Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles

 
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


What is the best product to seal porcelain tiles and will it deepen the color of the grout and/or tile or make it shinny.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


why seal porcelain?, grout ok , porcelain not required

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Old 07-15-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Typically porcelains won't absorb any sealer while at the same time some porcelains can be stained by the grout. If this is a concern then you can go ahead a seal the porcelain to avoid the staining possibility.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Quote:
Best sealer for porcelain tiles
Water.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


if it is a concern mop the floor first. some time the first time a tile get watter on it is from the grout and in rare cases(very rare) a porcelain tile can absorb a tiny amount if color from the grout. get the tile wet first with clean watter and you will never have a problem.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:11 AM   #6
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Okay, I thought I been around, but apparently not. I've never, ever, ever heard of or seen any tile setter ever have a miniscule care in the world about a grout staining a porcelain tile. With the criteria involved that allows a tile to be classified as porcelain I didn't even consider this to be on the radar.

Come on guys... really?
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Okay, I thought I been around, but apparently not. I've never, ever, ever heard of or seen any tile setter ever have a miniscule care in the world about a grout staining a porcelain tile. With the criteria involved that allows a tile to be classified as porcelain I didn't even consider this to be on the radar.

Come on guys... really?

Good. I thought I was coo-coo for co-co puffs. I ain't never heard such a thing either Mike
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:53 AM   #8
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Can't say i ever cared either and every time this has come up it has been grout haze not permanent staining. Told them to use grout haze remover and move on.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:27 AM   #9
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Okay, I thought I been around, but apparently not. I've never, ever, ever heard of or seen any tile setter ever have a miniscule care in the world about a grout staining a porcelain tile. With the criteria involved that allows a tile to be classified as porcelain I didn't even consider this to be on the radar.

Come on guys... really?
The earlier 1st generation speckled porcelains from the late 70's- early 80's-- the ones that looked like someone had just cleaned out a paint brush by flicking it-- those were very easy to stain with high pigment grouts, such as blacks and "hard" reds, blues, and browns. Same with most ceramic mosiacs of the time. The porcelains made today are nearly stain proof.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


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The porcelains made today are nearly stain proof.
Yow well don't bet your farm on that!

I inspected a job where the complaint was "some kind of a picture frame effect on each and every tile".

Sure enough! The tiles were darker in random fashion around all their edges, as if they had been airbrushed. Looked pretty good actually but wasn't what the customer wanted.

It was easy to see what had taken place. Just so happens I know the installer and I know his methods. The guy mixes a small amount of grout in an ice cream bucket very very dry and then daubs it into the cracks with a grout float. When the bucket is empty he mixes more. It's the only way he has ever done it and can't be talked into doing it any differently.

He then uses a dry rag to burnish the grout and clean the surface. He only works the grout lines and doesn't smear the whole tile surface. A little over 1000 square feet in this case.

Retailer tried to clean the stains using a professional cleaning service to no avail. I then suggested they mix up more grout and smear the whole floor thereby staining the whole floor to eliminate the picture frame effect.

Sure-enough it worked. Had the installer done a full-spread of grout like most installers would have done the staining would have gone totally unnoticed from the git-go and no one would have ever been the wiser.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:08 AM   #11
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Yow well don't bet your farm on that!

I inspected a job where the complaint was "some kind of a picture frame effect on each and every tile".

Sure enough! The tiles were darker in random fashion around all their edges, as if they had been airbrushed. Looked pretty good actually but wasn't what the customer wanted.

It was easy to see what had taken place. Just so happens I know the installer and I know his methods. The guy mixes a small amount of grout in an ice cream bucket very very dry and then daubs it into the cracks with a grout float. When the bucket is empty he mixes more. It's the only way he has ever done it and can't be talked into doing it any differently.

He then uses a dry rag to burnish the grout and clean the surface. He only works the grout lines and doesn't smear the whole tile surface. A little over 1000 square feet in this case.

Retailer tried to clean the stains using a professional cleaning service to no avail. I then suggested they mix up more grout and smear the whole floor thereby staining the whole floor to eliminate the picture frame effect.

Sure-enough it worked. Had the installer done a full-spread of grout like most installers would have done the staining would have gone totally unnoticed from the git-go and no one would have ever been the wiser.


very interesting
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:11 PM   #12
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Everybody. (almost), keeps saying that porcelain will not absorb anything, can't stain, don't seal, won't take any sealer etc. This of course is not true. It is true however that you can get away with those thoughts most of the time, but not always.

For example those of us that are tile 'pros' know very well how easily polished porcelain tiles can stain. We are warned never to use contrasting colored grout, and to use good grouting techniques. We are also told we should seal certain porcelain tiles before grouting regardless of the color, just to be safe. It is also true that many 'pros' swear that no porcelain needs sealing because they have observed no difference after doing so, or have had no problem without ever sealing them. These people forget that when we seal porcelain tiles, we are filling only the microscopic pores, and so it appears as if no sealer was absorbed and because we use a penetrating sealer, of course there is no visible difference to the naked eye. But, in affect we have changed the surface of the porcelain quite a bit.

Heck, under certain conditions and with the right sealer, it is also advisable to seal glazed tiles, whether porcelain or ceramic.

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Old 07-19-2008, 08:08 AM   #13
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


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This of course is not true. It is true however that you can get away with those thoughts most of the time, but not always.
GET AWAY with it my ass!! I've selaed one porcelain floor, against my recommendations, and exactly what I told the contractor would happen, happened. A nice sapphire blue Crossville Crosstread porcelain tile floor at a Cinnabon turned a nice WHITE. You'll NEVER see me seal a porcelain floor again. I'll walk from a job where it's required. Get away with it...

Quote:
For example those of us that are tile 'pros' know very well how easily polished porcelain tiles can stain.
I've NEVER had polished porcelain stain on me, even using black and navy blue grouts.

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and so it appears as if no sealer was absorbed and because we use a penetrating sealer
It has nothing to do with "appearances". Porcelain is, for all intents and purposes, nonabsorbtive. How is a PENETRATING sealer suppoeds to penetrate? Answer-- It can't. Yes, it sits on the surface, and fills up the pores..... and then turns a nice bright white. Unless you clean off every trace of it before it dries.


One last comment-- Bud-- those halos you spoke of-- those are usually an indicator that the grout started drying on the face of the tile before it got washed off. Usually the only time I've seen that is when tile's been "bagged" with burlap and dry grout, but I've also seen it happen when hydraulic grout was used. Some non-acid haze remover, like Hydroment's Rmove, will get rid of that very easily without hurting any surfaces.
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Last edited by Bill_Vincent; 07-19-2008 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:20 PM   #14
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


OK Bill - GOT IT!
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:55 PM   #15
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Hey Bill,

Read my post again I guess you missed a few things?

The reason that tile turned a nice white is because someone didn't follow directions of wiping any excess off before it dries. You always have to wipe the excess. You would have wiped over 99% of the sealer, what remained filled the pores. Also make sure you're using the right sealer.

Many, if not all manufacturers of polished porcelain want you to seal their tiles to eliminate to possibility of staining from contrasting color grout pigments. Doesn't mean it'll stain every time. Some polished tiles come with a 'sealer' out of the box. One of my distributors even automatically prints these type of warnings on the "shipper" invoice when certain tiles are sold. Including Crossville to just mention one brand.

Jaz

It has everything to do with how much sealer the tiles "appear" to absorb. With porcelain and glazed tiles it "appears" that nothing was absorbed, and so that is what you think. It's NOT true. Some was absorbed. In the case of regular porcelain it might only be .02-.04%? It's not like sealing grout or tumbled marble where it's obvious sealer was sucked in.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:16 PM   #16
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


The reason that tile turned a nice white is because someone didn't follow directions of wiping any excess off before it dries.

I think I might've just been around the block a time or two. I know how to use sealer, and it was me who sealed the tile.... AFTER I told them this was going to happen. I did my damndest to prove myself wrong, wiping as much of it off the tiles as I could. Didn't matter. NONE would absorb.


Tell ya what, Jaz-- next time I get a job where they demand the porcelain be sealed, you can come out my way and do it. I won't even take a referral charge. I flat out refuse to seal porcelain. End of story.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #17
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Fair enough. By chance do you remember what brand of sealer and tile it was? I think in a case like that I would use something like Miracle's 511 Impregnator. As you know not all sealers are created equally.

By the way, I know you've got lots of experience, but these forums are mainly for others that probably haven't been around tile as long. As for me, I've either sold it or installed it (last 21 years) all together about 45 years, started part time retail at 15. I will admit, I still learn something new once in a while.

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Old 07-21-2008, 01:03 AM   #18
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


I have done a lot of 1x1 hex tile (unglazed porcelain). Because of the texture of both the tile and the edge, I used to spend a LOT of time cleaning edges, etc. That was when I was using black - When I changed to #9 Gray (Mapei)- it was a lot easier. Now that I have changed to epoxy, I find clean-up extremely easy (although I have yet to do black epoxy!)
The worst part of these tiles was the time you took to inspect every sheet (12x24 tiles = a lot of tiles!), removed all the crooked and chipped ones, installed the tile, grouted, then see all the "other" tiles that had slight scratches you couldn't see until you grouted!

In response to the "sealer" - you really need a topical sealer as you will not get absorption - I use Mira matte - it gives the tiles a sheen and makes cleaning a lot easier
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #19
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


This was mid 90's-- 95 or 96, down at Miami International Mall in a CInnabon's restaurant. It was Crossville Crosstread 8x8's with Aquamix water based sealer, which is what was spec'ed.

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As for me, I've either sold it or installed it (last 21 years) all together about 45 years, started part time retail at 15. I will admit, I still learn something new once in a while.
That makes two of us. But this is a lesson I learned about 11- 12 years ago. As for all together, last march made 41 years from the first time I set tile, when I was 10 in 1967, working on my family's house with my father. This month makes 28 years full time.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:44 AM   #20
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Re: Best Sealer For Porcelain Tiles


Whats the best way to clean tile grout? I just had new porcelain ceramic tile layed in my entire house. I moved in a few days ago. I am thinking about cleaning and sealing the grout. Any advice on what products or machines to use to clean the grout and then what to use to seal it?


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