Saturday, November 27, 2010

DIY grout sealing

So with the weather forecast being pretty dire this weekend, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and get the floating floor finished - only had to do a little finishing off in the study, kitchen and pantry, but the last fiddly bits took me forever to plan, measure, measure, cut, swear because it didn't fit, measure, cut again, and finally put it in properly. Anyway no photos because it's a mess and I can't be bothered cleaning up.

However, here's some photos we took earlier of sealing our tiles. Most people know the pain of scrubbing out mouldy areas of grout in showers, and while sealing the grout won't eliminate the problem, it should make it less of a problem.

The issue is that water penetrates grout, stagnates and forms the ideal breeding condition for mould. Sealing the grout essentially aims to provide a hydrophobic (water repelling) barrier, to prevent the water getting in.

So, this is what you need to get started: grout sealer (try your local hardware or tile store), some paper towels, fine brushes, a plastic tub, gloves and eye protection. Electric shaver is optional.

On the instructions for the grout sealer, our one said to spray it over the grout and use paper towels to mop up the excess. We thought a much more precise and efficient way to apply it would be to spray the sealer into the plastic tub, then paint it on using the brushes.

The paper towels are used in case any drips go onto the tiles. With doing walls, you can't use too much sealer as it'll drip.

However, doing floor grout you can put a lot more sealer on, as it'll pool in the grout line.

Also, if you've been using your shower, you should let it dry out for 48 hours before sealing it, and not use it for 24 hours after sealing it. We also did 2 coats in the shower to give the sealer as much coverage as possible.

This is a pretty simple DIY, 1/10 for difficulty. Just takes a bit of time and patience to do a neat job. You might need to redo it every 4-5 years or so depending on how you use your shower.



  1. Thanks for the info - been looking at doing this in my house when it is built.

  2. It would take hours to apply brushing it on.

  3. Hi Tim,

    Great job with all the handy home improvement tips! We're also building with Metricon and noticed that you have a slimline powerswitch in your bathroom. We were told that we cannot have any slimline powerswitches in the wet areas. How did you get around this?




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