Tile School: Top 3 Tile Maintenance Tips
Our tile is made to last, but even sturdy materials require maintenance. The grout that surrounds it will also need your TLC from time to time. This is especially true if you've tiled in damp or high traffic area, such as your bathroom, kitchen floor or backsplash, where you will need to waterproof and seal. Grout is porous and as a result, can stain or crack, it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. We talked with friend and pro-installer, Frank O'Reilly, about best practices when it comes to tile and grout maintenance.
1. Epoxy Grout
If maintenance isn't your thing, Epoxy grout might be the way to go. Epoxy grout is pre-sealed and therefore does not require sealing during installation, nor will it need it down the line. It is also stain resistant. The drawbacks? It is not as easy to work with and the cost of installation and materials is a bit higher than sanded or non-sanded grout (more on those here). We also recommend that you hire a professional tile installer if you go this route, more on Epoxy grout here.
Epoxy Grout can be a smart choice if you have chosen a light colored grout in a bathroom installation, as it can stain if it is not properly sealed.
Tile Shown: Large and Mini Star and Cross in Daisy on this bathroom floor.
2. Re-Seal Every 6 Months
Both your tile and your grout should be sealed upon installation. Grout will show wear over time, but re-sealing it every 6 months can prevent that. This is something that you can do on your own that is relatively easy, just let it sit for five minutes and wipe off.
If you are tiling floors that are in high traffic areas (bathroom, kitchen or mudroom for example), you will need to regularly seal the grout.
3. Don't Forget The Corners
When you are re-sealing, do not forget about the corners of your installation (if you have any). Corners can show the most wear because of any movement that might occur, so they should be re-sealed any time you are sealing. However, do NOT do it on the same day you re-seal the rest of your tile, it will make for a nicer finish. Just use blue tape (like you would if you were painting) to section off the area.
The shower installation below is an example of an area that would need re-sealing twice a year.
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