02 Do All Tiles Need Sealing?

The short answer is No. Not all tiles are porous. It is not necessary (or in fact possible) to seal a non-porous tile. Many people mistake textured tiles for porous tiles, because they can be very difficult to keep clean. You can use the following simple test for porosity. It will indicate moderate-high porosity levels. Tiles with a lower porosity may require alternate testing on a spare or sample tile.

  1. Pour a small puddle of water onto a single tile in an inconspicuous area.
  2. Leave the water to sit for a couple of hours.
  3. Mop up the puddle of water with a clean rag.

If the exposed tile has changed colour (looks wet) or there is a “tide-line” or “witness mark” where the puddle had been, this indicates that the tile is porous and requires sealing. Tiles with medium to high levels of porosity should be sealed immediately so that the area gains the full benefit of the protection. Sealing provides the following benefits

  1. Prevent unsightly stains.
  2. Prevent discolouration.
  3. Keep your tiled floors looking better for longer.

Most natural stone tiles are porous.

Examples of porous tiles include:- Polished Porcelain, Terracotta, Limestone, Travertine, Bluestone, Slate, Sandstone, Granite, plus some Vitrified Tiles. Examples of non-porous tiles include:- Ceramic, Glazed, plus some Vitrified Tiles. Please note that in most circumstances, grout is porous and will benefit from sealing.


You may also be interested in reading our blog posts on:- [01 Products for Cleaning Floor Tiles & Grout] which explores old wives tiles like using vinegar to clean floor tiles and grout. [03 Does Sealing My Tiles Make them Maintenance Free?] which looks at the common misconception that Sealed Tiles / Grout will not get Dirty. [04 All About Sealers] which discusses Topical versus Penetrating Sealers, Water Based versus Solvent Based Sealers, and Sealers – Comparing Apples with Apples.