14 August 2014

How to Make Your Grout Look Like New!

I love the look of a tile floor. What I don't love is dirty grout. What I really, really hate is grout that I've cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, but still looks dirty. But finally, after much searching, I found my holy grail grout product! You can make your grout look like new!

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

I tried the "miracle" grout cleaning solution on Pinterest, and it worked - to a certain extent. It worked best on colored grout that wasn't too dirty. I bought a steam cleaner with cleaning attachments. Again, it helped, but the bathroom grout still looked slightly dirty. I wanted it to look white!

So back to the drawing board Pinterest I went. And I started reading about grout renewal/refinishing products. Different brands - how they worked - how easy (or difficult) they were to apply - how well they lasted - and most importantly, if they looked like "paint".

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

I decided to try GroutRenew, which was available at my local Home Depot store (and also on Amazon). (The picture here has a brush-tip applicator top that I added.) It's a ready-to-use, non-flammable, water-based, polymer-modified colorant and sealant. I decided to use it in Lulu's old bathroom, which is now the guest bath since she has moved out. I toyed around with redoing the grout in a darker color, since it would be less likely to show dirt - but decided to go ahead and use "snow white" since that bathroom doesn't get a lot of use. According to the instructions for this product, you can completely change the color of your grout - but making a major change may require two coats of product.

The grout was soooo dirty, I'm embarrassed to show it to you. With all of the hair spray, hair color, and self-tanner used in there, the grout was a reddish-brown color. Yuck!! Okay, here it is - but don't judge, okay?

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

Pretty nasty, right? Yes, this grout was originally white. But check it out after the GroutRenew!

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

The transformation was amazing! And the grout doesn't look painted at all. It just looks bright, white, and CLEAN. I love it! So far, it's stayed clean, and I haven't had any issues with it flaking off or peeling. Check out the before and after again:

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

Here's a close-up of the grout - you can see that it just looks like clean grout - not painted:

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

Here's exactly how I did it:

I started by using my steam cleaner and the brush attachment to thoroughly clean the grout. This removed some of the stains and reassured me that I had removed all of the grout sealant. I let the grout dry overnight to be sure that I would get good adhesion.

I had a grout sealer applicator bottle with a brush attachment on the top that was specifically made for applying sealant to grout, and luckily, that top fit perfectly on the bottle of GroutRenew! I also armed myself with a couple of damp microfiber cloths and paper towels.

I applied the product generously, but not so generously that it "puddled". It's similar to painting - you want enough product to cover well, but not so much that it drips. The grout does absorb some of the product. The tiles in that bathroom are 12" X 12", so I worked with two grout lines at a time. I would apply the product, then stop and carefully wipe any excess off the tiles. I started in the back of the room and worked my way forward.

This particular bathroom is actually two rooms. The front room has vanity and sink (about 6' x 6'), then there is a door between that room and the back room, which has the shower and toilet (about 6' x 8'). I did each room on consecutive days, and each one took about 3-4 hours.

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. This isn't the easiest project in the world, but it's certainly doable. You're on your hands and knees on a hard tile floor, working with tiny grout lines. The GroutRenew gets on the tile, and it's best to wipe it off while it's still wet. It's tedious work. But I managed to get a rhythm going - and if I can do it after having 3 back surgeries and chronic back pain, then you can do it, too. :-)

{enjoy the view}: How To Make Your Grout Look Like New! #grout #tile #howtocleangrout #groutrenewal #groutrefresh #groutrenew

Details about GroutRenew:
  • 8 oz. covers 50-300 sq. ft.
  • Protect from traffic for 2 hours.
  • Protect from water for 24 hours.
  • Avoid scrubbing or excessive cleaning of grout for 20 days to allow for full cure.

Notes:
  • I've seen reviews that say they painted it on, then waited to wipe off the tile. The actual product instructions say to lightly mist with water (after colorant has dried for 30-60 minutes), and let it stand for 5 minutes - then remove excess colorant from tiles using water and a white nylon scrubpad. But it also says to protect from water for 24 hours! Not sure how you're supposed to do both. I'm telling you right now - in the few instances where I didn't get it wiped off while it was still wet, I had to scrape it off with my fingernail. So I don't know how these people "wiped it off" after more than an hour.
  • Some reviews said they had issues with it peeling off. I really think these people didn't properly prep the surface. If there is any sealant left on your grout, this product isn't going to be able to adhere properly.
  • I think there are about 30 different colors from which to choose, but my local store didn't carry them all. 

So what do you think? Are you ready to give it a try?

(Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links in this post, however, this post is not sponsored. I purchased this product myself and all opinions are my own.)

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