Ty Pennington's Best Method For Making Tile Look Like Hardwood Flooring

Flooring mishaps can occur all the time. Sometimes you have to start from scratch to make it look better, but that costs time and money. Luckily design expert Ty Pennington knows a trick or two about upgrading floors on a budget. During HGTV's show "Ty Breaker," Pennington helps Starr and Antoine spruce up their home in Atlanta, turning their first floor into a spunky speak-easy. However, once Pennington looks around the space, he notices a few things that make the room look dated and out of place. One thing that stood out to him was the awkward tile flooring that looked like wood, but stood out as tile because of the grout's color. Instead of tearing out the tile and installing wood flooring, Pennington used his secret weapon, grout colorizer.

Whether you have old or new tile that doesn't fit with your home's interior, changing the grout's color can make all the difference, especially if you're trying to go for a faux wood flooring look. Even if your goal isn't to have flooring that resembles a wood finish, you can still use a grout colorizer to make any tile blend seamlessly. You just need to know which grout color to get the best results. You can use Pennington's trick for any type of flooring.

Types of grout colorizer to use

There are various types of grout colorizer, and choosing the best one will depend on the floor size you're working with. You can use grout refresh, which is similar to paint, but a bit thicker and gooey. Or, try a grout pen that you can use like a coloring marker. Grout refresh is perfect for all flooring sizes, from the kitchen to the bathroom to the hallway. In contrast, grout pens are excellent for smaller spaces like bathrooms and entryways.

In addition, the grout colorizer you use should be safe to use with the tile material in your home. MAPEI's grout refresh is a great ceramic and porcelain tile grout colorizer. It's available in 40 shades and covers up to 300 square feet for $17.98 a bottle. An excellent grout pen to use is available fromĀ Rainbow Chalk Markers Limited, and it's available in 11 different shades for $8.99 a pen. The grout pen covers to 150-square feet, so if you want to change the grout's color in a larger room or multiple rooms, use various pens or the grout refresh.

Picking the right shade for your grout colorizer can be tricky. If you want your tile to look like hardwood, getting a shade similar to the tile color is best. However, getting an exact match can be difficult, so using a slightly lighter shade can create a cohesive look.

How to use a grout colorizer

When you have tile flooring that's meant to resemble hardwood, the grout can make or break the overall look. White grout against a dark wood finish stands out and detracts from the hardwood style. So, HGTV's Ty Pennington suggests using a grout colorizer to make it the same color as the tile's color. We mentioned two types of grout colorizer you can use, pen and refresh; here's how to use both.

Using either grout colorizer applicator is effortless. Before applying either product, clean your grout as best as possible to remove built-up dirt, grime, and dust. Use a damp washcloth to wipe down your grout. Each applicator will be different, so always follow the instructions if you use the grout refresher. However, it's easy to use; simply squeeze the product between each tile and spread it with a small paintbrush to get an even spread. Let it sit for five minutes, then wipe it with a clean towel to remove excess product. Finally, let it sit for two hours and wipe it down again, removing any product from the tile.

The grout pen is also easy to use. Color the grout lines with the pen and use a dry washcloth to rub in the product. Depending on the flooring size you're working with, you might need multiple pens. After you wipe down the product, ensure you colored in every spot and fill in any lighter areas.