How to Grout Tile With These Simple Steps
There is a misconception that grouting tile is difficult. It isn’t. However, because you need to get it right the first time, this makes people nervous. We understand but with the right tools and technique, grouting tile is something just about anyone can do. So, before you break out the grout float, go over our simple steps on how to grout tile. Our step-by-step guide is easy to follow. Also, look out for our additional tips to make your tiling a success. Now let’s get started!
1. Choose Your Grout
Grout comes in a variety of colors. It’s important to consider what color you want with your tiles. At Atlas, we stock 40 colors of Laticrete Permacolor Select grout with Mircoban Anti-Microbial Protection. We also have several colors of Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA polymer-modified grout available. They are both advanced high-performance grouts that are more stain-resistant than ordinary cement-based grout.
We recommend choosing a color that compliments your tile. What does that mean? If you have a wood look tile floor, you want to go with a color that matches the tiles. On the other hand, if you are highlighting color or accent in your tile, you want a way to go with a neutral or darker grout. If you aren’t sure, we are happy to help you choose what is best for your project.
2. Get Your Tools
It’s always important to have the right tools for the job. Grouting is no different. What you will need:
- Grout Float – This is necessary to spread the grout and get between the tiles.
- Grout Sponge – Not just any sponge will do. This helps smooth over grout joints and clean excess.
- Plastic Buckets – One for mixing grout and one for cleaning your sponge. Make sure they are large enough to get the job done.
- Cloth/Towel – Once the grout hardens you need to wipe the excess off the tiles if you have a slight haze.
Optional tools to make life a bit easier while tiling:
- Rubber Gloves – Always a great idea to protect your hands and stay clean.
- Drill & Paddle – This helps to evenly mix the grout and is quicker.
- Tarp/Paper – To mix grout on in case you might drip or spill.
- Citrus Cleaner – This can be helpful in removing the grout haze.
3. Apply the Grout
After your tile is set and the mortar is cured, typically the next day, it is time to grout. Mix your grout according to the directions and as always, we are here to help if you have any questions. Mixing grout is science, and it is important to allow the mixture to activate accordingly. Once it is mixed, it’s time to spread.
If you are working with natural stone, Atlas recommends that you lightly seal your tile first. This will act as a grout release and make floating the grout off much easier. It is important that the sealer not run down in between the tiles- because it IS a grout release, and you want the grout to stick to the edges. No need to seal porcelain tiles.
Blob enough mixed grout on the tiles to work in a manageable area. Then take your grout float, holding it at a 45-degree angle to the tile, and make sweeping arcs across the tiles. Make sure to press the grout into the spaces between the tiles, but not create gullies or divots. The first sweep is to spread the grout. The next sweep is to clean it off. Go back over it with your float to even out and remove any lumps. Work a small area at a time.
4. Wipe Your Tiles
There are two parts to this process. First, wait until the grout begins to harden. Then take your sponge and wipe the tiles in a circular motion. The sponge should be slightly damp. If it is dripping water it’s way too wet. Take care not to press hard or drag out any grout. Then, once everything is dry, use your cloth or towel to rub off any haze from the grout. You will be tempted to get these wet, but don’t. Use a dry cloth and you can sweep or vacuum up the rest of the dust.
That’s it! Well, to grouting that is. There is still much to know about tile choice, caulking, and other products you may need depending on where you are tiling. But grouting itself is pretty simple. With these simple steps, you can learn how to grout tile in no time. Atlas Marble & Tile associates are always to help you too. We don’t install tile but we can provide plenty of advice. If you rather leave it to a contractor, we can make recommendations too. Happy grouting!