Bathroom Tile Sealing

Updated February 21, 2017

Sealer products protect bathroom tiles and the subfloor from damage. If you use anti-slip coatings, sealers can also increase friction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. There are two general types of sealer for bathroom tiles: tile sealer and grout sealer. Glazed and some unglazed ceramic tiles usually don't require tile sealers, but all stone tiles do. Wait until you finish attaching the tiles and before applying grout to apply tile sealer. Apply grout sealer after the grout cures.

Test your ceramic tile to determine whether it needs a tile sealer. Splash some water onto the surface of the tile. If it darkens, the tile material absorbs water and needs sealing. As all stone tiles need sealing, you don't need to test them.

Determine the right type of sealer for your tile by assessing its finish, porosity and density or checking the manufacturer's instructions. If in doubt or the tile is old, take a sample to a home improvement centre and ask for sealer recommendations.

Dampen a clean piece of cloth or sponge with the appropriate tile sealer for your material and wipe the surface of the tile. Applying tile sealer before grouting prevents grout from penetrating into the pores of the tiles. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely because application methods vary.

Mix grout according to package instructions and use a padded grout float to spread it over the tiles. Push the grout into the joints between tiles. Use a damp grout sponge to wipe off excess grout from the tile surface. Use a clean piece of cloth or sponge to remove the grout haze that forms on the tile surface.

Apply silicone caulk specially labelled for bathroom use to the space between two surfaces. For example, the joint between the tiled floor and the cabinet, between the floor tile and the bathtub, and between two walls. Caulk allows the building material to expand and contract without causing damage. Silicone caulk is waterproof, making it suitable for bathroom tiles. Allow the caulk to dry for three to five days.

Dampen a clean sponge or piece of cloth with a grout sealer and apply the sealer to the grouted joints. This prevents the grout from absorbing water and retaining dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Tile sealer
  • 3 pieces of cloth or sponges
  • Padded grout float
  • Grout
  • Grout sponge
  • Caulk
  • Grout sealer
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About the Author

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.