Flooring and Carpeting/Tile


Hi Perry- You helped me get started (11/03)with my porcelain tile project and I am now to the point of grout--finally! Do I need to apply a sealer to my porcelain tiles at this point (or at all)? Next,I am planning on using a standard (non-epoxy, non-sanded)grout on the joints between tiles, but was wondering if I should use a different product in the corners (on walls, shower niche, floor curb)such as the silicone grout? Also, there are a couple of areas where tile meets drywall, and do I use a standard grout along this edge? I did have a problem and will have to remove a small section & re-tile. Do I need to remove all traces of thin-set (it's really hard to scrape it down!), or can I apply over a thin layer of dried material? Finally, thank you for your advice about cutting & positioning the tiles. Stoning each cut really makes all the difference & worth the effort!

Happy New Year LD and welcome back....

     Glad you are making progress with your project, investing your time by your own hand is always a good thing in my opinion. First lets clarify the use of the "non" sanded material in lieu of the "sanded". Non sanded grout should only be employed when the joints are up to and no larger than 1/8" at it's largest spread. There is likely to be some shrinkage in the joints if they are deep so be absolutely sure that you are filling/packing the joints completely full as you are going along. You can use the same grout (non-sanded) for the corners and curb and then once everything is completely dry you can employ the clear Silicone. This will somewhat darken the corners like they were wet but unless you can find a colored 100% Silicone (there are products out there that are available) this will be a must LD so that we stop water migration in it's track in these critical areas. Now when you removed the tile in your problem area you are going to remove at least 1/8" of thinset material in order to have sufficient depth to reset the suspect tiles. Otherwise you run the risk of having the tiles break bond and come loose at some point so just take your 2-3" chisel and hammer it down some. Up where the bullnose covers the walls you can tape it off and use the non-sanded grout nice and tight and then just pull the tape off before things dry....follow me? Lastly LD about the use of a sealer. For the Porcelain Tile itself a sealer is a total waste of your hard earned money...certainly if you would desire to seal the grout itself that is a different question but you would need a foam brush and seal only the joint alone and nothing else. If this is limited to your bathroom only then as a standard rule I do not seal anything within the space unless the material is a Natural Stone of some kind. Once a sealer is applied (of course) it becomes a maintenance scenario, you will be required to repeat the labor every 10-12 months in order to maintain the level of performance that you employed the sealer for in the first place, ok? So unless the tile is on the floor in the kitchen/dining/entry you should be fine. If you are using a light colored grout in these areas then consider using a sealer to at least help to preserve the color...and please, shoes off at the front door ;-). Ok LD that's it, glad to have you return, feel free to come again anytime...


Flooring and Carpeting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.