The Right Method for Sealing Cement Tiles and Floor Screeds
In order to get the best results, and improve the longevity of cement tiles and screeds, it is advisable to follow the following guidelines and use the products recommended in this how-to guide.
Installation Using Cement Tile Adhesive
Cement tiling requires tile adhesive, just like any other tile. Using a notched trowel, apply 5mm of adhesive to the floor. Before placing the tile, apply a thin layer of glue to the back of the tile. Before tapping the tile with a rubber mallet, swirl the tile into the wet tile adhesive to eliminate air. A white rubber mallet must be used, as black rubber mallets may cause permanent black staining on porous tiles such as cement tiling.
Cement Tile Grouting
Cement tile grouting consisting of clean yellow plaster sand and cement at a 50/50 ratio should be used. Grout small sections at a time, and clean off extra grout before it dries. Dry grout on tile may cause severe permanent discolouration. Pre-packaged grout contains plasticisers, latex resins, and pigments that may discolour if not wiped off quickly.
Do not use bonding liquids unless you will be able to properly clean the grout immediately after application. Avoid acid-based cleaners that damage cement tiles when used to remove dry grout.
Cleaning Cement Tiles and Screeds After Grouting
Only alkaline and neutral cleansers should be used on cement tiles and screeds. We recommend Stoneshield Deep-clean™. Acid-based cleaners should be avoided.
However, if an etched or weathered finish is desired, acid-based cleansers such as Stoneshield Grout-Lift™ and Stoneshield Brick and Masonry Cleaner™ may be used.
Why Do Cement Tiles and Screeds Need to Be Sealed?
To protect cement tiles, screeds, self-levelling screeds, and oxided concrete floors against staining, and general wear and tear, they need to be sealed. Unsealed cement tiling or screeds will quickly start to dust and wear.
Natural cement floor tiles and floor screeds should be sealed for the following reasons:
- To lower tile or surface porosity and discoloration.
- To protect against staining and damage resulting from acids such as wine, coffee, and vinegar.
- To increase strength, abrasion resistance, and surface protection.
- To enhance the appearance of cement tiles and screeds.
Recommended Sealers for Cement Floor Tiles and Floor Screeds
Sealants are used to protect flooring. Different types of protection are required based on the type of floor or tile.
Some cement surfaces only need to be protected from staining, and require application of a penetrating sealer or repellent. Whereas others necessitate protection against surface wear and tear and staining, in which case resin sealers are required. The final surface finish and colour-enhancing or natural look depends on personal choice.
We recommend the following Stoneshield products:
- For wall cladding: Stoneshield Wall-Cladding-Sealer™
- For cement floors: Stoneshield Cement-Sealer™
- For cement floor screeds: Stoneshield H2O Seal and Shine™
- For concrete floors: Stoneshield Premium Plus™
is a high quality, solvent-based penetrating water repellent that protects against rain, moisture, airborne dirt, pollution, mould, and mildew. The sealant is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Stoneshield Cement-Sealer™ is a solvent-based resin sealer. The non-yellowing, penetrating sealer has a satin ‘wet look’ finish that amplifies colour. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Stoneshield H2O Seal and Shine™
Stoneshield H2O Seal and Shine™ is a stain, rain, and water resistant sealant. The thin surface film adds a layer of protection. The sealer has a satin gloss finish with subtle colour alteration.
Use both inside and out.
Stoneshield Premium Plus™
Stoneshield Premium Plus™ is a twin pack, Stoneshield Premium PlusTM is a solvent-based urethane sealer that provides high gloss, outstanding stain resistance, anti-dusting, and optimum stain and surface protection. Colour-intensifying sealer with a ‘wet look’ finish. For indoor use only.
Maintaining Your Cement and Screed Flooring and Sealer
To extend the sealer’s life, apply Stoneshield Daily-Clean™. Reapply the Stoneshield sealer that was previously used if staining occurs or the surface becomes hard to clean. Internal protective maintenance polishes include Stoneshield Protect and Shine™ and Stoneshield Surface Protector™ Matt.
Product Limitations and Precautions
Wet tiles or surfaces must be avoided. Allow grout, tile adhesive, screeds, or floor to cure before sealing. Consult the sealer’s label for drying timeframes. After sealing, wait 24 hours to moisten tiles or surfaces. Depending on the sealer, allow 4-8 hours before foot traffic. If rain is forecast within 12 hours, don’t apply sealer. Keep at 16°c to 32°c.