Home Remodeling Questions: Choosing Grout For Your Kitchen Floor

Answers to the following home remodeling questions: What is grout? How do you choose it? Where do you get it? What else do I need to know about installing tiles on floors?

Choosing the right grout for your kitchen floor can make a difference in long- term durability and appearance. A little investigating on your part should pay off in the long run if you take your time and shop around. Taking the extra effort to ensure that you have a tight, water-repellant seal between your tiles will pay off. You don't want to have to re-grout or repair loose or warped tiles any sooner than you have to. Do it right, and you'll only do it once.

What is grout?

Grout is a powdered substance that is mixed with water and applied to fill in the spaces between tiles. It can be mixed to different consistencies ranging from putty-like to wet slurry, depending on the type of tile you are installing. It eliminates the gap left between the tiles and adds support, but also offers an opportunity to use color to set off and customize your tiles.

Where do I get it?

Most hardware stores and home improvement centers carry a large selection of grout, and you'll want to take advantage of comparing the many types available. Shop around. The working time (the time you have after you've mixed the grout and before the grout sets) varies, as do the types of grout better suited for kitchen and bath areas. Since there is a higher chance of moisture seepage, be sure to get a good-quality grout sealant. This is applied over the grout after the grout has set completely, and repels water.

How do I choose?

Keep in mind the location of your tiles. The kitchen is generally a well-used area. You'll want to choose a tile and grout that is suited for high-traffic usage and possible water exposure. Think type first, then appearance. Once you have the correct type of grout picked out, you'll choose your color. Color choice is very important, as this will contrast with the style and shade of your tile. The days of plain white grout are long gone, so spend some time to get the right hue. The vast selection might just surprise you.

What should I take with me?

Without a doubt, take a tile or two. Don't count on remembering the exact shade, texture or design. Almost every homeowner has said, "I thought it would match!" only to discover it looked completely different once placed together. Take along paint chips of your wall color, as well as carpet samples of connecting rooms, appliance colors or any other shades you plan to incorporate into your design scheme. In other words, take it all, and take your time.

Anything else?

One last thing to keep in mind: resale. You may absolutely love your neon green tiles with hot pink grout, but any potential buyer of your home may wish for something a bit more neutral. For a good idea of what most people consider neutral, visit the paint department and pick up color chips, or use your search engine for more color and decorating ideas.

Happy grouting!

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