How to Seal Backsplash Grout


Sealing grout is an important maintenance task that helps protect the grout lines between tiles in your backsplash. Over time, moisture, stains, and daily wear and tear can cause grout to crack, discolor, or deteriorate. Applying a penetrating sealant creates a protective barrier that repels water, oil, and stains.

Sealing grout can extend the life of your backsplash and make cleaning much easier. It’s a relatively easy process that only needs reapplying every year or two. With a few simple steps and materials, you can seal your backsplash grout properly.

When to Seal Grout

Some signs that it’s time to seal your backsplash grout include:

  • Discolored or cracked grout lines
  • Grout that easily absorbs liquids
  • Mold or mildew growth in grout lines
  • Grout lines looking dirty even after cleaning
  • Newly installed grout

New grout should be sealed as soon as the installation is complete before exposing it to daily use and moisture. For existing grout, sealing it every 12-24 months is recommended for heavy use areas like kitchens. Bathroom backsplash grout may need sealing as often as once a year.

Selecting a Grout Sealer

There are a few different types of grout sealers to choose from:

Silicone-Based Sealers

These are most commonly used for porcelain, ceramic, and glass tiles. Silicone sealers protect against water-based stains and spills. They form a water-repellent barrier.

Epoxy-Based Sealers

Epoxy sealers are often used for cement grout and provide a glossy, durable finish. They protect against oil-based stains as well as water.

Lacquer-Based Sealers

Lacquer sealers offer mild protection against water and stains. They are often used as a top coat over other sealers for added protection.

For a kitchen backsplash, an epoxy or silicone-based sealer is best to withstand cooking stains and spills. Check the product description to ensure it is non-toxic and safe for use around food surfaces.

How to Seal Backsplash Grout

Follow these steps to properly seal your backsplash grout:

Clean the Grout First

It’s important to start with a deep clean of the grout lines to remove any built-up dirt, stains, or grime. Use an oxygen bleach cleaner or baking soda paste scrubbed in with a grout brush or old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely before sealing.

Apply Sealant

Follow the product instructions for application. Most require you to:

  1. Lightly dampen the grout lines with water first.
  2. Apply the sealant carefully along the length of the grout line using the applicator bottle or sponge provided.
  3. Allow sealant to absorb for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Wipe away any excess puddling on the tile surface with a lint-free cloth.

Repeat for all grout lines, keeping the coat thin and even. Avoid getting sealant on the tile surface.

Allow Proper Curing Time

Leave the sealant to cure fully before using the surface again. This usually takes 2-4 hours. Ventilate the area well during curing.

Apply a Second Coat if Needed

For optimal results, a second coat may be needed 3-4 hours after the first coat fully cures. Follow same application steps.

With proper sealing, your grout lines will repel liquids, stains, and dirt. If you notice discoloration or absorption, it may be time to reseal. Be sure to test sealers first in an inconspicuous area to check results. With regular sealing, your backsplash can stay looking new for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does grout sealer last?

On a backsplash or other frequently used surface, grout sealer typically lasts 1-2 years before needing reapplication. Less utilized surfaces may go longer between sealing.

Can I apply new grout sealer over old?

Yes, you can apply fresh coats of sealer over top of old as long as the old sealant is still in good condition and the grout is clean. Stripping old sealant first is not necessary.

Should I seal all grout or just problem areas?

Sealing all grout lines evenly is best, not just discolored ones. This ensures full protection across the whole surface. Spot sealing can lead to inconsistent results.

What’s the white haze on my grout after sealing?

A white film that appears on tiles and grout surface after sealing is common. It is excess sealant that was not fully wiped off. It can be removed with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits after the sealant has cured.

Is sealing grout a DIY job?

Yes, grout sealing is a relatively easy DIY task using a manufactured grout sealant product. No special tools are required. Carefully follow product instructions.


Sealing your backsplash or other tiled area’s grout a few times a year will maintain its appearance and protect it from stains, moisture damage, and mold growth. A safe, non-toxic grout sealing product suitable for the tile and grout type should be used and applied carefully along all grout lines.

Allowing proper cure time and removing excess sealant prevents hazy residue on tiles. Reapplying fresh sealant every 1-2 years will keep the grout sealed. Properly maintained sealed grout lines will be easier to keep clean and give your backsplash a like-new look for years before needing regrouting.