How to Apply Grout Sealer to a Backsplash

Supplies Needed

  • Grout sealer – choose a water-based sealer for a kitchen backsplash
  • Paintbrush or sealer applicator bottle
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection

Cleaning and Prepping the Backsplash

Before applying the grout sealer, it is important to thoroughly clean and prep the backsplash grout lines to allow for proper adhesion and sealing. Here are the steps:

Remove any existing sealers or coatings

If there is any existing sealer or coating on the grout, you will need to remove it first. Check the manufacturer instructions for your existing sealer to find the proper removal process. Typically it involves using a grout sealer remover product.

Clean the grout lines

Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap and scrub the grout lines with a small brush or toothbrush. Make sure to rinse well with clean water and allow to fully dry. This will remove any dirt, grease or grime that could prevent the sealer from bonding.

Inspect for cracks or damage

Check the grout lines closely for any cracks, chips or holes and repair if needed. Applying grout sealer over damaged grout will not properly seal it. Use a grout repair product to patch any problem areas first.

Allow grout to dry completely

It is very important the grout lines are completely dry before applying the grout sealer. Allow at least 24 hours of dry time before moving to the sealing step.

Applying the Grout Sealer

Once your backsplash grout is fully prepped and cleaned, you are ready to apply the sealer:

Prepare your supplies

Have your sealer, applicator, cloths and protective equipment ready to go before starting. Carefully read the manufacturer instructions for your specific grout sealer before beginning.

Apply sealer to grout lines

Using a paintbrush or applicator bottle, apply an even coat of sealer directly onto the grout lines. Completely cover and fill the grout lines but avoid getting sealer on the tile surface itself. Apply only as much sealer as the grout lines can absorb.

Let sealer soak in

Allow the sealer to penetrate into the grout lines for 5-10 minutes. Do not allow any excess to pool or puddle on the tile or grout.

Wipe away excess

Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess sealer that did not soak in. Wipe gently across tiles and grout to remove residue.

Allow sealer to cure

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cure time. Many sealers require 24-72 hours for the finish to fully cure and become resistant to moisture and stains. Avoid using the backsplash until fully cured.

Apply a second coat (optional)

For maximum protection, a second coat of grout sealer can be applied following the same process. An additional coat will help fill any porous areas for better waterproofing.

Maintaining the Sealed Backsplash

Once sealed, a few maintenance steps will help keep the backsplash grout protected:

  • Use a gentle cleaner – Harsh chemicals can break down sealers over time
  • Reapply sealer annually – Grout sealers wear off slowly so reapplying yearly is best
  • Watch for damage – Repair any new chips, cracks or discoloration in grout lines
  • Clean spills quickly – Don’t allow stains time to set in the porous grout

Properly sealing and maintaining your backsplash grout will help keep it looking great for years! Let the sealer cure fully before using the backsplash, then enjoy an easier-to-clean and long-lasting finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grout sealer to use on a backsplash?

For kitchen backsplashes, water-based silicone or acrylic sealers are best. Top options include Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold and Dupont StoneTech Heavy Duty Sealer. Avoid solvent-based sealers for kitchen use.

How soon can I get the backsplash wet after sealing?

It’s best to allow the sealer to cure for 24-72 hours before exposing it to moisture. Check the product directions as cure times can vary. Getting the backsplash wet before full curing can ruin the seal.

How do I know if I need to reseal the grout?

Signs it’s time to reseal include grout that easily absorbs liquids, appears faded or discolored, or feels rough and porous when scrubbed. Annual resealing is recommended for high use backsplashes.

Can I use grout sealer on sanded caulk?

Yes, sanded caulk between countertops and backsplashes can be sealed just like standard grout after cleaning thoroughly. Sealing helps prevent caulk from becoming stained or growing mildew.

How should I clean a sealed backsplash?

Use a mild detergent and soft sponge or cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals or scrubbing pads as they can wear away the sealer over time. Vinegar and water makes a good, sealer-safe backsplash cleaner.


Applying grout sealer properly is the key to protecting the grout lines on your backsplash. Allow time for proper cleaning and drying of the grout before sealing for maximum adherence and performance. Carefully follow the product directions, then maintain the sealer with gentle cleaning and annual re-coating. With the right sealing and maintenance, your lovely backsplash will stay looking fresh for many years of daily use.