Does Sealing Mean No Maintenance?

No, tiled floors and grout require regular maintenance and anyone that tells you otherwise is either lying or misinformed! If you were to have your carpet Scotchguarded™ you would not assume that you have to vacuum less frequently. Likewise, if you have your tiles or grout sealed do not assume that you have to clean & maintain them less frequently!

Sealers prevent staining, NOT dirt / grime build up. A penetrating sealer sits just below the surface of the tile and prevents spills from penetrating and hence staining the tile. They provide reaction time to deal with spills. An unsealed floor can stain immediately, whereas a sealed floor is stain resistant. Sealers can provide a reaction time of up to 4-5 hours. With natural stone tiles, sealers will not prevent acid based spills (eg red wine, vinegar, urine, fruit juice etc) from etching / burning the surface of the tile. Spills of this nature should be cleaned immediately to prevent permanent damage to the tile surface. Etching will create a permanent dull or frosty appearance on the surface of the tile which cannot be removed without polishing or re-honing.

Clients often ask whether sealing textured tiles will make them easier to clean. It won’t. As explained above, sealing will help to protect from “staining” but textured tiles, by their very nature, have a rough and uneven surface. While providing non-slip features, the textured surface also attracts dirt and grime build-up. Often a simple mop will not be sufficient for maintaining tiles of this type. A scouring pad and doodlebug may be beneficial and periodic professional cleaning may well be recommended.

Finally, let’s look at grout. Grout is often the lowest point on the floor which often results in dirt, grime and other contaminants collecting there – particularly in high traffic areas / walk ways. Grout will certainly benefit from sealing to prevent staining but regular and thorough cleaning with the correct products and equipment will also be required to keep grout looking good.