Grouting Tile Floors

1-2 hours

Learn how to properly apply grout to your new tile floor

Grouting Tile Floors

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

1
Apply grout
Apply grout - Grouting Tile Floors

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.

2
Hold grout float at 90-degree angle
Hold grout float 90degree - Grouting Tile Floors

Sweep the float diagonally across the tiles to remove any excess grout.

3
Wipe tile with a damp sponge
Wipe tile damp sponge - Grouting Tile Floors

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.

4
Use a damp cloth to remove the haze
Damp cloth remove haze - Grouting Tile Floors

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.

5
Let grout dry and then apply sealer
Let grout dry sealer - Grouting Tile Floors

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 5 minutes. Then let the grout dry for at least 24 hours.

6
Caulk along baseboards and walls
Caulk along baseboards - Grouting Tile Floors

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 molding, fill the gap with caulk and smooth with a wet finger.