Few homeowners realize how important it is to maintain the grout on the tile in their kitchen, bathroom or any other room in which tile is involved. It will make all the difference in the world between custom tile that is sharp and clean in appearance and tile that looks to be in disrepair.
Grout can fade or develop ugly discolorations as it comes into contact with water and other contaminates. It can also be subject to mold or mildew. Sealing your grout when it is first installed and then again every six to twelve months will keep it looking fresh and knew and can go a long way in protecting it from damage.
Here’s a few tips on sealing grout.
- Make sure to use a quality grout cleaner to clean the grout thoroughly before sealing. While the products vary, a toothbrush can often be used to scrub and rinse existing grout lines. Read the products label for specific instructions.
- Use a grout stripper to strip off any old or remaining sealant from the grout. Make sure to read the instructions carefully as products can vary. Generally the stripper will be applied with a brush and will then be allowed to sit and soak into the sealant, making it easy to scrub off and rinse from the tile.
- The tile and the grout should be given time to completely dry. If the tile is newly installed, allow at least seventy-two hours for the grout to cure, or whatever time was listed by the grout manufacturer before attempting to seal it.
- Select a small area of grout lines and begin to apply the sealer. Some brands will make it easy to apply to the grout directly with a special applicator nozzle. Other brands will need to be applied directly with a brush of bristle or foam and brushed onto the grout. Be liberal with the sealer as you apply it, but try to avoid spreading it on the tile itself as much as possible.
- After five or ten minutes (or any other length dictated by the manufacturer), use a clean cloth to wipe the sealed grout lines clean. If the sealer does not come off on to the cloth, but has soaked into the grout, you should apply more sealer. Continue to do this until the sealer ceases to soak into the grout.
- This process should then be repeated with the application of sealer on another area of grout lines. Continue to do this until all the grout has been sealed. Use a damp sponge to remove any excess sealer.
If you’re seeking custom tile or a custom installation, contact our office in San Jose, CA to see how we might be of service.