Tile Grout

I have mostly tile and hardwood floors.  And tile counters in my kitchen and my bathrooms.  That is a lot of tile.  I love my tile floors (I don’t like the tile counters, but that’s another story.)  But what I do not love, is the grout.  Why? It’s dirty.  Filthy dirty.  I wouldn’t notice it, except that my mother-in-law had a buffet that covered a large section of the tile for close to 20 years.  I don’t have a buffet to cover that area so there is one large section of grout that is a nice peachy tan color.  The rest is brown.  Dark brown.  So I went to Home Depot and got my tools.  TileLab Grout Cleaner and Polyblend Grout Renew.

My supplies

My supplies

So I first sprayed the grout with cleaner and used a grout (hard-bristled) brush.  But I found that actually was scrubbing the tile too much.  Probably cleaning the tile to what that used to look like too.  But that will be a project for another day.  Or year.  Abigail, my 4 year old helped me scrub. We used old toothbrushes.  Abigail thought it was fun. 🙂  We also watched Jane Austen movies as we scrubbed.  Good bonding time. It amazed me how well the cleaner worked.  We used a cloth to wipe away the cleaner and voila.

Grout cleaned with cleaner vs. non-cleaned grout.

Grout cleaned with cleaner vs. non-cleaned grout.

It took me several hours a day and many days to complete all the tile that runs through my house: dining room, kitchen, hallway and 2 bathrooms. But it was done and looked wonderful.  But I couldn’t stop there!  I discovered that when the dishwasher was installed, two tiles were removed and when they were put back in, they color-matched the grout with the dirty brown grout.  So I could scrub and scrub and scrub and those two tiles would be surrounded by dark brown grout.  So out comes the the grout colorant and sealant. I picked a brown rather than a pinkish tan color.  Maybe the dirt wouldn’t show as bad? It didn’t end up being as dark as I thought it would be, but it looks great.  But it takes much much longer to do.  I do one side of the tile at a time, brush in the colorant, wipe away the excess on the tiles before it dries, and move on.  And no little helper for this.  Too difficult. But the results are again wonderful.

Non-colored grout vs. colored

Non-colored grout vs. colored

Click on the picture to enlarge it and the difference will be much more apparent.  Trust me, click on it.  The grout has an even color to it, rather than shades of light and dark, some dirty spots I couldn’t brush away, etc.  And it’s a sealant so hopefully this means it’ll stay this color longer and keep the grout from deteriorating.  I’m not done with the whole house yet.  I lost my enthusiasm and drive when it became such a slow process.  So I don’t use every spare minute on it, like I used to, but I keep working on it. Definitely worth it! It makes the tile look brand new!!

And my funny kid quip: My 4 year old went outside to play in the 60 degree weather.  She came inside and told me: it’s freezing out there, it’s like Iowa!



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