Cleaning and maintaining tile & grout is a common challenge for homeowners. We are often asked by our customers about grout staining and discoloration. What causes grout to be discolored and how can this be prevented? Well, we have an answer for you!

Discoloration is when the color in your grout lines becomes faded, inconsistent or blotchy. This can occur two different ways: during installation and over time. Discoloration during installation can occur if your grout is not left to dry completely, if dirty tools are used during installation or if the joints are not properly filled in completely. Discoloration over time can occur if your grout was not sealed properly. This leaves it exposed to water and dirt which can be easily absorbed by grout due to its porosity.

Staining is where grout absorbs the substance of another pigment. This can be caused by wine, oil and many other types of liquids. This can be especially common in kitchens with tile floors.

Discoloration & Staining of grout can sometimes be fixed by using an alkaline cleaner to break down the dirt and buildup.  The alkaline cleaner can be used with nylon scrub brushes and cleaned by hand or by a professional with a heated and pressurized cleaning system.  There is also a large selection of grout specific cleaners on the market if you need to use something stronger. If this does not work, you may want to consider an Epoxy Color Seal.

Properly sealing your tile & grout is the best way to prevent staining & discoloration in the future. The two main kinds of sealers are Penetrating Sealers and an Epoxy Color Seal. A penetrating sealer is clear and does not change the look of the grout.  It chemically bonds itself to the grout and prevents water and liquids from immediately penetrating into the surface. An epoxy color seal is painted on the grout lines and sits on the surface of the grout.  The epoxy is very durable, makes the grout lines look 100% uniform and prevents any type of dirt or liquid from penetrating into the surface of the grout.

GK’s Custom Polishing is the premier tile & grout cleaning and restoration company servicing the Greater Cleveland Area. We offer free in-home estimates so do not hesitate to give us a call. For more information on tile & grout care, visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.