Grouting Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Grouting is never a glamorous task. It is a chore that not many people enjoy, even those that get

paid to do it professionally. If you have decided to dabble with do it yourself grouting, here are some tips and tricks that could possibly help make life a little easier for you:

Before grouting:

  • Inspect the grout if it has loose patches or cracks. You may need to repair those first.
  • Remember that some types of grout sealer and grout cleaners require precautions so prepare:
    1. Goggles (splash-proof ones)
    2. Waterproof Gloves (which are also chemical resistant)
    3. A face mask or a respirator
  • Grouting takes a lot of time and patience. Get ready for the a long day with some music (or an audio book) as well as a couple of knee pads.
  • Clean your grout before sealing, unless the grout is less than 7 days old.
  • Make sure there is enough ventilation since the cleaners and grout sealer have odors.
  • Wear comfortable, old clothes for the job. Cleaners and grout sealer can have some effects on fabrics.

Cleaning the grout:

  1. Mildew on the grout has to be cleaned before you will be able to address the stains or put fresh grout sealer. Use 3/4 cups bleach with water (approximately one gallon), leave on the mildew area for 30 minutes, and then wash or rinse it with water.
  2. Cleaning the grout can be a pain, but do not be tempted to use muriatic acid or extra strength cleaners because while these products may take care of the stain, they also damage the existing grout.

While grouting:

  1. When you get the grout sealer on the tile, act quickly, and wipe it off immediately with a moist clean cloth while it is still wet.
  2. Use a non-abrasive sponge or nylon cleaning pad to tackle dried grout sealer on the tiles.

After grouting:

Patience is a virtue, ensure that your tiles are not used or exposed to wetness until the tile grout has completely dried. If you are not sure how long, check the grout label for the manufacturer’s instructions regarding curing time. Using your tiles too soon could damage your hard work. Remember that the grout sealer only keeps spills and dirt from getting into the grout temporarily – it is a protective coating not a total armor. Regular floor cleaning and wiping up spills right away is still the best way to make sure that the damage does not end up deep inside the tile grout.

Apurva Thakur

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