Porous tiles, such as natural stone, terracotta, and unglazed ceramic tiles, are popular choices among homeowners and landlords. However, their porosity makes them vulnerable to water absorption, stains, and damage from moisture-related issues. To protect and preserve the beauty and longevity of porous tiles, waterproofing is essential. In this blog, we will explore different techniques and products to waterproof porous tiles.
Surface sealing is a simple technique to waterproof porous tiles. The process commences with the application of a protective layer or sealer on the surface of the tiles to create a barrier against water penetration. There are two main types of surface sealers:
Penetrating sealers get absorbed into the porous surface, creating a protective barrier from within. These sealers do not alter the appearance of the tiles and are ideal for maintaining the natural look. They fill the microscopic pores and capillaries of the tiles, reducing their water-absorbing ability.
Topical sealers form a protective coating on the surface of the tiles. They are available in matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finishes, depending on the desired appearance. Topical sealers can provide additional benefits, such as stain resistance and color enhancement. However, periodic reapplication is required as the coating is quick to erode.
Silicone-based sealants are effective at waterproofing joints and seams between porous tiles. These sealants are flexible and adhesive; their thermal stability is one of the best. Silicone sealants are used in wet areas such as bathrooms, showers, and kitchens.
Grout lines are vulnerable to water infiltration. Standard cement-based grouts are porous and stain-prone. Using epoxy grouts, which are non-porous and water-resistant can enhance the waterproofing process of porous tiles. Epoxy grouts offer better resistance to mold and mildew, making them an excellent choice for areas with high moisture levels.
Cementitious Waterproofing Membranes
Cementitious waterproofing membranes are applied liquid coatings on porous tiles. Once cured, they form a flexible and seamless waterproofing barrier. These membranes are optimal for movement and hairline cracks; these coverings can bridge small gaps and prevent water from seeping through.
In some cases, especially for outdoor installations or areas with high exposure to water, a tile underlayment system is necessary. Tile underlayment comprises water-resistant materials installed between the tile and the substrate to prevent water infiltration. Common types of underlayment include cement backer board and waterproof membrane systems.
Choosing the Right Waterproofing Products
When waterproofing porous tiles, it is crucial to select the right products suitable for the specific type of tile and the intended application. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for best results. Some tiles may require specialized waterproofing products, so consultation with experts is necessary.
Proper Tile Maintenance
In addition to the application of waterproofing techniques and products, maintaining the tiles is essential to ensure their longevity. Regular cleaning and prompt removal of spills and stains can prevent tiles from becoming more porous over time. Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners or materials that could damage the tile surface or compromise the waterproofing process.
Waterproofing porous tiles is a crucial step in preserving their appearance and functionality. Whether it’s natural stone, terracotta, or unglazed ceramic tiles, protecting them from water absorption, stains, and damage helps extend their lifespan and maintain their aesthetic appeal.
Surface sealing, silicone-based sealants, epoxy grouts, cementitious waterproofing membranes, and tile underlayment are effective techniques and products to achieve optimum results. When waterproofing porous tiles, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek professional advice if needed. For more information, contact Waterproofing.pk. Their experts are renowned for delivering results on time.