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Pottery/Sealer for Unglazed Bathroom Tiles

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Question
Best bet for sealing unglazed red clay tiles for a bathroom floor? Thanks!

Answer
Dear Sara,

Thank you for your recent question. Sealing bathroom tiles can be tricky as water is a very damaging element to any surface it constantly touches or sets on. Installing un-glazed tiles in a bathroom only increased this problem by causing a porous surface in which bacteria and mold can accumulate and grow.

There are several products you can use to protect the tiles and grout so that you reduce (but never eliminate) these problems. The reason I stated never eliminate is just as a wooden floor has to be re-waxed throughout the years, porous bathroom tiles must be re-sealed every few years.

There is a two step method to cure tiles on bathroom floors, but especially if they are in use in the shower. You listed red clay, however, you didn't say whether they were terracotta, earthenware or stoneware. There is a difference. So, I listed information on all three.

The first step is to apply an impregnator. An impregnator is an application that enters the porous areas of the tile, deep within the tile body and seals it as well as adds chemicals that will resist marks from dirt, scuffs and stains. This is an important step because a sealant only may wear off in time and staining would occur.

For Terracotta Tiles:

Step One:
Lithofin TC Impregnator For Terracotta and Earthenware
Step Two:
Lithofin TC Sealant Terracotta Sealer

Follow instructions on the label. It is important that you do not let the impregnator dry on the tiles. It must be wiped off after the appropriate waiting time or the sealer will not adhere to the tile.

For Stoneware
Step One:
Lithofin MN Stain Stop Natural Stone Impregnator & Sealer

This is a one step process that includes the impregnator and sealer in one. Follow the instructions on the label for application.

Although both products will last for several years, Re-application will be necessary as wear will eventually remove the sealant from the surface of the tile. So keep this information on hand for future use.

I hope this helps you. If you have further questions, you are welcome to contact me at any time. I am always at your service. Good luck on your project.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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