Grouting is part of natural-stone tile installations. The only way to avoid it is by opting for joined panels instead of tiles, and this isn’t recommended for flooring applications.
Contractors generally expect that some grouting material, whether it’s mortar or silicone-based, will get on the tiles, which is why many of them carefully work in sections so they can wipe up residue before it dries on the stone. When tiles are made of highly porous sandstone or travertine, contractors are even more careful, particularly when the surface finish is brushed instead of honed and polished.
If you spot excess grout on your stone tiles and are unable to get the contractor to remove them, you can try the following:
Brush the Grout Away
In some cases, the grout material may not have completely affixed to the surface. The best way to find out if the grout will come off easily is to start off with a dry cloth before using a soft nylon brush. If the residue remains, you can try scrubbing with a stone-safe granite scrubbing sponge, such as Granite Gold Scrub Sponge®.
To clean your grout, use Granite Gold Grout Cleaner®. Here’s a quick video explaining how:
Try Gentle Scraping
Plastic palette knives and rubber paint scrapers can be safely used on stone tiles. You can also try to scrape grout away with the blade of an old-fashioned wet shave razor. When using paint scrapers or razors, apply a horizontal motion in a single direction to hit the base of the grout residue. The impact is more effective than scraping back and forth. In some cases, large pieces may chip off and leave flat residue behind, and this is when you should switch to a soft nylon scrubbing pad.
Never Use Grout Removal or Cleaning Products
The last thing you want to do when removing dried grout from natural-stone surfaces is to try off-the-shelf grout removal solutions that ceramic tile contractors often use. The chemicals in these products tend to be highly acidic and could cause permanent etching and stains on your tiles. If you feel lubrication is the answer to dissolve grout before scraping or scrubbing, you need to make sure you know how to clean granite and natural-stone floor. One of the most important things you need to know is that you should use a stone-safe product such as Granite Gold Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner®.
Use a Sugar Water Mixture
This solution should only be tried on fresh grouting or sealing residue. If more than a day has gone by, refer to the methods listed above. Heat up four cups of water and add one-quarter cup of sugar before reaching the boiling point. Use the warm sugar water solution to soak a few paper towels to place atop the stubborn grout residue and wait about an hour before scrubbing. Remember to thoroughly clean and seal your tiles once the residue comes off.
For additional questions on keeping your stone flooring clean and beautiful, reach out to Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on all types of natural stone, including granite, marble, and slate. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) today. Also, if you’re looking for stores near you that carry Granite Gold® brand stone care products, use our Store Locator.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.