Why Does Your Grout Stain? And How to Prevent It!

Picture this: You get new tile installed, it is so shiny and beautiful. The grout lines look crisp and clean, exactly the way you want them to. You keep making excuses to go in the room just to see your new tile! Only two months later, you’re frustrated because your grout lines are now stained and discolored. Yuck!

Over the years, our team of Flooring specialists has heard many of these stories from frustrated homeowners, just like you, who’ve come to us for help and solutions to this common problem. After discussing the issue with our project management team and our grout vendors, we knew it started with “us” at Flooring Solutions to help educate our clients on ways to keep tile grout looking fresh. After all, our huge goal is to help you genuinely love your updated space and know you made the best decision for your home.

We will take a deep dive into all things grout. We want you to walk away from the article with the knowledge of what the different types of grout are, what to do with your current grout issues, and what type of grout will be best for you and your family as you begin your tile project. Get ready to say “Hello” to clean grout lines, and keep them looking fresh for years to come!

What Causes Grout To Stain?

It’s easy for dirt, water, and other liquids to absorb into your grout. Whether it’s from lotions, makeup that has fallen on it, or muddy pawprints tracked in from our four-legged furry friends. So what causes your grout to stain just from exposure to these regular, household items? It’s because traditional grout is porous. Porous means it has spaces or holes throughout where liquids or air can pass through.

Once those liquids and other items get in, drying out can take a long time. This means that the stain on the grout might not be coming from your last spill; rather, it could be residual from a previous spill, muddy shoes, old food scraps, or even chemicals from certain household cleaners like bleach and vinegar.

Most grout is made from cement. Cement is a popular grout material because it’s durable and easy to work with. However, cement is also porous and absorbs liquids very easily. It is also easy to show signs of discoloration. Over the years, manufacturers have produced many different types of grout that are not porous, thus giving better results to homeowners.

stained grout lines in shower

What Are The Different Types of Grout?

There are mainly five types of grout. Each type has pros and cons and the most common uses. At Flooring Solutions, we commonly see all five types of grout used in different applications as needed.

  1. Laticrete Sanded grout – the traditional grout most commonly known

    • Pros: easy clean up during installation & cost-effective – this grout can usually be bought by the pallet at big box stores, such as Home Depot, Tru Value, Lowes, and sometimes Walmart.
    • Cons: porous, requires additional steps during installation such as sealing and staining regularly. This can increase installation time and costs.
  1. Laticrete Unsanded groutmost commonly used on porcelain tile (so it doesn’t scratch/scuff)

    • Pros: the material and ingredients are easy to install/clean up during installation & cost-effective
    • Cons: Porous, requires additional steps during installation & often shows discoloration signs if repairs have to be done. It might look like two different colors once repairs are done and dried.
  1. Spectralock Pre-mixed groutcan be epoxy or acrylic-based

    • Pros: Non-porous, gives a consistent color throughout, even after repairs have to be made, and never requires sealing
    • Cons: Harder to work with during installation due to the texture of it, as well as how it is packaged, less cost-effective due to it being pre-mixed and having stain-resistant qualities already mixed in.
  1. Spectralock Pro Premium: Mostly used in commercial settings

    • Pros: Makes tiles look more vibrant due to its patented, stainproof epoxy mixture. This grout offers a unique opaque color that diffuses light and increases the vibrancy of the color.
    • Cons: Does not work as well in smaller residential settings due to the manufacturer’s guidelines recommending a larger grout line be installed.
  1. Laticrete Permacolor: used in residential & commercial settings

    • Pros: Fast setting grout – dries dense & hard. This is a great benefit during the installation process because it decreases dry time, which allows the installation crew to move on quicker, as well as you, the homeowner, to move furniture and other items back quicker.
    • Cons: Less cost-effective due to the high demand and stainproof features. Though it does cost more than traditional grout, it can save money in the long run due to lower maintenance costs.

grout for tile in bathroom

Here at Flooring Solutions, we only use grout from trusted, reputable manufacturers:

  1. Mapei Coloured Grouts and Sealants

  2. Laticrete International Inc.

  3. Bostik NeverMix

  4. Custom FusionPro Grouts