Tile and grout can be one of the more beautiful options when it comes to flooring. It is durable, easy to clean, and works well in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. What nobody tells you, or at least what nobody told me is what in the world to do when the grout between the tile becomes, well, ugly. Our family recently moved into a home with beautiful tile in the kitchen , laundry room, and both bathrooms floors. The home was built in 1996 and for being that old, the flooring looks wonderful. However, years of dirt and grime have stained the grout.
1. Soft Scrub with Bleach : One option would be to grind out the grout and replace it. Um…nope. Not doing that one. So I tried my all time favorite cleaner, Softscrub with bleach. This lifted the stains in the grout. It did not take too much time. We were amazed how much it improved the overall look of the flooring. If your grout does not have chips in it, this may be the only thing you need.
2. Grout Paint Pen: If your grout is well aged and like mine was, there will be chips and markings that just won’t go away with bleach alone. The second product I reached for was a Rust-Oleum Grout Pen. It has paint inside and works just like coloring in lines with a marker. This looked promising, at first. If you have a large area to do, this may not be your product. I found that the pen covered about half of my very small laundry room before the tip of the pen and the spare it came with were both frayed and not working well. The Grout pen covered well and created virtually no mess. But they are 7$ a piece at your local home improvement store. I was again, at square one.
3. Paint : The grout pens are filled with paint. So I tried white Diamond Hard Repurpose paint. This paint will run you around 8$ for a 16 oz can. Tried this with a paint brush and it worked well, but I actually ended up using the Rust-Oleum marker and dipping it into a VERY small amount of the repurpose paint. The marker made it easy to have control over where the pain went without constantly cleaning off marks on the the tile. I did my whole laundry room with just the paint from the top of the lid, it goes that far.
If you want tile that looks brand new, try reviving your grout. I recommend buying the Rust-Oleum Grout marker to test a small area to make sure you have the right color for your grout. I have grey grout in my laundry and kitchen area. However, my bathroom tile is a beige color. I was shocked when I did a corner and the white paint looked bad in the bathroom, since it looked wonderful in my laundry room. The grout markers and the repurpose paint both come in different colors. When you your marker poops out on you, which won’t take too long, break out the paint, using the marker as your brush. Keep the marker vertical to minimize overflow on the adjacent tiles. When you mess up, I say when because it’s not a matter of if, have a damp cloth ready to gently wipe over the tile. Also, dry repurpose paint will come off using a fingernail.
I hope my trial and error experience with my tile and grout will help someone revive their existing floors. Look for an update soon about how these products held up against constant cleaning and traffic by 3 kids, 2 adults, a big dog, and 3 cats!