How to Grout Tile
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Grouting is the process of filling the spaces in between tiles. Most options come in powder form, but premixed containers are available as well. Whichever option you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to mix grout. Keep any leftover dry mix for future repairs, but make sure to store it in moisture-free areas.
This guide details how to apply tile grouting, how use the float and sponge and how to apply sealant and caulk.
Standard grout comes in a variety of colors. You’ll want to pick one that complements the color of your tiles. For a strong and colorfast grout, get the right consistency by using as little water as possible. Mixing thoroughly helps minimize color variation. Only make as much as you can use before it begins to set.
Tip: Darker grout is a better choice for high-traffic areas.
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.
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.