5 Things You Need to Know About Grout
Grout can be a finicky thing. Properly applied and maintained,
it can look great for decades. But make one wrong move during
application and the grout can become dry, brittle, and cracked.
Spill a glass of wine on the
tile floor, and your grout might show the stain for
What You Need to Know About Grout
Here's what you must know to keep your grout looking fresh for
years to come:
- Allow plenty of time for fresh grout to mix properly. Many
homeowners make the mistake of mixing grout and then applying it
immediately. Give the grout mixture time to truly blend before you
start working with it. Blend it well, then set it aside for a few
minutes. This gives the elements of the grout time to blend with
- Work only one section at a time. Grout requires some finesse to
keep it looking smooth and even, so take your time! Spread new
grout with a rubber-faced trowel, taking care to fill in all the
space between the tiles. Work at a 45-degree angle to the grout
lines of the tile. Scrape off the excess with another rubber
trowel, then use a slightly damp sponge to wipe up leftover grout
on the tile.
- Give the grout a bit of time to dry, then clean it again. Use
sponges to wipe up the grout again, and this time pay closer
attention to removing it from the tiles. Smooth out the grout lines
while you work. The key is to remove as much of the grout from the
tile as you can while it is still moist, because removal after it
hardens can be tough.
- Go back in another hour and finish the work. When most of the
moisture has dried, you can see small spots you might have missed.
Use an abrasive scrubber to gently remove stubborn grout, then
polish it all up with a slightly damp towel. Let the grout cure for
at least 24 hours.
- Consider a sealant. If you are worried about stains in
the grout from those occasional spills and mishaps, look into a
sealant to apply over the grout. Many sealants must be mixed and
reapplied on a regular basis, so always double-check the
instructions before you make the purchase.
When you see grout start to flake, peel, or chip, it's time to make
repairs. Get the work done before water has a chance to seep in
, causing even more damage.
About the Author:
Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a
serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in
1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary
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