Nearly all homeowners know natural-stone tiles and slabs need to be cleaned and sealed with certain frequency, but not many are aware of the need to care for the grout work separating surface sections. Any natural-stone flooring section featuring grout will start showing dirt and grime not long after cleaning, particularly if the grout lines are subject to heavy foot traffic. Keeping grout lines looking good on bathroom and shower walls is easier, but soap accumulation will eventually become an eyesore.
Similar to natural-stone surfaces, grout needs to be sealed because of its porosity, which means dirt and liquids will be absorbed if the grout is left unsealed. Grout will also absorb moisture, thus making it likely to develop mildew. Natural-stone installations that feature light-colored grout lines are the most challenging to keep clean, and this is when applying sealant makes more sense. Here are some tips to follow when sealing grout.
Clean the Grout First
The best time to seal grout is right after cleaning, and it’s better to clean the stone surfaces at the same time. You should only use stone-safe grout cleaner such as Granite Gold Grout Cleaner® on your grout lines because you’ll be working right next to the surface of the stone. First, spray the cleaner along the grout lines. Using the poly-fiber Granite Gold Grout Brush® that comes with the cleaner, brush away the dirt. Let the cleaner sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Work in Sections
With natural-stone tiles, work in a space of about three square feet. Use a granite sealer that is safe to apply to stone surfaces, such as Granite Gold Sealer®. Spray right in between tiles and make sure all grout is covered. You don’t want to let the sealant dry, so you should wipe it into the grout lines right after spraying.
Wipe and Buff the Sealant Dry
Fold a lint-free cloth into a shape you can manipulate with two fingers. Make sure the grout lines are completely dry, and the same goes for any sealant that may have been sprayed onto the surface of adjacent tiles. Use a buffing pattern to completely dry the sealant.
Seal the Rest of the Surface
The best time to seal the grout between natural stone is right before you plan to seal the tiles. Once you’ve sprayed, wiped, and buffed the grouting, you can move on to the rest of the surface, and you can finish the job with a polishing session the next day. Polished grout lines look sharp, and they won’t get dirty quickly. One word of caution when you prepare to seal the grout: if you spot stubborn stains that don’t come off when cleaning, resist the temptation to remove them with vigorous scrubbing. Grout cleaners won’t remove stains. For stained grout, it’s better to re-grout the tile, followed by sealing.
Whether or not the stone in your home has any grout lines, you still need to properly care for the stone itself. To learn how to clean granite, marble, slate, and other types of natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Call us today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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