If you’re building a new home, restoring an old bathroom or just tiling in general you may have asked yourself the question ‘Why do bathroom tiles need to be sealed?’ Sealing tiles and grout has massive benefits long term & short. Depending on what tile you are using there are different reasons to seal or not. In this blog, we aim to explain exactly how to maintain bathroom tiles, what to expect depending on your tile of choice so you can make an informed decision about how to protect and maintain tiles and grout in your home and bathroom.

Makes cleaning your tiles much easier

Sealing your tiles main benefit is to reduce cleaning time, Penetrating and Topical sealants both achieve this by repelling water, dirt and oil. If the tile is sealed, dirt can’t work its way into the surface of the tiles, then when you mop or shower the water picks up the dirt rather than having to scrub it off the face of the tile. Porous stone like sandstone, travertine or marble all should be sealed as soon as possible to reduce the amount of contaminants entering the stone. Grout is also extremely porous and should be treated as soon as reasonable for the same reasons. High gloss porcelain tiles are more lenient and easier to maintain naturally due to the low absorption rate, however, minerals like calcium in tap water will eventually start to etch the surface. A quality hydrophobic sealant will protect your porcelain tile and surrounding grout. Deciding to seal your bathroom tiles, outdoor tiles or any other tiles is a worth while investment, short and long term.

Maintain or change the appearance of your tile

Constantly scrubbing your tiles with harsh cleaners and scrubbing dulls tiles over time, can cause scratching, or in some cases etch the face of the tile completely. Some stones like marble are incredibly sensitive to chemicals and some cleaning techniques. There are many professionals like 1st Choice Fix who are constantly repairing damage caused by the above techniques. Sealing the stone will completely remove the need for harsh chemicals, scrubbing and ensure your tiles look like new well into the future.

Some sealants won’t change the look of your stone or tiles and are advertised accordingly, however, there are products like Dry Treats Intensifier that can alter your stone to look wet. If you have ever thought your tiles or stone looked better wet than dry, then Intensifier or similar may be the sealant you’re looking for. As always, it’s best to contact a professional to access what sealers should be used where.

Penetrating or Topical sealants? What’s the difference?

Penetrating or Topical? What’s the difference? Well, a lot. The main difference is penetrating sealants penetrate down into the stone, Dry Treat for instance can penetrate up to 22mm into the stone meaning it has exceptional warranties and wears well. Topical however sits on top of the stone, creating a layer over the stone, this can wear quickly and generally, there are no warranties. Ground moisture can evaporate through most penetrating sealants but not topical. In some cases, pressure can build under a topical sealer until it breaks through, generally in the weakest point, the grout. Topical sealers generally make surfaces more slippery whereas most penetrating sealants don’t. Penetrating sealers are more expensive upfront but require less upkeep. Topical sealers are cheaper upfront, but as they wear faster, require recoating, and end up being more expensive in the long run as the sealer will need to be removed eventually when recoated.

1st Choice Fix specializes in penetrating sealers because we believe they are the superior of the two options. However, in some cases topical sealers are more appropriate and speaking to a professional to determine what sealer is best for your situation is always recommended.

Can you seal existing stone and tiles?

Sealing from brand new always gets the best results. That being said, all stone and tiles need to be looked after if it is to last into the future. A good clean or restoration then seal is one option for existing tiles and stone to maintain the appearance, reduce cleaning or even give your areas a new lease on life.

The main point to consider is if the tiles are worth keeping. If the cost of restoration and sealing is competitive compared to replacement and sealing from new. Stone-like travertine, marble or sandstone age well and are always worth getting a restoration quote from a professional to best gauge what results can be achieved. There are many different options for all budgets and a good technician will be able to provide you with different options to suit.

Summary

Deciding to seal or not shouldn’t be too difficult. There are always options to fit any budget and consulting a professional is generally the best way to get a clear site-specific solution to your tile or stone. Wet areas and high traffic areas should be prioritized first, focus on the most porous tile or stone. DIY may be an option to save on costs, but be wary as improper application can cause more problems and may end up costing more to repair than getting a professional from the beginning.

Here at 1st Choice Fix, we have the skills, accreditation and knowledge to offer solutions to a variety of surfaces, affordable pricing and fantastic warranties. Contact us today on 0401 487 558, info@1stchoicefix.com.au or learn more about our tile restoration services on our website.