A customer in Leyland near Preston reported a grouting issue with their porcelain tiled kitchen floor, the tiles were fine but the grout had become discoloured and grey, they were also finding it difficult to keep clean. This is not an unusual story for Porcelain or Ceramic tiled floors which are generally very low maintenance and you find the grout needs attention before the tiles do.
Applying Grout Colourant
On arrival I set up my equipment and cleaned the floor to make sure all the grout joints were free from any dirt etc., I then did a colour test on a less obvious part of the floor with the grout colour. I wanted to make sure the colourant would take to the grout and also to make sure the customer was happy with her colour choice.
The process for grout colouring is fairly tedious but straightforward, it involves giving the bottle a good shake and applying a small amount to a toothbrush and working the grout colorant into joints using a back-and-forth motion. I find the best way to apply it is by working in small areas and adding thin even coats to limit the amount of grout colorant that gets on the tile. They were large format tiles covering 9m2 so I only needed one bottle of buff grout colourant to do the entire floor.
After the Grout Colorant dries (it takes between twenty and sixty minutes depending on how warm the house) you mist the surface with water and let stand for five minutes, excess grout colorant is then removed from the tile surface using a white nylon scrub pad.
The floor was ready for surface traffic in 2 hours but there was a white mist over the floor which you can get with porcelain tiles so I fitted a white buffing pad to my rotary floor polishing machine and buffed the floor to remove the power and water marks, once finished the floor looked like new. Before leaving I left the customer with some after care instructions and how to keep it floor looking good for the future.
This was a straightforward request to deep clean the Ceramic Tile and Grout in the kitchen of a house in Romsey, Hampshire but as you will see from the photograph below the Grout was far too stained to be cleaned effectively. Kitchen grout gets a lot of abuse from spillages so this is not unusual and to prevent it the grout can be sealed or you can choose a dark grout colour.
Cleaning and Preparing the Tile and Grout
To get the tile and grout clean I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in to the surface dirt for a while before scrubbing it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also a stiff hand brush along the grout lines. This was then washed down with warm water all of which was removed by a wet Vacuum. This cleaning process was repeated until the tiles were clean and the grout was a good as I could get it. Unfortunately the grout had stained quite badly and we were unable to get a good uniform appearance so after discussing this with the customer it was agreed that we would apply a white Grout Colourant.
Applying Grout Colourant
If it was a small area I could have considered using a Grout Pen however this required more than a touch up so this is where you need an epoxy grout colourant which forms a hard wearing epoxy barrier over the existing grout that looks natural and effectively protects the grout from further staining.
The grout needs to be clean and dry before you apply it so if you’re doing this from scratch make sure you clean the grout first with Pro-Clean or the Pre-Treater product that is available. The grout colourant is then easily applied using a toothbrush, it sounds easy but you have to be very methodical. The colourant dries in about an hour after which it’s worth double checking your work and then removing any excess by applying a little water and running over it with a white pad.
I think you will agree from the photographs the tiles look much cleaner and the floor transformed by the improvement in grout colour.