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Unread 12-02-2008, 03:47 PM
 
3,362 posts, read 7,023,270 times
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Default How can you tell if a ceramic tile floor is sealed

Before we moved into our house we had ceramic tile installed and sealed

I am not convinced the floor has been sealed; when the grout gets wet it changes color [darkens] until it dries - which to me says water is seeping in.

Comments? My father said on his water beaded on the grout.
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Unread 12-02-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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Default Yep, it probably ain't sealed........

We don't know exactly what you have for tile. Did the entire floor require a sealer? Is the tile glazed?

In general a glazed tile itself does not require a sealer. But most grouts do. Can get to be a complicated subject.

There is more than one type of sealer. Some incorporate a "Wear Layer", some are designed to penetrate. But as a general rule, once a grout has been sealed with whatever, water should not cause it to change color.

Not all grouts require a sealer, usually those are not affected by water, there are some that have an epoxy base or other such materials.

The general rule is if you test a small area with water, if it changes color then it should be sealed. Again lots of various sealers can be used. The common ones probably have silicon based products.

The question is pretty vague as to the details.
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Unread 12-02-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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I really am not sure but I gather that the grout should not change color when it gets wet. I think the tiles are glazed - they said they would not need sealing and even that the grout would not need it but the color change concerns me.
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Unread 12-02-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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Default Well like I said it can get complicated......

If you have a more or less standard installation, you probably got a glazed tile with a sanded floor grout. This is a cement based product, actually got some fine sand in it.

Normally floor tile is set with a larger grout line. The other thing you do have to wait a bit to allow the grout to "Cure" before sealing. This makes the grout fairly immune to water penetration, keeps it cleaner, probably has a longer working life, less prone to mildew. Usually you wait at least a couple days before sealing, week might be better. After a proper job, water should not have much effect on it, should not "Get Damp", should not show a color change. The curing part can again be complicated. Not too wet, not too dry, not too hot, etc. You want the bulk of the free water to escape and have the grout in a stable state. Should not be using the floor. Probably not what happens in most balsa wood modern shack construction.

This can get all over the lot depending on exactly what materials / methods were used to do the job. But again in general you do not want the grout to have the ability to absorb water, if it does something is probably wrong. It is also partly cosmetic, unsealed normal grout will get a dirty appearnace a lot quicker.

Sounds like another case of shoddy workmanship and the excuses to cover it up. Ah, yes so much of that is afoot in the land today.

They should explain in vast detail why the grout does not need to be sealed. Usually that is only the case in situations where the materials used are immune to water themselves as part of their design. Probably in the more upscale jobs.
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Unread 12-03-2008, 07:28 AM
 
518 posts, read 1,758,985 times
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To resolve the issue, just go to your local tile dealer and buy a quart of water-based sealer and apply it yourself. Two or three coats will solve the problem. Easy to apply, except for the tedious hands and knees part.

Regards,
Streamer1212
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Unread 12-03-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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Well, I am not going to pay them the $150 they charged me for sealing.

These folks came highly recommended and otherwise the job is nicely done at least for now, time will tell.

We had this and a hardwood floor done several weeks before we moved into the house so we would not have to deal with traffic and allow the wood to cure properly before moving in.
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Unread 12-03-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
2,384 posts, read 6,010,729 times
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I've sealed all my grout, but it will still get darker when I wash the floor--but it dries just like new! As long as the color change isn't permanent, don't worry!
If you're unsure if the grout is sealed (the tile itself doesn't need sealing--it's impermeable), then buy a can of sealant at the hardware store--it's cheap, and it works!
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Unread 12-04-2008, 09:35 AM
 
2,217 posts, read 291,584 times
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You can buy silicone grout sealer, at a local Menards or Lowes, for not much money. If I were in your shoes, that's what I'd do. It's really not very complicated or difficult. Apply it yourself. That way you know it's done, and done right.
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Unread 12-05-2008, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,823 posts, read 26,176,884 times
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Just buy some sealer spray at a home improvement store. It takes less than an hour to do a large bathroom. I did it three times just to make sure that i did not miss anything.
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Unread 12-06-2008, 10:51 AM
 
39,265 posts, read 38,683,801 times
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I seal my grout evry five years and have never been able to tell by looking if its sealed. But it is much easier to clean the grout line and it will change colors when wet. Sealers Choice is a good brand from what tile people tell me.
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