The Best Grout Sealers of 2022

To protect tile installations with a grout sealer, start with our guide to navigating the options—and don't miss our roundup of top-favorite picks among the best grout sealer options available.

By Andréana Lefton | Updated Aug 29, 2022 12:48 PM

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Best Grout Sealer Options to Protect Your Tiled Surface

Photo: istockphoto.com

Applying a high-quality, long-lasting grout sealer is one of the best ways to protect tile installations from water, dirt, oil and mold. Ahead, we’ve outlined the key considerations to bear in mind and offered details on our top-pick favorites among the best grout sealer options available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold
  2. BEST BUDGET: FILA Grout Sealer Spray Filagrout Proof
  3. BEST SPRAY: Black Diamond Stoneworks Ultimate Grout Sealer
  4. BEST NATURAL FINISH: AQUA-X Clear Grout and Tile Sealer
  5. BEST PEN: Rainbow Chalk Markers Grout Pen White Tile
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator
The Best Grout Sealer Options

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Grout

Grout comes in two main varieties, one of which isn’t porous and doesn’t require sealing. So first thing first, determine the type of grout you’re dealing with.

  • Cement-based sanded grout is an adhesive mixture of water, cement, and sand that fills in the gaps between tiles. This combination of natural compounds is porous, making sanded grout susceptible to water and grease damage, dirt, mold, and even bacteria. Here, a grout sealer is a must to cover or plug those microscopic spaces and keep your grout clean and fresh.
  • In epoxy-based unsanded grout, epoxy resins are combined with filler powders to create an extremely tight bond. This provides certain advantages over cement-based grout: It’s non-porous and easily cleaned, very durable, and almost stain-proof—all without requiring a grout sealer. That said, it’s not perfect. Its disadvantages include its artificial, almost plastic appearance; hard-to-remove grout haze; and pricier installation.

Best Grout Sealer Options to Protect Your Tiled Surface

What to Consider When Selecting the Best Grout Sealer

Beyond the types of grout, it’s important to consider the type of grout sealer that is most suitable for the task. Keep in mind toxicity of the product, applicator options, and necessary expenses associated with grout sealer.

Types of Grout Sealer

Non-Penetrating Grout Sealer

If you’re looking for a layer of basic protection from an easy-to-apply solution, a non-penetrating sealer (also called a “surface coating”) may be right for you. Non-penetrating grout sealers will protect kitchen floors and backsplashes from moderate water exposure, dirt, and grease. (Areas that are exposed to a lot of water—bathrooms, tubs, and showers—will be better protected by a penetrating product, described below.) This type of sealer must be reapplied every year or two and often won’t adhere to glazed tiles, so it’s a great fit for grout used with unglazed tiles and natural stone.

Penetrating Grout Sealer

To prevent long-term water, mildew, and oil damage—especially on grout surrounded by denser, less porous surfaces—you’ll more likely want to choose a penetrating grout sealer (or “impregnating sealer”). Look for a product that (a) is designed for your tile material (natural stone, ceramic, porcelain, etc.) and (b) provides a natural-looking finish without unintentionally changing the color or texture of the grout or surrounding tile. An impregnator typically protects grout for a minimum of three to five years.

Penetrating sealers come in colorless and color options, the latter of which may lessen visible stains or discoloration in your grout. Unlike grout paint or dye, a color sealer penetrates the pores in sanded grout, helping protect it from future water damage while working to restore the original grout color.

Toxicity

Solvent-based sealers contain heavy chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. To minimize exposure to such chemicals as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and petroleum distillates, consider wearing protective gloves and a safety mask then applying a solvent-based sealer. As well, avoid exposing this type of grout sealer to heat and/ or fire.

Water-based sealers offer a strong safe alternative. According to the North American Tile Cleaning Organization, these water-based grout sealers have lower VOC levels and are generally more effective than their solvent-based counterparts.

Applicator Options

When it’s time to apply a grout sealer, make sure you use enough product—at least two coats. You can apply grout sealer with a sponge, though some products come with a roller-brush applicator or spray nozzle. For precision work, smaller brush applicator tips may be your best bet.

Expenses

On average, you’ll typically pay between $.80 and $1.50 per square foot of product used to protect grout. High-performance, lower cost grout sealers do exist, with a variety of applicator styles and formulas to choose from, but expect to pay at least $13 to $15 per quart—call it a small investment for the time you’ll save not scrubbing grout later on.

Our Top Picks

This list of top picks takes into consideration the shopping considerations above and rounds up top-rated grout sealers.

Best Overall

The Best Grout Sealer Option Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold
Photo: amazon.com

For reliable quality, consider AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold, a low-VOC, water-based formula that’s excellent for sanded grout. This popular product is ideal for kitchen areas since it helps protect and maintain the look of natural stone and tile. The formula is also designed to be safe in areas where food is prepared and served, so it’s perfect for any areas in the kitchen where grout is likely to see a lot of action, like around the stove area. It’s easy to use and dries to a crystal-clear finish. A 16-ounce bottle will cover between 37 and 187 sq. ft. of standard grout lines.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 1 pint
  • Type: Water-based penetrating
  • Price: $$$

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Dries clear
  • Works with just one coat

Cons

  • Odor can be strong

Get the Aqua Mix grout sealer on Amazon or at The Home Depot

Best Budget

The Best Grout Sealer Option: FILA Grout Sealer Spray Filagrout Proof
Photo: amazon.com

FILA’s grout sealer spray offers a budget-friendly solution to protecting and maintaining grout in a variety of areas around the home. Especially effective for cement-based grout, this 24-ounce spray bottle provides a water-resistant barrier to keep grout protected and prevents it from deteriorating. It’s especially effective against moisture and humidity, so it’s suitable for almost any tiled area in the home.

To apply, simply spray on the area and spread it evenly with a small brush. Leave at least 4 hours to dry.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 24 ounces
  • Type: Non-penetrating spray
  • Price: $

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Protects against moisture and humidity
  • Eco-friendly formula

Cons

  • Sprayer may cause hand fatigue for larger projects

Get the FILA grout sealer on Amazon.

Best Spray

The Best Grout Sealer Option: Black Diamond Stoneworks Ultimate Grout Sealer
Photo: amazon.com

While most sealers require users to wipe on the product with an applicator, Black Diamond Stoneworks Granite Sealer makes the process easier by packing it in a spray bottle. Simply clean the marble, spray the sealer, allow it to penetrate the stone, and wipe off with a clean cloth. Wait about an hour before applying a second coat.

Couple Black Diamond’s easy application with the low-odor formula, and it’s one of the best granite sealers for those who want to protect their stone countertops without exerting much effort. This water-based sealer is safe for food contact and is also compatible with marble, concrete, granite, limestone, and travertine.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 16 ounces
  • Type: Non-penetrating spray
  • Price: $$

Pros

  • Safe to use on white colored grout
  • Protects against stains
  • Simple spray application

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect against deeper issues like mold

Get the Black Diamond grout sealer on Amazon.

Best Natural Finish

The Best Grout Sealer Option: AQUA-X Clear Grout and Tile Sealer
Photo: amazon.com

While certain grout sealers can alter the look of the stone or tile, that glossy or matte effect is not always what users want. This clear spray grout and tile sealer from AQUA-X manages to provide protection from stains and dirt, as well as improve the durability of the grout, all while retaining the original look of the stone or tile.

Once sprayed on and dried fully, it leaves behind a clear and barely noticeable protective barrier that works well to prevent humidity and water from breaking down the grout between the tiles in your shower, kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor areas.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 16 ounces
  • Type: Non-penetrating spray
  • Price: $$

Pros

  • Great for preserving natural stone and tile
  • Creates an effective moisture barrier
  • Dries clear

Cons

  • Quite pricey for the size

Get the AQUA-X grout sealer at Amazon or at Black Diamond Coatings.

Best Pen

The Best Grout Sealer Option: Rainbow Chalk Markers Grout Pen White Tile
Photo: amazon.com

When you’ve already sealed your marble, stone, and tile areas around the house, but from time to time see that some heavy-use areas need a little attention, this grout pen from Rainbow Chalk Markers is a handy tool to have lying around. Just remove the cap and use the pen to touch up any dirty-looking areas along the grout lines. This pen will restore a bright white color to the grout—so make sure that the original color of your grout is actually white before you use it.

This grout pen uses a non-toxic and water-based formula that’s safe to use in kitchen and bathroom areas. With this product, maintaining the white grout around your house can become a lot less time consuming.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 7 milliliter
  • Type: Non-penetrating pen
  • Price: $

Pros

  • Restores dirty grout back to a bright white
  • Very easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Non-toxic formula

Cons

  • Not suitable for grout colors other than white

Get the Rainbow Chalk Markers grout pen on Amazon.

Also Consider

The Best Grout Sealer Option: Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator
Photo: amazon.com

Whether your grout lies indoors or out, durable Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator can provide multiple years of water, stain, and slip protection, without altering the natural look of the grout. A 32-ounce bottle will cover about 125 sq. ft, so this is an ideal solution for large areas that require a lot of coverage.

Since this product is a penetrating sealer, it is able to protect grout and tiles from both water and oil. It also dries clear to maintain the look of the original surface, and is unlikely to yellow over time.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 32 fluid ounces
  • Type: Penetrating liquid
  • Price: $$$

Pros

  • Great both indoors and outdoors
  • Lasts for several years
  • Large coverage with a single bottle

Cons

  • Can leave streaks if not applied carefully

Get the Miracle Sealants grout sealer at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Our Verdict

For a versatile and long-lasting grout sealer that can cover a wide area with a single bottle, consider Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold, which provides a natural look. Shoppers looking for a more budget-friendly option could consider the FILA Grout Sealer Spray, which is easy to apply using the 24-ounce spray bottle.

How We Chose the Best Grout Sealers

The best grout sealer is easy to apply, leaves no strong and lingering odors after application, and lasts for several years. Our research looked at several aspects to find the top picks on the market, including cement-based and epoxy-based options to suit shoppers’ needs.

We also made sure to include a range of options in terms of how the grout sealer is applied; from simple spray bottles for non-penetrating solutions that provide moisture and stain protection, to more heavy-duty products that provide a penetrating protection against a range of issues like mold, humidity and heavy stains. We even included an option for shoppers to tackle spot maintenance of their white-colored sealer with a handy pen.

In terms of price points, our research helped us gather a range of products to meet a variety of budgets. So whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a long-lasting solution, our list of recommendations can cater to both preferences.

FAQs

Q: How often should grout be sealed?

Most households will need to have their exterior grout sealed approximately every two years. High-traffic areas may require extra attention and require sealing every six months.

Q: How many coats of grout sealer is needed?

For suitable protection—and depending on the product you choose to purchase—one to three coats is recommended.

Q: Can I use grout sealer on tile?

Many grout sealer products are advertised as both tile and grout sealer. So, depending on the product, it may also be an effective tile sealer.

Q: What is the best way to apply grout sealer?

Be sure to clean the grout thoroughly and repair any cracks or crumbles, then use your chosen sealer and applicator and apply slowly and deliberately.

Q: What happens if grout sealer dries on tile?

A thin film will form on a tile if any grout sealer dries on it, which will diminish its shine. Use a grout sealer remover to restore it to its original look.

Q: How long does grout sealer last?

This depends on the type of sealer used. Non-penetrating sealers provide protection for up to 5 years if maintained properly. Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, can last anywhere up to 20 years.