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Ceramic Tile Countertops - Beautiful And Fussy

Aug 17, 2007
Ceramic tile countertops can remain great looking, if you know a few simple tricks. When brand new, ceramic tile has got to be one of the most beautiful countertop choices you can make. The vast array of choices these days in style and patterns, make it easy to find an appropriate tile for any taste, in any situation. While the tile is great looking, it is also very durable, and almost indestructable. What is not quite so resiliant though, is the grout that fills the gaps between the tiles. It will, over time absorb moisture, and stain.

An Ounce of Prevention

One of the best ways of keeping the grout looking good and dry is to use a grout sealant. Any reputable installer, will be sure to apply a sealant to all the grout they use. If your doing the install job yourself, be sure to use a sealant. This can prevent a lot of problems and save time later. Most home centers will carry several types, but silicon based sealant is the best. If your really the fussy type, apply two coats of sealant. Three coats however would probably just be silly.

Out Damn Stain!

Fear not, if you have have grout that is stained, there are some simple solutions. Make a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, and grab a toobrush. Preferably not one you have used in the past, or plan on using in the future. While tedious, especially if you have a lot of grout to clean, this should work well for cleaning most basic stains. If the stains are still there, try using hydrogen peroxide instead of the vinegar and repeat the process. If cleaning dosen't seem to work, you can buy grout stain from your local home center.

The Last Resort

If nothing above seems to work, you can always just replace the existing grout with new stuff. Removing the old grout can be accomplished with either a high tech dremel tool, or a low tech can opener. Either way, just be careful not to damage the existing tile. Then, replace with new grout, as per the manufacturers instructions.

Broken But Still Good

The only other big problem with ceramic tile counter tops, is if the tiles themselves become cracked or broken. Hopefully you or your installer were smart enough to keep a few extra replacement tiles lying around. Then it's just a simple case of replacing the tile. If not, then perhaps the home center still carries your specific tile, or maybe they have some with the odds and ends of prior jobs.
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