Understanding Grout Colorants

If your tiled room is beautiful except for dingy tile grout, you might want to look into using a grout colorant to make the whole room look better. Your tiled floors will be so much more attractive if you had used a different color grout than off-white. But who wants to remove all the grout and start over? That’s a lot of work on a job that has already taken a lot of work to start with.

The solution is simple – you can restore your grout to a uniform, attractive color by applying a colorant that’s made specifically for grout.

Advantages of Colored Tile Grout

Using a colorant on old and dingy grout can show off the room the way you’d like it to look. It still retains its look as actual grout, so the tiled floor won’t look like a laminate.

It’s also known as grout paint, and you can purchase various pre-mixed colors and some custom blended colors. The colorant products made today are easily applied, they look great, and they can last up to fifteen years.

Preparing To Use Colored Tile Grout

You’ll want to inspect your floor first, and replace any old grout that is broken down. Don’t wait until coloration is done to make repairs. Do them first. If the colorant you apply doesn’t precisely match the shade on the floor, you don’t need to worry – your new color should show up when everything dries.

If your floor is terrazzo or natural stone, or another unglazed tile, be sure to seal it before you color the grout. Grout coloring can stain the flooring permanently.

A fresh coat of sealant may make the grout coloration stick less easily to your grout, so you may have to be patient and go from one tile to the next. Here is one case where you don’t want a fast-drying grout colorant.

Preparing and Applying Colored Tile Grout

Preparing and applying grout coloring is different than just painting a wall. You’ll still want to use a brush, and you can do it easily as long as you are comfortable kneeling for a prolonged period of time. If you’re using grout colorant on a large room, you may be kneeling for hours! It’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ll also need a good dose of patience, and be sure to follow all the label instructions on the product you choose.

Every different brand of colorant for grout may have different instructions, so choose the brand first. The things that vary between brands include waiting time, drying time and methods of application.

Types of Grout Coloring

There are various types of grout coloring that experts will recommend, depending on the experience they have had with the product. A tile layer has probably used many different kinds of coloring for grout, and will know which ones are easiest to apply, and which ones yield the best results.

Most professionals use a product that doesn’t take a long time to dry. But in some jobs, it’s actually beneficial to have a slower drying product.

Some brands of grout coloring may require that you finish applying the product and clean-up within the space of an hour. This is not always possible, if you’re working on a larger room.

Matching Grout Colors

Matching grout colors is more of an art than a science. The use, age and cleaning products used can cause your grout to become discolored, and if you use any of the original batch to fill gaps, the colors won’t match. If you want to match grout that has discolored, you will need to experiment and eliminate non-matches. You’ll need to remix and compare each time you do that, to get the best match. Grout may also change its color as it dries, so let any grout dry before making a final comparison.

First, you’ll want to clean your current grout with an 02 bleach product before you try to match colors. Get a grout sample chart from a local home improvement store and pick out the grout color you used originally, as close as you can. Be sure to use only dry grout color for measuring and adjusting colors.

You can experiment with color combinations in grout by mixing small batches, and allowing them to dry. Then you can compare the colors. Use as close as you have to the original color, and a lighter and a darker match.

Create a handy sample board so that you can compare the grout colors side by side. Mix a batch of the original color, or use lighter and darker colors mixed, always using the lightest color as dominant in each mixture. Apply this sample to a board, and let it dry all the way before you compare the color to your existing grout colors.

Continue to mix your different colors and apply newer colors to the board so that you can easily compare it to the grout you have now. Your best bet is to start with the lighter colors, adding smaller amounts of neutral and darker colors. Make sure to track how much color you are adding, so that you can duplicate it when you find a match. Mix in your colors and compare until you’re as close to a match as you can get.

You can get expert assistance by getting help in your color mixing from someone who is familiar with the process of mixing colors. This may be a crafts-person or an artist, or a local tile layer with a good deal of experience. You can also order a custom color of grout, and use that for the whole area.

If you’d rather go the route of removing grout and replacing it with your own color choice, the possibilities are truly endless. The basic steps of mixing and using grout are the same, whether you’re using colors or not. A custom color will add more warmth and personality to your tile.

Choose a color that you like a lot from the choices available to you. Buy at least two bottles of acrylic paint, if you’ll be using that to make the custom coloration. Buy your grout in pure white, so that you can dye it the color you want. Mix your grout as you normally would, and then add grout colors until you have your custom hue.


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