While most people are comfortable painting a room or changing some wallpaper, grouting tile almost seems intimidating. Fortunately, grouting tile is surprisingly easy as long as you’re careful. While there are some extra factors that need to be considered, we’re here to give you the best trade tips on how to grout tile.
So if you:
Are redecorating a kitchen or bathroom;
Want to know the best techniques to grout;
Want to make your tiling look professional;
Then read on!
Prepare for grouting
Let’s do a little prep work. If the tiles have recently been installed, you’ll want to remove any tile spacers with your pliers. You’ll also want to remove any protruding grout from the joints and vacuum it away. Use a stiff putty knife to remove excess grout.
Next, use your masking tape to cover the trim tiles. These are the thin pieces of tile that are used as borders or edgings. Make sure to mask the edges of any painted surfaces near your working space!
Mix the grout
A relatively easy step. You’ll want to make sure that your grout consistency is similar to smooth peanut butter. Malleable, but thick.
Using a bucket, pour in your grout powder and a small amount of water.
Mix with your trowel, slowly rotating the bucket as you do.
Scape any unabsorbed powder from the bottom of the bucket and mix in.
When close to a good consistency, drip water in with a sponge to avoid soupiness.
If too much water is applied, don’t panic. Add slightly more powder and mix.
While you might be tempted to mix with a drill, we don’t recommend it. While it is possible, you run the risk of adding too much air into the mix and churning the grout. Not only will it result in a weak grout, but it will also discolour it too, so it’s best to mix by hand.
Slaking the grout
The easiest step! Make a cup of tea, you’ve got about ten minutes to kill. Leave the grout to rest and once you come back, the grout should be a little stiffer. This means it’s properly slaked and the chemicals inside have bonded properly. To get rid of the stiffness, simply give it a quick mix with your trowel.
With your bucket, tip it at a 45-degree angle and scrape along the side with your grout float. Don’t scrape towards you, as you risk grout falling off of the float and out of the bucket. With that, let’s start grouting!
Now, if you’ve never grouted before, you may be surprised at how messy the job is. You’ll want to spread the grout diagonally across the tile and into the joints. Use a corner of your float to clean up the edges and to make sure the joints are properly filled.
Clean up the excess
Now, you will be left with a mess across your tiles, which is fine. That’s where the cleanup comes in. Use your float to start removing the excess grout, moving in an ‘S’ shape, which will make the process a bit faster than scraping straight.
Even with the trowel, you’ll still be left with a fair amount of grout on the tiles. We’ll leave that for the next step, just make sure the vast majority is cleared. After, leave the grout to harden properly for about 10-15 minutes.
Sponging and tooling
Grab a hydrophilic sponge and fill a bucket with water. You can use a kitchen sponge, but you’ll have to work harder for your results.
Wet your sponge and then rinse it to make it damp.
Wipe diagonally across the tile. The grout won’t come off immediately and will smear.
Rinse and repeat with the sponge until your tiles are clean.
Once tiles are clear of grout, start tooling the joints. With your sponge, apply some pressure specifically on the joints and wipe along them, making sure your grout lines are even.
After tooling, leave the grout again to allow it to completely dry. When you come back, you should notice a white haze on the tiles. This is just dried grout that wasn’t completely cleaned with the sponge. Cleaning this is simple. Just take out your microfibre cloth (though any cloth will do, microfibres are just easier) and buff up those tiles. The grout haze should be removed quite quickly, leaving you with dazzling tiles.
Now for the real finishing touch. Make sure that you don’t grout any inside corners. Grout in these positions will often crack easily, so to avoid this, use caulk. Colour matching caulks are often sold near the grout sections in most hardware stores, which will help give your tiles that professional look.
Make sure not to overfill the joints, as it will make it an absolute nightmare to clean. Make sure to be consistent and clean up any overfill before it’s allowed to dry.
Need help with your tiles?
Fantastic Services can help! We work with professional tilers, who have the tools and equipment to carry out any job. Regardless of the type of tile, the tilers will ensure a perfect finish that will spruce up any tired bathroom or kitchen. Plus, the professionals don’t just work on the grouting, they take care of both tile installation and properly sealing your tiles.
So why carry out an arduous job by yourself? There are better ways to spend a weekend, so let the professionals deal with the problem.