Sealing grout in your shower is essential for keeping this high-moisture part of your bathroom clean while preventing mold and mildew. But what is the correct way of sealing grout?
Sealing grout in the shower is simple. Use a toothbrush to clean grout thoroughly. Apply either a penetrating or membrane-forming sealer using an applicator brush or sponge, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Let it dry for an hour then reapply a second coat.
Proper application of grout sealer is crucial for best results. Read on below to learn everything you should know about correct application.
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How to Apply Grout Sealer on Shower Walls
Applying grout sealer is a simple process that you can easily do at home. Experts recommend sealing grout every 6 months to promote cleanliness while preventing mold and mildew.
The right timing is important, too: if you’ve just installed new tiles in your shower, wait for the grout to cure at least 48 hours after. Grout must always be clean and dry before sealing.
What You’ll Need
A few inexpensive tools will be needed for this project. Below are product recommendations from Amazon (note: we earn a small commission if you decide to buy these tools):
- Penetrating or water-based sealers are best for grout in the shower. Once the grout absorbs it, silicone and latex will fill in all the tiny gaps to prevent moisture from entering
- Grout sealer applicator, which you should choose depend on how narrow or wide your grout is. For narrower grout, the wand sticks are recommended though a sponge would work for wider grout. In addition, choose a sealer that is made to handle the high moisture conditions in the shower
- A toothbrush for cleaning and scrubbing dirt from the tiles
- Dish soap to make a cleaning solution, which would remove dirt and grime from grout
- White vinegar, for removing stubborn stains from grout
- Amazon Brand – Happy Belly White Distilled Vinegar
- Lucy’s Family Owned Natural Distilled White Vinegar
- A clean, dry cloth for wiping off excess sealer
- Rubber gloves to protect your hand from exposure to sealer chemicals
As you get ready to seal grout in the shower, make sure that the bathroom is well ventilated. Put on your cleaning gloves and follow this guide below. Keep in mind that this is a general process for many grout sealers but it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s directions:
- Make a solution with 50-50 water and dish soap.
- Dip the toothbrush in the cleaning solution. Scrub off all the grout lines thoroughly to get rid of dirt, grime, and debris. If stubborn stains persist, make a 50-50 solution with vinegar and water then go over the stained areas.
- Wipe up the clean grout using a clean, dry towel.
- Let the grout dry for 45 minutes up to 1 hour. It should feel completely dry to the touch
- Put the sealer into your applicator of choice. If you go with a narrow wand type applicator, fill it up and press down to let the sealer flow out. If you choose a sponge, pour a liberal amount on it then scrub the grout surface.
- Use the cotton rags to wipe up any excess sealer on the tiles because sealers may leave a hazy film on its surface.
- Allow the sealer to dry based on the manufacturer’s directions, though this usually doesn’t exceed 10 minutes. Use the cotton rags to remove excess sealer from the tiles.
- Continue until all grout lines have been sealed and dried.
- Apply a second layer of sealer, following the previous steps.
- Let the sealer cure completely, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Is Grout Sealer Necessary in a Shower?
Showers are an extremely damp location because of all the moisture it’s exposed to.
If your grout is made from cement, which is a porous material, it should always be sealed. Synthetic grout made from urethane or epoxy don’t need to sealed as this may do more harm than good.
Sealing cement grout in the shower prevents moisture from penetrating through the surface, which can harbor mold and mildew. Additionally, sealing also increases the life cycle of grout by protecting it from the cracks that occur when water seeps into the surface.
Sealing grout in the shower once a year is an important way to keep your bathroom home and free from dirt, mold, and mildew. Mold and mildew can also discolor grout, so with regular sealing, you can save yourself hours of cleaning and scrubbing later on.