How to Seal a Ceramic Tile Countertop

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Tile sealer
Sponge or paint brush

A ceramic tile countertop is an economical alternative to the natural stone countertops that are so popular today. When installing a new ceramic tile countertop, the job isn't finished until you have applied a sealant. Knowing how to seal your tile is important. Different types of ceramic tile have different requirements. Unglazed tiles require sealing while most glazed tiles normally do not. Determine whether your tile needs sealing. To do so, pour a couple of ounces of water onto the tile and let it sit. If the tile begins to darken, you need to seal it to prevent water penetration. Follow these steps to seal your ceramic tile countertop.

Step 1: Clean Tile

Wet the sponge and squeeze out excess water. Wipe the tile down removing any debris. Clean the tile well because any remaining debris will be sealed onto the tile during the sealing process. Allow the tile to air dry before proceeding.

Step 2: Choose Sealer

Tile sealer is available as a penetrating sealer or as surface sealer. Tile absorbs penetrating sealer through small pores while surface sealer forms a protective layer on top of tile. Both types protect against stains and block water penetration. Your choice depends on your tile. Check with the tile manufacturer to determine which sealer is best for sealing your ceramic tile.

Step 3: Read Instructions

Read the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that you understand the application process. Some products may require more coats than other products, and the drying time between coats can vary by product as well. Reading the instructions can save valuable time and prevent you from damaging your ceramic tile countertop during the application process.

Step 4: Apply Sealer

Put on your gloves. Apply a small amount of sealer to a sponge or paint brush and spread the sealer over the tiles. Do not apply so much sealer that it puddles on the tile, but apply enough to cover each tile completely. Start at one corner of the countertop and work your way across to the other side.

Step 5: Clean Excess

Check the cabinets and make sure that no excess sealer splattered on them. It is possible that the sealer can damage the finish on the cabinets, so clean any splattered sealer using a damp sponge before the sealer drys.

Sealing your ceramic tile countertop will protect it for a year or two, so you will need to repeat this process to keep your tile in good condition. Make a note of the date you sealed your tile and enter the due date for the next required sealing on your calendar. Maintain your ceramic tile sealer and you will be rewarded with a clean, durable ceramic tile countertop that will last until the next time you remodel your kitchen.

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