Published : 2015-04-01 17:58:41
After tile is installed, the next step is grouting the gaps between tiles. This task is less time-consuming and labor intensive than installing tile, but it's even more important than making sure all your tiles are straight and look nice. Doing a proper grout job will ensure that the floor under the tile stays safe from moisture. You will still be working on your knees for an extended period of time, so it's not a job to take lightly. To get started on the right foot, start below with Step One.
If you're re-grouting an old tile surface, remove the old grout. You can remove the old grouting compound with a grout saw or a grout removal bit in a rotary tool. Make sure this is fully removed before proceeding.
Pick a color of grout. The color of the grout will affect whether the eye notices the beauty of the individual tiles, or to the overall pattern of the tiles. Light grout tends to accentuate the individual tiles by blending in, becoming "invisible," while dark grout tends to accentuate the pattern of the tiles, their overall structure on the floor.
Choose between sanded or unsanded grout. Sanded grout is stronger than unsanded grout. Sanded grout is needed when the grout lines are greater than 1/8-inch (3-mm) wide to add strength. Unsanded grout is liable to crack on wider joints.
Wait for the thinset mortar to cure. Thinset is used to adhere the tiles to the floor during installation. The exact drying time varies by brand, so read and follow the thinset packaging carefully. You usually have to wait at least a day to grout a tile floor.
Mix the grout according to the package directions. You only want to mix as much as you can apply in about a half hour, as it will begin to dry out.
Scoop some grout onto the tile floor with a trowel. Begin in the corner farthest from the doorway and work backwards.
Spread the grout over a small joint. Hold a grout float at a 45-degree angle to the floor to press the grout into the joint. Move the grout float at a diagonal angle to the grout lines for a smooth finish. If you wipe parallel to the lines, the edge of the grout float can end up gouging out the grout.
Remove excess grout. Your floor is full of muddy grout, which isn't a lovely sight. After applying, wait about 15 to 30 minutes for the grout in the joints to set. Then start cleaning:
Verify the grout color is what you want. Use a hairdryer to quickly dry this small area of grout, so you see how the color looks against the installed tile. Now is the time to make a last-minute change, as grout is nearly impossible to remove once it's dried.
Continue with grouting if you are satisfied with the color. Keep working in small areas at a time, so you can remove the excess grout before it has a chance to dry. If you have a helper, one can grout and the other can remove the excess.
Clean up the grout haze once everything is dry. No matter how effectively you cleaned the excess grout from the tiles, you're likely to have a "grout haze" covering your tiles after your job is done. To clean up the grout haze:
Wait for the grout to cure before sealing it. Read the manufacturer's directions to determine how many days to wait. To seal grout: