How to Forget About Your Grout Lines and Keep them from Discoloring

How to Forget About Your Grout Lines and Keep them from Discoloring

Tile Work
Bathroom Remodeling
By Contractors.com Team August 13, 2021

Tiled floors and walls are a classic interior element in many bathrooms and kitchens across the country. And what is tile’s trusty sidekick? That’s right, grout. This is because the last step of any tile installation is filling in the gaps with grout. It is essentially a cement solution and is used to waterproof the tile’s surfaces, prevent mold from forming under them, and keep the tiles in place. 

Unfortunately, grout tends to accumulate grime rather quickly, causing stains and discoloration. As necessary as grout is, it does therefore require a bit of maintenance to keep your bathroom or kitchen flooring shiny. Fortunately, there are many solutions to help homeowners prevent grout discoloration and staining. While there is no one best way to clean grout there certainly are some steps you can take to prevent discoloration and damage as much as possible.

Ways to Keep Your Grout Lines Clean

Periodic Deep Cleaning

What Is the Best Grout Cleaner?

What Is the Best Grout Cleaner?

One of the easiest ways of ensuring your grout lines do not discolor is to make a habit of giving your tiles a periodic clean. Some basic cleaning chemicals will not only wipe the dirt off the grout between your tiles but also protect it from staining.

You may discover some questionable concoctions in ready-made cleaning products. It is advised to avoid corrosive chemicals such as bleach when cleaning grout. There are specialized caustic grout cleaning chemicals that excel in restoring the original color and clearing it of dirt particles or stains without damaging the grout itself. 

If you find that you experience a lot of discomfort working with the chemicals yourself you can always hire tile and grout cleaning services to give the tiles a professional cleaning. As long as you maintain some form of a routine, whether it is cleaning every couple of months or even once a week, you can maintain your grout and keep it sparkling white for a long time to come. 

Use Grout Sealer

What Is the Purpose of Grout Sealer?

What Is the Purpose of Grout Sealer?

A specialized grout sealer is one of the most effective ways of keeping grout clean and good as new. Grout sealer is a special product that is applied at the very last stage of tile installation. It is applied over the layer of tile grout covering the cement mixture with a protective coating, giving the tiles a glitter grout look that will make your bathroom shine.

There are a few types of sealers to choose from. A waterproof grout sealer prevents water from seeping into the cracks. There are also topical sealers that form a glossy protective coating over the grout that allows for easy cleaning. Use the kind of sealer which corresponds with the type of grout you have. Professional tilers recommend using a grout sealer 48 to 72 hours after tile installation for the most optimal results, so make sure to have it on your materials list for your next bathroom remodel.

Grab a Grout Pen

If you are looking for a quick solution and do not mind it being a temporary one, purchase a grout pen. These are markers that come in a variety of colors to match the different grout mixtures generally used on the market. You can paint over the grout and make it look completely new because the stains get masked under a layer of paint. Because the paint does dissolve after some time, this solution won’t be permanent. In general, it takes around two years for the paint to entirely dissolve. 

After wiping the grout lines of any excess dirt and moisture, run the grout pen along the line. If you are working on a big wall consider dividing it into various sections and organizing your strokes so that they all go in one direction. Keep in mind that you will need to apply two coats for the best results, so time your work so that by the time you are finished painting over one section the previous one is dry and ready for the second coat.

Consider Epoxy Grout

Everybody's Favorite Grout for High Aesthetic and Durability

Everybody's Favorite Grout for High Aesthetic and Durability

Most grout is built upon a cement mixture and the ingredients vary depending on the kind of grout being made. One of the most reliable grout mixtures growing in popularity, however, is epoxy, which comes with a variety of advantages over its conventional, cement-based counterparts. 

While epoxy grout is more expensive than standard cement-based mixtures it is also much more durable. A big problem with cement-based grout is that it can chip away, allowing dirt and dust to settle in its pores and cracks. Epoxy does not have this problem as it can handle a lot of wear and tear even in high-traffic areas. Bathroom contractors also find it very easy to work with both in application and personalization thanks to the wide range of colors that you can choose from.

Consider upgrading to epoxy grout for your next bathroom remodel for years of worry-free grout line maintenance.

Dust and Vacuum Before Wet Cleaning

Many homeowners often make the mistake of simply giving the tiled floors and walls a wash without dusting off the tiles beforehand. The partial culprit for dirty grout lines is dust and other debris. If you jump right to the wash without removing them, you would essentially push the debris into the grout lines causing them to stain and discolor. 

To avoid this, make sure to first wipe the floors and walls with a dry mop to get rid of as much grime as possible. Once you are sure that the surface is clear of all solid pieces of dirt you can proceed with wet cleaning. It is also highly advisable to use as little water as possible — water gets dirtier as it travels along the surfaces of your tiles. That murky water then fills grout crevices and evaporates, leaving all the gunk behind.

Refreshing the Grout

Grout Maintenance You Shouldn't Put Off If Your Grout's Been Bothering You for a While

Grout Maintenance You Shouldn't Put Off If Your Grout's Been Bothering You for a While

Even if you follow your grout maintenance routine to a tee, it will still need freshening up at some point. You may need to apply new layers of grout when the older filling begins to crumble and chip beyond repair. Luckily, modern grout mixtures are easy to work with, even if you do not have much experience in tile work.

To replace old grout with a fresh layer, use a grout remover to rake and chip away at the old filling until it is almost entirely gone. After dusting away the remaining grout debris and residuals, fill the gaps with the new mixture. Use a grout float to apply even coats into the gaps until they are filled. Wipe away the extra grout from the tiles as soon as possible to avoid splash marks from hardening.

If you are not using epoxy grout, remember to add a layer of protective sealer a few days after the grout has dried. Keep in mind that refreshing the grout does not mean you have to do it for the entire room — just the areas where the old grout has been damaged or immune to your cleaning tactics.

Opting for Darker Grout Colors

Metro Tile with Darker Grout Is a Great Hack for Keeping Your Grout Lines from Looking Dirty

Metro Tile with Darker Grout Is a Great Hack for Keeping Your Grout Lines from Looking Dirty

A little shortcut you can take in your grout maintenance is using a darker-colored mixture instead of the traditional bright white. Doing this during tile installation will help you maintain the grout lines more easily since the stains will be less visible thanks to the darker hues. 

For example, grey grout is very popular with homeowners as it doesn’t stain as easily. It also adds a nice contrast to bright-colored tiles. It is this combination of practicality and style that makes darker grout colors so popular.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team