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

  7. Sears just installed the Daltile Yacht Club Cockpit in my MBR/Bath/closet. I chose the dark grout and as I go around cleaning the mess and dust, the grout seems to keep coming up. Will the dark grout remain a problem? It seems like they skipped a sealing step or something. I thought it would stop coming up once I washed it, but it’s a chalky substance that seems to remain in the grout lines? I’m going to call Sears, but I wanted to educate myself as to a correct answer. Please help.

  8. Hi Jennifer,

    OK it should not continue to be chalky. Chalky white grout could be a sign of efflorescence – a chalky white powdery deposit that comes as a result of moisture leaving the cement and and depositing salts at the surface. This can often occur due to using too much water in the grouting and grout wash up procedure. It can settle down after a while (once all the efflorescence has come out and been removed by brushing and washing) but it can also leave stains in the grout, it can be particularly noticeable in dark grout as it stands out so much. A very light rinse with a MILD and very dilute phosphoric acid-based cleaner can help here BUT it runs the risk of bleaching out more of the colour.

    It could also just be that the grout was used with way too much water (in the mistaken belief that this would make grouting easier) to the point where the grout has not cured as strong as it should have done – in which case it will be inherently weak and forever powdery – this would be user error on the part of the contractor. Not really any fix for this, just raking back the joint and re grouting.

    Lastly it could be that the contractor has found it difficult to clean up (common with dark pigmented grout, especially if they are latex polymer modified for porcelain) and in order to get them out of a tight spot (lots of dark grout drying hard and fast on the tile surface) or just something they ‘always do and never have any issues’ with this type of thing, they may have used an acid already, and used too strong a product, way too soon (grout needs a good few days before cleaning with any form f acid, otherwise it is just damaged too easily) or they have used an inappropriate type of acid (such as HCL/Muriatic).

    So, all three of these issues stem from the application of the grout and /or its clean up so I would first call back the contractor. You could go back to the vendor, who will likely get the grout manufacturer involved, but in my experience the grout manufacturer is likely to look for evidence of and then seek to prove user / applicator error, and again in y experience, (whilst I am aware that manufacturers will take any steps they can to avoid blame) they are most often correct in cases like this.

    Not sure if that is any help but good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'celtex1'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 201

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 201

Warning: mysql_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 202

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'celtex1'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 213

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 213

Warning: mysql_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home2/celtex1/public_html/ on line 215
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By