Grouting 101: The Process

In our last blog, we went over the preliminary steps on how to grout tile for your DIY tile installation project. Before you get started applying the grout, you’ll need to choose the color you’d like your grout to be, know what type of grout you need to purchase and purchase the correct sealant to protect the grout once it dries. Now, let’s move on to the process of applying the grout so you can finish your project!

Gather Materials

You might already have some of these tools and materials lying around your garage, but if not, it will make your life a whole lot easier if you go ahead and purchase them before you begin grouting. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Trowel
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Large container to mix grout in
  • Paint stick/mixing mechanism
  • Jug of water
  • Grout
  • Sealant
  • Caulk

Clean the Surface

Once you’ve gathered your materials, thoroughly clean the area you will be grouting. If you’re only grouting a small area, like the backsplash of your kitchen, simply use a rag or paper towels and a cleaning spray to get rid of any dirt or dust. If you’re grouting the tile of in larger area like your living room, a mop would be more convenient. Bottom line: make sure there’s no dirt or gunk on or between the tiles. Obviously, you need to glue or adhere the tiles to the floor/wall surface before you begin grouting.

Prepare the Grout

Prepare your grout according to the directions on the label. Most grout requires you to add water and mix it with the powdered grout. As a rule of thumb, the solution should be the consistency of peanut butter or a thick oatmeal. If you add too much water, either add more of the dry grout or let it sit for a little while. As the water absorbs the solution will thicken.

Spread It On

Using your trowel, plop a generous portion of the grout solution onto the surface you’re working on. Grab your grout float (a thin, wide instrument with a handle), hold it at about a 45-degree angle, and spread the grout over the tile, making sure to work it into the cracks. Start with small sections and apply the grout in a sweeping motion. Then, change the direction of your grout float so you’re holding it at a 90-degree angle and scrape off all the excess grout. Once all the extra grout is removed, let it sit for about 30 minutes (refer to the directions for your specific type of grout).

Wipe Off the Residue

After the set amount of time has elapsed, use a damp sponge to wipe the grout off the tiles. Use circular motions and don’t press too hard. You want to remove the grout from the tile’s surface, but you don’t want to damage the grout in the cracks. Afterward, allow it to dry. After the grout has dried there will be a hazy residue left on the tiles. Use a damp cloth to wipe the residue off, and then buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Final Steps

Once the grout is completely dry and hardened apply the sealant as directed. This will prevent staining and chipping. Remember to re-apply sealant about once a year. Let the sealant dry for 24-48 hours. And…You’re done!

We hope you found these DIY blogs helpful with your home improvement projects. At Island Tile, we want to supply our readers with as much useful information as possible so they know what they can do themselves and what they should leave in the hands of professionals. Installing tile is not exactly easy, and if you don’t do it correctly you could ruin that beautiful floor or backsplash. If in doubt, call Island Tile! We’d be more than happy to help with any of your tiling needs, whether it is choosing your perfect discount tile or installing it. We have been serving Brevard County from Palm Bay to Melbourne, FL and beyond for 34 years, and our team of experts is here to help!