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How to Seal & Finish Stone Tile

Natural stone tile is a lot more porous than it looks. It should be sealed with a liquid chemical sealant after installation to prevent it from absorbing moisture and stains. The grout between the tiles should also be sealed. Sealing is done in two parts--before and after the grouting--because grout will stain unsealed tiles. Install the tiles, seal the tile faces, grout the tiles (the grout won't stain the tiles if they're sealed), then apply a second layer of sealant over the whole tiled area, grout and all.

Lay your stone tiles with consistent spacing between the tiles (usually 1/8 inch) and allow them to set overnight.

Brush tile sealant onto the surface of the tiles with a paint brush, starting in the corner of the room furthest from the doorway. Brush it on in a thin, even layer, keeping it just on the face of the tiles, without letting it drip inside the spaces between the tiles. Let it dry for eight hours.

Grout the tile, using your grout float to spread it across the surface, pressing it into the spaces and squeezing it off the top. Work in sections of a few square feet, letting the grout sit in the spaces for 5 to 10 minutes, then wiping off the excess with a damp sponge. Let the grout cure for at least 72 hours.

Seal the whole floor (tile and grout), working from the far corner of the room. Let the sealant cure for two to three days before resuming use of the area.


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