What Causes Grout Discoloration?

February 22, 2019
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Grout is a thick substance that fills in the spaces between tiles. When it is in good shape and doing its job properly, it may be easy to overlook. These days many contractors and homeowners take advantage of boutique grouts in a variety of colors to make their tile projects really stand out, but in the best condition, it's easy to just see the grout as a part of the decor. You notice it only in the context of the design itself. Unfortunately, if not properly sealed and taken care of, grout can become discolored and therefore noticeable in a way you don't want it to be noticed. The question is, what causes grout discoloration, and more importantly, is there anything that can be done to prevent grout discoloration?

Discolored Grout

What Causes Grout Discoloration?

There are a number of reasons grout can be discolored. First, it's important to realize that cement-based grouts are highly susceptible to staining. Cement-based grouts are porous and must be sealed properly to avoid staining, and even then, if proper maintenance isn't done on a regular basis, there will be staining. That's the nature of cement-based grouts and the reason why it is a good idea to use a high-quality epoxy grout. While epoxy grout costs more than cement-based grout, it holds up better over the long run and ends up actually being more cost effective. Another factor is "Pigment" this can washout when installers do the work improperly, it can shade during hot or dry applications, pigment is not long lasting and can be bleached or cause damages in areas easily.

One of the biggest causes of grout discoloration is letting spills sit for any length of time. This allows the liquid, whatever it is, to seep into the grout to the point where even regular cleaning won't remove the staining that occurs. This is why using porous cement grout is a bad idea. It's also why sealing grout properly is important.

Using improper cleaners is another reason grout can become discolored. Bleach, ammonia, and acidic cleaners can be extremely damaging to low quality grout and can cause grout discoloration and degradation over time. Using a high-quality PH neutral cleaning product designed for grout is a good idea. Many DIY methods will only discolor or degrade the integrity of the grout.

Different Causes for Grout Discoloration
Using cheap or ineffective grout sealing products will also cause discoloration. The grout sealer is especially important and necessary for cement-based grout, but it must be tested and applied on a regular basis to ensure it is doing its job effectively.

Even something as simple as walking across your floor in your bare feet can eventually lead to staining. Although the thought isn't pretty, your bare feet exude body oils, sweat, dead skin cells, and dirt that can be detrimental to the color of low-quality grout. In fact, inferior grout products are susceptible to damage in any area where there is high traffic.

Heavy traffic can wear down the seal on your grout, so grout in high traffic areas can be particularly at risk for grout discoloration if it isn't properly maintained. The truth is, grout discoloration is unavoidable when you use low-grade grout and grout products, and particularly if you are using cement-based grout. The lower quality the grout, the higher the risk for grout discoloration.

How to Avoid Grout Discoloration

Heavy traffic can wear down the seal on your grout, so grout in high traffic areas can be particularly at risk for grout discoloration if it isn't properly maintained. The truth is, grout discoloration is unavoidable when you use low-grade grout and grout products, and particularly if you are using cement-based grout. The lower quality the grout, the higher the risk for grout discoloration.

Epoxy grout is more durable and less prone to staining, discoloration, and damage due to heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions. By choosing to use epoxy grout over cement-based grout, you've already taken great steps toward reducing the risk of grout discoloration. That's because epoxy grout isn't porous.

The best way to avoid grout discoloration is to rely on a high-quality non toxic grout that doesn't require sealing. That grout is Starlike grout, available from the Tile Doctor. Starlike epoxy grout is developed by Litokol, the world leader in superb grout and grout products in the world. Litokol is respected by contractors and home designers throughout the world, both for its durability, its aesthetic value, and its non-toxic and safe characteristics.

High Quality Epoxy Grout
Besides being resistant to stains and discoloration, Starlike Grout color collections offer more than 159 colors and finishes, including Starlike Classic Grout Collection, Starlike Glamour Grout Colors collection, Starlike Metallic Grout Collection, and Starlike Crystal Glass Grout Jewels collection. There's also our latest Diamond grout, encrusted with a mix of very fine real diamond aggregate. A single square foot of installed glass tiles can include 7 or more carats of actual diamond fused into the grout. There's no better way to add a dazzling beauty or a touch of class to any tile installation than with Diamond Grout from the Tile Doctor.

At the Tile Doctor we also carry a line of line of high-quality grout sealers for pre-existing tile or tile projects where porous cement-based grouts have been used. These sealers can help even porous grout last longer. Our line of sealers and maintenance products will ensure you don't ever need to worry about grout discoloration or other damages to your grout.

Now that you know what causes grout discoloration and how it can be prevented, give us a call at the Tile Doctor and let us introduce you to the best grout and sealing products in the construction industry. The Tile Doctor is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Litokol Starlike grout and grout products. To learn more about our superior epoxy grout products and our line of sealers, cleaners, and maintenance products for your tile installation projects, contact us today at 1-877-TileDoc (845-3362). We look forward to helping you!

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