Learn how to properly apply grout to your new tile floor
Grouting is the process of filling the spaces in between tiles. The grout comes in powder form in premixed colors and is available in premixed containers as well. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix it.
For a strong and colorfast grout, get the right consistency by using as little water as possible. Mix thoroughly to minimize color variation. Only make as much as you can use before it begins to set. Keep any leftover dry grout for future repairs, but make sure to store it in moisture-free areas.
This guide details how to apply the grout, use the float and sponge, and apply sealant and caulk.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT
Pour a quart to half gallon of grout on the tiles. Holding a hard-edged rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle, spread the material in sweeping arcs, pressing it into the joints to fill them completely. Work in a small area at a time, roughly a 3 x 3-foot section. Whether pre-mixed or powdered, install the grout in the same fashion.
Sweep the float diagonally across the tiles to remove any excess grout.
Wait a few minutes while the grout begins to harden. Wipe the tiles in a circular motion with a damp sponge, taking care not to drag out any of the grout from the corners of the tiles.
Once the grout has hardened, the tiles will be left with a slight haze on them. Clean it up by going over the area lightly with a damp cloth, then buff immediately with a dry cloth.
Let the grout dry for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer before applying sealer. Spread the sealer with a small paintbrush or a sealer applicator. Clean off any smears within the first five minutes. Then let the grout dry for at least 24 hours.
Caulk acts as both a sealer and as an expansion joint: It will flex if the floor expands or contracts as the weather changes. In wet areas, in front of a bathtub or shower, or wherever the expansion gap will not be covered with shoe moulding, fill the gap with caulk and smooth with a wet finger.