Grout Refresh by Mapei in our Entry and Half Bath

In the continuing maintenance of a 14 year old home with kids, a dog and lots of visitors, I am back in the entry hall and half bath. This time it is the grout that is getting some much needed attention.

No matter how often I clean the ceramic tile in our hall and powder room the grout looks dirty. And not evenly dirty. The grout that was protected by an entry rug is almost new looking and the high traffic area grout is quite dark and stained. The lighting in this hall is not the best so the photo below doesn't really show how dingy it is, but it does show the less stained grout to the left (that was under the rug) and the more stained grout to the right and towards the staircase.

While I would love new hardwood throughout our main floor (upstairs too in fact) this is not possible (we need a new roof, garage door.....) So my somewhat-terra-cotta-and-not-horribly-pink-like-the-photos-suggest fourteen year old ceramic got a good scrubbing and a grout painting. Grout Refresh by Mapei is the product I used and the colour is Biscuit. Lowes was out of the greyish colour and that might have been closer to our original grout but I can live with Biscuit. About $15 with tax Canadian so I'm sure my American friends can find it much cheaper. Used about a third of the bottle on all this area.
I have not been compensated or asked in any way to give a product review, this is just my experience with a product I had heard about a while ago and then stumbled upon one day in the hardware store (some girls window shop in clothing stores but I prefer hardware stores.) I followed the simple directions on the side of the bottle. I used a toothbrush as suggested to apply the product making sure I completely covered it. I didn't worry about getting it on the edges of the tile. Just make sure you don't work in a bigger area than you can reach and don't work yourself into a corner. You could use a 'dip the toothbrush in a container' method, but I just squeezed some out of the flip spout right onto the grout and then swiped a few times with the brush. Not too technical, eh?

Then the instructions say to let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes. I didn't have to wait too long because it took almost an hour to get the whole area covered. I was just careful not to step on any wet spots. After that it says to lightly mist the tile with water and SCRUB away the extra Grout Refresh on the edges of the tile. I used a towel rag and there was no heavy scrubbing involved. It came off quite easily. A bit annoying swiping up the excess that sort of rolls into painty balls (does that even make sense?!) 

This step took less than an hour too. Now we need to keep off it for two hours and not let it get wet for 24 hours. The website says to avoid scrubbing or excessive cleaning of the grout for 20 days. 

I was rocking my painting clothes and blue disposable vinyl gloves to keep my hands clean and protected. Other than the product the only other tools were a rag, a bucket of water, and the toothbrush. I kept the bathroom fan on as a precaution, but I didn't notice any weird or overwhelming smells at all.

Do I like the results? Yes and no. I like that is fresh and consistent in colour. I like that it doesn't look stained or gross. However I don't like that the product did not adhere in some areas, and this may because of the following instruction I found on the website:

"Substrate should be clean and free of dust, dirt, oil, grease, paint, curing
agents, concrete sealers, loosely bonded toppings, loose particles, and any 
other substance or condition that may prevent or reduce adhesion" source here

If my grout was clean and free of all of the above, I wouldn't need this product now would I? This is a bathroom and a main entry of an active family (we don't have a side door or mudroom or garage entrance.) I do have a husband who works in a maintenance job, boys who spend a lot of time outdoors and in barns, a dog, and lots and lots of visitors. 

So that might account for why the Grout Refresh didn't adhere in some spots. I definitely applied enough product but it just didn't stick in some high traffic areas. Not a lot, but enough that I will be touching up these spots in a day or two. 

At that time I will add an update on this post. I will also post an update in a month or so to see how durable it is. My opinion today is that while the grout is not perfect, it is much cleaner and improved. It also looks quite natural, not like I painted it. I have this same tile in our kitchen and eat-in area but since that is a much larger area I will wait to see how well this works. I will also put a lot more attention into cleaning the kitchen grout before I attempt this. So, not too bad for about $15 and 3 hours work? Oh, and from experience, if you are working near an entry door be sure to lock it. Getting hit in the head with the door knob is not fun, just saying.

Edited August 2013 -very happy to say that the grout looks great! This is our main entrance area with work boots and lots of vacuuming and washing and it held up well.

I'm sharing this with....


  1. I've seen some others using this too. I will have to try some in our bathroom.

  2. WOW love the way it turned out I'm in need of some on my back splash it the kitchen, Thanks for sharing. hope all is well your way.I know I don't get around to often but I still stop by.


  3. What a wonderful product! Cleaning grout can be the most horrid chore! I hope you will share your sparkling clean floor with us at TUTORIAL TIPS AND TIDBITS tonight!

  4. Ouch! Yes, lock that door! oops
    Not a bad job at all, if you can touch up the couple spots that you don't like it will be perfect! I think it turned out great.
    And I'm with you, much prefer hardware (and thrift) stores to clothing.
    Debbie :)

  5. OOOoo fancy! This is the way to go. Keep the ceramic as long as it's not cracked, just freshen up the grout. I wish I could do this in our one bathroom...but that tile needs to GO.

  6. Besides the door knob into the head, I'd say this was money and time well spent!

  7. I never even new there was a product like that in existence. I recently cleaned mine by letting it soak for a bit in the soapy water I clean the floor with, and then scrubbing it a bit with a scrubbing brush. (Nothing major, I promise. My back couldn't take being on all fours for long) The result was clean grout. Your product will win points if it keeps the grout clean for longer.

  8. I could use some of that myself. I have ceramic tile in my master bath. The tile is 16 yrs old and the grout doesn't look like it did when we first moved in. Duh! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  9. My grout in the high traffic Mudroom/Butler pantry/laundry room, and in the half bath [where the clay water leaked when the builder left the water on during construction] is... totally icky!
    I spent some time this summer trying everything to clean the grout- bleach pen, Greased Lightening, you name it, I tried it.
    Someone finally mentioned trying SoftScrub. After I finally found a bottle of it [3 stores after I started looking], I spent the day scrubbing the half bath grout with it... and after squirting it on, letting it sit and then scrubbing with a toothbrush then mopping it up with a rag it does look alot better.
    I also tried a product to paint the grout, but it really looked like I had... well painted the grout.
    Next step is to seal it, and keep it clean!

    Ang SoLongFarm.blogspot.com

  10. That looks like such a 'makeover', i can't believe the difference.
    Come link it up with us: http://www.finecraftguild.com/party/

  11. It appears that the product works fairly well, and ow! Hit in the head by the doorknob, no that would not feel good. Thankfully, I don't have any ceramic tile in this old house.
    Hugs, cindy


  12. Hi Elizabeth, I am so excited you are posting this!! I have seen it advertised but was a little nervous to try, thanks for being brave and the info! I am linking your blog from mine so I can follow better. I am doing an amzing give away today for the e-course,Creatively Made Home, I would love for you to pop over. Have a great day, Jen

  13. That looks greatI've just discovered your lovely blog, and am now following!
    So nice to meet you!

  14. Oh, I need to try this! My kitchen floors need help. So glad I found your blog. Your newest follower. :)

  15. I see this task in my future . . . (insert frown here)! Your's does look great! Can I hire you to do my kitchen! LOL!!!

  16. I will have to see if I can find this. Looks like it did a great job.

  17. Wow I didn't know this product existed. I sure could have used this in our last home.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. This is a wonderful post. i have seen this advertised and I wondered how it would look. I have some awful tile that was installed by the last owners and they did a terrible job on the grout. I will be following to see how it holds up.

  19. Looks good! I'm a bit late, but I found this while I was googling Grout Refresh. As it turns out, they sell a cleaning product that's supposed to remove the things they talked about prior to using the actual product. After reading your "review," I think I'll go ahead and go with the cleaning product to make sure I get even coverage! Thanks so much for mentioning how it went for you!

  20. It’s good to hear that your grout looks better now. It's good that you found a product that works for those tough stains. Otherwise, you'd have to regrout the whole thing to return it to it's pristine self, which could be quite a hassle. Anyway, your entryway looks great, compared to how it looked before. It's like you retiled the whole thing! Cheers!

    Nathan Riley @ Steemer Atlanta

  21. I just tried it out in my bathroom. It looks great. I'm just wondering how long it will endure. :-)


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