Posts Tagged ‘Grout’

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Grout like an Expert

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Tile, Tips

Tile can give any home a very luxurious feel. Immaculate backsplashes, enhancing shower systems, or tantalizing foyers all are rooted with tasteful tile selections. However, nothing can hurt this pristine look quite like dirty grout lines. You invest time and money into finding the perfect tiles and complementary grout yet overtime your grout has browned and looks unkept. To help, here is everything you need to know on why your grout is getting dirty, how to clean it, and how to prevent it from happening down the line. Let’s take a look!

Why Grout Gets Dirty

Grout is a pourable mortar used to close the gaps between floor and wall tiles. It comes in two types: sanded and unsanded. The sealant is composed of water, cement, and sometimes sand; therefore, grout is very porous, allowing it to be very permeable to liquids. If moisture is in the air, it can embed dirt into your grout lines. Likewise, if you spill a colored beverage, your grout is susceptible to soaking it up and staining with the color.

How to Clean Grout

First, you will want to broom or dust the surface of any grime. Using hot water can help break down more difficult soot embedded into the surface of the grout. Create a homogenous mixture of vinegar and water and pour it onto your grout. It may need to soak for several minutes to work its way down into the grout. After it is absorbed, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to remove debris.

Maintenance

Typically, installers will not seal grout the same day of being applied to allow the grout to cure. If you have epoxy grout, it is not porous and will not need to be sealed. However, if not, it would be in your best interest to seal it. This sealant can prevent unwanted discoloring or staining from occurring in the future. Your sealant will help protect against stains and bacteria from forming on your grout lines.

If you have dirty grout, do not leave it unattended for too long. Cleaning your grout is easy and can make your tile look brand new. Remember to seal your grout after to help prevent discoloring down the road. For more tips and tricks on floor maintenance, make sure to subscribe to our blog!

How To Care For Ceramic Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile

Ceramic tile is a favorite among designers and it has been in use in home design for a very long time. It is popular with home owners because in terms of versatility and design motifs the possibilities seem nearly endless. It can be used in both casual and formal settings and it reign supreme among all surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens. There are two types of ceramic tile – glazed and unglazed and both are set in place with grout. Glazed tile is the shiny tile often seen in bathrooms, and unglazed is the more porous version of the two. Grout is also porous.

Cleaning glazed tile is easily accomplished.  First, make sure to sweep regularly.  This will keep dirt from building up and making clean up more difficult.  You can also use a vacuum without a beater bar or the attachments on the vacuum.  Mats at each entryway will help reduce the amount of dirt tracked in as well. 

Damp mop tile floors regularly as well.  Use a mild detergent and make sure to clean with warm water afterwards to remove any residue from the cleaner.  Be sure to consult the instructions from your manufacturer to ensure any cleaner will not harm your tile.

Don’t use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or those containing bleach or ammonia.  These can discolor your grout if used too often. 

Tile is amazingly durable, but it can chip or crack under extreme force.  Use floor protectors on furniture legs and chairs and be careful when moving large, heavy items across the floor!

For more information about how to care for your tile, visit us at Century Tile and use this page for reference.  

Ceramic Tile Care 101

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

 

Due to its ability to resist contamination and  withstand common sources of wear, ceramic tile flooring and wall coverings are a great option throughout your home in decorating.  Ceramic tile is quite easy to clean and has very low maintenance requirements. Once installed correctly ceramic tile is easily  cared for and maintained and do not demand more than a normal cleaning regimen. 

Although tile is not demanding, this does not mean you should not make any effort to ensure that your floors and walls remain in optimal condition. The following are a few care and maintenance tips that will help keep your tiles looking great for years to come:

Daily Ceramic Tile Cleaning

Dust and debris can easily be removed by sweeping or vacuuming. Unless an area has heavy traffic, mopping your ceramic floor once a week should be more than enough. Avoid using soap or detergent or any type of cleanser which contains acid, vinegar, or ammonia as they might cause the surface of your tiles and the grout (the material used to fill the spaces between your tiles) to discolor or fade. Go for cleansers with a neutral pH instead. To prevent residue build up or fungus or bacterial growth, make sure that your tiles are always properly rinsed with clean water.

Grout Care

Grout is an important part of ceramic tile flooring. Without it, water and other types of contaminants can easily seep through your floor installation. Because of this, it is important that as soon as the tiles are laid down, the grout is sealed immediately.  

The two types of grout are available: cement-based and epoxy. Cement-based grout, which is usually used for DIY projects, needs to be followed-up with a penetrating protective sealer. Epoxy grout, on the other hand, more commonly used by professionals,  can be used by itself or without a sealer. The latter is more resistant to water and stains, but is also much higher in price. We generally recommended that you apply the sealer twice a year.

Ceramic Tile Protection

To prevent scratches and fading, attach pads at the bottom of the legs of your furniture. Pay special attention to those made of metal as they might rust and cause stains. You can also place mats on areas with heavy traffic to prevent dust, oil, and other contaminants from being in close contact with your tile flooring.

By following these tips for care and maintenance, your tile will bring you joy and protect your floors for years to come.

 

 

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Caulking Your Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Kitchen and Bath, Tile, Tips

One of our clients recently mentioned that she had a water leak. It started in her bathroom but ended up causing a huge damp spot on her dining room ceiling. She has a tile shower and somehow a leak developed. To spare all of you the same headache, here is some information to prevent this from happening to you.

If you have tile shower walls, there is a very good possibility that a leak could develop between the tile and the tub. As your house moves (a natural process that occurs in every home), a hairline crack can occur that allows water to get into the joint. Once water gets in, there is no telling how much damage can be done.

Caulking between your shower walls and tub prevents leaks and reduces mildew buildup. Removing old caulk and recaulking joints between tiles and your tub is an annual bathroom maintenance job. You heard that right – it is an annual job.

There’s another good reason to recaulk. If you’ve tried to remove the black mildew stains from caulk, you know the blemishes are often stubborn and unyielding. That’s because the stains are often behind the caulk, between the caulk and the wall. The answer, of course, is to remove the caulk, kill the mildew, and then replace the caulk.

Removing the caulk isn’t as hard as it appears. There are commercial  products that can assist you with the job. These products are specially formulated to soften caulk for easy removal. After the caulk has softened, remove it with a putty knife. Clean the joint area with paint thinner and then wipe it down with a clean cloth. Kill mildew with a mixture of bleach, water and powdered laundry detergent. (NEVER use any detergent that contains ammonia with bleach as this can create a dangerous gas). Place these ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the affected areas and then rinse well with water. Use your blow dryer to dry the area. Now you are ready to reapply some caulk.

Apply tub and tile caulk into the joint and smooth it with your finger, an old teaspoon, or a caulking spreader. Immediately remove the tape by pulling it out and away from the freshly caulked joint. Be careful not to touch the caulk. Let it dry. If you don’t want to take the risk and try this on your own, definitely ask a professional.

Not only will your shower look better, but you are also preventing leaks and future water damage.

 

Cleaning Grout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile

Does your Saturday and Sunday consist of really un “fun” cleaning projects? Cleaning baseboards, vacuuming dust off ceiling fans, and dealing with dog hair. Well, sadly we’re just adding another one to your list. Cleaning your grout. We know, we know….you don’t want to do this, but it is important to keep your tile and your grout looking good.

The good news is that there is a cheap grout cleaner. It’s called baking soda and water. Make a paste of the baking soda and water and then get to work.

The first step is to wipe down grout with a washcloth. This will get rid of any easy to remove particles. Then get your toothbrush ready. If you have an old electric tooth brush that will work better. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply paste to grout and scrub vigorously. Wipe off any extra paste. Finally, wipe down the grout with a wet cloth. If a stain is really set in you can leave the paste mixture on for a few minutes. Shaving cream and vinegar are other substances that good housekeepers swear by.

Once the grout is clean, it’s time for a little preventative maintenance. Inspect your grout regularly and apply a commercial grout sealer once a year. Keeping it well sealed makes sure it doesn’t become home to mold or mildew. Keep the grout dry when you can and take care of small stains as soon as you notice them.

Your bathroom fan is your biggest ally here. Turn on your bathroom fan after you shower for at least a half hour for sparkling clean grout.

Century Tile – Pete The Pro

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in About Us, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Pete the Pro, Product Education

Some of you like to do home improvements on your own, or at least you want to understand the process of laying tile, preparing a sub floor, knowing what tools are needed and which adhesive works best. But who has time to spend hours on-line or at your nearby hardware store trying desperately to find someone who may know a little something?

Fear not, Century Tile has “Pete the Pro”. Pete Lettecci, also known as “Pete the Pro” has installed ceramic tile for over 30 years. Since 1995 he has shared his knowledge and experience training Century’s staff and conducting 240 customer installation-training seminars. In his free time Pete responds to customer inquiries and tests potential new tools, setting materials and products.

Even if you don’t have time to check out one of Pete’s seminars, and they are quite useful, Pete has a series of videos on our website. He also has a list of commonly asked questions with very detailed answers. If you have a question that is not listed, you can post it and Pete will respond. How cool is that? A pro at your fingertips.

Pete teaches several workshops a week at each of our locations. He teaches classes at 7pm during the week and at 11am on Saturdays.

Please come and meet “Pete the Pro” or post your question on line. We want to help you make your ceramic tile project as easy as possible.

Grout Grout Grout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating

You’ve picked out your tile; you know the exact name of the paint color on your walls, your beautiful draperies are on order. But then…..here is the question you didn’t anticipate – what color grout do you want in between those gorgeous ceramic tiles?

There are definitely two schools of thought when it comes to grout color. When choosing the color you can select one that blends in with the overall color of the tile to minimize the appearance of the grout, or you can select a grout color that is lighter or darker than the tile. It is also common to see grout variations when comparing the grout color in a tile floor and the same grout color on the tile countertop or wall. If the tile is installed in a high traffic area then you may want to select a darker grout.

WAIT – Stop for a second and take in that bit of information.

I repeat – If the tile is installed in a high traffic area then you may want to select a darker grout. Many, many homeowners are kicking themselves after installing a light colored grout in a busy traffic area of their homes.

is typically mixed on site, but slight color variations can occur. Grout can also vary from the manufacturer’s sample you saw in the store, but not by much. This can be attributed to variations in temperature and humidity at the time of grouting and it’s just a fact of life. Sorry.

Once the tile has been laid and grouted, it is your responsibility to maintain all caulked areas to guard against water damage. Grout may also darken over time in areas with heavy water use. But more on grout maintenance later.

The first thing to do is to make the right decision about the color of grout that will work best in your home today. Our experts are on hand waiting to help you make that decision. It doesn’t have to be hard. We’re very skilled at grout.

Using Slate to Create Beautiful Dining Spaces

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Natural Stone

Slate is a popular flooring choice for kitchens, entry ways, and bathrooms. We see slate in these rooms in shelter magazines and on blogs quite a bit. Slate is a durable stone surface that can hold up to heavy traffic. This is exactly why slate can be used to create a beautiful dining space which lasts.

With a myriad of colors, from charcoal grays to bluestone to multi-colored stones swirled with russet tones and grays, slate can be chosen to match most interior color palettes. Crisp white works well with slate as do both cool colors and warm hues. Look at your existing dining room furniture to decide which slate works best for your room. Warmer toned woods, like oak or pine, would work well with slate that has flashes of orange or rust. For a more modern feeling, pair black or white furniture with a blue-grey slate.

Slate can work with many interior design styles. A farmhouse table and Windsor chairs would look great with a slate floor for a charming country dining room. Mission style is a perfect mate for slate. The Arts & Crafts style incorporates natural elements so slate would fit both the aesthetics and the philosophy of this style. Dark slate floors add a natural element to a modern or contemporary dining space.

Chose a coordinating dark grout and the grout lines will almost disappear, giving your floor a uniform look. Or select a lighter grout for a more traditional tile feeling.

Durable and stylish, think about a slate floor for your dining room or eat in kitchen. Take a look at the slate flooring we have available at Century-Tile.com.

Common Decorating Mistakes

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Common decorating mistakes are made time and time again. This post will point out common mistakes so you can avoid making them and rendering the ones already made in your home.

If you don’t love it, Leave it!: Do not use something that you don’t love. Just because something has been inherited or gifted and you feel it needs to be used, doesn’t mean you have to use it. If you don’t love something, donate it to Goodwill.

Define your own personal style: Don’t decorate according to the latest trend. Decorate around your personal style. You will enjoy your décor much longer than you would if you used a trendy style. Decorating around your personal style gives unique character to your interior. If you’re sick of the white tile in the kitchen, replace it with a bright warming color.

Clear the clutter, Go chunky: Small accessories tend to make a space look cluttered and unorganized; not to mention the dust they collect. Simplify your accessories by replacing many small items with a few chunkier pieces. Chunky accessories make a space look clean because few are needed to replace many small items.

Research Color: Avoid making the wrong choice with color. Different colors spark different moods on a subconscious level. People associate color with. Research what colors you are considering for carpet, tile, paint, etc. in order to ensure the right color choice for the appropriate room and it’s use.

The most important advice we can give you is “Done is beautiful”. Incomplete spaces look uninviting and affect the people that live there as well as guests. Try not to get caught up in deciding the perfect look for a particular space. Find a way to complete spaces; they can always be modified down the road.