My Tiles Are Dirty And Porous. Should I Seal It?

So your tiles are dirty…do they need to be sealed?  

People often think their tiles need to be sealed if they see they’re dirty. They think the tiles are porous that’s why it accumulated all those gunk and stains. But this isn’t always the case.

What kind of tiles do you have?

To know if your tiles really need sealing or not, it’s important to know first of all what kind of tiles you have.

Two of the most common household tiles are factory-glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles.

· Glazed tiles

Glazed tiles are ceramic tiles that have an additional process in its manufacture.

A layer of enamel or liquid glaze is applied—either sprayed on or painted—on the surface of the tile. Once fired at high temperatures, a chemical reaction occurs which turns the glaze almost into glass. This makes glazed tiles resistant to water and stains.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their finish can either be matte, semi-gloss, high gloss or textured. Certain finishes however are harder to keep clean compared to others.

Most importantly, because of the liquid glass top coat, glazed tiles are non-porous so they do not require sealing.

· Porcelain tiles

Like glazed tiles, porcelain tiles are non-porous because they have been sealed in the factory as part of the manufacturing process.

It has an impervious coating with an absorption rate of half of one percent. This means it does not stain easily.   

When should you use sealers?                                                                    

Since most common household tiles are non-porous and do not require sealing, when should you use sealers then?

Sealers are applied to tiles that are porous or have not been factory–glazed like marble, travertine, granite sandstone, slate and other natural stones. Terracotta and some polished porcelains which were not glazed at the factory also need to be sealed.

The sealer will like an artificial glaze, serving as the tile’s barrier or protection from stains, contaminants and day-to-day wear.                                                                                          

So if your tiles are non-porous and sealed but dirty, what should you do?

One thing about sealers: they may be great in preventing stains and making the tiles easier to clean, but it can‘t stop dirt from building up on them.                  

Sealed or unsealed, all surfaces will eventually get dirty—yes, even with routine cleaning. How?

Layers of dirt and grime can be trapped between microscopic voids and cracks. It can build up over time to the point where it becomes near impossible to get the tile to look good again.

In cases like this, a sealer is not going to solve your problem. A heavy-duty cleaning will.

This is usually carried out by a professional who has the equipment, chemicals and training to get the desired results. They can inspect and test if the tiles require sealing or professional cleaning.

If you’d like to know more about our tile cleaning and sealing services,  please check out our website: or give us a call.

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