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Cleaning and Matching Grout on your Tile Restoration Project

From keeping tiles in their place to protecting the flooring from leakage, grout is extensively used by house renovators and homeowners. 

Many people replace the cracked or damaged tile with a new one as the color of grout is a matter of concern for them. Replacing is not necessary as long as you know the trick of matching the grout with the help of appropriate grout cleaning tools

So let’s learn the process of cleaning and matching grout on your tile restoration project by starting from the basics!

What is Grout?

Grout, generally a mixture of water, cement, and sand, is used globally to fill the voids, hold the tiles together, and as reinforcement in existing structures. The use of grout in the household is proven efficacious. Their most common use in households includes filling in tiles of shower floors and kitchen tiles.

The difference between Mortar and Grout

People often tend to get confused between mortar and grout and some even consider them the same as they both are essential materials for tile installation. But this is entirely a misconception and they both function differently. 

  • Mortar is generally used to adhere tiles to the surface whereas grout is employed to fill the spaces between tiles. Their composition differs to fulfil their respective purposes.
  • Another property that distinguishes grout from the mortar is that the grout is relatively less viscous and does lack lime. Being less viscous, grout is thinner than mortar and can flow readily into gaps.

Once tiles get damaged or cracked, most people make the mistake of replacing the damaged tile with a new one. The major excuse they give is, ‘What if the grout doesn’t match?’

As mentioned earlier, there is no need to replace the existing tile. Just follow the below-mentioned process to get a perfectly matching grout.

Grout Cleaning and Matching process

The process starts with deep cleaning the grout. Many people use oxygen bleach. You need to pour the solution onto dry grout. Allow it to soak and bubble for about 15 minutes.
  • Just after the completion of the mentioned time, use a nylon scrub brush and scrub the grout vigorously.
  • When you’re done with scrubbing, rinse the floor to ensure all the dirt is up. Allow the grout to dry overnight.
  • For effective cleaning, use GranQuartz 631C Heavy Duty Porcelain, Ceramic & Grout Cleaner – 1 Liter. It is a high intensity, restoration-grade cleaner for use on Porcelain, unglazed ceramic tile, and grout lines. 

Now that you're done with the cleaning process, determine the type of grout you'll need. You can go either with sanded or with unsanded grout. Sanded will have small sand bumps and won't be as smooth as unsanded grout.
After deciding the type of grout, the real task starts which is finding out the original color. Mismatched grout can be an eyesore and is easily noticeable.
  • The color of the grout is attained by different pigments that are added to the grout. Experts say that the best time to match up your grout is around midday. The reason being, when you do the same at night, the color given off by bulbs can interfere with your ability to get a perfect match. 
  • The other option is to go to your local hardware store and find a grout color chart. This will ensure you have the right color.
  • One thing you need to take care after picking the color is that the color of the mix before you add water must be the result once the grout dries and settles.

 When you have your mix and you put it down, make sure that you take heed of how much water you are using to clean up on your new install. Avoid touching the grout with your cleaning sponge if it hasn't got a chance to fully set as touching can remove grout.

Now there are various types of grout and of those, ‘sanded’ and ‘unsanded’ are the most widely used. Both types function differently and for your convenience, here’s the complete information about these two.

Types of Grout

  1. Sanded Grout:

  • This kind of grout is most commonly used for ceramic tile. You can find Portland cement, sand, and several other additives in its composition. This composition is then mixed with water and spread into the grout joint with the help of a trowel. This takes approximately 24 hours to dry. 
  • We add sand to the Portland cement to act as filler when grouting large grout joints (over 1/8 inch). When you're using an eighth inch, 3/16, or a quarter-inch grout joint, you have to use sanded grout.
  • One thing you should note is to avoid using sanded grout on smooth tiles. The harsh aggregate substances that exist in sanded grout can damage delicate materials such as marble, limestone, and granite.

  1. Unsanded Grout:

  • Commonly known as ‘wall grout’, unsanded grout consists of the same components as sanded grout except for the sand. So, it won’t be wrong to address unsanded grout is ‘sanded grout without the sand’.
  • Preferred mainly for polished marble that has joints smaller than 1/8 inches. It has a smoother texture than any other type of grout which is due to the presence of mineral particles containing very fine powders that have no noticeable grit.
  • The durability of unsanded grout is much lesser as compared to sanded, as sanded grout is thicker. The reason for this thickness is the added aggregate material.
  • The best choice for smooth and polished tiles like marble and granite is the unsanded grout. Moreover, unsanded grout is a better choice for precision work because it can be used in joints smaller than 1/8 of an inch.

Parting Notes

Grout not only makes your tiles live longer but also beautifies your flooring. We hope you found the above-mentioned information helpful. If you’re interested in buying more grout cleaning tools, you’ll find them all at My Stone Care at a much reasonable price.

For more information, kindly browse our website or contact our supportive service executive. We’d be happy to assist you.