How to Stain Grout Darker

Grout is generally a mixture of water, sand, and cement, and you can use it to seal the joints between tiles once they have been installed. The color of your grout becoming lighter is a common problem for most homeowners. It is an essential part that must be added to tiles to protect them from moisture and cracks by keeping them from rubbing against each other.

If you are looking for ways to stain your grout darker, it means that it has changed to a bright color over time. Grout turning white is usually a cause of excessive efflorescence, which happens when there is too much water in the grout. Extra moisture in the grout will dilute the pigment, making it look lighter.

Excess water in the grout will eventually make the different grout lines along the tiles dark and light-colored, thereby ruining the look of the whole tile installation. You can choose to stain your grout to become darker by using oil; this is a straightforward method that will be explained in this article.

Can I Stain Grout to Make it Darker?

One of the best ways to turn your light grout into a darker color is by applying grout stain. A grout stain is an epoxy-based product that penetrates the grout and seals its surface with a permanent dye. It also serves as an inexpensive way to achieve your desired result without changing the tiles altogether.

Once you realize that your tiles are looking lighter than you want them to be, the first thing you should do is inspect the grout. To examine the grout, you have to wait for the grout to dry thoroughly; it should take about 48 hours, but you should wait for at least a week. Using a grout stain means you no longer have to seal the grout with an impregnating sealer.

This is because the color of wet grout usually changes once it is dried – it needs to be wholly cured so that the color you see is the actual color. Sometimes, a grout haze on the surface changes the color to a lighter shade.

Once you have confirmed that the color is light, you can purchase a colorant (grout stain or color sealing grout). This is one of the best ways to turn the color into a darker shade. If you opt for this option, you will never have to seal your grout again, and maintaining your tiles (cleaning and brushing) will be easier.

A high-quality grout stain will not fade and should last for about fifteen years. For example, a Spectrum Grout Stain is expected to last between 10-15 years.

How Do You Darken Grout Color?

You can use an impregnating clear sealer (enhancing sealer), but it is not exactly the best choice. This is because they are not designed to darken the color of grout and might not do the job well. They tend to darken some areas more than others, thereby making the color of your grout and your tile installation look uneven.

Another problem with using a clear impregnating sealer is that they do an excellent job of darkening the grout, but once the sealer dries, the color will go back to its lighter shade. This makes it seem like you did not darken it, which eventually ends up being a waste of time and money.

The best way you can darken your grout is by using a grout stain, also called a colorant, and the definition has been explained above. It is the easiest method known to give excellent results that will last for a long time. They are costlier than the impregnating sealer, but this is understandable as they are of higher quality.

Grout stain will not just darken the color but will also provide a layer of protection between any materials that may stain the grout. Applying grout stain to your tiles is relatively straightforward; all you need to do is follow a couple of steps. It costs about $0.04 to $0.30 per square foot to do it yourself and $0.75 to $1.25 for a professional job.

Step One

The first and obvious step is to purchase the grout stain. You can choose to buy Spectrum Grout Stain, a product that stains the grout to a darker shade. You can use it on ceramic and stone tile installations (sanded and non-sanded grout). It will also protect the grout’s surface from staining due to pet urine, soil, etc. Lastly, it is a highly durable product that will darken the color and seal it simultaneously.

Step Two

The next step is to prepare your grout colorant; it is advisable to put a small amount in a bowl or paint tray to access and avoid wastage easily.

Step Three

The last step is to use a small paintbrush or toothbrush to apply an even coat of colorant to the grout. Avoid letting the stain pool in one area and clean the stain immediately if it goes onto the tiles. Allow it to dry for one hour once you are done.

Can I Darken Grout With Oil?

The short answer to the question above is yes. It is okay to darken your grout using oil; it costs less and is easy to do by yourself. The only problem is you should not add too much oil as it would be difficult to remove from the tile later.

Step One

The first step is to purchase the oil; you cannot use just any oil as the color will eventually fade to a lighter shade over time, and this is why it is advisable to use Linseed oil.

Step Two

Get a small brush for applying the oil to the grout; it could be a paintbrush or toothbrush.

Step Three

Dip your brush into your oil (the amount of grout determines the amount of oil you use) and evenly apply it to the grout. Brush every part of the grout firmly so that you do not have to deal with an uneven appearance. Once you are done, leave it to dry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to darken grout after it has dried?

Once you notice that your grout has dried lighter than you want, you can use an enhancer (enhancing sealer) to darken the grout, but you should immediately use a lint-free cloth to dry the surface. You can also use a grout stain and sealer to darken the grout after drying.

How to make dark grout dark again?

If your dark grout has become lighter over time, the best thing to do is dye the grout back to a darker shade. You can also replace it with a new one if it is old.

Does grout darken over time?

Grout can darken over time, most especially cement-based grout. It can discolor and stain over time, especially in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen.

Does grout sealer make grout darker?

Grout sealer will only change your color a bit after it has been applied, but do not expect it to darken completely.


After reading this article, you should be aware of how to stain your grout to become darker. All you need to do is follow the directions, and you are sure to get the desired result.

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