Even with its many applications, one of the most common uses of grouting is sealing joints between tiles. Today, we’re teaching you how to grout tiles.
Grout is basically concrete in fluid form. It is usually a mixture of sand, cement, and water and it’s used to fill voids, connect sections of precast concrete, embedding rebar in masonry walls, and use in pressure grouting.
When applying the grout to seal tiles, you should first remove the old grout from the grout lines on the tiles. So how do you remove grout from tiles?
You can use a grout saw or any abrasive tool.
Steps on How to Grout Tiles: Floor
1. Choose a grout color
Grout comes in various color options. It’s important to pick a color that goes will with the color of your tiles.
If you want a strong color for your grout, use as little water as possible to get the correct consistency. Be sure to mix it thoroughly, as this helps to minimize color variation.
Pro Tip: Only mix as much as you’ll be able to use before it begins to set.
2. Apply the grout
First, pour about a quart to a half-gallon of grout on the tiles. Spread the material in sweeping arcs using a hard-edged rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle.
Make sure to work in small sections, about a three by three foot area.
Install the grout in this method whether it’s powdered or pre-mixed.
3. Hold grout float at 90-degree angle
Next, sweep the grout float diagonally across the tiles. This will remove any excess grout.
4. Wipe tile with a damp sponge
Before doing this step, wait a few minutes until the grout starts to harden.
Then, wipe the tiles in a circular motion with a damp sponge. Be sure not to drag out any of the grout.
5. Use a damp cloth to remove haze
After the grout hardens, the tiles will have a slight haze on them.
You can clean this up by going over the tiles lightly with a damp cloth, and then buff it out directly after with a dry cloth.
6. Let grout dry and apply sealer
Finally, let the grout dry for the amount of time that is recommended by the manufacturer. Now it’s time to apply the sealer.
You can spread the sealer using a small paintbrush or sealer applicator. Be sure to clear off any smears within the first five minutes.
Let the grout dry for at least 24 hours.
7. Caulk along walls and baseboards
Caulk will act as both a sealer and an expansion joint.
How to Grout Wall Tiles
Application of the grout on wall tiles is a quick and easy DIY project. You’ll need:
- Grout powder
- Some water
- Bucket for mixing
- A trowel
- Grout sponge
With all these items in place, you can begin the process of grouting tiles:
1. Mix the grout powder and water in the bucket, using the ratio recommended by the manufacturer on the package. For best results, use about three-quarters of the required amount of water before mixing, and add the remaining after.
2. Ensure the mixture has a smooth peanut butter-like texture.
3. Scoop some of the grout mixture using the trowel and gently spread it over the tile joint.
4. Let the grout to set for about 20 minutes and then remove the excess grout from the tiles.
5. Fill another bucket with water and dip in the grout sponge. Use the wet sponge to wipe off any grout residue on the tiles. Wait for about two hours and repeat the process until the tiles are clean.
Pro-tip: Use a normal hairdryer to speed up the drying process on a small part of the grout. This will give you an idea of how the grout will look like once it’s completely dry.
Grout Maintenance: How to Clean Tile Grouts
Here are some household cleaning items that you’ll need for your DIY grout cleaning:
- Spray bottle
- Vinegar or baking soda
- Scrub brush (an ordinary toothbrush should suffice)
- Container for mixing
To clean your grout, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1. First, hose-clean the tiles to remove all dirt and debris.
2. Next, mix the vinegar with water in the container at a ratio of 1:1.
3. Put the water-vinegar mixture inside your spray bottle, and spray it on the grout between the tiles.
4. Wait for the bubbling to stop, and then use a brush to scrub the grout clean. You can then rinse it with clean water.
However, vinegar isn’t friendly to some types of tiles like those made from limestone. For these tiles, you can substitute the vinegar with baking soda. Here’s the grout cleaning procedure using baking soda:
1. Mix the baking soda and water in a large container at a ratio of 3:1 and stir until the paste is thick.
2. Apply the paste on the grout and leave it for a few minutes.
3. Scrub the paste off using your brush and then wash away any residue using a mop.
While vinegar and baking soda are the most commonly used cleaning agents, oxygen bleach and other alkaline cleaners can also be used to remove stubborn stains. Ensure all these chemicals are completely wiped off from the tiles as they can be harmful to your family, especially your kids.
Steam cleaners can also be used for grout cleaning. They are preferred over other cleaning methods because they don’t require any chemicals and will never leave a pungent odor in your home.
You should, however, remember to wipe off all moisture on the tiles after using a steam cleaner to prevent slip accidents.
Which is the Best Grout Powder for Your Tiles?
Grout powder plays an integral role in the grouting process – it determines the longevity of your tiles. You should, therefore, be keen when choosing your grout powder.
Home depot grout is always an excellent choice. The two factors that will guide you when buying the grout powder for your DIY project include:
- Sanded vs. unsanded grout: Unsanded grout gives a smoother finish than sanded grout. However, sanded grout is way stronger and less prone to cracking.
- The color of the powder: While the choice of the powder’s color is primarily dependent on your taste. You should choose a color that matches your tiles to achieve a smooth finish. Alternatively, you could choose a color that contrasts the color of the tiles to give the wall /floor an appealing texture.
There you have it fellow DIYers. Grouting your tiles is not rocket science.