Grout is a filler used for joints between tiles and require regular cleaning of grout lines to prevent them from turning black or get moldy.

Grout treatment (a replacement or modification of existing grout lines) aims to make cleaning of grout lines easier.

Have a look at our Buyer's Guide to help you make a more informed choice.

Introduction

Grouts are used as a filler for the joints between tiles once they have been set. 

The problem with grout is that after sometime, it’ll be soiled and stained and require regular cleaning. Especially for grouts that are used in the bathrooms or living rooms with heavy foot traffic. 

Various treatment for grouts in the market today aim to provide for easy grout maintenance. 

Types

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TypeDescriptionProsConsCost(Avg)Idea For
Epoxy Grout Color Epoxy Grout Acrylic Grout

Epoxy grout is made from two different resins mixed with a filler , making it waterproof and better suited to harsher cleaning products. It has a smooth /sanded surface and slightly gloss looking. 

This type of grout comes in an assortment of colors that can match the tiles easily.

Not all vendors carry the same assortment of colors and range, thus it's important to refer to samples and if possible an onsite consulting session.

Unlike grout sealers, epoxy grout is a replacement of existing grout lines. A vendor will need to remove any existing grout between the tiles before applying this.

As epoxy grout is resin based (a type of plastic), it is waterproof and will resist stains from food, drinks and dirt which makes it easy to clean.

  • Durable and having long life span  (around 10 years)
  • Scratch resistant
  • Virtually stain proof
  • Have to replace existing grout lines. Risk chipping of tiles by vendor when removing existing grout
  • Appearance might seem plastic
  • Difficult to DIY

DIY: $100 

Vendor services:

  • Toilet floor - $400
  • Toilet wall - $300
  • Kitchen floor -  $300
  • Kitchen wall - $300
  • Yard floor- $200
  • Storeroom floor - $250
  • Living room floor - $800
  • Balcony floor - $500
Quick Estimate
  • Bathrooms
  • Balcony
  • Kitchen
Grout Sealers

Grout sealing is a way of waterproofing the grout and protecting it from elements so that it lasts longer. This helps grout resist stains and dirt which would make cleaning easier. However, note that not all types of grout need to be sealed (e.g. Epoxy grout).

For sealers, there are 2 different types in today’s market:

  • Penetrating sealers - water or mineral spirit based with latex or silicone particles mixed in. This type of sealer will seep into the grout and fill up air pockets in the grout. This provides very good moisture control and is good for grout lines in bathroom showers, kitchen sink backsplashes, and other especially high moisture areas.
  • Membrane-forming sealers - the membrane or coating forms over the grout surface and protects it moisture penetration. However, membrane-forming sealers will also trap existing moisture in your grout, not allowing for evaporation. This type of sealer is not best used in high moisture areas or places that have previously been exposed to wetness. These sealers are good for unglazed tiles such as natural stone
  • Can apply on existing grout lines, no need to remove the grouts (and risk chipping tiles)
  • need to be repeated every two to three years
  • Not as durable

DIY: $80 

Vendor services (regrout + seal):

  • Toilet floor - $280
  • Toilet wall - $250
  • Kitchen floor -  $200
  • Kitchen wall - $250
  • Yard floor- $150
  • Storeroom floor - $200
  • Living room floor - $650
  • Balcony floor - $500
Quick Estimate
  • Bathrooms
  • Balcony
  • Kitchen
Marble Gum Marble Gum Grout

This is a process which converts normal flooring tiles into a glossy marble-like finish. It is a 4 step process where a vendor will remove part of the existing grout, fill it with marble gum floor grout glue, grind the tiles to the same level and apply a layering of wax before polish/buffing to create a glossy marble-like finish.

As the shine comes from the last step of polishing/buffering,  it is required to polish again when the sheen wears off (typically around 4 years).

Marble gum process do not cover for the grouts at the skirting, typically vendors will reapply grouts (normal gout or epoxy) after the last step.

  • Achieve glossy marble-like finish with unglazed homogeneous tiles
  • Grout lines are less visible
  • Need to repolish (around 4 years)

Living Room -  $800

Quick Estimate
  • Living Room

Buying Considerations

  • Grout finish - Epoxy grout will have some gloss when set and due to it’s sheen, epoxy grout is also less forgiving and highlights imperfections in the existing tiling. Hence when selecting a vendor, make sure they provide a color range that can match your tile and that you’re comfortable with the sheen that the vendor’s offering provides. Grout sealers don’t have that sheen and are usually of a smooth finish compared to epoxy where it can range from smooth, to sanded, to rough, depending on the epoxy grout chosen.

Specific considerations for:

FAQ

Technical Terms

  1. Epoxy Adhesive - A two part adhesive system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Used for bonding ceramic tile or stone to backing material.
  2. Epoxy Grout -  A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Made to have impervious qualities, stain and chemical resistant. Used to fill joints between tiles.
  3. Epoxy resin - Epoxy resin is a type of adhesive with a particularly high level of flexural strength. It is commonly mixed with a hardener which is the epoxy's curing agent; the curing agent is responsible for reacting with epoxy to create a reaction which hardens the expoy resin.
  4. Sealer - A penetrant applied to prevent the absorption of liquids or other debris. Used with porous materials including: quarry tile, grout, and natural stone. Sealer is not necessary for glazed ceramic tile.
  5. Glazed Porcelain - Glazed porcelain tiles have a single layered porcelain base that is primed and printed before a layer of hardening glassware is coated over the top. The tile is then fired to harden the surface. These are also referred to a Semi Vitrified tiles.
  6. Full bodied porcelain -  They are made from a single layer of porcelain, for which the pigmentation used to create the face pattern is present through the full depth of the tile.