How to Grout Tiles: Tips And Techniques
Grouting is the process of filling the spaces between the tiles and is the final step of tile installation. Grouting is not just a cosmetic change to make all your tiles look straight and nice but an essential process to make sure that the floor under the tile stays safe from moisture. This is a lesser time-consuming job but not the one to be taken lightly.
Most options for grouting come in powder form but containers that are readily mixed are available as well. The grout should be stored in a moisture free area. Tile grout is not a difficult job but it’s easier to mess up.
Here are some tips and techniques for tile grouting:
- The first step is to choose the colour of the grout. There are a plethora of grout colours and you will want to choose the one which complements your tile colour. For a strong and colourfast colour, the key is to get the right consistency by adding as little water as possible. Pick a dark-coloured grout as it is difficult to keep light-coloured grout clean.
- Make sure you mix just enough grout as needed and use it before it sets. It’s a good thing to not start with wider areas as by the time you complete grouting, it’s difficult to remove or reset grout after it is set. Make sure the grout is completely mixed until powder-free to get the consistency of creamy peanut butter.
- Tape off the painted walls to protect them from the grout. It will make it easier for cleaning up. Have a grouting caulk handy for applying on the inside corners and crevices.
- While applying grout, hold a hard-edged rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle and spread the material in sweeping arcs. This will help in maintaining the orientation of the tiles.
- To remove the excess grout, hold the float at 90 degrees and start wiping in a serpentine motion. This helps evenly distribute the grout and prevents the grout float edge from digging into grout lines.
- Ensure that the grout sets a little bit before you start sponging. By giving some time, the grout in between the tiles hardens up and makes it easier for you to sponge the excess grout.
- For sponging, make sure you use a hydrophilic sponge and it should be damp but not wet. After few passes, the grout that got smeared onto the tiles giving a hazy look. Buff immediately with a dry cloth to clean.
- It’s always a good idea to keep some grout for repairs as tile disorientation may prompt for another round of grouting. Using a grout joint tool or your finger, tool the grouting lines to level the uneven areas.
- As you finish cleaning, give the grout some time to harden and apply a sealer.
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