Need Advice Applying Grout


My buddy installed a new tile floor in his bathroom - Mannington Perugia porcelian tile. It's a very hard surface porcelain tile. Home Depot book on laying tile states porcelain tiles needs to be coated with a penetrating sealer before applying grout. He called the mfgr, Manninton, but did not get a direct answer. The Mannington website did not have any information on applying grout. Should he apply sealer to the tiles before applying grout? Should I post this message to another newsgroup?
Thanks,
Mike
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Why not? They would be the authority on installing their product. Sounds odd...

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Yes, rec.porcelian would be most appropriate.
He should try Mannington again.
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Here's what the MFG ought to tell you:
Porcelain tile is very hard and durable stuff and in the final finishing process, microscopic pores are created that can trap a grout haze if not sealed first. It really depends on the tile - if I am installing a very dark tile with a very light colored grout (white especially) I would absolutely seal it first. Otherwise, I would just be very neat with my grout job and scrub it thoroughly without disturbing the grout lines. Sometimes the haze is actually desirable and it will give the tile a more even color and matte appearance, but that's tricky stuff. Seal it first to be safe but only seal the TOP of the tile FACE and try not to get too much sealer into the grooves in between the tiles as it could actually diminish grout adhesion. I would simply dab it on with a cheesecloth and wait 24 hours before grouting.
-Jeff
Mike wrote:

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Called Mannington again today but didn't get an answer. They referred me to three different organizations where I left voice mail messages but didn't get a return call from any of them. Mannington told me the porcelain tile is not glazed. Thaks for your advice.
Mike
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I read your message over the phone to my buddy (The tiles are unglazed light gray in color and cost $8.00 each) He decided to apply the grout w/o sealing them first. He reports the tiles have "kind of a somwhat dusty surface" so he's going to rinse them w/ a acid solution.
Too bad he didn't follow your advice.
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