AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold
AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold is the best grout sealer if you want a solid sealer that lasts for a long time. Since AquaMix is a penetrating sealer, it takes longer to apply and is a bit more expensive than topical coating sealers. However, if you do the job right, it can last up to 15 years. We think it is well worth the initial investment.
Using the best grout sealer can make the difference between having clean floors and dirty grout lines. Cleaning grout is not enough to make your floors last a long time. You must also seal it because it is the seal that forms a protective layer between your grout and dirt.
A good grout sealer should last many years if you do a good job applying it. In this review, we will show you the best grout sealer, explain to you in detail the process of applying a sealer and why you should be using a sealer. There are many types of grout sealers but in general, they can be reduced down to two types: penetrating and topical sealers.
Penetrating sealers will go into your grout and seal the tiny pores inside, preventing dirt from entering. Topical sealers will sit on top of your grout lines and act as a defensive wall against debris. Penetrating sealers are generally more expensive and harder to apply, but the trade-off is they last longer and requires less maintenance. We have done extensive research into the best grout sealer so please read below for our top picks. If you are looking for the best grout cleaner, please read our reviews here.
What is the Best Grout Sealer?
- DAP Kwik Seal Grout Repair
- AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold (Top Pick)
- Stonetech High Gloss Finishing Sealer
- Miracle Sealants GRT SLR 6-Ounce Grout Sealer
- Tilelab Grout And Tile Sealer
DAP Kwik Seal Grout Repair
The DAP Kwik Seal is the best tile grout sealer if you just want a quick repair and don’t have time for a large-scale project. You can use this along with the Grout Pen for maximum protection. Both of these products are designed for quick on-the-go repairs.
The DAP Kwik Seal is a penetrating sealer that sinks deep into your grout and seals the small pores in them. It does a great job depending away mildew and stains, so it works like a charm in your bathroom and shower, where bacteria and other germs like to hide.
The sealer is extremely easy to apply: after cleaning the grout with the best grout cleaner, apply a thin layer of this over the grout line and let it sit for a day to let it harden. Do not get it wet while it is hardening or you will have to start all over again. The DAP Kiwk Seal is often compared to the Tile Guard Tile Grout Coating and we have done extensive testing between the two.
In the end, we decided to choose DAP because it is DAP just does a better job sealing grout without adding too much extra work. Tile Guard is a topical coating sealer that forms a layer over your grout lines and protects your grout from bacteria and dirt. However, we found the DAP does a better job sealing because it actually gets into the deep pores of your grout and seals the holes.
We interviewed professionals who seal grout every day to customers who have done this for many years themselves. The most common positive comment we get from them is that it is such a quick sealer that also performs like a heavy sealer. The most common negative point is you have to wait a bit a day for the sealer to harden. If you are looking for the best grout sealer for a quick fix solution, get DAP. You won’t regret it.
- Quick and easy to use
- Does a good job sealing as it is a penetrating sealer
- Long wait time to harden
- Cannot use for big projects
AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold
AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold is the best floor grout sealer if you want performance and durability. Since AquaMix is a penetrating sealer, it takes longer to apply and is a bit more expensive than topical coating sealers. However, if you do the job right, it can last up to 15 years. We think it is well worth the initial investment.
Out of all the penetrating sealers we tried, AquaMix remains the most consistent one. Professionals and long-time users we interviewed agreed that it is their quality control that is the best. Every batch is the same as the other and is flawless. AquaMix tends to dry up faster than other similar sealers, requiring less than 4 hours to completely dry. We really think a long dry time can be extremely annoying when you have to wait an entire day to use the bathroom.
AquaMix can be used on basically all types of tiles including all sorts of stone, marble, limestone, and granite tiles. AquaMix has four products in their line of penetrating sealers: Penetrating Sealer, Sealer’s Choice Gold, Ultra-Solv, and Pro-Solv. Sealer’s Choice Gold works the best for us when we tested them against each other. The general consensus with people who have used these products for a while is the Sealer’s Choice Gold is the longest-lasting sealer with Ultra Solv. coming in a close second. Overall, for the best grout sealer, Sealer’s Choice Gold is an excellent choice.
- Long-Lasting up to 15 years
- Dries up fast
- Good for wet environments like the shower
- Can have some odors
- Harder to apply than coating sealers
- Requires drying time
Stonetech High Gloss Finishing Sealer
Stonetech High Gloss Finishing Sealer is the best grout sealer if you want a coating sealer that gives your grout lines a nice glossy finish. A coating sealer will rest above your grout lines instead of filling up the pores of your grout, like a penetrating sealer. Coating sealers will only last a few years before having to replace them again.
However, they are generally easier to put on and cheaper as well. We recommend using a coating sealer if you want to enhance the color of your grout lines. You will have to apply the coating sealer more often but some people like a nice matte or glossy finish.
Out of all the coating sealers, we find StoneTech High Gloss Sealer to be the best with TileLab Gloss Sealer and Finish coming in a close second. After testing this sealer against several other coating sealers, we really like the look and finish of this sealer. It provides a shiny slick new look to your grout lines and really brings out your tiles as well. We find the matte look to be a bit dull and drab.
StoneTech High Gloss sealer is cheap and easy to apply. It is a forgiving sealer in that it does not damage your tiles. You can even use it on extremely porous stones like slate and terracotta. You can apply this liberally on top of your grout and wait a few minutes for it to settle. Wipe the access off of your tiles and you are done. We think Stonetech High Gloss Sealer is the best grout sealer for porcelain tiles. It is also good if want to trade off a long-lasting sealer for a clean shiny finish.
- Glossy shiny finish
- Easy to apply and clean
- Does not damage your tiles and works with all types of stone, even terracotta or slate
- Does not last as long as penetrating sealers
- The glossy finish may not be for everybody
Miracle Sealants GRT SLR 6-Ounce Grout Sealer
If you want a natural look penetrating sealer, the Miracle Sealants Grout Sealer is certainly a good option. This 6-ounce sealer is an easy-to-use cheap solution to protecting grout joints in your kitchen or bathroom. We find that it is best used on shower tile walls, although you can certainly use it both indoors and outdoors. It is weather-resistant to a certain degree, so it can seal grout lines outside without facing too much damage. The coverage area is about 60-115 square feet for a 6-ounce bottle. This is plenty to seal most if not all of the grout in your home.
We have to warn you that if you are expecting a very powerful grout sealer, you should probably look elsewhere. The Miracle Grout Sealer is intended to be used as a touch-up sealer. If you apply grout for the first time or re-grout your entire house, it is probably better that you use an industrial-strength sealer.
The Miracle Grout Sealer comes in a nice and convenient applicator bottle with an easy-to-use applicator tip. It is safe to use and relatively non-toxic. We would still keep it out of the reach of your children and pets, however. We didn’t really notice any strong odors and definitely no harsh fumes that come from this sealer.
All in all, the miracle grout sealer is a nice little touch-up grout sealer that can be used in between re-grouting projects to spot maintain your grout. It is comparable to the DAP Quik Seal expect it has an even more fine-tuned applicator. If you are collecting dirt and debris around your tile and grout, we encourage you to give the Miracle grout sealer a try. It is the best tile and grout sealer that you can use every day.
Tilelab Grout And Tile Sealer
The TileLab Grout Sealer is a nice and convenient product in the form of a spray-on bottle. It is designed to be a low odor easy to apply sealer, so it pretty much works out of the box. There is no mixing involved and nothing you have to do to prime the solution. It is formulated to resist dirt, oil, stains, and all sorts of grease on any surface. We recommend you use it on unglazed tile, grout, and even brick or clay. While some grout sealers leave a white haze on your tile grout, TileLab does not leave any hard-to-remove residues.
The TileLab Grout Sealer is very easy to use and apply. You use to spray it on the area you want to be sealed and let it soak in for about 5 minutes or so. Then you wipe it up with a towel. It is one of the easiest grout sealers to use. It does not require you to apply in a specific area or meticulously apply it in a straight line using an applicator tip. All you do is spray it around in a general area like a grout cleaner spray.
The biggest trade-off we found with a nice and convenient spray-on applicator is the fact that sometimes it requires multiple coatings to work. In our lab tests, we found that you have to wait a good 5-10 minutes for the sealer to settle. Also, you should wipe the grout lines dry before applying. If you don’t take these necessary precautions, the Tilelab grout sealer won’t be very effective and you will end up being very frustrated.
Overall, this is a great grout sealer to have if you are not too fussed about having grout lines that are 100% resilient to dirt and debris. It is a nice accessory to have around and takes a lot of the work out of sealing your grout. You may have to apply multiple coatings to achieve the desired effect, however.
Choosing the Best Grout Sealer
There are so many grout sealers at any home improvement store that picking one can be really confusing at first. We will help you out by giving you some tips on how to pick the best grout sealer for your needs.
In general, if you are setting up tiles and grout for the first time, using a penetrating sealer is your best option. Penetrating sealers will last a lot longer than coating sealers and requires much less maintenance work. Since setting up tiles is already hard work, you might as well go the full distance and apply a penetrating sealer.
If you want a nice glossy or matte finish and want to make your tiles pop, you should look into getting a topical coating sealer. Penetrating sealers do a good job protecting your grout from dirt but do not give you grout lines the added shine. Penetrating sealers also do not work on slate or terracotta since the pores are too big. So in this case, it is best to use a coating sealer.
A penetrating sealer is good for deep and long-lasting protection. And a coating sealer is good for having a nice finish. So why not combine them? We think the best scenario is if you use a penetrating sealer first. Then on top of that top it off with a coating sealer. This way you can ensure your grout is protected for a long time while maintaining a nice healthy shine.
Grout Sealer Types Compared
Penetrating Sealers vs Coating Sealers: Penetrating sealers are the most popular choice of sealers on the market because they do the best job protecting your grout lines and keeping bacteria, mildew, germs, dirt, and debris out of your grout and tiles. Since grout is a glue made of cement, sand, and water, it has many microscopic pores inside of it.
A penetrating sealer will reach the pores inside of your grout and cover up the holes, thus preventing other harmless substances from entering. Penetrating sealers are good in wet environments because water cannot get into the pores of your grout. With a coating sealer, you run the risk of having tiny cracks in the sealer and water seeping through.
Coating sealers are made of silicone or water and are often used as a finishing touch to a penetrating sealer installation. A coating sealer will add a nice finish to your grout lines, which is something a penetrating sealer cannot accomplish. However, the pitfall of coating sealers is they can be slowly broken down and easily cracked. There are other situations where using a coating sealer is more beneficial. When you have a highly porous tile such as terracotta or slate, using a penetrating sealer can damage and discolor your tiles. The safer way to go around this is to use a coating sealer, which merely spreads a protective layer over the tile.
Water-based vs solvent-based sealer: All sealers are either dissolved in water or some solvent. Most professionals recommend using a solvent-based sealer because solvent molecules are usually made to be smaller than water molecules and thus penetrate into smaller deeper pores. However, solvent-based sealers give off strong odors and are a bit dangerous if you don’t handle them properly. Water-based sealers tend to haze up and develop watermarks on your tiles if you do not wipe off the surface well enough. In general, water-based sealers are more children friendly and are not too hazardous.
When to Apply Grout Sealer
First Time: Using the best grout sealer upon installation of your tiles and grout is the best way to get a head start and set up long-term protection. First, you need to completely dry the grout and tiles before applying any sealer. This is because there may be liquids still attached to the adhesives in your grout and tiles. Applying the best grout sealer over any liquid will trap it for a while. Please make sure everything is dry first. We recommend you wait a few days after installing your grout and tiles to apply a sealer.
After cleaning your grout: Ok, so you had dirty grout before and now you decided to clean it. Since you already installed your grout and tiles you don’t have to dry them now. You need to seal your grout and tiles right after cleaning them to make sure there is no dirt or debris that get in during the downtime.
After installing epoxy grout: If you ever install epoxy grout, then you won’t need to apply any kind of sealer. Epoxy grout is more plastic than cement-based so there will not be any pores in them. Therefore they are essentially naturally sealed and naturally waterproof.
Applying Grout Sealer – A Step-by-Step Guide
1) Clean and Dry the tiles: Cleaning and drying your tiles is the first step you need to take before you start any kind of grout sealing project. If you have recently installed grout for the very first time, it is especially important to do this. There are still other particles remaining from an installation that you don’t want to be trapped in your sealer. We recommend waiting a day to let your tiles cure and let the adhesives come together.
When you are ready to apply the sealer, read the bottle instructions. We cannot stress this enough, please follow the instructions on the bottle. Each grout sealer is designed differently and can be used in different situations. Please do yourself a favor and follow the instructions given to you by the manufacturer. Sealers can often be used on both grout and tiles, but check the back of the bottle just to be sure. You can also look up the MSDS on the product to get a list of dangerous and active ingredients.
Apply sealer: You can probably save yourself some work and get a mop or a scrub brush attached to a stick. Then just liberally apply the sealer everywhere on your floor, even on your tiles. The best grout sealer is made in such a way that it is very forgiving and does not damage your tiles. You don’t have to get on your knees and strain your back! Make sure you apply an even layer of sealant everywhere on your floor.
Clean up: When you are done applying the sealer, make sure you wipe off the extra sealant on your tiles. You don’t want sealant on your tiles when it hardens, otherwise, you will have uneven floors. After applying the sealer, we recommend waiting a few minutes before removing the excess sealant. You can use a slightly damp cloth or mop when doing this.
Test the sealer: After your sealer hardens, it is time to put your sealer to the water drop test. If you bought the best grout sealer and applied it right, a drop of water should bead up over your grout lines. This means all of the pores in your grout have been sealed and water cannot penetrate your grout anymore. If you find that water is still seeping into your grout lines, you need to think about applying an additional layer of sealant.