How to Seal Glazed Porcelain Tile

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Glazed porcelain is nonabsorbent; therefore many ceramicists and tile fitters choose not to apply sealant to porcelain tiles. However, in situations where porcelain tile is used in high-traffic areas or in settings where efflorescence or staining is a concern, it is useful to seal tiles. Seal porcelain tiles using a porcelain impregnator. Impregnators are formulated to penetrate the porcelain and provide a protective barrier that repels water, grease and soil and prevents their penetrating the glazed finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Porcelain impregnator
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Floor cleaner
  • Wax or sealant stripper (optional)
  • Sponge
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic
  • Natural-bristle paintbrush or natural-nap roller
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Dab a small amount of impregnator in an inconspicuous area to ensure that it will not discolor the porcelain.

  • Clean older tiles by steam washing them with a wet/dry vacuum and a commercial floor cleaner. If the tiles have been waxed or sealed, spray them with a wax or sealant stripper. Allow the stripper to penetrate for five minutes, then rinse the tiles clean with a damp sponge.

  • Mask off surrounding surfaces that need to be protected with plastic sheeting and masking tape.

  • Apply a consistent, generous layer of impregnator to the tiles, using a natural-bristle paintbrush or a natural-nap roller. Leave the impregnator to sit for five minutes.

  • Wipe away the residual impregnator with a dry, lint-free cloth.

  • Apply a second coat of impregnator. Leave it to sit for five minutes and then wipe away the excess. Allow the impregnator to cure for 24 to 48 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • New tiles can be sealed either before grouting or after, as long as all grout residue is cleaned from the surface of the tiles.
  • Wear latex gloves and work in a ventilated environment to avoid skin contact with impregnator solvents and inhalation of vapors.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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