The Kim Six Fix: Master Bathroom Week 8: Tile Sealing And Grout Color Test

Master Bathroom Week 8: Tile Sealing And Grout Color Test

I am in the home stretch of the tile, and since the glass door has been ordered I have to hustle and get the tile sealed and grouted. Therefore, I have to decide on which color grout I want to use.   These may seem like really small steps, but depending on the products you choose it can dramatically change the look of tile. 

I personally like the 'chalky' light look of the tumbled tile and so I wanted to go with a sealer that would keep the stone looking as close to how it looks right now.  I settled on 511 Impregnator Sealer from Miracle Sealants.  It is a penetrating sealer without an enchancer (which will change the color of your stone.)  It isn't cheap ($35/bottle), but it is worth the extra expense to get a good product.  Since I am using natural stone I have decided to seal it both before it is grouted as well as seal it a second time, along with the grout, once the walls are completely finished. Better safe than sorry.

When it goes on it does darken the color of the tile, but it will dry clear.  You just need to paint it on, and then 5 minutes later wipe off any excess so you don't get any swirl marks or cloudiness.

It took me about 1/3 of the bottle to do the entire bath and tub surround area, which leaves me plenty for my second coat after grouting. 

The next big decision was choosing my grout color.  I made up a couple of test boards out of old scraps of tile so I could see what the colors would actually look like once it was pushed into all the nooks and crannies of the tiles:

I didn't want to buy a bunch of grout bags to test, but I did have a little on hand in two color families I was considering.  The first was the white color I used on my kitchen backsplash.
I figured since I am using the same the pencil tile, and I liked how it looked in the kitchen, this was a good choice to start with.

I also thought I would test out the grout leftover from when I repaired the damaged floor tile in front of the shower.  It was much darker and had a brown tint.

Here is what those colors looked like on my test boards:

I didn't love how the dark grout accentuated the holes in the tile (and really made it obvious when grout lines weren't even.)  On the other hand, the light grout color really masks any imperfections in the grout.  I LOVED that. 

It is always important to look at your test colors in the actual room you will be using them, so I carried my boards upstairs and leaned them against the shower walls to get a better feel for the final product:

After stepping back and thinking about it for a while I decided the light color was almost perfect.  I did want the tiles to stand out a little more so I settled on one shade darker, but nowhere near as dark as my second sample color.   Fingers crossed! 
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Budget for this part of the remodel: $32.27
511 Impregnantor: $32.27
Grout for color test: $0
Renovation Total to Date: $1175.15