Sealing Tile Grout


My ceramic tile looks o.k. but the grout is very dirty. I remember when it was laid, the man said he wasn't sealing the grout for some reason. I didn't questions it - now I wish I had. I am thinking about getting Stanley Steamer to come out and clean the tile and grout. After that, would it be possible for me to seal it? How difficult is it? Don't want it to get this dirty again. Thanks.
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I am about to remodel my bathroom with floor to ceiling tiling and floor tile covering.
What options are there for type of sealant for use on the grouting? What are some typical product names and sources ?
TNX
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ask at the same place you buy your grout and tile.
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A little more info please might help:
color grout width room location wall, floor, counter rough tile size / area to be done     (doing a 6x8 area if 1x3" tiles is a lot different than 12x12's!
I picked up some pricey sealer/enhancer for some very old tiles that came out absolutely awesome. $55/pint but goes a very very long way.
http://i46.tinypic.com/eb9dlj.jpg
Worth every dime. Well over a year later it has not faded! I'd have to find the container to verify but I'm pretty sure it was this. Got it at a real tile store.
http://tinyurl.com/ybguxcs
As you are asking, cleaning the grout was the chore.         
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He probably did not want to do it too soon as cement products take a long time to fully cure.
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The tile is off white and the so is the grout. The tile itself is 12x12. The room is quite large - it is an eat-in kitchen and laundry room. I think I can do it (just seal the grout) if the sealer dries pretty fast.
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Unsealed off-white grout in a kitchen area? Ughhh. Dirty is one thing but if it's stained with various foods it's soaked down. Tomato sauce and juices would do a job on it.

What's your take on taking out the grout and putting in a darker contrasting grout that goes with it? IMO, that's the only way to not get ugly again. Yep, lotsa work but if not getting ugly a groundrule then that's the only way I know.
If that's out then try your various chemical methods and if it's to your satisfaction then use a good sealer that penetrates the grout.
That sealer I mentioed previously does penetrate. Before I used it I had some pieces of tile that came loose but multiple pieces still in tact with grout. The guy at the tile store put some on the grout and told me to look at it the next day. The next day you could easily see where the sealer soaked the entire depth of the grout. I was sold even at $55 a pint. Warning though, I would suspect if the grout has embedded stains the sealer/enhancer would enhance the stain. It's sealer/enhancer, not cleaner.
For stubborn SURFACE crud you can use a hand grout saw to mechanically remove stuff.
http://tinyurl.com/yladmwv
I've never used one of these blades that goes in a reciprocating saw. Cons I can forsee are that saw is gonna get heavy and when you get to a wall the blade tip is going to be hitting the baseboard. Also, if you put too much weight on the blade it will start cutting down.
http://tinyurl.com/yl68osa
If you do decide to remove the grout, with that much, you will need to get a power tool and blade to do it. Not a Dremel grout bit either. A rotary or decent oscillation tool. Look into rental maybe even.
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...

That sealer you mentioned previously.
Unfortunately that post had already expired when I saw this one.
Got a copy you can repost or email?
If not that, do you recall the name?
Thanks!
David
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote in

A little more info please might help:
color grout width room location wall, floor, counter rough tile size / area to be done     (doing a 6x8 area if 1x3" tiles is a lot different than 12x12's!
I picked up some pricey sealer/enhancer for some very old tiles that came out absolutely awesome. $55/pint but goes a very very long way.
http://i46.tinypic.com/eb9dlj.jpg
Worth every dime. Well over a year later it has not faded! I'd have to find the container to verify but I'm pretty sure it was this. Got it at a real tile store.
http://tinyurl.com/ybguxcs
As you are asking, cleaning the grout was the chore.         
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Thanks!
David
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Dottie wrote:

Yes
Easy...wipe on, wipe off excess from tiles. It has to be redone periodically. Silicone sealer is good.

It will if you used light colored grout.

YW
--

dadiOH
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Dottie wrote:

I would be inclined to try strong household cleaner, like 409 or Fantastic....let it soak, wipe it up, slop on lots of rinse water and suck it up with the shop vac.
FWIW, we had tile installed by contractor, with 100% satisfactory result. He gave instructions about wiping tile with vinegar/water the next day to remove any grout haze, although they did a meticulous job of rinsing themselves. Then, after 2 or 3 days (I don't recall which it was), the sealer was to be applied. They didn't specify beyond a general type of sealer....I applied two coats of sealer. One tricky little issue with our grout is that coffee with creamer is difficult to remove, even with hot water and a brush. It's the only thing, so far, spilled on our grout :o)
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wrote:

I used groutshields.com, put the new grout (actually a sealer) right over the old. Came out great in 3 room floors.
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