For the DIYers of the world, it’s important to follow the right steps when grouting your tile. Skipping steps or not following them properly may just mean your grout will end up looking terrible. (And no one wants that!)
Start by reading our post about properly grouting your floor, then follow our 5-step process below to ensure you grout correctly the first time. (And if you need help throughout the process, Tough Grout is here for you!)
1. Mix the grout.
The best way to mix your grout is by following the instructions on the bag from the manufacturer.
One of our inside tips, however, is to mix in the water a bit at a time so that you get the best mixture possible. Typically, we’ll start with about ¾ of the water, mix, then add the final ¼ and mix again. This way, you’ll have a little more control over the consistency by not allowing the grout to become too watery too quickly. Always make sure to start with a little water before putting in the mix – this will help ensure that you don’t leave any dry grout mix at the bottom of the bucket.
2. Start grouting.
Start applying your grout at the furthest corner of the room, working toward your exit or the doorway in small sections. Begin by scooping a small amount of grout out of your bucket with a hand trowel and onto the flooring.
Then, with your float, begin to press the grout firmly into the line between your tiles with a diagonal motion to ensure no gaps or empty pockets. Next, place your float at a 90-degree angle to the floor and swipe off the excess grout off the top.
Work in small sections to ensure you are able to go wipe down as you go. Try to get as much grout off with your float first, and then proceed to the next step before going too far.
3. Get rid of excess grout.
After giving your grout a few minutes to set (typically about 15-30 minutes), use a damp sponge to wipe up the excess grout on the edges of your tile and above the tile line. (Again, it’s important to work in small sections here so that you can reach all the grout lines you need to sponge off.) It’s important to wash off your sponge after each pass. So make one pass about 4 feet wide with one side of the sponge, flip it over and use the other side – then rinse your sponge out. If you do not rinse your sponge out, you will be pulling the grout onto the other tiles, creating more and more of a haze as it dries. Avoiding tile haze is nearly impossible, but making sure you have a clean sponge each time will help reduce this as much as possible.
Refill your water bucket as it becomes too dirty; or you can also choose to have a “grout bucket” and a “clean water bucket,” where you first rinse your sponge in the dirty bucket, then rinse again and add more water in your clean bucket. Be sure your sponge is damp, not wet.
To start the haze removal process, repeat this step after about 3 hours.
4. Remove the haze.
Since you did such a great job wiping off the excess grout, you’ll hopefully have very little haze post-grouting. After your grout has dried – within approximately 24 hours – you can use a store bought haze remover to get rid of any remaining cloudy grout on your tile (known as haze). There are a few tricks here, however, that you can try first.
One option is to first try to remove the haze with a terry cloth. You also have the option of using a dry cheese cloth, they sell these in the tile aisle right alongside the trowels and floats.
However, one of the best tricks is to use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and warm water. Use a relatively abrasive sponge to scrub your flooring with this mixture to ensure the grout haze no longer remains.
5. Cure and seal.
Now it’s time to wait for the grout to cure entirely (which, depending on the humidity in your area, could take up to 5 days).
If you choose to seal your grout – which we highly recommend – you’ll be able to help protect all of your hard work. Grout sealing helps protect grout from bacteria, staining, and cracking.
In order to apply your sealant, simply use a small applicator or pour a small amount over your grout and apply with a sponge. Be sure to apply with small and circular action to ensure the best coverage. After a few minutes, you’ll need to wipe the excess sealant (but follow your sealant’s instructions to determine exactly how long you’ll need to wait).
It’s also important to note that you’ll need to apply your sealant regularly (about yearly) to confirm it is doing its job.
We hope this 5-step process makes it clear and easy to complete your grout project! Applying your own grout can be completed by dedicated DIYers, but always call in a professional if you’re unsure or want to save time.
In that case, Tough Grout is here to help. Get a free quote today to learn more about our grouting services.