How to Stain Grout a Darker Color

Dark-colored grout holds up better in high traffic areas—stains, dirt and debris are less noticeable in dark grout. Lighter grout colors can be stained darker with the application of a darker stain. However, once the darker grout color is in place, the darker color cannot be re-stained to a lighter color.

View darker grout colors against existing tile before making a final color choice.

Be sure a darker grout color is needed before beginning this project. View darker grout samples next to existing tile before making a final color choice.

  1. Choose a stain product for grout and select a color. Products that combine a sealer and a stain in one application will shorten the time needed to complete this project.

  2. Remove dirt and debris from the grout before beginning the staining process. Use a scrubbing brush and an oxygen cleanser to get rid of any dirt buildup—dirt and debris can keep the stain from penetrating the grout.

  3. Allow the grout to dry completely--usually 48 hours--before applying the stain. Check the directions for exact drying times. Allow more time in humid climates.

  4. Stain the grout according to the stain manufacturer's recommendations. A narrow-width artist's brush will place the stain on the grout line without any mess.

  5. Wipe away stain that spills on the floor tiles with a clean rag. Stain cannot be removed from tiles if allowed to dry. Unglazed tiles are particularly susceptible to stain and should be wiped away immediately.

  6. Allow the stain to dry and apply the sealer if you're not using a combination product. Follow all label directions for successful results. Test sealers once they have dried by dropping water on the grout. Water that is absorbed indicates the need for more sealer. Water that bubbles up and sits on the surface of the grout indicates that adequate sealer is in place.

  7. Tip

    Protect floors by placing the stain product inside a flat cake pan while working. Choose a pan that allows the can of stain to spill inside the pan and not fall outside it if it's knocked over. Keep a bag of cotton rags within reach at all times.