Just like non slip floor coating for tiles, sealers are also very important. A sealer is a transparent liquid applied to the porous surface of the tile or grout, to protect them from natural deterioration and wear. Sealers also provide stain resistance to unglazed tiles and grout and are best applied soon after installation.
A tile floor is made of two parts: the tile and the grout. The tile is what covers most of the floor and the grout is the material that holds the tiles in place. The grout is usually porous and susceptible to stains so it needs to be sealed. When it is sealed, it is much easier to keep clean. Sealing makes your tiles to last for a long time and keeps your floor or walls looking great.
Types of Sealers
There are two main types of sealers for tiles: penetrating sealers and surface sealers:
Penetrating sealers get absorbed into the tile or grout to form a shield just below the surface that is resistant to stains. The appearance of the tiles is not changed by this type of sealer. These sealers penetrate into the grout joint and protect it against water and oil-based stains. They are best for dense, unglazed tiles such as quarries or porcelains.
Surface sealers are applied on the top of tile and grout to form a non-porous, stain resistant sealant. This type of sealer enhances the rich natural colors of the tile. It also adds a slight luster to its appearance. Sealers usually dry within one hour and may be reapplied extra coating if needed.
Things to Consider
Most ceramic and porcelain tiles only require a light application of a penetrating sealer on their surface to fill the micropores present on the surfaces. Therefore, they don’t need to be completely sealed, but if the tile is stone like marble or granite, it will need sealing because these materials are naturally porous and easily absorb spills and stain.
All unglazed tiles need be sealed before grouting. This is to prevent the grout from staining the tile when a grout with a dark color is being used with a light colored tile.
To know if a tile or grout has been sealed, spread a few drops of water on them. If they change color or the water sinks in fast, it means they are not sealed. If there is no change in color and the water does not sink in, they may have already been sealed. Tiles and grouts should be checked regularly to ascertain its need for resealing.
Using proper sealer makes the tile and grout are easier to clean. A mild bleach solution used by gently rubbing tile surface removes stains. Metal brushes and other harsh tools should not be used on tile surface because surfaces may be scratched or damaged.
From the explanations so far, it is obvious that sealing is also as important as non slip floor coating. Non slip coating ensures safety while sealing enhances the tiles beauty. Tiles should be sealed and resealed, if they are not, permanent staining on the tile and grout occurs quickly.