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Knowledge Centre

Grout & Epoxy

Learn all you need to know about grout & epoxy here.

To access other topics in the Knowledge Centre, click the book icon below.

How do I restore my grout?

You can restore your grout in a number of ways. Some are easier to apply than others and some have a longer life than others. You can use an appropriate cleaner if your grout is in good condition, or if your grout is a little soiled or has a slight build-up of mould it can be removed by an appropriate mould spray or cleaner.

If the grout is in good condition but appears dull, there are products that can be applied to the grout to re-colour and seal the grout. These can last up to 15 years and are generally epoxy-based solutions. You can even change the colour from one colour to another, for example, light to dark and vice versa, using the aforementioned epoxy liquids.

If the grout is in bad repair the most likely course of action would be to carefully remove the existing grout and regrout the area. 

How do I clean my grout?

The best way to clean your grout is with a pH-neutral cleaner which should be available from your local tile supplier. It is not advisable to use harsh bleach-based cleaners or washing up liquid; nor is it advisable to use acidic or alkaline products regularly. There are specific cleaners should your grout need a deep clean prior to everyday cleaning. Again these are available from your local tile showroom.

Is there anything I should avoid using when cleaning my grout?

We strongly do NOT recommend the use of harsh bleach-based cleaners or washing up liquid (due to high salt content); nor is it advisable to use acidic or alkaline products regularly. These can all break your grout down over time and will certainly break down any sealer applied to your grout. The best cleaner is a pH-neutral cleaner which should be readily available from your local tile showroom.

Why has my grout dried patchy?

Grout containing ordinary portland cement to a large enough extent (cementitious grouts) can, and often do, contain salts which if overly wetted can come to the surface causing efflorescence (a white/milky effect). These grouts are particularly prone to Portlandite - the unsightly salt and lime efflorescence caused by the inclusion of Portland cement. There are some grouts that don't contain this element and therefore do not dry patchy. As always, check with your supplier. Our ranges don't contain Portland cement and therefore do not dry patchy. There may be similar products available from other manufacturers.

Are there any grouts that don't dry patchy?

There are grouts that don't dry patchy. Epoxy and grouts with no Portland cement, such as Kerakoll Fugabella Color, do not dry patchy.

How do I remove efflorescence from my grout?

Efflorescence may be removed by simply washing the surface of the grout and again a few days later, with clean water. Or preferably using a diluted acidic solution (i.e using an acid-based cleaner and following the manufacturer’s advice).

The third way, if the two aforementioned remedies fail, is to use an epoxy-based grout colourant. This will recolour the grout to a uniform appearance, although it may come away from the surface over time due to wear and tear and will have a slight sheen in appearance. Therefore it may not suit all applications and an inconspicuous area should be tested first to check the finish is acceptable.

If these remedial actions don't work, then unfortunately the only course of action left to remedy the situation is to re-grout the affected area.

Why has my grout cracked?

Movement within the background or substrate is the most common reason for grout cracking, although other more uncommon reasons include:

  • Incorrectly mixing the grout before use (i.e too wet or dry, which structurally weakens the grout).

  • The joint is too wide for the grout type used.

How can I fix cracked grout?

First, establish why the grout is cracking, i.e. movement - Are there loose tiles? Is the substrate or background moving? Is the grout too weak?  In the case of loose tiles, check this is not due to the background either moving or proving incompatible with the type of adhesive used. Equally, check the correct adhesive has been used and that the bed was not made up of blobs of adhesive (another cause of cracked grout and loose tiles) as opposed to a solid bed. If it is the background, limit the movement and re-stick the tiles before grouting. If it is just the tile, re-stick this and re-grout. If the grout is too weak, remove and replace. Where there is no possibility, or you are unwilling to remove tiles, you could rake the grout out and replace it with epoxy. This will generally stop the cracking of the grout as it is very strong and flexible. BE WARNED: IF YOU DO THIS THE CRACKS MAY APPEAR ELSEWHERE! Cracks will appear at the weakest point which would not usually be the epoxy grout.

Why are there small (pinholes) in my grout?

This occurs when the grout is mixed too wet. As it dries small pinholes can be seen in the joints, and you will need to go over the joints again to fill the holes.

It is also common in ready mixed grout, and applying more grout over the pinholes will generally work. A powdered grout is a better option from the start rather than a ready-mixed grout.

What grout can I use to fill holes in my travertine tiles?

Travertine tiles are filled with a resin that may, over time become loose due to thermal expansion and contraction. If you find holes appearing in your travertine, these are normal and can be addressed using an epoxy grout. The colour used is often jasmine but may vary. It is best to offer up swatches to determine the best match for your travertine tiles.

How do I rake out my old grout?

This can be done manually with a grout rake tool designed for this purpose or mechanically using a multi-tool with a carborundum blade. There are also electric grout removers that work with various degrees of success. In all cases, slow and steady wins the race as there is a danger that the surface of the tile could be irreparably damaged if you do not exercise extreme caution. 

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