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Grout Considerations When Remodeling a Bathroom

Grout is a type of paste or mortar that is used to fill gaps and crevices between floor and wall tiles. If you’re planning to remodel your bathroom, there are many things to decide upon, such as plumbing fixtures, color schemes, and decorative pieces. But it’s also important to give grout the attention that it deserves. That’s why in this article, we’re highlighting the key grout considerations that you should keep in mind as you move forward with bathroom renovations.

Types of Grout to Use

The most classic and common type of grout is cement-based grout. It is best to choose a grout type based on the width of spaces you need to fill rather than the tiles you are putting in your bathroom. A smooth, un-sanded grout is great for narrow spaces, while sanded grout prevents shrinkage in larger spaces. Grout that has polymer additives can help with flexibility and color consistency, although all cement-based grouts can become stained over time.

Alternatively, you can also choose epoxy grout for especially heavy-duty areas and harsh conditions. Sanded and un-sanded varieties of epoxy grout are available, both of which are more durable for chemicals and stains. This is a preferred type of grout to use for counters, backsplashes, and high-traffic areas. However, it is more expensive than cement grout and will need to be worked into your bathroom remodeling budget.

Differences in Grout Locations

Wall tiles are often put together with smaller joints than floor tiles, which means that a different type of grout will likely be used for each location. Floor tiles also tend to be thicker than wall tiles, so don’t try to cut corners by using the same grout everywhere. Synthetic grout is highly recommended for high-water areas, including many parts of the bathroom. However, you may be able to get by with cement-based grout for parts of the bathrooms that won’t typically get wet.

Grout Color Choices

One recommended way to choose a grout color is to pick a contrasting color, such as white grout with black tile. You can also choose a shade that is as close as possible to the shade of your tiles or a neutral shade to make it minimally noticeable. Neutral options are often the safest bets if you’re not sure how it’ll look in your newly remodeled bathroom. But if you’re looking to go bold with your grout color, consider applying it to only a sample section to see how you like it in different types of light before completing the entire project.

Caring for and Repairing Grout

Although grout may need to be completely replaced over time, it can often be cleaned and repaired with minimal cost or hassle. A stiff-bristle brush and a degreasing agent can work wonders for brightening up old grout in the bathroom.

Signs of Poor Grout Application

Not only is poorly applied grout ugly to look at, but it can also cause serious damage to your bathroom over time. For example, cracked grout can become a dangerous source of water leaks in the bathroom. Cement-based grout that was applied many years ago is prone to cracking and brittleness. It can also dry irregularly and create inconsistent colors. Mixing grout to an ideal consistency can be tricky for beginners as well, as dry grout is difficult to apply, and wet grout doesn’t adhere well to the tile. A good grout job should look smooth and form a clear border around each tile, perhaps even masking tile imperfections when they occur. If you or the contractor you hire do a sloppy job with the grout, it may be necessary to remove the grout and re-grout the area for a second time.

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