How to Seal Shower Tile Grout

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No one pays attention to shower grout unless it is dirty, mildewed or cracked. Dirty grout makes the entire shower area look filthy. Mildew not only looks bad, it is also a health hazard that causes allergic reactions and respiratory problems and, if left unchecked, spreads rapidly. Cracks allow water to get behind tile to cause mold growth and rot. Water eventually deteriorates the mortar behind the tile, causing it to fall off. Sealing grout prevents water damage and mold growth and makes cleaning easier. It is a small price for an attractive, low-maintenance shower.

Things You'll Need

  • Sealer
  • Pan
  • Sponge or small brush
  • Select you sealer. A topical sealers offers a wet look, while a penetrating sealer offers a matte, natural finish. Penetrating sealers work best for showers because they seal throughout the grout. Topical sealers allow some water to penetrate and, ironically, seal the water in, promoting mold growth.

  • Apply the first coat of sealer to the grout lines using a small brush or sponge. Applying with the brush allows a precision application but takes longer. Wait an hour and repeat. Wait another hour and add a third and final coat. Applying sealer over grout and tile alike with a sponge is faster, but requires wiping excess sealant from the tile.

  • Wipe excess sealer from the tile before it dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow new grout to dry for three days before sealing.
  • Follow all manufacturers instructions.
  • Reseal every two to four years.

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References

  • "Tiling 1-2-3"; The Home Depot; 2001
  • Photo Credit small tile green image by Nicemonkey from Fotolia.com
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