Considering grout for natural stone tiles
When focusing on surface cleaning and protection for natural stone, it’s important for home and business owners to consider other factors besides the stone itself.
For instance, when it comes to tiled floors, grout is one issue that needs to be taken into account.
What is grout?
Understanding just what grout is can be confusing for some people, as the word can act as both a noun and a verb.
Grout could mean to place and tool a material in the joints of stone work, but in the case of this article, grout takes on the definition outlined by the Marble Institute of America: “A mixture of cementitious material and water, with or without aggregate, proportioned to produce a plastic consistency without segregation of the constituents; also a mixture of other composition but of similar consistency.”
In short, grout is the material found between stone tiles. Grout can be smooth or gritty, depending on whether it is sanded or not. And like natural stone, grout is porous, meaning surface protection and regular cleaning are necessary.
Cleaning and protecting grout
Since grout’s porosity allows it to absorb water, oil, dirt, chemicals, soap scum and other damaging materials, it’s essential to regularly clean between tiles in an attempt to keep natural stone and its surroundings aesthetically pleasing.
However, be careful regarding which cleansers you use, as cleaning grout with harsh chemicals and acids means it will be all too easy to spill or spread some on the tile itself, and with calcareous stones such as marble, this could cause severe damage.
One strategy home and business owners may want to consider is opting for darker colored grout between tiles, as light-colored grout will be more likely to show stains.
In order to make surface cleaning easier and ensure that the space between tiles is protected just as well as the tiles themselves, it’s a good idea to employ an impregnating sealer.
A high-quality impregnating sealer like STAIN-PROOF Original™ can be used on not only natural stone, but brick, pavers, tiles, engineering concrete and grout as well.
The sealer will penetrate deep into the grout, intended to create a barrier that will help repel oil and water as well as protect from serious structural damage from efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, spalling and picture framing.
Additionally, unlike topical sealers, an impregnating sealer will allow moisture to escape from grout, preventing problems that may arise from moisture being trapped within.
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