Realty Executives of Flagstaff

Wayne McCormick

Wayne McCormick


Realty Executives of Flagstaff


Ceramic Tile: color-sealed grout resists stain

(Published on - 11/11/2015 6:25:31 PM)

By Rosie Romero

Few things are worse than beautiful ceramic tile designs embedded in dirty, stained grout. Grout is tough to clean and maintain.

Tile is durable and is resistant to staining. However, grout is permeable. Proper care should be used to clean and maintain tile and grout, and sealing the grout reduces the problem of stains and discolorations.

The best way to clean and maintain grout is by using a neutral pH cleaner, a lot of water for cleaning, and a lot of elbow grease. Other types of cleaners, such as more acidic products or steam cleaners, raise concerns that these products can damage grout over time.

The No. 1 thing you need to remember when cleaning grout is to change the water frequently. Fresh, clean water to wash and rinse will help keep the dirt from settling back into the porous grout.

If your grout needs something stronger than a neutral cleaner to get the dirt out, consider hiring professionals. If the do-it-yourself project goes wrong, it can be much more costly to fix.

Is the grout stained or just dirty? To find out, try this test: Take warm water and a little dishwashing soap and brush the grout with a soft bristle brush. Spots left behind more than likely are stains.

What should you do if staining has occurred? You can consider ripping ou the grout and replacing it, but this can be very tough. Also, you won’t be able to get exactly the same color grout every time.

Color Seal is a better and easier way to go. Acu-Chem’s color-seal products can stain most grout to give it an even color, or completely change the color of the grout. Typically, this can be done for a fraction of the cost of replacing the grout. To go from a very dark to a very light grout color, or vice versa, can prove difficult, but it’s not impossible. However, changing colors within similar color ranges is no problem. Acu-Chem covers the stains and maintains the grout’s color, and any repairs that need to be done will match every time. The colors last the life of the floor, with minor touch-ups and repairs.

Color Seal can be used in almost every area of the home. The only place you cannot use the seal in on shower floors, due to the excessive water. However, Color Seal can be used on shower walls.

Stains more commonly happen in high-traffic areas. These areas on your floor and countertop (especially around sinks) may need to be touched up periodically, but Color Seal will make this maintenance much easier.

Some builders are offering to color-seal grout throughout the house to protect against staining. Some homeowners are choosing to do this instead of the more commonly known clear seals.

The difference between clear seal and grout color seal is that even thought clear seal bonds to grout particles, it also leaves open pores. Once dirt and oils enter the pores, they can migrate under the clear seal and cannot be removed. Acu-Chem’s color grout sealers penetrate the grout and seal off the pores. Color Seal in an excellent solution for protecting grout and giving it the ability to be easily cleaned.

Heated flooring keeps toes toasty

Throughout history people have sought practical heating solutions to make their small spaces more comfortable from a tiny fireplace in a Colonial bedroom in the Northeast to a rounded adobe firebox in the Southwest.

In houses built in the 1940s and ‘50s, there were usually wall heaters in bedroom hallways and another in the living room.

Today’s homes are constructed using a “wholehouse” central heating system. The concept is revolutionary and wonderful, but it means that you probably turn on the heat in the morning for the entire house when all you want to do is take the chill off or warm your feet.

The latest innovation in cozymaking is the comfort of heated tile, stone or engineered wood floors. If you are remodeling or at least willing to pull up your old floor, you might want to take advantage of a product that is like an electric blanket for your floor.

Available for purchase in more than 60 standard sizes, Nuheat is an electrical radiant floor-warming system than can heat one room at a time. Thin heating wires are embedded in durable material; those mats are then laid under your flooring surface Available in 110- and 220-volt formats, the product is designed to deliver even heating with no cold spots.

Standard mat sizes fit most room applications. For spaces with curves or angles, you can get custom-size mats. The actual product is 1/8-inch thick, so it works wisely in remodeling situations where the heights of other elements in the room are fixed.

The product literature boasts that installation is easy and hassle-free, but an authorized installer is still the best way to ensure maximum efficiency.

Basically, the installation goes like this: A professional tile-setter would use thinset, adhering the system to the subfloor. The tile or stone is then laid over the top of the mat in a second layer of thinset. A certified electrician connects the system to your household wiring. If you have laminate or engineered-wood floors instead of stone, then the mat is simply rolled out on top of the floor’s underlay product.

The mats must be placed in the exact spots where you want heat, as only the flooring directly over the top of the mat will be heated. The system is designed for use with ceramic tile, natural stone – such as marble, granite or slate- laminate and engineered-wood surfaces. It can also be used on countertops.

Magic? No, but it might seem so if you have programmable thermostat controls that allow the floor to warm up before you open your eyes in the morning. This luxury is affordable. A 30-square-foot heated area uses the same amount of electricity as three 100-watt light bulbs. Nuheat is Energy Star qualified when used with programmable thermostats.

Of course you would not want to leave this system on all day. It generates 12 watts per square foot at full power, creating a floor temperature of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of applications and the potential in the room for heat loss.

If a remodel is in your future, investigate this practical way to bring warmth to special areas. The kitchen, bathroom and playroom floors need never be cold again, and you’ll be going barefoot all year round.


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