grout being spread across a floor with a grout float filling in the grout lines.

Grout

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 2/18/2021

A beautifully finished tile backsplash or bathtub surround can be the crowning achievement of any home renovation project. But getting every detail perfect, right down to the selection of the tile grout, can have major implications on the outcome.

Definition

The term grout refers to an adhesive bonding material, typically made from a mixture of water, cement, sand, and other agents, and is used to fill tile joints (the gaps between groups of tiles). Grout is typically applied using a grout float, but a finger or grout pen may be used in smaller applications. Grout comes in many varieties for different applications, with the main difference being between sanded (gritty) and unsanded (smooth) textures. Grout not only holds the tiles together, it also creates a structural bond that is often water resistant to help protect the walls from moisture damage.

How To Clean Grout

Tiles are a great way to add style and strength to any area that see moisture. However, the porous nature of the tile grout leaves most homeowners wondering how to clean grout without harsh chemicals of most grout cleaners:

  • With just a bit of elbow grease and some common household items to make a grout cleaner, you’ll have your grout clean in no time. Just scrub some baking soda mixed with a bit of warm water onto the grout and spray with vinegar. Wait and scrub!
  • If you’ve still got stubborn stains in your grout, it may be time to look at how to remove grout from tiles. With a simple grout remover tool, you can remove and replace the grout yourself, but you may want a professional for bigger projects.
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