Many people want to lay their own tile, but are intimidated by the process of setting and cutting tile and laying grout. Although laying grout is vital to the success of your tile project, it is fairly simple and can be learned quite quickly. I will provide you with a basic guideline for laying grout after your tile is set to help you during your first attempt.
First of all, there are three main types of grout, sanded, unsanded and acrylic. Sanded grout is typically used for floor projects with larger joints. Unsanded grout is what you will usually see in countertops and backsplashes. Acrylic grout is used to create a more “polished” look and can often be found in fast food restaurants’ flooring. Unsanded and acrylic grout are easier to use and are best suited for projects with more narrow joints. Keep this in mind when you are deciding on your joint spacing before you begin to tile.
Once your tile has been laid and before you begin to lay grout, ensure the room or area you are grouting is at the recommended temperature by reading the recommendations on the packaging. Next, for sanded and unsanded grout, mix with the appropriate amount of water to get the desired consistency — usually your grout should have a creamy frosting texture (acrylic grout is premixed and ready to go out of the package).
After preparing your grout and work space, you can begin applying the grout to your tile. To make the grout easier to handle and to ensure it doesn’t set up before you get to it, start by applying grout to a small area. Use a rubber float to spread grout across joints, spreading the grout diagonally across the tile (at a 45Ã?Â? angle). This will ensure that the joints are filled with as much grout as possible.
After you fill the joints in the area you are working on, remove as much of the excess grout as possible with your rubber float. Some grout will remain, this is fine, just let the grout sit for about 20 or 30 minutes before cleaning the rest off. After the grout has sat for 20 to 30 minutes, you can begin removing the remaining grout with a wet sponge. Check out this sponge cleaner that allows you to work consistently without the need for wringing out your sponge or frequently changing water from your bucket.
Finally, your tile floor is complete. For the next three or four days, it is best to mop the area once a day to continue cleaning the surface of excess grout and to ensure that the tile does not absorb too much of the grout’s moisture and cause it to crack.