Ceramic tile has a special place in our hearts as one of the most durable and lovely flooring surfaces available. However, both ceramic tile and natural stone floors can suffer from aging grout or grout that was improperly installed and is cracking or chipping. How can you fix that grout pout? Check out our great grout tips below and you’ll be smiling at your restored floors again in no time.
Fix or Replace?
When you’re faced with grout problems, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to attempt to cover or fix it, or to remove it and start completely over. No matter which option you choose, Mees Distributors, Inc., can give you great advice and tools as well as care and maintenance products for your ceramic tile or natural stone floors.
Cleaning Your Grout
If the only problem with your floor is some staining on the grout, your first option is to do a deep clean — safely. Natural stone and ceramic tile are both porous surfaces and can be damaged by harsh cleansers or scrubbing tools. Instead of reaching for the extra-strength bleach and steel brush, you’ll want to go for natural non-acid cleaners such as baking soda applied with a sturdy nylon brush. Before you decide to deep clean, always test a small area first to be sure whatever you use isn’t going to damage your tile or your grout. This extra step may take a few more minutes but it can save you a lot of heartache if something gets damaged from a particular cleaning product or method. One safe and effective cleaning method is to dampen grout with a sponge, shake on some baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes before you scrub it away and rinse with water.
Color-Safe Bleach Options
If your grout has been colored, you want to be especially careful to stay away from bleach cleaners. An alternative that gives you the cleaning power of oxygen without the damage to your grout coloring is to use powdered oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach, although it does take longer for the oxygen to react and clean the stains. Mix warm water into the powdered oxygen bleach and pour the mixture on the floor so the grout lines are fully flooded and wait 30 minutes. Scrub lightly with your nylon brush, pouring on more of the oxygen bleach solution as needed.
Get That Grout Out
If your grout is failing, it’s not effective to just add new grout on top of it. Instead, you will need to remove the old grout so you can get a fresh, clean start. You’ll need at least 3 to 4 mm of depth in order to give your new grout a good base to hang on to. There are a number of different tools available to grab that grout. If you have questions, come see the professionals at Mees Distributors, Inc., in our Cincinnati, Columbus or Dayton showrooms. Once the old grout has been removed, then you have to vacuum several times to be sure you’ve gotten all of the grit that might be hiding. Your new grout’s adhesion depends on having the cleanest possible start, so don’t try to get by with just a broom.
Grout Application Tips
Grout starts out as a powder that has to be mixed with water. Once you get it to a peanut butter-like consistency, you’re ready to start using a non-metallic trowel to spread the grout into a 10 to 20 square foot area of the floor. Your floor is going to look awfully dirty, but be assured that you’re in good shape! Clean up your grout by repeated applications of a damp sponge after waiting five minutes for the grout to harden a bit.
Whether you need to clean up or add grout to natural stone or ceramic tile floors, the professionals at Mees Distributors, Inc., tile store will be delighted to offer advice on using the tools of the trade to get your flooring looking fabulous. Contact us today and start enjoying a refreshed floor soon!