Skip to Content

Does Ceramic Tile Need to Be Sealed? (Answered)

Ceramic tile has now become a common type of flooring solution for most commercial and residential places. 

People usually tend to choose ceramic tiles for their flooring solution due to their cost-efficiency. In today’s article, we will discuss if the ceramic tile needs to be sealed. 

Does ceramic tile need to be sealed? 

It is not necessary to seal the ceramic tile. However, some ceramic tiles may require a light application of penetrating sealer so that it can feel the micropores on the surface of the ceramic tile. Although there are a few tiles such as Marble, Granite, and Travertine that need to be sealed.

Ceramic tile is a commonly chosen flooring solution for most residential and commercial places because they are efficient to use, cost-effective, and cheap. 

In some cases, the ceramic tile would provide you with a longer lifespan, which will eventually reduce the regular maintenance and replacement cost of floor tiles. 

Ceramic tiles are usually available in both glazed or unglazed textures and they are baked under high temperature and heat so that they can become highly impact resistant and impervious to liquid stains. 

Generally, ceramic tile does not need to be sealed. However, there are a few types of tiles that may require sealing. 

If you are willing to use marble, granite, travertine, or any other type of ceramic tiles that are not traditionally used in many households, you may need to seal them properly. 

Below is a brief discussion on whether different types of tiles need to be sealed or not: 

Glazed ceramic tile: 

Generally, the sealing is done in a tile to make it shinier, since a glazed ceramic tile is already shiny, it does not require any type of sealant to apply on top of it. 

In addition to that, the top layer is a protective layer that will not allow anything to penetrate the glass. 

As a result, using an extra protective layer on top of your glazed ceramic tile will cost you unnecessary expenses.

Matte ceramic tile: 

Generally, most ceramic tile does not need to be sealed. In the case of a matte ceramic tile, you do not need to use any type of sealant on top of it. 

However, sealing the match ceramic tile can be also considered an optional choice for you.

Ceramic shower tile: 

Ceramic shower tile is made using porous materials. That is why the sealing for shower ceramic tile may be optional for you. 

In addition to that, if you’re looking for a glazed finish on your shower tile, you may need to apply a sealant to that.

Ceramic tile backsplash: 

The surface of ceramic tile backsplash does not require any type of sealing since it is already made using a sealer. 

People tend to use sealant on tiles to make them shinier and more glazed. And there are a few types of tiles that need to be sealed.

Does ceramic tile need to be sealed before grouting? 

Sealing the tile depends on the type of tile you’re using. However, it is not necessary to seal the ceramic tile. 

Generally, the sealant is used to make the tiles shinier and more glazy. But the ceramic tile already consists of a protective layer as well as a glazing layer, which makes it more attractive. 

So, using sealant over ceramic tile will only be an unnecessary expense. If you are using a different type of ceramic tile that is made using stones such as marble. 

Granite. Travertine, you may need to seal the tiles before grounding. Since these types of tiles are porous, they require sealing. 

This will help the tile from getting damaged due to mortar staining. In some cases, expensive stone tile requires sealing before grouting so that it does not stick to them. 

That is why it is highly recommended to use a sealant when using natural or raw stone tiles before grouting. 

In addition to that, it will help you to cover up the pores and protect the flooring. As a result, it will get a smooth and proper finish.

How often should you seal ceramic tile? 

If you are using raw stone tile for your residential or commercial flooring solution, then you should use sealant on them. Generally, raw tiles such as marble, granite, or travertine are considered porous.

As a result, if you do not use sealant over raw tiles, they will get damaged due to grout and mortar stains. In addition to that, this will make them look more faded and older. That is why you should seal the ceramic tile. 

But the seal applied over ceramic tile does not last long. As a result, you will need to seal the ceramic tile very frequently. 

The sealing depends on high traffic flooring solutions or frequently used showers. So, if you’re thinking about how often you should seal the ceramic tile, the answer for you is at least once per year. However, professionals recommend sealing the ceramic tiles within every six months. 

What happens if you seal ceramic tile? 

Ceramic tile has nowadays become a common flooring solution for many residential and commercial purposes. 

Ceramic tile is considered a cheap, convenient, and cost-effective flooring solution. It is not necessary to seal a ceramic tile. 

Sealant is used on tiles to make them shinier. But ceramic tile already contains a protective layer on top of it and a glazing layer. 

So, applying another coat of protective and glazing layer on top of the ceramic tile will make it slippery and difficult to walk. 

That is why it is not recommended to seal ceramic tile if not necessary, but if you are using raw stones such as marble grenade or travertine, you can apply sealant on them to cover the pores. Below is a brief discussion on what happens if you see ceramic tile: 

Slippery floor: 

The first thing that happens when you apply sealant on ceramic tile is that it makes the floors slippery. As a result, it also gets difficult to walk on them. 

Frequent maintenance: 

When you apply sealer on ceramic tile, it will require frequent maintenance. As a result, it will cost you unnecessary expenses for maintaining the tile. 

It increases the life span: 

The good thing about applying the sealant on ceramic tile is that it will help you to increase the overall life span of ceramic tile. 

That is why, if you are looking for a budget-friendly solution for glazing your tile and making it long-lasting, you should go for the sealants to seal the tile.

How to seal ceramic tile? 

Not necessary to seal ceramic tile, but if you are using raw stones such as marble, granite, or travertine, you may need to use sealants to cover the pores on the tiles. 

In some cases, using sealants on the ceramic tile may become optional for you. But the traditional glazing ceramic tile does not require any type of sealant because they already have a protective layer on top of them, including a glazing layer. 

You can simply follow the steps given below to use sealant on ceramic tiles: 

Check your tile: 

First of all, you need to cheque your tile by resting the sponge over it for a few seconds. A sponge catches a dark spot after picking up. It means the tiles are porous. 

Apply sealant: 

You have to choose the right sealant which is made especially for your tiles. After that, you need to apply it using a sponge. Make sure to use a clean and fresh sponge that is free of lint, dust, or any debris. 

Rub the excess: 

After you have applied the sealant to the tiles, you need to let it dry for at least 20 minutes. After that, clean the excess sealant using a slightly damp sponge. Wipe the excess sealant using the sponge. 

What kind of tile has to be sealed? 

Generally, the tiles that are porous need to be sealed. This type of tile is quite expensive and porous. As a result, they can easily get damaged due to any type of stains. 

In most cases, all types of natural stone tiles require sealing so that they can protect them. If you apply a sealant over the tile, it will cover the pores and help to increase the life span of the tiles. 

In addition to that, some types of styles require a sealing before grounding so that the ground does not cause any damage to the tile. Although some of the tiles may require an optional sealing. Below is a shortlist on a few types of tiles that requires sealant: 

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Travertine
  • Terracotta

Final Thoughts 

Generally, It is not necessary. But sealants are used to cover the pores in natural/raw ceramic tile. While a little water or stain does not cause any significant damage to floors, some types of tiles can get damaged due to stains. That is why many people recommend using sealants on ceramic tiles.