For the last 18 years, I’ve been answering the multitude of questions for do-it-your-selfers and…
You’ve finally been able to renovate your kitchen. You spent years planning, and then months drawing up designs and shopping for the perfect cabinets, fixtures, and floor tile. Every weekend since spring has been consumed with doing “just a little bit more” to get your kitchen looking just the way you’ve always dreamed about. When the huge job is finally complete, you have a little party with your family to celebrate finally being done with the kitchen renovation, and your daughter spills her punch on your brand new floor tile.
Your tile wasn’t sealed when it was installed because your grout needed time to cure. However, because you have kids, or entertain, or even just occasionally accidentally spill things, and stone tile is porous, it’s really important that you include sealing your tile in your budget when you’re planning for your kitchen renovation. Because if you don’t, your beautiful stone tiles will take on the color of whatever is spilled on them, whether that’s coffee, or punch, or milk. Some liquids, like milk and juice, also contain acids that, over time, can actually damage an unsealed floor. As you have probably noticed in your driveway or on your sidewalk, sometimes even clear liquids can cause stains. Sealing tile will prevent these products from staining or damaging your tile, so that you will be able to continue to maintain the beautiful appearance that it had when you first purchased it.
Sealing tile is also safer and hygienic
Another good reason to seal tile is for hygienic reasons. Remember, stone tile is porous, so, even when clear liquids spill, they can sit in those tiny pores for long enough for bacteria to transfer from the liquid to your stone. This could lead to the spread of illness in your home. This means you’ll be cleaning your tile more often, and you’ll need to use more harsh chemicals, if you leave it unsealed. Even though it may seem like a bit of an expense in the beginning, sealing tile will save you time, labor, and money in the long run.
Sealing your tile also adds a level of protection against slip and fall. Your beautiful stone tile was manufactured to be smooth and even, and sometimes, it’s extremely smooth. However, a layer of tile sealant, properly applied, can maintain that smooth appearance while giving just enough grip to reduce the risk that someone will slip and fall on your floor. This is especially important if you have babies or toddlers in the house!
All in all, sealing tile adds years to the life of your tile and protects your investment for the long term. While this is your dream house now, at some point you may want to sell it, and if you’ve maintained your stone tile floor, it will increase the value of your home tremendously. Consider your kitchen renovation an investment, and protect it like you would any other asset!