How do I Choose the Best Grout Stain?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 June 2019
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Grout stain is a handy product that may allow you to change or enhance existing grout rather than having to replace it. Choosing the best product for the job entails several different factors, such as where and what type of grout is being addressed, the age and condition of the grout, the grout stain color, whether or not grout sealant will be needed, and ensuring that the finished look will be uniform.

At times, additives are mixed with grout in an effort to make it more durable. Even when mixed appropriately, there is the possibility that such mixtures will change the color of the grout, leaving you with a less than satisfactory finished product. Grout can also become dingy looking over time. There is also the fact that white grout is commonly used in standard construction when a colored grout would add far more richness to the look of the tile. Grout stain can help address any of these issues.


Since grout stain needs to be applied carefully with a firm paintbrush, the area you wish to treat will make a difference. Tile that is high up may be difficult to reach, and a large area of tile may be too much work for one person. The condition of the grout is also important. It must be thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry before grout stain can be applied. Newer grout must be allowed to harden, typically for at least a month, before staining. Adding a sealant is usually a good idea in order to protect the finish once it has been stained.

The type of tile also matters. Sealed tile or tile with a glossy finish will be easier to clean if some grout stain gets on it, as long as it is removed immediately. The color of tile is important as well. Consider checking out grout stain offered by the company that made your tile before looking elsewhere. Their products may work better and the colors they offer will probably complement your tile better than another brand or a generic option.

Much like when choosing paint or other types of stain, you will find that oil-based grout stain is generally recommended over water-based. Since grout is hard, you want a product that offers good penetration. Oil-based stains tend to penetrate more thoroughly, allowing for deeper, richer color. It is also is a good idea to check drying time and to carefully read any guarantees.



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