Grout Clean Up: The Most Important Part of a Flooring Job

The internet is full of expert opinion on how to lay grout on a tile floor. But why don’t they ever tell you how to clean up once the job is done? If you don’t know what you’re doing, grout clean-up can be the toughest part of the job. It’s concrete after all. It sticks to your tools and tiles. Once it dries, those hard little pieces will scratch your fresh tile and make you throw away caked up tools. It took me a few flooring jobs to realize that the key is to make clean up pit stops along the way.

The Bucket
Always keep a bucket of clean water nearby when you’re applying grout to a tile floor. This bucket acts as a multi-purpose cleaning station that will clean up wet grout and reduce the amount of dried grout you have to chisel off of your tools later in the day.

Every fifteen minutes, or whenever you notice drying grout on your trowel, dip it in the bucket. Rub it with your hands to remove any wet grout. Do the same for your rags, float, sponges and other tools before you set them down. Never let grout sit on a tool.

When the bucket gets grey and murky, dump it out over the grass. Later, come back and scoop up the bits of grout and dump them into a trash can.

Grout Dust
Once the job is done, the floor’s going to be covered in grout dust. You have to clean this up as quickly as possible after the grout floor is cured. The dust is made out of little particles of concrete that scratch the floor whenever you walk on top of them. The best way to get it up is with a shop vac. In a pinch you can use a broom and dust pan. However, you’ll have to sweep more than once to catch the dust you kick up with each pass. Finish up the job with a wet sponge mop and you’re good to go.


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