Let's get started...

When selecting a new tile floor, you don't want to forget about grout. It may seem like a trivial decision to make, but grout color & width will make all the difference in the appearance of your new floor. Before you apply grout to your new tile floor, there are five key things to keep in mind.

1. Selecting the Right Color

No matter what the thickness of your grout, it will be visible so you want to choose a shade of grout that will compliment your tile and your décor. You can get grout in all sorts of colors now, so you can try to match the color of your tile so it blends in more or you can choose a contrasting shade the will emphasize the spacing between each tile. Remember that white and lighter shades of grout will show dirt and stains more than darker colors. Grout color can also change over time so you'll want to keep that in mind when selecting a shade for your new floor.

2. Purchase the Correct Tools

Just as with any home improvement project, having the right tools is important if you want to complete the project effectively. You should purchase a good quality grout to ensure that it stands up over time. You will need some kind of tool to apply the grout" a palette knife or spatula or trowel will decrease the mess on the floor and on you. Using these tools will also help you keep the grout level. You don't want the grout to be too much lower or higher than the level of the tiles. You will also need a sponge or cloth and a bucket to remove any excess.

3. Spacing

Spacing the tiles and the grout is a tricky business, but you need to be patient and take your time to ensure that your tiles look evenly spaced out. You might want to take the time to layout your tiles and ensure the correct spacing before even gluing them in place. You will need to work somewhat quickly once the glue is down, so planning ahead like this can save a lot of stress and aggravation later.

Once you have your tiles and know the size, you'll want to figure out how much grout you want to have showing. When it comes to actually laying down your tile, you can purchase spacers at your local home improvement or hardware store. These will help you keep the tiles a specific distance apart and ensure a consistent width of grout all roughly the tiles.

You need to make sure that your tiles are in the correct spot before you put the grout down. The grout only fills the spaces between the tiles, so if you find that the grout lines are uneven it is the result of the tiles being crooked, not the grout itself.

4. Sealer

To protect grout, you need to apply a sealer. This sealer will protect the grout from damage and stains. You can purchase these sealers at your local home store or at a specialty tile store. It may take some time to apply this sealant, because you have to go over each grout line without getting any on the tile, but it will really help protect your grout from all sorts of harm. Your grout will probably show age quicker than the tiles themselves, so you want to do everything you can to protect your grout right from the start.

5. Maintenance

You need to clean and maintain your grout, just as you do the tile itself. In fact, you probably need to pay more attention to the grout since over time it will build up dirt faster than the tile surface. If your grout is not perfectly level with your tile, your mop may miss some of the dirt and stains and cracks or holes in the grout can also hide bits of dirt and bacteria. Every once and awhile, you should carefully clear all of the grout lines to ensure you remove any hidden dirt and stains that might be missed during your usual cleanings. Over time you may even want to apply more sealer since it can be worn down by high traffic and scrubbing.