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The truth about grout, please be honest!

Posted by williamsem (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 14, 12 at 17:17

For those that cook a lot and have a tiled floor, how easy/hard has it been to keep the grout in the floor clean?

I imagine flat tiles and small grout lines help, but I can't help but feel like they will get yucky looking quickly, especially near the range. We don't have any friends with tiled kitchen floors, so I haven't seen how this works in practice.

I keep gravitating to tiles for the floor, but hesitate because of the grout. I need to make a decision soon, either keep them in the running or rule them out. It's driving me crazy.

What has been your experience over time?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

What kind of lie are you expecting?

Grout gets crappy.
I'll never have a tiled countertop again.
Now, floor tiles with a thread-like grout line?
Perhaps with a good sealer.

There.
No lie.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I don't mind it. Don't get white grout though. Just in case. :)


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

We made the mistake of having white tiles with white grout! We liked tiles as its easy to clean but unfortunately not the grout as the dirt gets into it. Have tried various sealers but only works for short time and its a PITA to clean and re-apply the sealer. Should've gone with gray grout.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

In our renovations about a year prior to selling our home we installed tile floors in the rear entry, kitchen, laundry and dining rooms to update the old vinyl.

We used medium tan colored grout and it was a fairly thin line. Plus I sealed the grout so that if I dropped a bottle of red wine, we wouldn't have burgundy colored grout. It looked great even after 18 months of heavy use.... imho my floors really were never "clean" again. If I got down with a rag and rubbed along the grout lines, it was amazing how dirty the floor was right after mopping.

I'm not a neat freak, but if I'm taking the time to mop, I want to clean more than just the surface of the tile and not drag dirt down across rough grout where it would remain.
It was a large space and I wasn't tempted to clean grout lines on my hands and knees so I just lived with it.... in the new build I'm going with marmoleum sheet because I was pretty icked out with the grout lines on the floor.

I guess it would seem hypocritical to say that I had tile counters (square 4x4s with a sealed colored grout) and loved them for years! Every six months or so I'd do a toothbrush cleaning of the grout lines and it was pretty much a non issue. Windex on the counters in between and I was good to go.

Perhaps the difference is that I wasn't walking across the counters with muddy boots, dog paws etc. And when I did my occasional toothbrush scrub I wasn't on my hands and knees for a few hours.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

We put in white marbled tile with off white grout. It has been a nightmare to keep clean. I have heard that epoxy grout doesn't get as dirty as regular grout, but they usually talk about counters. Mine gets dirty first in front of the sink.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I had a tumbled marble tile floor (with all of its associated holes that were filled with grout) with fairly wide grout joints for 14 years. The floor never looked yucky. All I ever clean floors with is plain water. The floor looks as good now as it did when it first went in. I never sealed it, either. Oh, by the way, I cook and grill indoors a lot.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Keep in mind that the standards for grout lines have recently changed for large-format tile. If you use a big tile, and want a running bond-type pattern, you may have to use wider grout lines than you'd like to prevent lippage.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

We've had a tile floor in our kitchen since the recent (October 2010) reno.
Our tiles are a dark grey and the grout is pewter, a medium grey.
As long as major spills get wiped up when they happen, there hasn't been a problem with staining.
When the floor was installed, we used 4 coats of sealer so that has certainly helped.
It's probably time to seal it again.
Maybe this weekend.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

My inlaws agonized about what shade of off white grout to use for the tiles in their kitchen. A few months after installing the perfect color the grout lines were all gray. And there was just the two of them, no kids, no pets, and they had a weekly cleaning service.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Use very large tiles. 18x18 are pretty common now. I have started seeing stone in 24x24 and larger. This will minimize grout and also looks great.
Minimize the grout size (depends on the skill of your tiler).
In asia I have seen stone slabs used for higher end homes (3'x5' and larger).
Less grout, less yuck :)


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Lippage. I had to look it up. Aha, so that's what I'm seeing on my backsplash. It's not the least bit visible *until* I turn on my under-cabinet lights where the downward light finds every little corner height variation.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I forgot to mention, our floor tiles are 24"x24".
As "pharaoh" says larger tiles = fewer grout lines.
Here's a shot.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I've had tile countertops for 11 years. I will NEVER ever ever have them again. I also have tile in the kitchen and entryway. It has a swirled around color pattern to it so it hides drops pretty well, but the grout. OHHHHHH the grout. In order to get it clean I have to scrub it with a toothbrush. And then it looks nice for like a week. I think my husband wants tile again, but if we do it, they will be bigger tiles and darker grout.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I made exactly the same mistake marti8a did - marble tiles with "white" grout in our bathroom. That grout is never white,no matter how I scrub it, and you can't use bleach on grout because it degrades it. In my new kitchen, I did like willtv. I put in a medium dark gray slate-look tile, 12x18, and I chose medium gray grout that blends right in. I told the tile store I wanted "dirt colored tile with dirt colored grout." The grout was triple sealed, but I don't know if I'll ever do it again. I love that floor. It never looks dirty. And the grout will never change color!

If you choose tile, get dirt-colored grout.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Again, larger tiles now require larger grout lines. Standards have recently changed.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I bought a vacation home with tile throughout. I hate the dirty grout and have tried a million different ways to clean it. It just never looks good and it is a lot of work. Plus, tiles are hard on your body. I would NEVER get tiles again in a major traffic area. That being said, I did just put black and white tiles in my laundry area, but have charcoal grout, which I hope will stay looking good.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Ha! Not so much lies, CEFreeman, but more like whitewashing. I'm not trying to love a new floor I'm second guessing, I'm trying to see if I could live with a choice if I picked it. You only get so many characters for a title though!

Thanks for all the feedback. Gbsim, what you describe is exactly what I was afraid of, and it looks like that is a real possibility.

Hemera, sounds like you found the magic grout! What kind is it!

I love the tile in my bathroom. But it is upstairs where only DH and I use it, and by that point dirt from shoes isn't an issue. Don't think I'll have problems up there, but it sounds like my suspicions about grout in the kitchen are confirmed, more work than I'm willing to put in for results below what I would want for all that trouble!

Guess I better learn to lust after another floor covering. Anyone know if wood flooring has similar issue with keeping clean?


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I think wood's easy to keep clean with water and a little white vinegar. It doesn't show anything, except white cat hair when the afternoon light hits it just so. I cleaned mine recently and it had been at least a year, other than wiping up spots of sauce that drops. Give me wood any day.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Bahacca, that's exactly where I don't want to be a year from now. I don't want to get 6 months into the new kitchen saying "I loooove my new kitchen. BUT DAMN YOU DIRTY GROUT! WHY WON'T YOU GET CLEAN"

Lol, Ginny20! My problem with camouflaging the dirt is the same one I have with spiders, I KNOW it is there even if I can't see it.

Gharborwa, that says volumes. Thank you!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

But marcolo, even with slightly wider grout (does that apply to rectified tile too?) you still have fewer grout lines. Look at the before and after pictures on my Small Galley Reveal post today. My old floor of 2" tiles - it was 1990 - was just a sea of dirty grout. And I used to scrub it with a brush.

Williamsem, have you looked into cork? A lot of GWers love it.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Epoxy grout is used in restaurant kitchens.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

This is the tile in the kitchen I inherited in our current house:
20120614_200106

It's very hard to keep the grout clean. The tile edges are raised and the grout is very light in color. PITA to clean and keep clean(and I have a steam floor cleaner!). This tile is 18x18.

This is the tile we recently installed in our family room and entry way:
20120614_200210

It is a breeze to clean! The tiles(it's porcelain) are set quite close together and the grout is a medium grey. The entry way gets mud tracked in, the family room has had soft drinks spilled, red wine spilled and gummy candies melted onto it! Love it and would definitely consider for a kitchen.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Here is an old thread about epoxy grout that I thought was really interesting. Bottom line: the tile guys are not raving about it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epoxy Grout


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RE/: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Have any of you ever used soapstone grout? This video makes it seem like miracle grout. They used wood stain on it and it wipes clean. If it works that well I don't know why everyone doesn't use it.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Yes, even for rectified porcelain I believe the new standard is 3/8" unless you install the tiles square or close to it. That means tile supplier, contractors, etc. will no longer warrant your happiness if you try to insist on a skinnier grout line with large tiles and, say, a running bond layout. DIY is always an option.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

None our tile has wider than a1/8-1/16" grout line, except the mesh-mounted mosaic tiles. The large format rectified porcelain floor and wall tile in our MB has 1/16" I believe. No lippage whatsoever. Our tile guy and his helper pride themselves on that. The large format travertine tile covering our garage entryway, FR, and guest bedroom, has 1/32" grout lines. Again, no lippage.

Very happy with the results. DH and I much prefer thin grout lines and we're glad we went that route.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Way to early to tell if my floor will be easy to keep clean, but I used epoxy grout for its non-staining characteristics. (And Jerzeegirl, in that thread, the tile guy, Bill Vincent, was raving about epoxy grout. It was others who were less enamored.)

I chose to use small tiles, so grout was important to me:
Photobucket


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Angie_DIY that floor is very nice! Please post back in a while and let me know how the epoxy does. I'm looking at a May remodel so there's time to reconsider tile if needed.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Thanks, williamsem, that is very sweet. You are certainly getting a good jump on the planning! That will pay dividends, I wager.

Below I linked a thread where GW helped me hash out what grout to use. I think you will find it worth your time to read.

Here is a link that might be useful: my grout saga


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Epoxy grout, Epoxy grout, Epoxy grout! We have an "old world style" versailles pattern travertine floor with fairly large grout lines. First week it was in, my father in law came in the house after having a nasty fall, dripping blood from his arm RIGHT INTO THE GROUT LINE. I just got a sponge and wiped it off...no staining, non porous...LOVE it. We also have tile in the kitchen...dark slate colored tile with very dark, very small grout lines....it never shows dirt AT ALL..unless I drop flour on it! Honestly, I haven't mopped in weeks and it looks wonderful. LOVE my floors. I'm told that installing with epoxy grout is a pain but it's well worth it to me~


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

My old kitchen 10 years ago had terra-cotta tiles and off white grout. I absolutely hated it! I would sit there with a toothbrush scrubbing the grout too often.

Now we have hardwood in the kitchen, hides so much and very easy to keep looking good!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

On the white arabesque backsplash in last kitchen, we wanted very white grout to get the right effect for the tile. Most of the white grouts are slightly off white, due to the caramel colorant in the mix. But the product from Laticrete called Permacolor in bright white was very very white. I too was concerned with staining, especially a back splash, and even behind the busy range. Bill_V told me to mix up some oxyclean with water (according to the directions) and use that to clean the grout if I got anything on it. Never had anything in the grout I couldn't get out. The Permacolor did not need to be sealed, it is stain proof.

I used the Permacolor in the bright white again in the new house in my shower where we have very white tiles.

If I were doing tile on a floor, I would choose a darker grout to help hide regular dirt. I'm very interested in the epoxy grout that others are mentioning above.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Angie: This is what Bill said "What you've heard is true. It IS easier to maintain, and it can be used in ALL tile applications. However, IMO, it's overkill. For the cost, it's just not worth it."

Also from Bill: If you'd seen the number of nightmares most of us have seen, both in the real world, as well as here in the forums (by here, I mean this forum, as well as John Bridge, Floorstransformed, HGTV, HGTV Pro, Contractortalk, and about a dozen other forums where I post), you'd understand why we discourage its use.

That doesn't sound like raving to me! :-)


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I remember Bill saying that, Jerzee, and defer to his professional experience -- but I also have my own experience as a DIYer doing two different bathrooms using epoxy grout. I did not find it to be a nightmare at all; the application was not much different from the regular grout I used in my kitchen. I will say I preferred the Mapei epoxy grout to the Laticrete version, it was easier to spread and not as sticky.

They do keep changing the formulations and I think epoxy got a bad reputation in pro tiler circles back in the day that's been hard to shake off, despite improvements in ease of application.

For me, the cost differential in actual product was pretty minimal, and offset by the fact that you can freeze epoxy grout to store it instead of losing a whole tub if you're called away suddenly mid-job. However, pros might charge more for labor making this a non-factor for non-DIYers.

I've been exceedingly pleased with the epoxy grout in my bathroom and would definitely use it again on any new bath or countertop tile project. Stuff looks like the day I put it in almost 5 years ago.

All that said, after having both, I vastly prefer wood kitchen floors to tiled kitchen floors because tile is so danged cold (Maine), my knees and back get so sore after a few long hours of canning or baking, and everything, and I mean everything, breaks when you drop it. :-(


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Jerzeegirl: Well, I will have to respectfully disagree with your interpretation.

In the first quote, he is quite enthusiastic about the product. His negative is about the cost.

You have taken the second quote out of context, creating a very misleading quote. He was discouraging its use by amateurs like me. Our own davidro had written to say:

I have found that people who make a living in the tile business all tell me to stop thinking epoxy grout is good for the average citizen.

and (in full) Bill responded:

David-- there's a good reason for that. While there ARE some exceptions, apparently such as yourself, it's not exactly user friendly for alot of people. If you'd seen the number of nightmares most of us have seen, both in the real world, as well as here in the forums (by here, I mean this forum, as well as John Bridge, Floorstransformed, HGTV, HGTV Pro, Contractortalk, and about a dozen other forums where I post), you'd understand why we discourage its use.

Clearly, he was discouraging its use by DIY amateurs. Not discouraging the use of the product in general. I did not get the sense that the OP is considering DIY, so I fail to see the relevance here.

In my own experience, it was a bit difficult to install, as one must watch the clock carefully. But that was about the only part of it that was more difficult than cementitious grout. And it was indeed expensive, but the result was nice.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I installed 8" white ceramic tiles in my fairly large bathroom in 1995. I used 1/4" spacers and white sanded grout. The grout in that floor is still nice. Once my son had a nose bleed and got blood in the grout. That was a little hard to get out. I used peroxide and probably bleach a few times. It eventually was gone. We also used 4" ceramic tiles as a tub surround with white grout. Perfectly clean. I used the same 8" white tiles in the kitchen with a really pretty blue grout. That grout broke constantly and kept coming out. We finally replaced the kitchen floor with Pergo. We moved out in 2010 - tiles and grout still intact and clean. We still own it and my son lives there now. Tiles and grout still fine 17 years later!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I hate grout, you asked for honesty!!!

I won't have it in the kitchen. I did a bathroom about a year ago and used a white/grey tile. I used a off white to light grey grout. It is different colors in different parts of the room (where I use hair spray, where you step out of the shower, etc)

I am doing another bathroom right now, I am using a medium to charcol gray tile and matching grout...I am going to solve my grout hating issues!!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

In my last house, I kept thinking the previous owners were brilliant for using black grout. Then when I removed my dishwasher I could see the edges of the grout that never got walked on and realized that the grout was actually a pinkish color - not black at all! The black was the ingrained accumulation of dirt from who knows how many years. Yuck! I could not ever get that grout clean, so I eventually popped off the whole floor (which was still in excellent condition by the way) and had Marmoleum installed!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

>Bill_V told me to mix up some oxyclean with water (according to the directions) and use that to clean the grout if I got anything on

I have beige-ish tile throughout the downstairs with matching grout and this works very well for cleaning. The tile is 6 years old or more and it's still doing fine. So I guess I'm a contrarian in this thread. I like the tile very much and am only irked that there isn't enough extra to be able to keep the same tile when we redo--the PO only left us one box and it's a discontinued style that's hard to color match even if we could find more. We're taking out a peninsula so we'll have a big gap to fill. But for sure the new floor will also be tile.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

For us, wood was a no-go. With 3 large dogs dripping water and running around (even with nicely trimmed nails), it would have been trashed. So we have fairly large 20" x 20" tile that looks like limestone. We used a beige grout, and sealed it twice when it was installed. It's stayed fairly good looking with normal cleaning. I deep clean the grout with a steamer before re-sealing. It works for us. Since it is browinish with a pattern, it doesn't show every bit of dirt. We have fairly narrow grout lines, and the guy who laid it did a really good job of keeping the lippage at a minimum.

I love the look of wood floors, but it's just not the right fit for us.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

That means tile supplier, contractors, etc. will no longer warrant your happiness if you try to insist on a skinnier grout line with large tiles and, say, a running bond layout.

Wrong. First, it's 3/16" grout joint. Secondly that refers to the standard 50% brick joint. Manufacturers will still stand behind a 1/3 or 1/4 brick joint And example would be the 12x20 tile in the following picture, set at a 1/3 brick joint:

Photobucket

And Jerzeegirl, in that thread, the tile guy, Bill Vincent, was raving about epoxy grout. It was others who were less enamored.)

yes and no. I DID say that epoxy grout is everything it's said to be. I also said that for the extra money it's USUALLY just not worth it, when you stop to consider it's about 4-5 times the cost just to purchase it, and then even more expensive if an installer is using it for you. I've also said many times that for the most part, your best bet is using common sense when choosing grout colors, that even epoxy, over time (albeit LONGER time) will still discolor, from age (mopping just pushes dirt into the pores of the grout, discoloring over time), as well as showing traffic patterns. Your best bet is in heavily traveled floors, use a medium to dark colored grout, and it won't show the wear and tear.

Another trick is every so often, maybe once or twice a year, mix up a bucket of Oxyclean, and hit the floor with a scrub brush. Instead of mopping it up, use a shop vac to suck up the solution, and then do the same thing all over again with clear water, again sucking it up with the wet vac. It'll get the grout almost like new clean.

Angie-- Unless you have animals, or are tiling a food prep area, to me, epoxy is wasted money and overkill. That's not to say if you want to spend the money that you shouldn't.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I like overkill.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Me too, Angie! We tiled our kitchen last week with 16 x 16 porcelain tiles and 1/8 inch epoxy grout. I didn't mind spending extra as we don't expect to replace the floors for as long as we live in this house. That's why we went with porcelain tile.

We were told to clean it by spraying with a pH neutral solution that the installer provided and wiping it up, not mopping it. Every second or third cleaning, mop it with clean water. He said a big reason for dirty grout is that dirty mop water collects in the grout lines. He also said wet vaccing is the ideal cleaning method.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Angie-- Some people do, and there's nothing wrong with that, if you can afford it. But as expensive as kitchen renovation can be, this is one place where you can afford to "cheap out" without really lowering the quality of your new kitchen.

That's why we went with porcelain tile.

Again, there's nothing wrong with going with porcelain tile. Yes, it IS bulletproof, so to speak. But if you're going with porcelain just because it's porcelain, it's unnecessary. There are glazed conventional ceramic tiles out there that are every bit as good, will hold up for decades, and cost a whole lot less.

I'm going to link my FAQ page below. I have a feeling it may clear up alot of questions and misconceptions:

Here is a link that might be useful: My FAQ Page


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I agree with Bill. All porcelean is ceramic, but not all ceramic is porcelean. For most applications, a good quality ceramic will last longer than you will. If a good porcelean can be had at a good price, sure...go for it.

A recent, more installation friendly alternative to epoxy is the urethane line of grout. Pricing is about the same, but FAR easier to use and gives you pretty much the same benefits as epoxy. I've gone to using it in most of my shower installs. It's premixed and you can close the lid on a partial tub of it and re-use it a year or more later.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

My installer also spoke highly of the urethane.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Our grout is about 15 years old. Our installer at the time - an elderly man - showed us grout colors and said "Pick something that is close to dirt color or you won't be happy in 5 years." I took a sample of what I thought was closest to our clay/dirt outside and matched it. It's a breeze to keep clean, doesn't look soiled like the lighter color grouts do after a while and I would do it again.

It gets washed with bleach every so often, washed with water/detergent/vinegar every week and occasionally steam cleaned so I know it's "clean" . I would definitely put tile in the kitchen again. Definitely.

As someone else said thought - larger tiles = fewer grout lines. Happy cooking!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

First I want to say 'Hi Bill Vincent!" I feel like I haven't seen you here in a long while and I've missed your presence!

Second, my husband and I are learn as we go DIY'ers. I admit we are both very mechanically inclined and somewhat engineer-minded. Neither of us had ever tiled before when we did our kitchen floor. We chose to use epoxy grout because we were impressed by what we heard about its cleanability (it is true). The cost was $100 for a one gallon tub of grout. We didn't use all of it. I've read that it is difficult to work with compared regular grout. I guess this is one instance where ignorance is bliss. The whole installation was very, very easy and while the grout took some muscle to install it has been so easy to keep clean that it was worth it. We have two dogs that are in and out of the house all day. The kitchen is a high traffic area for us, it's where we live. The floor gets plenty dirty, but the grout wipes clean with ease...unlike the white grout in our bathroom! Thanks for the Oxyclean and shopvac tip. As soon as my classes end I'm giving that a try!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

It gets washed with bleach every so often, washed with water/detergent/vinegar every week and occasionally steam cleaned so I know it's "clean" .

Sippimom--Upi might want to change that. BOth the vinegar and the bleach will destroy your grout. The bleach will burn out the color, and the vinegar will eat all the lime out of it, so it breaks down to powder. Bleach is NEVEDR good for grout, and the only time vinegar is good ism a day after grouting, using it to clean the haze off the face of the tiles. It's an acid that if used repeatedly, will destroy the grout completely.

Now, for cleaning once a month, or every two months, instead of bleach, try using Oxyclean. It'll actually do a better job, and won't hurt the grout at all.

momtofour-- Hey back! :-)

As for the urethane grouts, they ARE a good product, but note the biggest limitation-- once installed and the excess washed off, you CAN NOT get it wet for 7-10 days. Keep that in mind before you decide to use it in an area that might have to be cleaned during that time.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

It sounds like urethane might be a good choice for a backsplash. Is it an easy product for DIYers?


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I use a steam nozzle device to clean my grout whenever I want to make my offwhite (or beige) epoxy grout come back to its original color. The tiles are huge and rectified, so the grout line is small.

Larger tiles of the expensive kind CAN be installed with narrow grout lines if, if, and if. Explaining it is too much detail for this forum.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

It sounds like urethane might be a good choice for a backsplash. Is it an easy product for DIYers?

it's not tough to work with. The biggest thing you have to watch for is that it doesn't dry on the face of the tile too quickly. It dries on the surface alot quicker than normal grouts.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

In our home we have blue tiles with white grout in the kitchen put in by some PO. The grout lines are very large. It is a huge pain to keep clean, BUT we have Stanley Steemer come out several times a year and they also seal it once a year, and they make it look like new with the high-pressure steam. I have to attack it with the Swiffer WetJet and it looks OK in the interim.

No, I would not do white on the floor again. When we redid the master bath, we put grey.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Ok, above I posted that my white grout with white tile in the bathroom still looked good after 17 years. Well this weekend I went over to my son's (my old house) and, umm, the white grout is no longer white. So I'm thinking it depends on how well and how often you clean it!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I'd like to recommend our product Grout Revive Grout Paint. I hope some of you might find this useful

Here is a link that might be useful: Grout Revive


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

I have tile in DH's bathroom and the grout is fine in there (after 9 years). However, I have beige tile and grout in my hallway, entry and dining/kitchen/laundry and H.A.T.E it. The grout is nasty and the only way to clean it is to scrub with a toothbrush (and even then it doesn't come very clean). I don't even like my tile because I picked one that wasn't very smooth (I didn't want it to be slippery for the kids) and it holds dirt like crazy. I have to manually scrub it with a brush to get it up. We are building a house and I'm thinking wood in the kitchen and nice vinyl in the mudroom/laundry. Not sure about the bathrooms yet.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Hey Bill Vincent,
Yes, I'm very careful - I should have been more specific in my posting....

Normal weekly wash is just hot water and mild dish detergent. Occasionally I do use a very small bit of vinegar that I put in the soap & water to clean the floor. (couple tablespoons) The grout is doing great still. No fading or turning to powder.

I don't use bleach very often - only like where meat juice might have spilled on the floor, etc.

We actually had some new grout installed a few years back when we had hardwood floors put in and you can't tell the difference between the old grout and new. So all is good!

But thank you!!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

Generally speaking; if the grout matches the tile or is of a darker color; it will work out better. Thinner grout lines also help but color is the key to having it look nice! Same color grout as the tile or better yet; a darker grout color. Do not use white grout! Stains will get into it!


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

We have a few tiles floors in our house- 3 bathrooms and the laundry/mudroom. The white grout is hardest to keep clean, followed by the beige. The brown grout in the laundry/mudroom is awesome. Using rugs in the heavy traffic areas helps.


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RE: The truth about grout, please be honest!

HI, we have tile in the kitchen and don't have any problems. The key is to wipe/clean as soon as you spill something (but that is the case with most surfaces). At least you CAN clean the grout as opposed to wood floors.. Now how do you clean in between the wood planks?


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