Don’t Forget the Importance of Sealing

by Vince Paxton

Replacing your flooring with new tiles is a fairly easy job if you know what you’re doing, but it is time consuming, especially when working with grout. When you choose your new floor tile, keep in mind that you need to get grout as well. The color of the grout as well as the width will make the difference of what your finished floor will look like.

Regardless of how thick or thin your apply the grout, it will still be visible so choose a color of grout that will compliment your tiles and overall dcor. When choosing your grout color keep in mind, you can get a matching color or one that contrasts, keeping in mind that white and light colors will show dirt and stains easier.

As with any DIY project, you need to have all the correct tools in your workbench to get the job done right. Make sure you get a good quality grout that will last. You’ll need to get a trowel, spatula or palette knife to apply the grout and keep it level. There’s not a real trick to applying the grout, but you don’t want it lower or higher than the level of the tiles. Keep a sponge and water nearby to wipe up any excess.

One of the trickiest parts of grouting and tiling is evenly spacing the tiles. You’re probably in a hurry to have your new floor done, but haste really does make waste so take your time. Layout the tiles before you glue the tiles down to assure that they are evenly spaced. Once you get the glue on the tile, you’ll need to lay it down quickly so plan ahead and make sure they’re where you want them to be. Keep in mind that that grout will only be in the spaces between the tiles, so make sure the tiles are straight so the grout will appear straight. You also need to decide how much grout you want showing between the tiles. You can purchase spacers to help you keep your tiles a specific distance apart. With the use of the spacers, the width of the grout will be the same.

When the floor is all finished, you need to apply a sealer to protect the grout from stains and damage. You can get sealer at any store that sells flooring supplies. This may be time consuming because you will be sealing the grout, not the tiles. Because the grout ages quicker than the tiles, they need all the protection they can get.

In the same way you take care of your tiles, you also need to maintain your grout. It will actually pick up dirt quicker than the tiles will so take care when cleaning it. Here is where it comes in handy to have the grout level with the floor. When it’s level a mop will clean it as it washes the floor. Over time, you may want to apply more sealer is it appears wore down from age.

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