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What is the best way to clean & maintain my grout and do you seal it after you grout tile?


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“How do I maintain my ceramic grout, seal the grout, and maintain my floors,” is something that people ask all the time. So here’s the answer. Ceramic and porcelain tile, of course, is really easy to maintain. It’s practically non-porous, so really just hot water and a mop, or a Swiffer, will really do the trick. Grout is a whole other story. Grout can be very porous so when selecting your grout, you’re going to want to pick a color that’s dark enough to be able to hide soil, spills, that sort of thing. And not so light though, that it shows everything. So you want something maybe in the middle. At least, that’s my personal opinion. If you want to contrast the grout, for design purposes, that’s perfectly fine. Contrast with grout, to the tile, meaning making the tile look lighter, and the grout darker. Or the tile looks darker, with a lighter grout. Sealing grout is sort of interesting because you get opinions, all over the board. Sealing grout usually is done with a water-based sealer, and after a dozen moppings, it pretty much washes off. So it can be an exercise in futility.

So, we recommend that if you’re going to do that at all, go ahead and just get it, Colored Sealed. Color Sealed, I believe, is a brand name. Color Sealed will come in and it will permanently color or stain the grout to whatever color you want, and seal it, so you can spill anything on it. You could spill red punch, you could spill ketchup, you could spill mustard, tea, coffee, red wine, anything, and it will not permeate the pores of that grout whatsoever.

By the way, all of the manufacturers of grout recommend that you let the grout dry, or cure, for about two to three weeks, sometimes even four, before you even try to put a sealer, if that’s what you decide to do. Because it’s still wet on the inside, and it continues to emit moisture, and if you go ahead and seal that grout too soon, you’ll get clouds of moisture trapped in underneath the seal, and it will make the grout look really cloudy. So again, maintaining ceramic and porcelain tile is very, very easy. You just use hot water. It doesn’t require a lot of scrubbing unless you get a ceramic tile or a porcelain tile that has a lot of texture. In that case, yes, you’ll require a lot of scrubbing. But typically, flatter porcelain and ceramic tiles, they don’t require a lot, it’s just hot water.”