Tips on How to Grout and Seal Tiles Like a Pro

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Whether you are installing or repairing tiles, it is important to understand how to properly grout and seal your tiles. So when is the best time to seal tiles? We recommend applying 3-4 days after grouting and reapplying every year. To learn more about how to keep your tiles and grout looking new and beautiful, read below for our top tips and tricks.

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1 | Thinset vs Grout

Before you start sealing your tiles, make sure you understand what the difference is between thinset and grout. And are they interchangeable? Quite frankly, there is a huge difference between the two materials. Thinset is an adhesive made of cement, fine sand and water-retaining agents. It’s usually used to attach tiles to surfaces such as concrete or cement, whereas grout is used for filling-in crevices and gaps between tiles and between tiles and walls and flooring. This paste comes in a variety of colors, ranging from white, black, yellow, and, now, metallic colors that add elegance and sophistication. The grout is later dried and carefully wiped down after installation. Remember, thinset is applied to the surface you’re laying tiles on and grout is applied after you’re done laying out the tiles.


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2 | When to Clean Tiles after Grouting

So you finished grouting your tiles, now it's time to clean the surface. You want to let your grout set for 15-20 minutes before removing the excess grout. Using a damp sponge, wipe the surface from top to bottom. This will ensure you are removing the right amount of grout with each stroke, leaving behind a clean surface. Repeat the process two to three more times. If you notice stubborn grout haze after cleaning, you can easily remove it by using a dry towel. Using a soft dry towel, carefully rub the area until the grout dust starts to come off.


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3 | Can You Regrout Tiles?

Yes, you can re-grout your tiles and you can definitely change the color while you’re at it. While it is possible to re-grout your tiles, applying new grout over existing grout may be more difficult since the final results vary. Removing grout between tiles is not nearly as difficult as it used to be since there are new tools specifically designed to remove old grout. Using the grout rake tool, scape the grout in a downward motion. This will give you more control and better results. Once you remove the old grout, use a vacuum to remove any remaining loose grout and dust. This tip is great for those working on tile walls. To make sure everything is clean and dust free, use a damp sponge to remove access dust and then continue to grout as you normally would.


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4 | Sealing Tiles vs Staining Tiles

You must understand that the grout is porous and as such can collect dirt and retain liquids, especially in areas that are prone to get wet like the kitchen and bath. Sealing your tiles will help protect your grout and tiles from any stains and residue. Think of sealing as a top coat that protects your tiles. Staining is exactly what it sounds like. The purpose for staining is to add color onto unprotected grout and to change the color of your tiles. This option is for those who decided to change their tile color after installation was complete.


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5 | When to Seal Tiles

To ensure your tile and grout continue to look their best, it's important to seal your tiles after grouting. A good rule of thumb is to wait 3-4 days after grouting. Using painters tape, tape off any baseboard and other surfaces to prevent unintentional staining. Apply the sealer using a foam paint roller, it's a quick and effective way to seal any grout. Wait 10-15 minutes to allow the first coat to soak in, then apply another layer and wait an additional 10-15 minutes. This process may seem daunting but can help you save money by extending the life of your tiles. The key to maintaining your tiles is by re-sealing your grout once or twice a year. This will prevent permanent staining and help with easy clean up from spills.