Does Sealer Darken Grout? 

 June 13, 2022

By  Dale Keese

Grout and tiles are usually designed to complement each other’s color. However, some people wonder if applying sealer to grout will cause it to darken.

Impregnating sealers will darken grout initially but reverts to its color after curing. Under 30-day old grout is also prone to darkening if sealed using topical sealer. Additionally, white or lightly colored grout will have more visible darkening especially if colored sealant is used.

There are other things to know about the circumstances in which grout will darken after sealant has been applied. Read on below to learn more.

Will Sealer Darken Grout?

It’s important for grout to complement the tiles to enhance its aesthetic.

Regularly sealing grout is necessary to keep it protected from wear and tear over time. However, sealant can cause the grout to darken a shade or two. This can happen in the following scenarios:

  • Using an impregnating sealer or topical sealer will darken grout though only when it’s still wet. Once the sealer has cured, which takes around 72 hours, the grout should be the exact same color as it was before sealer was applied.
  • Sealing new grout that is under 30 days old will cause it to darken temporarily when using topical sealer. This occurs because unsealed grout has tiny pores that will absorb moisture, resulting in a darker appearance. When moisture has completely evaporated after proper curing, the grout may lighten in color once again.
  • Sealing white or lightly colored grout may result in more visible darkening.
  • Using colored sealer will darken grout.

Testing grout sealer in a small patch and allowing it to cure properly before applying to a larger area can help prevent unwanted grout darkening. It also helps to ensure that you use the right type of sealer for the job to prevent discoloration.

What Type of Sealer Won’t Darken Grout?

Clear, penetrating sealers will not alter the color of grout at all. On the other hand, impregnating or enhancing sealers may slightly darken grout by a shade or two, though it should return to its normal color after it has fully cured – around 72 hours.


Using a clear, penetrating grout sealer is best for avoiding unwanted darkening of grout. It is also recommended to always test sealer on a small patch before applying on the entire surface area.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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