Let’s say you’ve just re-tiled a bathroom floor, or maybe you wainscoted a wall, the way I did.  Grouting is the process of filling in spaces between tiles. Most of the time you’ll use sanded grout which prevents the grout from cracking.  For this DIY project’s sake, we’re using premixed grout.  It is a simple and fast setting solution to traditional grouts that require mixing.

Your tile is laid. You’ve removed your spacers and brushed out any excess junk that may have gotten wedged or snuck its way into the cracks. What’s next?

What You’ll Need:

Pre-mixed grout
Grout Flout
Soft cloths
Extra large grouting sponge with rounded corners
Rubber gloves (optional, but useful)

How to do it:

  1. Pick a color. Grout comes in various colors. Some folks like to give the grout a trial run, because grout dries a different color than it is wet. Color schemes are totally subjective, but a good rule of thumb: if you are pushing grout into floor tile, avoid white.  It’s almost impossible to keep clean.
  2. Pick a section (about a square foot) to start. Working in sections helps the task seem not so unmanageable. Pour about a quart of grout on the tiles. If you’re working with a wall, scoop grout directly from the bucket to push into the wall.
  3. Take your grout flout and begin spreading the material, dragging the long end across the joints. You want to press firmly, making sure to fill all spaces entirely.  Now some folks use the shorter end of the flout to push the grout into the joints, but sometimes your fingers work just as well. If you see any spaces that need filling, a glob on a glove works just as well.
  4. If you’re working on the floor, you can usually drag and scrape the excess grout to the next section. Make sure to scrape diagonally to the joints (with the long end of float perpendicular to the floor). You don’t want to accidentally dig grout out of the joints.
  5. Spread-smush-scrape. That’s going to be your mantra. Keep moving on to adjoining sections.
  6. After about 30 minutes, you should go back to the start and clean off the surface of the already grouted tiles. You want the grout to harden, but you don’t want to make it impossible to clean hardened grout off the surface.
  7. Dip your sponge in a fresh bucket of water and begin wiping the tiles in a circular motion. Take caution to not remove the grout from the joints.  Rinse the sponge often.
  8. When all the joints look up to snuff, take your fully rinsed and wrung sponge and give the tile a final wash.
  9. When all the grout has hardened, the tiles will be left with a slight haze.
  10. Take a soft damp cloth and wipe the hazy tiles.
  11. Immediately buff the surface with a dry cloth.

Congratulations, you’ve just officially and successfully grouted tile. Now wash your hands and pour yourself a glass of wine.

–Arianna Schioldager

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