April 2, 2009
Cleaning floor tile grout makes most people grimace. I clearly remember scrubbing and scrubbing and seeing little improvement. That's why years ago I threw in the towel and just let the grout get dirtier. When I used oxygen bleach for the first time, I couldn't believe it. After soaking on the grout by itself, much of the grime and stains came up with little effort. A second soaking and a little scrubbing in the worst areas made the grout look like the day I installed it. Some tile floors are installed adjacent to carpeting.
April 19, 2008
You can ruin the grout by adding too much water to the mix. The wet grout should be the consistency of wet clay. You should be able to form it into a ball with ease, and it should keep its shape without sagging. Remove all excess grout from the tile as you grout. Use a damp sponge to do this, making sure all water is squeezed from the sponge as you wipe across the tile. Wipe with light strokes to make sure you do not remove grout from the joints. Change the rinse water frequently so you are not leaving a grout haze on the tile.
February 20, 2010 |
DEAR TIM: I've tried cleaning the tile grout on the floors of my home, with little success. The grout just doesn't come clean. The tiles themselves don't look like they used to, even though I'm using those newer pad-cleaner contraptions. What do you recommend? -- Judith P., Forest Park, Ill. DEAR JUDITH: When I built our previous home, my wife selected a pure-white tile for our kitchen along with a light gray grout. I warned her that the grout would turn black, but my pleas were ignored.
August 22, 2009
Be sure to wait one day before you grout the tile. This time allows the mastic or thinset to harden. Some backsplash tile requires you to create the spacing between tile. You can buy plastic spacers that create uniform gaps, but coins can do the same thing. If you put too much adhesive on the wall, the mastic or thinset might ooze in between the tiles. If this happens, it's imperative you remove the adhesive from the joint immediately. If you don't get the adhesive out of the joint, the grout won't be able to penetrate between the tiles.
December 6, 2008 |
Q: DEAR TIM: The grout in one joint of my floor tile has come out. Do you know why this happened? I can see that the previous homeowner repaired it. What's the best way to work with floor grout in this situation? What type of grout do I install, and how do I match the color perfectly? -- Valerie P., Tampa A: DEAR VALERIE: Floor grout can fail for a host of reasons. Some of them have nothing to do with the original installation, and others have everything to do with the installer or bad grout.
July 14, 2011 |
Dear Heloise: What can I do to make the grout on my bathroom floor look clean? Most of it looks gray, and I have not found a cleaner that will restore it. -- Julia O'Connor, North Little Rock, Ark. If the grout has been discolored for a long time or is just plain old, it may be harder to clean, and even bleach may not help, but here's what to try: Mix 1 cup of household bleach with a gallon of water. Apply to grout and let it sit for 20 minutes. Use an old toothbrush (powered would work especially well)