Grout Takes the Grunge Element Out of Tile

Tile is a great material for flooring and shower walls, but many homeowners are less enthusiastic about grout, the stuff that holds tiles in place.

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Most grouts, which are porous cements, are difficult to keep clean. A harsh product such as bleach and a scrub brush are needed to clean it. There's no easy way to do it. Sealing the grout right after it is installed helps in making it more stain resistant. But when the job is left to the homeowner, it doesn't always get done.

But there is a product, TrafficMaster Stainproof Grout, that resists most common stains including wine, coffee, and ketchup as well as mold, mildew and color fading.

The latex-based, premixed grout, which is manufactured by Roanoke Companies Group, can be used in new tile installations and may be applied to existing broken or stained grout lines.

Because it contains Scotchgard Protector, the surface of the grout may become discolored, but stains always can be removed with household cleaners such as Simple Green or Pine Sol. Grout sealing is unnecessary.

Some notes on its use:

Characteristics: TrafficMaster Stainproof Grout comes in 30 colors. It is available in sanded formulations for grout lines larger that 1/8 inch wide but smaller than 1/4 inch. For grout lines less than 1/8 inch, the non-sanded formulation is recommended.

Installation notes: After eight hours, the tile can be walked on; light mopping is okay after 24 hours. Allow five days for the stainproofing to be fully activated.

Cost and Availability: Consult the product's website at

(Christine Arpe Gang writes for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.)

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