If I had a pound for every time I’d been told that a floor hasn’t been sealed for X amount of years or never sealed at all, I’d be rich, and probably wouldn’t be sat here writing this blog for my business. Until I became fully trained and qualified in floor restoration, I thought sealing a floor was pointless, something that you were only told to do in the flooring shop because they wanted an add on sale after you’d already spent a few thousand on the floor covering of your choice, whether it be tile, stone, wood, carpet or LVT. It was an afterthought, something that maybe I’d do once installed, but then forget about for the rest of time, much the same with a lot of the people I speak to. But surprisingly, when speaking to my clients or potential clients, I’m hearing more and more that the shops are barely suggesting having the floor sealed, and if they are then they are providing sub-standard seals that aren’t worth the bottle they come in, I’ve seen some tilers putting seal down on a floor that has lasted less than a month.
Have you looked at your floor recently and thought “that really does look dirty.” Maybe you struggle to keep it clean? Or have you dropped something on your stone floor which has soaked in to the stone and stained it? Now I’m in the position I’m in and working with various floors around Essex every day, believe me when I say this, if your floor can be sealed, and we can seal the vast majority of floor coverings, get it sealed and put an alert on your phone annually to have that seal inspected, we even contact clients annually to inform them that it’s been 12 months since their floor was last sealed and can arrange a visit for a maintenance clean and seal inspection.
I was recently told by a client that another company, in our area, told her that she shouldn’t seal her porcelain tiled floor because moisture will get through the grout but not be able to get out! What nonsense, if it can get through then surely it can get out? It’s embarrassing that there are “tile cleaners” out there giving out this poor advice and is 100% proof that there are people out there going about their business untrained and unqualified, offering a very poor service that will only cause customers problems down the line.
Now for a little bit of educating….the surface of tiles, stone and the grout lines will absorb dirt…FACT. Sealing the floor, especially stone, and particularly if it’s a textured porcelain tile, which are notoriously bad for keeping clean, will fill the pits on the surface (even if it feels flat and smooth, 99% of surfaces aren’t). These pits otherwise fill up with dirt, when you run the mop over the tile the grout line works like a bucket ringer and will ring some of the dirty water out of the mop and soak into the grout, which is a reason why grout gets so dirty. If grout isn’t sealed from day one then chances are; when you get round to having a deep clean, due to the porosity of the grout, there will probably be areas that are permanently stained, but if you keep on top of annual cleaning and seal inspection with your newly tiled floor then the risk of this happening is hugely reduced. A professional grade seal will help fill the pits in the tile and the grout and will create an invisible barrier so that the vast majority of liquids and dirt won’t soak in! Your floor will still get dirty but when you mop the floor each week, the dirt should be removed a lot easier (see How to clean my tiled floor).
One thing to be aware of is “topical seals”, particularly on natural stone floors. We don’t use these as they don’t allow the stone to breath and can cause various issues, not to mention that if we ever need to top the seal up, a topical has to be completely stripped off all over the floor which is going to cost our clients a lot more money than it would to just deep clean and top up our impregnating seal.
So yes, you definitely should seal your floor, wool carpets, wood, tiles, stone, LVT, if there is a seal available for your floor, we’ll know about it and we’ll be able to apply it. It’ll protect your floor from spillages and stains, it’ll make it easier to clean and the most important bit is that it’ll make your floor last longer. No hefty replacement costs quite so soon!
Thanks for reading.
Chris – Head Technician at Powerdean Floor Maintenance.