I have a tile bath/shower room. Are you supposed to seal the grout with something periodically to prevent water seepage? If so, what do you use? Please give me generic terms as well as brands, as I live in Japan.
Thanks for all this feedback! I was not concerned so much with dirty grout as with the water going through it and getting into the foundation. I am happy to see somebody else uses only hot water and vinegar for cleaning because it works well, and that's what I have been using. Since I try to keep poisons out of my house, I guess I won't seal it!
If anyone else has other suggestions I'd be happy to hear them! Also about sealing cracks in the tile. I have used some silicone-based product and after a year it's moldy underneath.
Sure! There is a product for sealing tile grout. Tile Sealer! Almost any hard-ware store carries it. When you buy your ceramic and your grout, ask the dealer to include a bottle.
Turtle Wax is another thing you can do, which I did years ago and which is both cheap and great to use. However, I only recommend using Turtle Wax on bathroom ceramic walls and not on the floor. It is too slippery! Have a great day!
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I never sealed the grout after putting in ceramic tile in my kitchen. Is it too late? What's the best way to clean it first?
Annie from Columbus, OH
I didn't either but I just found out about a spray sealer that Lowe's sells, not cheap but several people have told me it really works! (10/24/2006)
Well, my advice is to check out what tile installers say and local tile stores. I worked for a tile company a few years back and they thought it was the worse thing possible to seal your grout. You have to do it every year there after. They also said you should only clean your tile with hot water and vinegar. I would check into it further before doing this. I of course do not have any tile in my home. So I can't say from personal experience.
We bought the spray sealer at Lowe's but returned it because it has so many warnings on it. I just figured it wasn't good to use around children. We bought some other stuff that you brush on but can't say it worked very well :-( All our grout on the new kitchen/eating area floor that is in areas with more traffic or near the table has already gotten discolored in less than a year. I like my tile otherwise and I'm still glad I replaced the old vinyl floor with tile, but can't say I'm fond of cleaning grout. We have tile in other parts of our home that is 19 years old and the grout was never sealed and it took quite a while to get dirty. (10/26/2006)