When it is time to pick your grout color for floors or walls many people are at a loss.
It is really pretty simple, but there are a few things you should consider first.
It is generally a wise choice to get a grout color that is very close to the base color of the tile. This is true almost 100% of the time if it is marble or granite we are considering. Using a color grout that contrasts too much will have a checkerboard type effect and your eye will see the grout and not the tile. This can be the best choice if there is a certain look and feel you are going after such as the traditional look of many terra cotta tiles .In Mexico or Spain a darker grout has been the color of tradition for many centuries.
Again using a color grout close to the base tile or marble will keep you out of trouble. Normally pool waterline tile is grouted with a white grout, but I have a colored grout in my pool and have no problems from the chlorine. Here is a summary of some of the things you should be aware of when considering your grout choice.
1.For floors, what kind of foot traffic will your floor be subjected to? If you have kids and dogs you may go with a darker grout, because in time it will be darker from use.
2. Can you make the time to have the maitenance performed regularly? In my experience most folks do not keep their marble and granite cleaned and sealed as recommended. Using the wrong cleaners can ruin your marble or tile grout. Talk to your tile or marble store and get the proper care information for your particular material.
3. How competent is your tile or marble installer?
The technique of grouting is really very easy, but not having that little bit of knowledge can cause unhappy results and major problems.
A must to circumvent many problems is to keep your marble and granite sealed on a regular basis, this is easy to do, generally you should use a penetrating sealer and NOT a Topical Sealer, I repeat NOT a Topical Sealer.
Usually when you have ceramic, glass, or porcelain tile done the installers do their job and the last phase is grout and clean up. This should not be the last step; the last step is having your grout sealed after the grout cures in 2 or 3 days.
For do-it-yourselfers this is a piece of cake and you can keep your hard earned money in your pocket.
It is as easy as applying the penetrating sealer to the grout with a small brush or applicator. I have seen some sealers that are really simple to use they have a special foam tip that makes it a snap to apply the sealer without any mess. If any sealer gets on the tile, no problem just wipe it with a dry cloth, can’t hurt the ceramic, porcelain or glass tile.
All marble and granite tops should also be on your sealing schedule, it’s easier than waxing your car hood.
In the case of stone floors, it is probably best to have a professional do it, as special equipment is involved.
Penetrating sealers do not change the look of your stone or grout. There are also penetrating enhancers out there that will not only seal, but also will darken the grout and give it the color it was when it was mixed with water. Enhancers are mostly used to bring the natural color of unpolished marbles, such as tumbled marble. If this is the case remember as you darken the tumbled stone with enhancer it will at the same time darken the grout, so you might want to choose a grout several shades lighter because you know it will get darker from the enhancer.
Copyright (c) 2007 Anthony Ventura