Being able to grout tiles correctly can transform the look of any room. Although this type of job may seem simple in premise, mistakes can certainly make all that hard work look less than appealing when the task is done. This step-by-step guide on how to grout tile will not only create a fresh and clean look, but it will make it simple for you to achieve your goals.
Follow along with these 8 steps on how to grout tile successfully.
Step 1. Gather the Tools for Grout Work
Just like any job, having the right tools can go a long way in eliminating mistakes and finishing on schedule. Learning how to grout tile is simple if you take your time and prepare accordingly. Before you start any grout work, it is recommended to gather all the necessary tools. For this step-by-step guide, we will need:
- Large sponge.
- Grout float.
- Bag of soft clothes.
- Caulk gun.
- Small paintbrush.
- Caulk composition.
Make sure you have everything ready before starting the project. Things will go seamlessly from one step to the next, and everything will dry and fix correctly.
Step 2. Prepare the Grout
There are some projects where the grout needs to match the tile, or it will be a different color altogether. Regardless, adding the color and mixing the grout is the first step. In this case, more material is definitively better than being prudent. Otherwise, you might mix what you think you will need only to find out that you needed more in the first place. At this early stage in your task, it is the time to make more grout than enough.
The good thing about making extra grout now is that you can store it. You will need the additional supplies to make small repairs in the future. You will make sure this way that everything is a perfect match all the time.
Step 3. Apply the Grout
Start by pouring between a quarter to a half-gallon of the grout mix on to a section of the tiles. Using the rubber grout float, position the hard-edge at a 45-degree angle to the tiles, then begin spreading the mix in small sweeping arc shapes. Make certain you press firmly on the float, so it pushes the mix deep into the joints between each of the tiles.
The trick to how to grout tile at this point is working smaller areas at a time. Don’t grout areas bigger than 3 x 3 to start. A slow and steady progress will result in a uniform and clean finish. This application process works the same for powdered or pre-mixed tile grout.
Step 4. Remove Excess Grout
When you are learning how to grout tile, applying the mix to the tiles may seem sloppy at first. The goal here is to make sure all the grout is making it into the bottom of each seam. Use the hard-edge of the float and go back to all the areas you completed to push any grout into any air pockets and to remove the excess grout. Scoop up the excess back into the container. The entire area should have enough if you want to proceed forward.
Step 5. Wipe down the Tiles
Before we begin wiping down the tiles, we need to wait just a few minutes so the grout can begin to set and harden. During this time, clean your grout float and seal the container with the excess grout. After a few minutes, moisten the large sponge, wring out any excess water, and place the damp sponge on the tiles.
Begin to wipe them clean of the grout mix. The easiest way to do this is work in circular motions from one corner to the next. Work gently to clean the tile surface only. Make sure you don’t remove any of the grout from between the tiles. This is not going to be the final cleaning process. Therefore, don’t overdo it trying to make the tiles sparkling clean.
Step 6. Remove Grout Haze
Now that the sponge has removed the majority of the grout on the tiles, time to make those tiles shine. By now, the grout has hardened significantly, but the tiles have a haze on them. Take your bag of clothes and start by moistening one. Afterwards, go over each tile lightly to remove the haze. Keep that bag of clothes close by.
Once you clean an area of tiles with the damp cloth, follow-up with a dry cloth to buff the tile dry and bring out that shine. Similarly to applying the grout, work a small section with the damp rag. Afterwards, dry cloth, then move to the next section.
Step 7. Apply Grout Sealer
Look to see how long the manufacturer says the grout mix needs to dry before a sealer can be applied. Once the time has passed, and the grout is dry, proceed to seal in all that hard work and preserve the grout.
Using the small paintbrush, apply the grout sealer to all the seams between each of the tiles. Within the first five minutes, go back with a clean cloth and wipe away any smears. Allow the area to dry for a full 24 hours.
Step 8. Caulking Baseboards & Walls
Depending on where the grout work was done, it is time to give the area that clean look by caulking the walls or baseboards. The caulk acts like sealer and expansion joint, flexing when the floor expands or contracts when weather changes. In wet areas like bathtub or shower, load your caulk gun with caulk cartridge, fill that gap with caulk, then smooth it with a wet finger.
These 8 simple steps on how to grout tile will work on the kitchen floor, in the foyer or the shower. The key to a successful job is preparation and patience. Each job should come out better than the last one as you gain experience.
If you have developed a few tricks or you encountered a few pitfalls along the way, share your experiences here. Others will be able to learn from your hard work.