The Tile and Stone Blog

Tile and Stone Maintenance

FAQ – Do I Need To Seal My Porcelain Tiles?

The answer to this is not so simple. The key factor is the type of porcelain used. Porcelain tiles have changed a lot over time and today there are a variety of differing standards associated with them. The first generation of porcelain tiles were actually so dense that sealing was not required at any stage. However, today, not all porcelain tiles in the marketplace are so impervious to water and other liquids.So, what do you do? Well, you need to do a simple water test on your tiles. Add a few drops to the tiles and if they appear to absorb water then we would recommend that you seal them. There are many different products around that can do the job but one of the best is Sealer’s Choice 15 Gold Penetrating Sealer. You can’t really go wrong with this product.

Copyright Ian Taylor and The Tile and Stone, 2013. See copyright notice above.


  1. Hi
    can you help? We have Outdoor Non Slip Tiles on our outdoor area, I do not know why but they are extremley hard to clean EVERYTHING seems to just catch oon them and anything spilt etc just sucks in and sits. Can you Please advise me what i can do to rectify this problem before i cover them with Lino or something!!
    Thanks Elaine

  2. Hi Elaine,

    I just answered a similar question to Paul in the UK : the two things are inexorably linked; what grips people grips dirt. The better the ‘anti-slip’ characterisitics of the tile, the more effort needed to clean them”.

    Usually you need to adopt a slightly different cleaning regime:

    Sweep or vaccum loose dirt
    Use a deck brush with long enough bristles to get into the texture frequently
    Use a high alkaline cleaner , inconjunction with a deck brush more regularly than you would for a smooth floor.

    As you appear to be in Aus, try contacting my friend A’nge at – he can advise you in real time

    Hope this helps


  3. Hi please help,
    my porceline tiles leaves water marks when cleaning them the shine is not even when clean,
    realy realy a newsence to keep clean,does it need a sealer will this help desperate need of helt just tiled out 108m2 out and feel like taking it out

  4. Hi Roseline,

    there could be a number of reasons for an uneven shine, most of which I have posted about here on the blog. But it could be simply water marks due tot he water, not the tile.

    Porcelain tiles are like glass, especially the polished ones. If you were to wash some glass (windows, car windows etc) with soap and water, you would probably use something to buff them dry afterwards, other wise you get streaks (due to detergent residue or other natural impurities in the water). Most people seem to understand this but do not realize that a porcelain floor is just the same.

    So next time you clean, try buffing the floor dry with a towel or something – see if that makes a difference. If not come back to me and we can look at other potential issues.

    Hope this helps


  5. Regarding your advice about sealing Porcelain tile…you mention that there are different kinds and some do not need to be sealed. Mine are brand new. My question is this: If my tiles do not need to be sealed, is there any harm that can be done by sealing them anyway, with the product you mention? (Sealer’s Choice 15 Gold)

  6. Hi Jon,

    You are correct that not all porcelain needs to be sealed. In fact one would hope that most porcelain does not require sealing, that was the whole point of porcelain when it was first created, well one of the the points anyway.

    You say your porcelain is ‘new’ but unfortunately that doses not tell me anything.

    What is important is does it have any surface porosity? You can do a water drop test, put some water on it, does it appear to wet out, get darker etc?

    Most standard finish porcelain will not need sealing.

    Glazed porcelain should not need sealing

    Some polished porcelain has, as a result of the polishing process, micro pores in the surface (think of them as tiny microscopic gas bobbles that have had the tops ground off by polishing, and so revealed these surface ‘holes’) – This type of porcelain can benefit from being sealed, even if all we are doing is dropping a bit of polymer in these holes so as no grout or dirt can get in.

    What harm will it do if you seal a tile that does not need sealing? Well provided you apply it correctly which means wiping up any excess before it dries, then none I guess. Worst case is that you apply the sealer then wipe it all off again – so it is just a big waste of time and effort oh, and money. If you do not wipe up the excess correctly then you will also have a dull sealer residue / haze to deal with .

    There can be a benefit though and this is that the grout will be sealed (if you apply the sealer after grouting of course) but again you have to make sure you wipe away any sealer that has not penetrated after about 5 minutes, do not allow it to dry.

    Any good quality penetrating sealer should be ok, but a lot of people prefer a solvent based one – if they really do need to seal the porcelain.

    Hope this helps

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