© Malorie Currier, Page1Design, Inc., 2018
Ask the Kitchen Lady 
Welcome to the I Hate Grout Club. I am the President (for life!) You can be Vice-President--no dues. So who exactly likes grout? Fresh and clean at the start, grout gradually turns dark. The wider the grout line, the more unsightly the look. Why? Mold, dirt, and mildew (yuch!) are most often the cause. I saw a You Tube on how to clean grout that had millions of views. No kidding? Why? Those sealers that go on after you have scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed with a powdered cleanser and toothbrush don't last forever, and they may darken your grout upon application. Grout can also be painstakingly removed by your tile professional, and replaced by a top coat of new grout. But say hello again to the problem sometime in the future. So when you plan to install new tiles, choose "rectified" tiles in oversized formats. These are manufactured to have flat side edges. The culprit in grout lines is a bevel or slight angular cut around the tile that allows the grout to widen at the surface. Great idea! More room to discolor and trap dirt! A second culprit is a poorly manufactured tile that simply isn’t square, forcing the installer to align each one with a space to hide the irregularity. All manufacturers will advise you to leave a 1/16th of an inch space between tiles, but I never do. I butt them together to give a "poured" surface appearance. If the contractor shows up with a bag of small spacer clips, beware. He may be planning to leave a suggested uniform space around them regardless of what you instructed him to do. Stand guard until he finishes two rows at least so that you can confirm there is no space between. "But the grout won't stay in," he may complain. To this I say "Ha!" Don't allow yourself to be bullied. Thanks for joining my club.

Tip: For Lovers of

Mosaic

Okay. You love mosaic which generally comes on mesh sheets with grout spaces between that give it the artisan look you wanted. Then be sure the contractor adds a special sealer to your grout mix or pay extra and buy a grout that resists mold and dirt. It is two or three times more expensive, but worth the money in the long run.
Ask the Kitchen Lady 
Welcome to the I Hate Grout Club. I am the President (for life!) You can be Vice-President--no dues. So who exactly likes grout? Fresh and clean at the start, grout gradually turns dark. The wider the grout line, the more unsightly the look. Why? Mold, dirt, and mildew (yuch!) are most often the cause. I saw a You Tube on how to clean grout that had millions of views. No kidding? Why? Those sealers that go on after you have scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed with a powdered cleanser and toothbrush don't last forever, and they may darken your grout upon application. Grout can also be painstakingly removed by your tile professional, and replaced by a top coat of new grout. But say hello again to the problem sometime in the future. So when you plan to install new tiles, choose "rectified" tiles in oversized formats. These are manufactured to have flat side edges. The culprit in grout lines is a bevel or slight angular cut around the tile that allows the grout to widen at the surface. Great idea! More room to discolor and trap dirt! A second culprit is a poorly manufactured tile that simply isn’t square, forcing the installer to align each one with a space to hide the irregularity. All manufacturers will advise you to leave a 1/16th of an inch space between tiles, but I never do. I butt them together to give a "poured" surface appearance. If the contractor shows up with a bag of small spacer clips, beware. He may be planning to leave a suggested uniform space around them regardless of what you instructed him to do. Stand guard until he finishes two rows at least so that you can confirm there is no space between. "But the grout won't stay in," he may complain. To this I say "Ha!" Don't allow yourself to be bullied. Thanks for joining my club.

Tip: For Lovers of Mosaic

Okay. You love mosaic which generally comes on mesh sheets with grout spaces between that give it the artisan look you wanted. Then be sure the contractor adds a special sealer to your grout mix or pay extra and buy a grout that resists mold and dirt. It is two or three times more expensive, but worth the money in the long run.

>Hate to Clean Grout? Don’t Use Any!

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