Grouting 101: Getting Started

Grouting 101

At Island Tile, we have plenty of experience with everything tile-related. From helping our valued customers choose the perfect floor or wall surfaces for their homes to professionally installing tile in homes and businesses in and around Brevard County, we’re the go-to guys when it comes to tiling tips.

This week we’d like to share some information with our readers about grouting. This is an integral part of installing ceramic tile, and if you’re the type that likes DIY projects it’s good to know how to correctly grout tile! Of course, we are happy to do this for you, but in case installing a backsplash tile in your Palm Bay bathroom is something you’d like to do yourself, here are some tips on how to get started grouting.

Choose the correct type of grout

There are lots of different types of grout to choose from, but for the sake of simplicity, here are four main types of grout – unsanded, finely sanded, quarry-type/sanded, and epoxy. Basically, when picking grout to fill small spaces between the tiles less than 1/8” wide, you should opt for unsanded grout. If the gaps between the tiles are larger, about 1/8” to 3/8” then finely sanded grout is ideal. For gaps 3/8″ to 1/2″ wide, a more coarsely sanded grout is needed. Finally, when working with outdoor flooring or countertops, epoxy is usually used because it’s very strong and stain resistant. So, as a rule of thumb, the larger the gaps between the ceramic tiles the coarser the sanded grout should be.

Pick a complementary color

Grout comes in many different colors, from white to beige to black. The last thing you want is to grab a bag of grout (you checked, it’s finely sanded which is perfect for your tiles that are 1/4″ apart!) only to find that you grabbed grey grout when you wanted bone white. Keep in mind that if there is already grout that you’re going to leave in that room (like if you’re adding decorative tile to part of your kitchen counter and leaving the rest of the ceramic tiles) you’ll want the grout to match. If the existing grout is ivory, the new grout should also be ivory.

Don’t forget the sealant

In most cases, after you grout your tile you will need to add a sealant to prevent staining. Some grout like epoxy may not require sealant, but most grout will need to be sealed. Make sure to do your homework since not all sealants are created equally. What might work well for a shower might not be a good choice for a floor. Once you’ve chosen your sealer, do not apply it until the grout is completely dry. The sealant should be reapplied about once a year to prevent the grout between your tiles from staining.

Now you know the basics of choosing the right grout and sealant for your DIY tile installation project! Of course, you’ll need tile to grout, so head over to our showroom in Melbourne, FL for the largest selection of tiles around. From marble-look tile to wood look tile and discount tile, we have it all, and we’d be happy to take care of the installation for you! Keep an eye out for our next blog where we’ll discuss the actual process of grouting.