While outdoor tiles are extremely durable, there is one thing you can do in order to extend the life and beauty of your investment. That one thing, is sealing your tiles. Sealing your outdoor tiles will not only help prevent staining and cracking, but also other types of outdoor damage over time as well. So now that you know why you should do it, the question is probably asking is, "How do you do it?"
Step 1: Gather your supplies. The first thing you need to do is take a trip to the hardware store to get your supplies. You'll need: a sponge, paint brush, broom, trowel, grout float, as well as tile and grout sealer.
Step 2: Clean the tile. Sweep the tiles and make sure they are totally free of dust, dirt, and debris. This is very easy, but also very important. If you do not do a good thorough job, or forget this step completely, that dust and debris will be stuck in place under the layer of sealant for as long as the sealant lasts.
Step 3: Seal the tile. This is a two part process. Using a paint brush apply the sealant to the tiles as evenly as possible and allow them to dry. However, you must be careful to not let the sealant drip off the body of the tile, and into the space between the tiles, as this is where the grout will be. This is important, because grout will not adhere well to the sealant.
Step 4: Let it dry. Once you have finished this application, let the sealant dry overnight. This drying is necessary because it will ensure that when you apply the grout, you will already have a dry coating of sealant protecting the tile from discoloration when it comes into contact with the grout.
Step 5: Apply the grout. Once the first layer of sealant is dry it's time to apply the grout. Using a trowel, apply the grout between the tiles. Then, take your grout float and smooth over the grout. About 15-20 minutes after finishing, use a damp sponge to wipe the grout. Let it sit another 2 hours, and then using a clean damp cloth, wipe away all of the excess grout. Your grout should be dry in 2-3 days, so wait that long before you move to the next step.
Step 6: Sweep up. You're not done yet, next you're going to sweep the tiles, to get rid of any dust or debris that has accumulated while the grout was drying.
Step 7: Apply the sealant. Apply the sealant evenly over the tiles and grout. Let this dry overnight.
Step 8: Sweep up again. Sweep up again to clear the tile of any dust or debris that has accumulated while it was drying.
Step 9: Apply one final layer of sealant. This final layer will serve to further protect your tiles even more. It's worth the added protection.
Step 10: Admire your work! Your finally finished and now's the time to look down and admire your work. This is by far is the step most people enjoy the most.
While it may have taken a few days, not only is sealing tiles easy, but it's a job that all DIY homeowners can complete. It's also a project that will allow you to enjoy your newly waterproof and stain resistant outdoor tiles for years to come!