If you’re looking to seal tiles around any bath, sink, toilet or shower, ordinary grout won’t do the job. If you were to use grout to seal such tiles, the seal would quickly crack under pressure which could result in water leakage and the problems associated with excess damp within the home.
Why Use a Sealant
If you’re a fan of DIY, chances are you’ve already tried your hand at tiling of some sort. But did you ever consider the importance of ensuring an effective seal? Where the joint between tiles and the wall, or between tiles and some structure (e.g. a bath) are likely to be subject to some pressure, it is imperative to use a special sealant which has flexible properties to allow for absorption of this pressure, and to know how to apply tile sealant correctly.
With a fixed seal, such as that achieved by grouting, this pressure would cause the seal to break, resulting in water leakages which can cause damp and rotting within the structure of the building. It is therefore essential to use a silicone rubber compound when sealing tiles likely to be subject to this pressure, and water.
Applying the Sealant
Firstly, you need to buy an appropriate tile sealant from your local hardware or DIY store. These are easy to pick up, and range in both price and quality. As long as the sealant is a silicone/rubber compound, it should suffice for sealing tiles around any structure.
It should also be noted that tile sealant will only be effective for relatively small gaps of up to 3.2mm. If the gap you require to seal is wider, you may need to use string or paper, or alternatively anything else effective to pack out the gap before applying the sealant.
Before applying the sealant, cut the tube applicator at an angle of roughly 45 degrees, taking care to consider the thickness of sealant you require which will be determined by where you cut the applicator.
If you require any additional smoothing, do not attempt to conduct such with your finger – a spoon is significantly more effective, and doesn’t create half the mess using your finger does.
Additionally, if you are applying sealant around a bath or sink, do so with the sink/bath full of water. This will be the bath at its heaviest and consequently the point at which the seal will be under most pressure. If your apply the seal at this stage, it will ensure a tight seal under the most extreme conditions the bath will face, ultimately resulting in a better, tighter seal all round.
It is also a good idea to use masking tape above and below the seal as this will ensure you keep a straight line, as well as keeping the sealant off your tiles. Also, make sure any other grouting or sealing is dry before apply sealant, and ensure that you also allow the sealant enough time to dry before exposing it to water or pressure. And that’s all you need to know.
Now you know how to apply tile sealant effectively, there really should be no excuses for messy tiling or leaking baths, and your bathroom or kitchen tiles should look spotless, as well as work to keep water and dampness from leaking into the structure of your home.