Ceramic tile is a popular flooring option for its appearance, durability, and ease of maintenance. Most tiles are secured by using grout, a cement or epoxy-based substance that is used to secure and support tiles, offer a cushion as they expand and contract in response to temperature, seals in moisture, and other useful functions. However, even the best tile grout requires proper maintenance in order to preserve its functionality and to help bolster the appeal and value of your home. This is true regardless of whether the grout is being used to support a floor tile or a wall tile.
Why Tile Grout Cleaning Is Important
Tile grout is a very porous material. This property is what allows it to serve as an effective cushion, but it also offers numerous openings that dust and dirt can fall through and get trapped in. Standard cleaning methods can't reach debris that gets trapped this way and regular floor or wall cleaning can actually stain the grout. Take mopping, for instance: as the mop washes the tiles, soap and detergent can stick to the tile grout. This results in the grout becoming stained and shabby-looking, drawing attention away from your beautiful tile.
For homeowners, dirty grout is not an isolated problem, either, as it can eventually impact the surrounding tiles. Remember that part of tile grout's role is to seal in moisture and bacteria while serving as a cushion for the tiles. As it gets dirty and its quality degrades, grout loses its ability to fulfill these duties. In the beginning you might only have stained grout, but by the end you could be facing cracked and chipped tiles surrounded by yellowish stained grout. The good news is that, however unsightly, this result is avoidable with proper maintenance.
Tile Grout Maintenance Tips
In order to avoid a full deep-cleaning, consider these tips to keep your grout in top shape.
- If a spill occurs (dry or wet), clean it up immediately. If a stain gets left behind, you can clean it up using hydrogen peroxide, oxygen bleach and warm water, or vinegar and ammonia. Or you can use grout-cleaning solutions (available at Centura dealers).
- Treat small stains regularly. Your grout will naturally develop stains and scuffs over time and addressing them periodically helps avoid deep cleaning. Using the above-mentioned solutions, you can scrub the area down with a firm brush (or toothbrush). Some scuff marks can even be cleared up with a common eraser, though you should use one the same colour as the grout to avoid further stains.
- Ventilate! Wet, steamy environments promote mould and mildew, making this tip especially useful for bathrooms. Using a fan after a shower or bath will help air out the grout and prevent mould from setting in.
- Apply a sealant. Grout sealant does what the name implies—it seals the grout to prevent infiltration by bacteria, mould, debris, or spills.
In addition to countless tiling options that allow you to bring any home design vision to life, Centura Tile also offers a variety of grouting options so you can protect, cushion, and accentuate your tiles. We offer several different types of grout, and grout maintenance solutions and our tiling experts can advise you on pigment, application, and removal options as well. To learn more about how you can apply, maintain, or acquire new grout, contact us or visit a Centura Tile dealer near you.