When you go through procedures for tile installation, you are bound to come across the use of a grout sealer. You feel that after installing the tiles and applying grout, your job is over. However, you still need to apply a sealer to get the job done. In case, you are not sure what it is and why its use is necessary, this story is an eye-opener.
About Grout Sealer
It is a clear chemical that serves the purpose of sealing applied porous tile grout and prevents the penetration of moisture into its surface. Aqua mix sealer is one of the popular products used in households. It effectively functions as a waterproofing agent for the applied grout and ensures that grout stays set in the tile seams.
It also protects it from acid or oil-based contaminants. Another important function, served by its application is the prevention of staining on a tile surface. It ensures that the surface is insulated from staining.
The applied surface of the tile remains washable due to the sealing properties of the chemical. The ceramic tile sealer itself is clear and colorless and stays the same, even after drying. In short, it's a protecting layer against moisture for applied grout and cement surface. After application, the sealer layer generally dries within an hour of application.
It also effectively prevents the growth of mildew and mold on the tiles due to its moisture-resistant nature. Without the application of the sealer, the porous nature of grout would easily allow intake of moisture, rendering it ineffective.
There are two main types - membrane-forming and penetrating sealers. Membrane-forming sealers do not get soaked into the applied grout but harden on its surface itself, forming a barrier against moisture and providing a glossy look.
Their peculiar naming arises from the fact that they form a glossy and thin membrane over the applied surface. They are also used as pigment agents in grout dyes.
Porous sealers get absorbed into the applied grout and fill all of its pores, with deposits of silicone or latex. They do not change the color of grout, like membrane-forming sealers. They prevent the penetration of liquids, grease, and other contaminating agents into the applied grout.
Keep a rag in hand to wipe off excess sealer, which was sprayed on tiles. Begin spraying from one end and then move over all the installed tiles till you have covered all the grout-covered seams. Keep wiping off excess sealer sprayed on the tiles, as you go ahead. After all the surface is thoroughly covered, you can stop and observe your finished handiwork.
Let it dry for an hour or two, to harden and take effect. After a couple of hours, you can test the sealer layer's effect, by deliberately spraying some water on it. The water will stay on the surface and evaporate due to the effect of the sealant.