This is a commonly asked question in our industry, yet it’s no that should not have much debate around it. Many times, tile installers will not seal the grout because it’s not technically part of their job and is perceived to be a waste of time. However, sealing grout is extremely important, and there are a few helpful details to know.
The first thing we should get out of the way is epoxy grout. Epoxy grout is not very common because it is very expensive and very difficult to install. However, the benefit of epoxy is that it never needs to be sealed! It’s essentially impenetrable, much like ceramic or porcelain tile.
When it comes to common grout types, sealing the grout, especially after cleaning, is very important. The most common type of grout is called cementitious grout. As the name suggests, this grout is made up of cement, as well as sand. Over time, acidic soils (especially around men’s toilets) will eat away at the grout and cause permanent damage. However, if a proper sealer is applied every 1-3 years, depending on use, the life of the grout can be prolonged exponentially. If you hire a professional to clean and seal your grout, make sure they are using a high quality sealer that protects from the inside out, rather than leaving a film on top.
With natural stone, such as marble, travertine or others, it is very important to also seal the tiles in addition to the grout, since the stone is porous. With ceramic tile, it is only necessary to seal the grout lines.
If you want help figuring out the best maintenance program for your tile and/or grout, please contact us here and we will be happy to help!