage entryway, so that might have factored into it??? Also, we were sealing travertine tile. Instructions might be different when just sealing grout.

He did say that the label on the cans had not yet been revised to reflect the new application instructions, at least they hadn't been changed on the cans back in August-Sept. When we used it to seal our bathroom tile/grout, we followed the original application instructions.

He's a really nice guy and would answer any questions you have I am sure.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Thanks! What size bottle do I get for the $67 and do you think it would take care of my whole bathroom?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:45PM
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I got one can (had some left in an older can as well) to do our entire downstairs. Don't recall the can size (Qt? Less?). Still have a bunch left in the can. The first can that had some left had been used in two bathrooms.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:24PM
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