White grout - am I crazy? Bill and others

redrozeOctober 5, 2008

So we went to Home Depot and Rona (a Canadian HD store) yesterday, and the grout that went best with our chalk white backsplash tiles was the white. I had considered going light grey like some of the other GWers, but it just didn't look right to my eye. A creamy off-white wouldn't work either because the tiles are a stark white.

Am I crazy to go with white grout - the Bright White from Polyblend shown below? The Rona guy said to apply a sealer to it. I'm just wondering what others thing about a) The look of the white grout with my white tiles (in person, the grout is slightly lighter than the tile colour) and b) The overall maintenance. Bill, your advice especially would be great here!

My tiles:

The grout colour is Bright White, and you can see the other polyblend colours here:

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We used white subway tiles when we reodeled the kitchen 12 years ago and used white grout. The grout was never sealed, including behind the range and it still looks white. I'm not a clean freak and have never scrubbed it but it still looks great. I also have white grout in my master bath shower and guest shower and both are still white. The only place white grout hasn't held up well for me is on the bathroom floor. If I could do it over, I'd use a darker grout, but the walls haven't been a problem. I'll try to post pictures later.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:23AM
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Wow, what a lovely combination.

I'm no tile expert, but I'd suggest going with what you love as long as you're willing to do a little extra maintenance. I don't know how much a sealer is going to protect from things like oil splatters (if the tile is going behind the range), but I do know bill and others have suggested a product called aquamix for colouring grout. From what others have said about this product, it not only colours but also makes the grout easier to clean. So what I'm suggesting is that if the grout does get stained, you have some recourse.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:31AM
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We used Tec's Bright White grout for our splash, sealed it with a 15 yr sealer (Aquamix Gold?), and it seems fine.

We had some tile/grout discoloration over the range after running the range on high (maybe residue inside the oven burning off?). I cleaned the affected area with Oxy-Clean (I was told by Bill V. not to use bleach on grout), and it looked like new.

Other than that incident, I wipe down the splash on occasion (when I remember!) or if something splatters, using a paper towel or microfiber and a spray cleaner (Perfect Kitchen or Cinch). It's really that easy to keep it looking good.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Didn't Bill recently talk about using epoxy(?) grouts for tiled countertops? He indicated he didn't think these types of grouts were necessary for other applications but my Mom is a little phobic about the grout and to get her to go with 1x1 mosaic we went with one of these new grouts: AccucolorXT. If I recall correctly the sales person also said it didn't need to be sealed. If I was going white, which seems like a good idea, I would go with one of these "new" grouts. Place we got the info is a very respected distributor and retailer with highly trained staff: Centura Canada.

Here is a link that might be useful: Specs on AccucolorXT

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:40AM
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My 13 year old white tile backsplash is grouted in white and I have had no problems with it looking dirty. I am not the most fastidious cleaner either. I think you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:56AM
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In my experience, this is a toss up...
The pure white grout will look
Way cool with the tiles -
Over time, like many have discovered,
The areas behind the stove/cooktop
Can show dirt & grease,
So know that you'll have to
be a lot more vigilant in keeping
The areas clean...

As far as epoxy goes, I think it would be overkill in a
residential application...

There are a number of polymers
That are avaiable, as well as many joint fillers
that have latex added into the dry mixture and get activated when water is added to the mix at application.

Bottom line ; white grout joints mean a little more work to keep 'em cleanm

My .02 cents worth


    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 1:18PM
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I don't think AccucolorXT is an epoxy grout but you can check out the properties versus "regular" grouts I really wouldn't know the difference. The one that caught out attention is that the stain resistance was built ino the grout so it couldn't be wiped away the way you could with a topical sealant. Other big thing was not having to seal groutlines over 15 linear feet of 1x1 tile - that sold me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 1:55PM
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One other thing about epoxy is that the white usually seems to show a yellow tint, due to the epoxy matrix. It's the one color epoxy that I'd NEVER use, under almost any circumstances.

caryscott-- you're right. Accucolor XT is a conventional grout, albeit modified. it's not an epoxy.

Bottom line-- I agree with Budge-- go with what you like. If that's white grout, then use it!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:13PM
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Thanks everyone - Bill, Kevin, Cary, Catmom and all. Thank you so much as you've helped me make my choice! White grout it is (not the epoxy), with a sealer on top of it. I'll also look into the Accucolour XT, thank you for the referal Cary! Your mom's backsplash sounds like it's going to be gorgeous!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Hey Redroze,

I don't know from grouts but Tec (recommended by Catmom) makes AccucolorXT. I love Centura (they have locations all over Canada) and they are a distributor and retailer so you can benefit from all the expertise of their trained staff and on your way home drop into a retailer they supply and get a 10% discount. Not every retailer - some have quoted me more than Centura charges retail for product (I have used this to guage just how fair a retailer is - a number have failed miserably) but others will split the difference between the wholesale price they pay and the retail price Centura charges in the showroom with you. Centura still gets a sale so they still benefit. They are quite good about it as they are not full service - they don't do any installation. It is a joy to shop there as they are the antithesis of that sleazy feel you get in a lot of flooring showrooms. On a good day they will also give you the skinny on the retailers they supply - whose usually expensive whose not and how good their install services are.

I'm looking forward to seeing your finished backsplash, good luck with it.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:46AM
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I have been choosing from that exact group of colors (the samples I've seen are called "Custom Colors", but it is the same names and same colors. I'd just like to point out that the colors in the picture are (on my monitor at least) a lot darker than they appear in real life. I hope you are choosing from the sample set (which is very true to the dry grout color) and not from a picture. I have "Fawn" grout and in person it looks more like the color of the "Antique White" in the picture here. Several of those whites are pretty white (unlike shown here). However, if you have true white tile then the "Brite White" may blend with your tile nicely.

- Jim

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 3:53PM
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