As a Product Support team member, I get asked this question often. The answer is simple, no, it does not need to be sealed. The better question would be, “Should I seal my grout?”
Grout is a cement-based product mixed with chemicals, water, and in many cases sand. Portland cement based grouts are particularly porous. Porous grouts attract water, dirt, oils, etc. While the tile industry does not require sealing, it is always recommended, especially in wet or high-traffic areas.
Penetrating sealers are the most commonly used and offer high water, chemical and stain resistance. They provide protection without changing the appearance of the grout joint. They can also be used as a pre-grouting sealer to aid in cleaning grout from the surface of the tile during installation.
MAPEI offers Penetrating Plus Stone, Tile & Grout Sealer which is a water-based sealer and Penetrating Plus SB Stone & Porcelain Tile Sealer a solvent-based sealer. Let’s be clear, sealing does not make grout stain or waterproof.
Routine maintenance is still required. Sealing is a simple process: wipe on, wait the allotted time, and buff off excess and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the area and usage, re-sealing should be done on a routine basis. Even with new technology grouts, where they are marketed as sealing not required, a sealer can still be used for additional protection
There is much debate over whether or not to seal grout. The questions you should ask when making this decision is: where will it be applied, what is the intended outcome and do you want your grout to clean up easily? If you plan to use a sealer, here is our recommendation for applying them.
Please call our Product Support line at (800) 992-6273 so we can assist you in choosing the appropriate UltraCare MAPEI sealer.