If you're refreshing your space with brand-new tiles, you might be wondering about the proper way to seal them.
Here, we cover everything you need to know.
Why Do Cement Tiles Require Sealing?
Cement tiles come in a wide range of styles so there's something for everybody – and decorating your space with a design and color you like can really brighten your spirits!
Cement tile has a decorative layer atop a cement body. In contrast to clay tiles, cement tiles aren't fired. For that reason, adding a sealer is critical to helping minimize staining. This also helps to keep your tiles looking good for years to come, no matter where you have them installed.
It's important to know that sealing will protect your tiles, but your cement tiles will still age and can, over time, develop a patina – even though they've been sealed. This is part of the beauty of cement tiles and a reason why they’re so coveted in the design industry.
What Tools and Materials Do I Need to Seal Cement Tiles?
Before starting, collect all the necessary tools and materials. You'll need the following:
- Tile sealant (We recommend STAIN-PROOF Original™ Sealer)
- Clean soft cotton cloth that's free of lint
- Paint roller for application
When Should I Seal Cement Tiles?
Sealing every cement tile during a tile installation protects your tiles from absorbing moisture. If there's a problem with a cement tile installation, one of the most common issues will be inadequate or insufficient sealing and grout pigment staining.
LiLi Cement Tiles are pre-sealed for handling purposes, so if you install it with one of the grouts we recommend (more on that later), you can seal your LiLi tiles after installation and grouting are done.
Sealing Cement Tiles: What's the Process?
Here's what you need to know to properly seal your cement tile from LiLi Tile:
Step 1: Ensure It’s Time to Seal Your Tiles
Your LiLi Cement Tiles will have an installation guide. Make sure you read it to thoroughly understand all of the steps involved in installing your tiles.
All new LiLi Collection tiles are pre-sealed for handling purposes. If the box has a yellow sticker, you can apply sealer after grout.
If you use one of the grouts listed below, you can seal your tiles after grouting and installation is complete for your LiLi Cement Tiles:
- Mapei Flexcolor™ CQ Grout
- TEC® InColor™ Advanced Performance Grout
- Bostik TruColor® RapidCure™ Grout
- Laticrete® SPECTRALOCK® 1 Pre-Mixed Grout
We recommend using quartz-based grout, as cement tiles are porous and absorb any pigment in the grout you install them with. By using the quartz-based grouts we suggest, there isn’t pigment – only the colors that naturally occur in quartz.
Make sure that your tiles are properly installed before sealing. Your tiles need to be allowed to completely dry prior to sealing.
After installation is complete, tiles should be washed with a neutral detergent and any additional mortar or residue should immediately be removed. Liquid should not be allowed to puddle on the surface of installed tiles – don’t leave drips, spills, etc on the surface before sealing.
Make sure the tiles are clean and dry before you begin sealing. Once you’re certain that your tiles are ready for sealing, you can proceed.
Step 2: Seal Your Tiles
Pour your sealer into a container. Don't pour the sealer onto the tile directly from the bottle.
Get your paint roller and dampen it, but don't saturate it. Then, use the paint roller to apply the sealer to the tile's surface gently.
If there's excess sealer that isn't absorbing into your tile, don’t allow it to puddle on the surface. Instead, wipe it off using a clean, non-fibrous cloth.
You can repeat this process, applying a minimum of two to three coats. Apply four coats or more for backsplashes where there may be hot oil splashes or high volume areas.
Make sure to wipe away residue before it dries and let things dry for about one hour between each coat.
Once finished, the treatment should be left to dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 3: Test Your Sealing
Before you're done, you might want to test whether or not you sealed your tile properly.
To do this, simply pour a small amount of water on the tile and allow it to sit there for 30 seconds, then wipe away the water and dry the tile. If you sealed your tile properly, there shouldn't be a mark left behind.
Make sure you only test this using water, as it should dry off your tile with time if not properly sealed.
Step 4: Care for Your Tiles
Make sure you properly care for and maintain your brand new tiles. Never use acidic or alkaline cleaners. Do not use bleach or ammonia and instead use only pH neutral cleaners. Understand this and any other necessary components for caring for your tiles to keep them looking excellent for years to come!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Cement Tile Be Sealed?
It's important to note that cement tile should be sealed in order to protect it from damage and stains. Once you've sealed your tiles, they'll be more impervious to staining and moisture and look great for years to come.
What Is The Best Sealer for Cement Tile?
To find the best sealer for your cement tile, make sure that any product you use is compatible with your specific tiles and the situation you'll be using it in. STAIN-PROOF Original™ Sealer is a great option for sealing cement tiles.
Can You Seal Cement Tile?
Not only can you seal cement tiles, but you definitely should. This helps protect them from damage and stains so they can continue looking top-notch for years to come. Make sure to seal your tiles properly to maintain their excellent appearance.
How Often Do Cement Tiles Need To Be Sealed?
It's important to seal your tiles properly when you first install them to protect them from damage and stains. How often cement tiles need to be sealed depends on factors like how much traffic they see in the area they're installed in.
Looking for the Perfect Cement Tiles & Sealer? Shop LiLi Tile!
If you're looking to freshen up a space in your home, tiles are a great option!
At LiLi Tile, we have a wide range of options to suit every style. Browse our collections today to find just what your space needs!