How to grout tile is a question often asked by homeowners attempting a do it yourself project of laying floor or wall tile. Grouting is actually pretty easy but there is a bit of a technique to it that will give you a satisfactory result when finished. I will break down the question of “how to grout” into a few simple steps and you can feel free to post comments or ask questions if the instructions aren’t clear enough. The tools you need for this home improvement project are a drill, paddle mixer, grout sponge, rubber float, and knee pads wouldn’t be a bad idea.
How to Grout Tile Step by Step
Step One: Make sure the tile is clean and free of any debris, this is also a good time to apply a release agent to tile that is unsealed. Unsealed tile is any tile that has not had a coating applied during the manufacturing process. Slate and many natural stone tiles come unsealed. If grout sets on an unsealed tile it is nearly impossible to remove.
Step Two: Mix the grout to a consistency between pancake batter and peanut butter. You want the grout to spread easily yet stay in place in the grout lines. Mix the grout with a drill and paddle mixer on a low to medium speed. Try not to create too many air bubbles in the grout.
Step Three: Get 2 buckets of water, a grout sponge, and a rubber float. Dampen the sponge, not wet but damp. Dampen the rubber float. This will allow them to be run across the tile and smooth the grout.
Step Four: Scoop the grout onto a section of tile and spread it out with the rubber float, push the grout into all of the cracks and make sure to pack it in firmly. Remove the gross excess by dragging the float diagonally across the grout lines. Don’t worry about a little excess on the tile, if you applied a release agent most of it will come off in the next steps.
Step Five: Use the damp sponge to gently wipe across the tile again diagonally across the grout lines. This will remove the remaining excess and smooth the grout lines. Be careful not to get the sponge too wet. Too much water will cause bubbles in the grout and the grout will eventually start to crack. Be sure to get almost all of the excess off of the tile in this step.
Step Six: After a few hours, based on the grout manufacturers specifications, go back and remove some of the grout haze. Take the sponge and get it damp again, slightly wetter than before but not dripping. Wipe firmly across all of the tile and grout to remove the haze. This step will likely need to be repeated once more in about 24 hours. You can see grout haze continue to form for a few days after grouting but usually after 2 or 3 good wipe downs it will disappear for good.
Step Seven: Call everyone you know and brag about what great job you did and how you saved hundreds of dollars by doing it yourself. Now step eight is probably the most important of all so READ CAREFULLY!!
Step Eight: Buy me a beer for saving you hundreds of dollars and not telling your friends you cheated by looking on the internet for how to grout instructions.