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Tile School: Grout Release, What Is It and Why You Need It

By Shannon Malone

Tile School: Grout Release, What Is It and Why You Need It

To avoid your tile staining during grouting, we always recommend installers protect your tile with a grout release product. Now you may be wondering, what is grout release, and how do I use it? Well, we're here to provide you with the information you need.

What is Grout Release?

Grout release is a removable, water-soluble surface coating that protects tile from staining when using pigmented grout. It also makes grout cleanup a little bit easier.

Tile Shown: Magnolia Chaine Homme // Design: Brownstone Boys // Image: Nick Glimenakis

Why Do You Need Grout Release?

As we mentioned, you will need grout release when applying a dark or colored grout to a light tile color. This especially applies to glazes that have any sort of crackle. All of our ceramic glazes feature at least some crazing. A dark grout will inevitably get into those tiny cracks and stain your tile.

pink bathroom

Tile Shown: Tumbleweed & Tusk 2x6, Tusk 2x8 // Disign: Eliza Blank // Image: Stefanie Villers

A grout sealer should also be used when applying a dark grout to our Handpainted designs that have a light dry line, such as in the image below.

hand painted tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Roundabout Gesso Motif // Design & Image: GLAM Studio

How to Use Grout Release

1. Test Away From Install

First, you will want to test a small area to see how much grout release you'll need to apply. You may need more than one coat for the release to be effective.

kitchen with hand painted backsplash

Tile Shown: Tusk 4x4, Signal Wood Motif // Design: Kate Darden Interior Design // Image: Lisa Hovey

2. Apply the Grout Release

Apply the grout release with a sponge directly over your tile. Be sure to cover the entire area you are tiling, once you have determined how much grout release you will need.

test kitchen

Tile Shown: Dust Storm 1x6 Sheeted // Design: BOXI // Image: Jenna Peffley

3. Grout Your Tile

Once the grout release has dried you can begin grouting your tile.

kitchen with star and cross tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Daisy Mini Star & Cross // Design: Ellen Friedlander, Alexi Butts // Image: Ellen Friedlander

4. Clean Up

Once you have finished, simply wipe away the excess grout and the grout release, and you should have a clean installation!

multicolored tile bathroom

Tile Shown: Moonshine, Feldspar, Tumbleweed, Mesa, Mist & Dawn 8x8 // Design & Image: Kirsten Southwell

If you still have questions about grout release, feel free to call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.