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Old 08-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Oh grout, how you vex me


The thought of sealing the grout in my 650 square foot basement by painting each line, twice at installation, and then every few years is very painful to me.

If I don't stay up on sealing it, it will just get dirty looking, right? Mold etc won't grow in it, will it?

What are my options? What's your opinion?

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Old 08-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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Oh grout, how you vex me


Hi Alex,

You may have the wrong idea about how to apply and what sealer does.

You don't have to "paint" the grout actually. You can apply the sealer to the grout area, allow to soak a few minutes, then wipe the tiles to remove the excess. Buy a high quality product and it should be good for many years, not just a few. I doubt most people do it a second time in most cases especially for a basement area.

Sealer will make your grout easier to clean by slowing down the absorption of liquids, mold should not be an issue in a high alkaline environment such as grout. Is your basement dry, elevated, or is the terrain low or flat?

Is the area tiled already or in planning? Expansion joints, any cracks, how flat is the floor, (measure), what type of tile, size, setting products, who's gonna do it?

Jaz

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:27 AM   #3
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Oh grout, how you vex me


Hey Jazman, thanks a ton for the reply.

The reason I described it as 'painting' is that I read that you aren't really supposed to get sealer on glazed ceramic tiles. So it's not like you can mop it on. You have to carefully apply it only to the grout lines, which means 'painting' each line on a 650 square foot area. Which sounds really tedious. And I'll have to do it every few years, right?

I'm glad that mold isn't an issue, which means we can choose a darker grout and the worst that will happen is it might discolor some?

And thanks for asking for the details, I'll take any advice you can offer. This is a 1979 bilevel. The lower level is about 4 feet under ground with a walkout and low windows all around. Slab floor. Essentially no cracks of any kind. I did the moisture test and there was zero moisture. Very flat, aside from a few dips it's within 1/16" over 10 feet. I was thinking of bumping those areas up with thinset rather than SLC. Water soaks right into the slab, no beading. I'll do the install myself. Glazed ceramic tiles, 16X16. I'll use the medium fortified thin-set from the orange store and probably normal fortified grout although I've considered urethane grout.

I've done a tiling job already but I am just an amateur.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Oh grout, how you vex me


It's fine, even good to get sealer onto the glazed tiles with many sealers. Some even recommend it to fill the pores of the glaze and to make the surface less slippery. Apply the sealer using a small brush or a small piece of white 100% cotton cloth. Of course you will get some sealer on the tiles. Let it soak 3-5 minutes, then wipe off the tiles before it dries. Double check specific directions on container of the one you select.

Your installation plan sounds fair. Only option is the addition of a membrane such as Ditra. Don't forget perimeter expansion joints and in the field expansion joints depending on size, lay-out and other conditions such as sun exposure.

Jaz
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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Oh grout, how you vex me


This helps a ton.
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