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How to Seal Tile and Wood Floors

by Guest Post on Aug 3, 2010

Protecting your flooring is the easiest way to maintain a beautiful look without having to replace wood or tile floors.  The process to seal tile and wood floors is relatively easy, but it will require the area to be undisturbed for at least 72 hours.  The simple steps below will guide you through the process, but if questions arise, it is always best to ask a professional at the local home improvement or flooring store.

Sealing Tile Floors

Sealing tile floors will help keep them looking their best for years to come.  Not only is it important to seal naturally porous tile, such as slate, travertine, and marble, but it is also important to seal the grout on ceramic, porcelain or glass tile.  Once the grout has cured after installation, a tile and grout sealant can be purchased at large home improvement stores that carry tile flooring options.  Instead of following a set of rules for all applications, when it comes to porous tiles and grout, it is much better to follow the manufacturer's directions for sealant application.  However, the idea of applying the sealant evenly and preventing pooling are true tips no matter what the manufacturer suggests.  A well-ventilated area is also a must when applying the sealant to tile and grout.

Sealing Wood Floors

Hardwood floors add instant value to a home.  Many older homes still have their original hardwood flooring.  Caring for this beautiful and valuable floor choice takes some elbow grease and is a three-day process.  Begin by sanding the entire floor with a fine grain sandpaper.  This will prepare the surface to receive the sealant.  Next, vacuum and wipe down the floor to remove any dirt, dust, and grime.  Using a foam roller, apply a stain to the floor, moving in the direction of the wood.  The stain can alter the color of the wood or provide a clear finish that brings out the naturally occurring colors.  Apply the stain as evenly as possible. 

After the stain has dried for two or three hours, apply a coat of polyurethane finish to the wood.  The polyurethane can be applied with a roller brush or a paintbrush and should be done only when the room can be properly ventilated.  Polyurethane is a great wood protector, but it is also highly noxious.  Sending family members with asthma or allergies on a three-day mini-vacation might be the best option when the floor is being refinished.  Allow the polyurethane to dry completely for at least 12 hours.  Sand the floor again using a fine grain sandpaper, vacuum and wipe up the dust, and apply a second coat of polyurethane.  Work in smooth, even strokes for the best results.  The floor will be ready for use after the second coat has dried for at least 24-hours.

Taking the time to properly seal and care for tile and hardwood surfaces will ensure that they will last for many years.  If the jobs are done correctly, the floors will not need to be refinished very often.  The amount of traffic and spills will ultimately determine how often the tile and wood floors will need to be worked on.

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