(BPT) – One of the most economical improvements a homeowner can make to a kitchen or bath is refreshing the grout instead of replacing the tile. Mechanically removing and replacing grout can cost as much as $20 per square foot and complete demolition can seem out of reach when you are on a budget. However, there are penny-wise alternatives that are simple do-it-yourself solutions that can typically be achieved in a day.
Grout is exposed to many stain-causing conditions in a kitchen and bathroom. Moisture accumulation can lead to mold stains on any surface, including grout. Stain-inducing foods and beverages like oils, wine or mustard and even dirt can challenge any flooring surface. Custom Building Products, the largest manufacturer of tile installation systems in North America, recommends homeowners consider the following tips to maximize the long-term aesthetic value and structural integrity of tile grout in kitchens and bathrooms.
Protect grout with a sealer before it can be harmed by unsightly stains that require preventable cleaning or repairs. Consider a sealer that offers anti-microbial protection to inhibit the growth of stain causing mold and mildew on dried grout.
Every day cleaning
Avoid using baking soda mixed with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, bleach or other acidic cleaners that will dissolve or discolor tile grout. These may make the problem worse in the long run. Instead, use pH neutral, low VOC products like TileLab Grout & Tile Cleaner to safely remove grease, soap scum and other tough stains.
Deep cleaning strategies
Avoid steam cleaning tile grout because the heat and moisture can soften tile grout joints or push unwanted stains penetrating deeply into pores. If difficult stains have infiltrated tile grout, gently scrub the impacted areas with an abrasive, professional-quality cleaner like Aqua Mix Nano Scrub. The nano-sized particles penetrate the small surface pours in tile grout to effectively remove residues, waxes, mineral deposits and sealers.
Refresh with color
Bring worn and aged showers, countertops, floors or other tile surfaces back to life by applying a waterborne epoxy stain like PolyBlend Grout Renew. Coloring grout tile while protecting it is an attractive alternative for dramatically enhancing the appearance of a bathroom or kitchen without the expense replacing tile.
Keep it simple
Finally, don’t make maintaining the appearance of grout more complicated than necessary. Take some easy and obvious measures before considering more time-intensive and costly alternative to refreshing grout. For example, use an old tooth brush to clean small joints and replace missing, cracked or broken grout joints with new grout to protect the tile and keep out dirt. Be sure to follow directions when using cleaners to maximize results with less efforts and fewer headaches.
No matter if you are getting a home ready for sale or simply freshening it up for a holiday party, improving the appearance of tile can make a favorable impression. For more information on cleaners, sealers, colorants and other tile grout care and maintenance products, visit Custom Building Products at www.custombuildingproducts.com and Facebook.