A number of months ago I posted on Facebook before and after photos of my grout project. Since then I have had MANY people ask what it was and how I did it (including my neighbor today and my Mom last week). I thought it would be a good idea to share here, so that everyone can benefit from what I figured out (through a great deal of trial and error).
After we moved into our house I realized I hated the color of our grout throughout the house. What was the color? Stained, icky looking, unknown original color. I tried a series of harsh chemicals to try to get rid of all the stains, including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, oxy clean, and a variety of grout cleaners (one that was $30 for just a small bottle). None of them worked like I wanted. I even paid $350 just to have my master bathroom grout cleaned professionally, only to be horribly disappointed, as there were some stains that simply could not be removed. Nothing was going to restore the grout to its original condition. After some online research by my husband Justin he discovered that there are tinted sealants available. These can be applied to the grout and it literally looks like new and does NOT absorb food and traffic stains in the future like regular grout does. Below is my photo.
The blue tape divides the area I completed and the area I still needed to complete. You can see all the dark stained grout was awful looking! What an Amazing difference! Well worth the time and effort. Especially since our professional cleaning in the master bath didn’t get these results and the estimate to have someone do this work in our kitchen and laundry room alone was $1800!! It is a tedious process, as you have to hand paint all the grout, but I am glad I did it! Our grout looks great now and it has remained pristine in the months following application with no issues. I caught up on a lot of Netflix while I did the work too (as you can see my IPad was playing something).
So how did I achieve these results?
- I started by thoroughly cleaning my grout. I used it on the entire floor, but really scrubbed the grout with this cleaner: http://amzn.to/1lBK4TZ The link above the photo is to the exact product I used, as shown in the photo. It didn’t have great reviews on Amazon, but I think that’s because people think grout cleaners in general can restore their grout to their original condition and color. They can not. Which is exactly why a tinted sealant is needed after this deep cleaning. This deep cleaning is a very important step, as the sealant may come up if the grout is not completely clean. That’s because, when not cleaned, the sealant adheres to stains and debri rather than the grout.
- I let the grout dry completely overnight. You don’t want to seal any moisture under the sealant, as it will prevent a good seal and may chip up.
- After it is bone dry I then applied the sealant. I used small a small paintbrush to apply it. I did the work in small sections. After I applied it to a line I would clean up any sealant outside the grout lines using damp paper towel. I just kept a roll and cup of water next to me while I worked, making it easier. Below is a photo of the sealant that I used:I could only find this at Lowe’s or Home Depot, but I can’t recall which. I wouldn’t use it again, as they were switching to a different product line. Which therefore makes it difficult to match the same color in the future. I do have an extra bottle for the future. However I would recommend this similar product that can be purchased and found more easily: http://amzn.to/1HZcBwF They sell it in a variety of colors. I recommend buying a color as close to the color of your tile as possible, if not slightly lighter.
I hope this information and short tutorial is helpful to others who have awful looking grout!