There's more than one way to seal a tile. There are two in fact. You can either seal the grout joints or you can seal the tile itself. Which option you choose, depends on the type of tile you have. Porous materials like marble have to be sealed. Your basic glazed ceramic tile, on the other hand, will only require the grout joints to be sealed. This will make them more water and mildew resistant, and help keep dirt out of the joints. Most manufacturers suggest you wait a couple of weeks before doing this so the grout has a chance to thoroughly set. Here are a few tips to guide you through the sealing process: • Apply a silicone or water-based grout sealer to the joints. If you're working with glazed tile, you can get a little sealer on the tile surface, but you'll need to wipe it off before it dries. • If you're installing a porous material like slate, marble or terra cotta, you'll need to seal the surface of the tiles to prevent them from getting stained with use. • Apply an acrylic top-coat on the tile surface. You'll have to reseal the tile occasionally as it wears off. Don't use any cleaners with ammonia on the tile because it will strip the sealer off.
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