QUESTIONThe new home that I bought is brand new and we just found out that the grout needs to be sealed. It is a light gray porcelain tile with white Mapei grout. They are offering to seal the grout for us for the following prices and with the following products. We thought we should check with you first to see if you think the price is reasonable or if we could get a better price elsewhere. Also to see which product would be best and what you would recommend.
"Another opportunity is to have grout sealer applied. Grout is porous and Vintage Design does recommend sealing the grout.
Commercially graded sealer $2,027 this process would not need to be reapplied for 2 to 3 years.
Grout stain/ epoxy based grout sealer $2,544 this process would not need to be reapplied for 10 years."
ANSWERANSWER - I would not do either option. Their prices are extremely high. You can do it yourself for probably less than $100.
First of all you don’t really need to seal your grout. I assume it is a cementitious grout, which is porous. Put generally speaking you don’t have to seal it. It will get darker over time whether you seal it or not, but it will be easier to clean and will less likely stain if you do seal it.
I assume you have a glazed porcelain tile. Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile that is impervious, which means its absorption is ½ of 1 percent or less. So porcelain clay doesn’t readily stain. Although some unglazed porcelain tiles can have microscopic out-gassing voids that can possibly trap stains of certain products if they are not cleaned up readily or properly.
If you do have a glazed porcelain tile then you have an impervious glass-like coating over the surface of the porcelain tile body and it is even more stain resistant. So it is only the grout that can have a propensity to stain depending on the conditions it is subjected to.
I do like to apply certain sealers over glazed tiles and cementitious grout mainly because it provides a coating on the tile and grout that will help keep some substances from readily sticking to it; so the tile doesn’t tend to pick up dirt and it is easier to clean and keep clean. Although sealers don’t last that long. Depending on its exposure to foot traffic and frequency of cleaning it can wear. The test for determining that it is still working is that when you put drops of water on the tile or grout joint, the water beads up like water on wax. If the grout turns dark then the sealer isn't blocking it.
I would recommend that you use Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator Sealer that you can buy at Home Depot or a similar product. See product details by clicking on this link: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-Sealants-32-oz-Impregnator-Penetrating-Sealer-511-QT-H/100076375.
Since your tile is impervious you won’t need much sealer because the tile will not absorb much. All you probably need is a 32 oz bottle depending on how many square feet of tile you have. It is important that you apply it correctly. The floor tile and grout have to be completely clean and dry. If there are any stains in the grout then you will trap them in by applying the sealer over it. Get a clean link free cloth e.g. traditional baby diaper or some applicator pad. You can put the sealer in a plastic spray bottle and mist over the tile and grout. Put more on the grout than the tile, since the grout will absorb the sealer. Then immediately spread around and wipe up the excess sealer. Once the cloth is damp with sealer you can just spray the sealer over the grout joints and when you wipe up the excess with the cloth you can apply it to other adjacent tiles my simply wiping it over their surfaces. Once the cloth is too damp to wipe up excess sealer get another clean and dry cloth. It is important not to leave any excess sealer on the tile surface because it won’t get absorbed and it can leave a sticky surface that can become a maintenance problem. Make sure you follow the sealer manufacturer's directions.