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celestina89

@Blue Wren: Excellent comment. Choices of grout are basically cement based, acrylic or epoxy. Cement is the most commonly used which does require sealing every 1-2 years depending on the sealer and how often the shower or flooring is used.. Latex based seals are the best in order to be absorbed. However, if a tile is too thick, there may be a problem with absorption. Sealing the tile and/or an application of surface grout colour will mask dirt. Sealing also helps the deflation of tile grout. Acrylic is another choice and provides dirt and water resistance. Sealing is still recommended to prevent mold/mildew from forming from absorption of dirt and water.

The only grout that is water/dirt proof to prevent formation of bacteria & fungi is epoxy based grout. It also prevents stains. Of course, it is more expensive and takes experience, time and knowledge to apply it properly. It's often used with glass and non-porous tiles. Epoxy grout doesn't require sealing. It stays flexible as compared to cement-based grout and is less susceptible to chips and cracks.

One final point is that one should never apply grout sealer to non-glazed tile or natural stone. For these porous materials, one uses different type of seals which is a liquid coating.

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Blue Wren

There are some brands of sealer that will do stone and grout. The Australian brand Dry Treat makes a product called Stain Proof that can be used for both. I used it and it's an excellent product. I tiled my bathroom walls with natural quartz stack stone and I sealed the stone before laying the tiles. I accidentally marked a tile with cutting lines on the front side in permanent red marker. When I took the piece in to fit it (it was a really odd shape to fit my sloping ceiling etc) and discovered my error I freaked - I really didn't want to have to mark and cut it again. I hit it with the magic eraser and it came off so easily. The stone merchant recommended sealing the stone before laying it because the tile glue can leave marks on the surface. Great advice for idiots who draw all over their tiles with permanent marker!

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celestina89

Aussies tend to come up with interesting products. I looked up DryTreat which apparently originated in Australia and is now part of the distribution division of ICP Building Solutions Group, Andover MA as well as Great Britain. It is available globally. There are various types of sealers and cleaners. According to their website, Dry-Treat 40SK is for "soft porous stone" which includes concrete, terra-cotta, cast stone, pavers, sandstone, limestone, brick and grout. There are two versions of Stain-Proof Original and Plus.

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