Grout, the mixture of cement and additives such as silica and sand that fills the gaps between tiles and holds them in place, has a lifespan of about 25 years. But proper care and consideration can help extend that life and keep grout looking its best.

Grout often looks dirty because of two factors — its porosity, which allows liquids to penetrate; and its surface texture, which keeps dirt on top. In general the porosity presents more of a challenge than the texture, particularly since things like coffee, wine, cola, urine and mold can easily stain grout.

There are products on the market that have been developed that extract contamination from the grout, seal the grout against further contamination and protect the tile long term.

Such treatments are a good alternative to other finishes because they can stop, or at least ease, the cycle of sealing and stripping a finished or sealed floor.

It is recommended to look into multifunctional sealants that will seal both the tile and the grout at the same time. Ideally, when tile is installed it is treated with an impregnator to give it more protection. Impregnated grout will repel liquids more easily, or at least keep the liquids from getting down into the grout.