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Closeup of grout between tiles on a wall

Overview

Sealing grout helps to protect wet areas from water damage and prevents bacteria and mould from growing. It's a simple but important process to do and will even improve the longevity of your tiles.

Steps

1Clean the tiles

If you're sealing new grout, you should leave your tiles for 72 hours until they've properly cured. If you're sealing old grout, you'll need to clean the tiles and let them dry. Use dishwashing liquid, water and a sponge to clean any dust, dirt, grease and adhesive. Also ensure all of the grout is sound and secure and there are no cracks or bits missing.
Tiles being cleaned before a grout sealing with a sponge and protective gloves

2Tape the horizontal tiles

To protect the tiles, apply masking tape horizontally to each side of the grout seams. This will ensure that the sealant will have straight edges when you're finished. You should also tape off any materials or surfaces nearby to protect them. If you're sealing around smaller tiles, clean up with detergent and a cloth as you apply the grout sealer instead.
Painters tape being used to protect the tiles from dripping grout sealant

3Apply the grout sealer

Shake the grout sealer bottle well. Then with your safety gear on, use the foam brush to apply the sealer along the grout. Do it in thin coats to allow it to penetrate. You should apply two coats of sealer, allowing 30 minutes to 1 hour between each coat.
Grout sealant being applied to grout in a bathroom

4Remove the masking tape

Once the second coat is dry, remove the masking tape. Then polish the tiles with a dry cloth to remove any bits of sealant that you may have missed.
Painters tape being removed from tiles after grout sealant has been applied

5Wipe off excess grout

Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe off any excess grout sealer from the tiles before it cures.
A wet rag used to wipe up any excess grout sealant

6Tape and seal vertical lines

Now you'll need to repeat the previous steps for the vertical lines of grout. Tape them up carefully, apply the grout sealer, remove the tape and clean up as you go.

7Let the sealed grout dry

You won't be able to see what you've done, but sealing the grout will keep it clean and help keep bacteria and mould away. If you've sealed grout between floor tiles, allow 46 hours before walking on it, and a couple of days before it's fully cured. If you've sealed tiles in the shower, it can be up to 72 hours before you can use the shower again. To test whether your grout is sealed, splash some water onto the sealed areas. If it's properly sealed the water will puddle over the treated grout.
Closeup of grout between tiles on a wall

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.