How to Clean and Seal a Tile Countertop

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40-150
What You'll Need
Warm Water
2 - Clean, Soft Cloths
Sealant of Choice
Rubber Grout Float
Baking Soda

If you have recently installed tile countertops or are even thinking of installing them, follow these easy steps to clean and seal the countertop properly. Following these steps is important in order to avoid build-up of dangerous bacteria and to protect your new countertop for a long time to come.

Step 1 - Gather Materials

Once you have installed your new tile countertop and used your chosen type of grout as filler, you will need to clean up the excess grout. This is a fairly easy process. Simply use your rubber grout float for this job.

Prepare for cleaning by getting the materials ready. Along with the grout float, you will need your clean, soft cloths and some water.

Step 2 - Finish Grout

grouting tile

Finish the grout work by using your rubber grout float. Smooth it out between every tile by using a 45 degree angle, being careful not to go too deep as the grout will still not be fully set. Wipe your float off often to keep the grout smooth.

Step 3 - Clean Excess Grout

After you have smoothed the grout between all the tiles of your ceramic tile countertop, it’s time to clean up the excess. You will probably notice the haze left on the counter from the grout. This will not be hard to clean. Use your clean cloths and warm water to wipe the tiles off.

Be sure not to impact the grout that is not yet set and is vulnerable. Use only a damp cloth, not a wet one.

Step 4 - Buff

Use the second cloth to buff the tiles after they are all cleaned of excess grout.

Step 5 - Set

Allow to set for the the specified time given for the grout you are using.

Step 6 - Seal

wiping off blue tiles

Mix up and apply your chosen sealant according to the package directions. Typically, using a paintbrush to apply sealant will suffice. You can then wipe off the excess with a clean, damp rag. Allow sealant to set.

Step 7 - Maintain

It will be important to clean your new kitchen countertop tile regularly in order to keep it looking new and to prevent build-up of bacteria or dirt. There are several ways to keep up with this.

You can use a cleaning paste made of baking soda and water or vinegar. Simply mix the paste and rub onto the counter and into the grout. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

You can use toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush to clean. Simply scrub onto the counter and wipe clean with warm water and a clean cloth.

You can even use bleach on white tile if you need to remove stains, although this is not highly recommended.

Whichever way you choose to maintain your new countertop tiles, do it regularly to be safe and sanitary.