Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

Different Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Sealers

A sealer is a liquid coat applied to the porous surface of the tile or grout, to protect them from oxidation, natural deterioration and day-to-day wear. Typically speaking, sealers are used to protect unglazed tiles and grouts from absorbing stains. Take a look at these guidelines, which are meant to get you started when it comes to choosing the right sealant for your ceramic or porcelain tile project:



The two main types of sealers for ceramic and porcelain tile include:

  1. Penetrating Sealers: These are absorbed into the tile or grout, forming a stain resistant shield just below the surface. Most penetrating sealers will not change the appearance of the tile.
  2. Surface Sealers: These are coated on the top of tile and grout, forming a non-porous, stain resistant sealant. The surface sealer will enhance the rich natural colors of the tile and add a slight luster as well.

Important Considerations:

  • The surfaces of most ceramic and porcelain tiles do not need to be sealed, although some require a light application of a penetrating sealer to fill the micro pores on the surface of the tile.
  • However, all unglazed tiles including dense porcelains, should be sealed prior to grouting. It will prevent the grout from staining the tile, especially when a dark colored grout is being used with a light colored tile.
  • Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains.
  • Highly absorbent tiles such as hand-made Saltillo tiles must be permanently sealed with either a penetrating or surface sealer.
  • Use only penetrating sealers on dense, unglazed tiles such as quarries or porcelains.
  • It is important to follow manufacturer recommendations and read the instructions on any product being used.

The above information is a selected set of guidelines. For further details, it’s a good idea to ask a BuildDirect product expert or a professional installer about which type of sealer performs best for the tile you’ve chosen. While considering color change and stain resistance, it also important to consider whether a penetrating sealer or surface sealer will work best for your project.

Do you need a sealer for your tile installation?

Click here to take a look at our floor care products for ceramic & porcelain tile. Our selection will help ensure your renovation remains beautiful for years to come


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.