I have been thinking that we spend a lot of time looking for the best grout cleaners and tools to clean and protect grout. With all this effort spent on caring for grout, we may not stop to think about what grout actually is and why it’s there in the first place.
The answers are simple but this valuable information can help us to better understand how to choose the right grout cleaning products, recipes and ultimately how to best look after the tiled parts of our homes.
What is it made of?
The tile grout we typically find in our homes is made from water and sand with a little cement. Modern building has water-based recipes that also include an array of chemicals to increase strength and color consistency. It is the sand and cement mixture that gives the grout in older homes its porous surface (unlike the polished surface of tiles) that allows dirt and muck to accumulate.
Tile grout can be colored and so may include a coloring agent to better match the colour of the tiles. It is common for a more robust grout to be used on flooring, different from a grout used on a counter splashback or a wall.
After the grout is installed, it is allowed to dry then a water resistant sealant is applied to protect the grout and reduce the chance of mold and mildew build up on its porous surface.
What does it do?
Tile grout has three main functions which are as follows;
- It holds the tiles in place and stops or limits their movement and chipping or cracking at the edges.
- It creates a barrier that protects the floor or wall below and the tiles bond to whatever they are attached to.
- It creates a pleasing finished look that is aesthetically pleasing in conjunction with polished tiles.
The tiles are the main show, they are the hard surface that protects the floor or wall from damage, typically water damage. Grout is applied wet and dries hard to create a solid surface.
Where is it commonly used?
Grout is used anywhere indoors where you have tiles. In a home, you are most likely to have tiles in areas where you expect to have water, such as the bathroom, laundry and the kitchen. The most common examples include the following;
- Bathroom floors and walls
- Shower floors and walls
- Bath walls and skirting
- Kitchen floors, counters, and splashbacks
- Laundry floors
If you have any more useful background on grout or know of some great sources of technical information on what grout .