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Finishing

How to grout tiles
Whether you are adding a splashback on your kitchen wall or laying tiles on your bathroom floor, then you will need to seal your tiles with grout.

Why do I need to grout?

Grout prevents water from finding its way through the spaces between your tiles, giving your tiles on your floor or wall a neat, finished look. What’s more, grout is available in a multitude of colours, giving you the option to finish your tiles off with something neutral or, if you prefer, make a statement with a contrasting colour. The good news is that grout is relatively quick and easy to apply, and with some basic advice, you should be more than capable of achieving a professional finish in no time.

The different types of grouts

There are two main types of grouts available on the market – cement-based or epoxy-based – both of which come available in sanded and non-sanded varieties. Cement-based grouts are the most popular of the two. Available in a wide variety of colours, they are easy to work with and relatively inexpensive, making them highly popular with DIY-ers. Epoxy-based grouts tend to be slightly more expensive but are both waterproof and stainproof making them ideal for areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and en-suite showers.

Choosing the right colour grout

Grouts don’t just come in different types. They also come in a wide variety of colours and tones. Although there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the choice of grout, they tend to fall into three main categories: Matching Colours – if you are not planning on making a feature out of your grout then go for colour that matches your tile. This ensures your tiles are always the star of the show. Contrasting Colours – if you chose a contrasting-coloured grout, this is guaranteed to help draw attention to the layout of your tile, especially if you are going after geometric or decorative tiling patterns. Neutral Colours – if you are planning on playing it safe then go something light, such as grey or brown, or alternatively, anything neutral. While it won’t stand out, it won’t date, making it timeless.

How to apply grout?

Before you start grouting make sure that your grout lines are free from all debris and dust, including any excess adhesive. Equally important, check that your adhesive is completely dry before you start to grout. If you are unsure check the adhesive packaging for drying times. Once you’re your adhesive is set then you are ready mix cold water and grout powder into a clean mixing bucket as per the instructions on your packaging. Avoid mixing too much as grout hardens quickly. Prior to applying the grout decide what you are going to do with your tile spacers.  Most people tend to lift them out but if you prefer you can push them further into the adhesive bed before it sets so they don’t obstruct any of the grout joints. Next place some of the grout on the tiles and holding your grout float at 45 degrees, apply the grout, ensuring all the joints are filled. Remember not to grout the perimeter joint of the floor or the internal joints of the walls. Instead, seal the perimeter and internal joints with silicone sealant, which handily come in a variety of colours so you can match your chosen grout. Once all the joints have been filled, pop on the kettle for a cup of tea, and put your feet up for at approximately 15 minutes to allow the grout to become touch dry. We would always recommend checking the manufactures guidelines for drying times and drying temperatures. When touch dry it’s then just a case of using a damp sponge (not wet) to clean away an excess grout from your tiles. Make sure to rinse your sponge regularly with clean water and avoid applying too much pressure when cleaning. Allow at least an hour after cleaning for the grout to set sufficiently before polishing the surface with a dry clean cloth. If after cleaning, there is a haze (sometimes known as grout residue) over the tiles we would recommend using a product such as Fila Deterdek Pro to help remove any residue.

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding grouting your tiles, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.
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How to clean tiles
You don’t need to wait till the springtime to clean your tiles. Sometimes, there's nothing more satisfying than giving them a good clean to help breathe life back into your home. If you love your tiles as much as we do, it's important to invest some time in them to ensure they are looking good for years to come. Whether it's your bathroom, hallway, kitchen or lounge, when it comes to tiles, cleaning and caring for them properly can be truly transformative for your home. And, if you’re looking some help on that front, then make sure to take a look at our range of tile cleaning products.

Why does grout get dirty?

The purpose of grout is to create a water-tight seal and prevent any debris and liquid from getting behind tiles. It is, however, generally made from cement and very porous in form, meaning it doesn’t take much to appear grubby. One common cause of discoloured grout is dirty mop water, the used water can saturate the grout after you’ve cleaned your floor tiles. It’s important therefore to create a preventative routine as well as a cleaning routine when it comes to your grout.

How to clean wall tiles?

  First on your to-do-list should be your wall tiles. Why? You don’t want to spend half an hour sweeping then mopping the floor only to have it covered again with the dirt from your walls. When it comes to wall tiles, give some thought to the cleaning product you are planning on using. Some abrasive pads will be fine on plain ceramic & porcelain wall tiles but for anything patterned (or delicate) then only using a soft sponge or microfibre cloth. Never ever using harsh cloths on marble as they can scratch. All that’s left to do then it to clean your tiles. A failsafe way of cleaning wall tiles involves mixing white vinegar with water and applying this to your walls either with a sponge or a spray bottle. If you don’t have vinegar to hand, then lemon juice is just as good at breaking down the dirt without damaging your tiles. And don’t forget to rinse your walls afterwards! Another option is to use a suitable PH neutral cleaner. Depending on the footfall of your home and where the tiles are laid, porcelain tiles may need cleaning every few days. A great regime, however, starts with the right tools, and using the right cleaners make light work of looking after porcelain tiles. We would recommend Fila Cleaner Pro as a suitable cleaner for all tiles surfaces including natural stone and marble, and if don’t worry if you have pets as it is pet safe too.

How to clean grout?

One of the quickest wins when tackling tiles is always cleaning the grout fist. Discoloured grout has the potential to ruin the look of a room so it’s worth devoting as much time as possible to this. We would highly recommend using a grout stain remover or grout cleaner that’s safe for your tiles. A word to the wise though, make sure to test the cleaner in an area not visible first, just in case, before applying throughout your room. Plus, wherever possible avoid using bleach-based products on your grout – as these have the potential weaken or damage the grout. They can also cause darker grout colours to fade. Once dried, you can apply a topical grout protector which is usually a spray that dries in a few minutes. This will help stop the build-up of dirt, oil and grime and helps prolong the life of your grout.

How to clean floor tiles?

We’ve saved the ‘easiest’ till last. Wherever possible try not to use detergents on sealed floor surfaces as strong bleaches will remove the protective seal over time, instead we recommend using a suitable tile cleaner such as Fila Cleaner Pro.  It is a suitable cleaner for all tiles surfaces, and if don’t worry if you have pets as it is pet safe too. A tile floor should be "dry cleaned," or swept or vacuumed, at least twice a week to get rid of the gritty debris that can dull the finish of the tile floor. Wet clean, or mop, the tile floor in the kitchen every two weeks and in the bathroom once a week. If this still isn’t doing the trick, then one of the best ways to clean floor tiles is using a steam cleaner. They’ll work through pretty much everything in seconds and have your floor tiles looking box fresh in a matter of minutes. Please note that steam cleaners are suitable for all tile types so make sure to check before you start. Once complete leave the tiles to dry for while and then give the tiles a final wipe over with a cloth. All that’s left now is to stand back and admire your handy work!

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding cleaning your tiles, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.

Recommended reads

If this has whetted your appetite to learn more about all things tiles, then why not check out these related advice articles: The best products for cleaning tiles  
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