Whether you want to inject some new life into a kitchen or replace the floor in a bathroom, tiles can be a great way to add some character to your next renovation project. From small subways and mosaic tiles to large ceramic tiles, there are countless designs and styles to choose from that look incredible in all sorts of environments.
Of course, a crucial part of the process of laying new tiles is grouting – a skill that’s fairly easy to master, but just as easy to get wrong. Grouting tiles correctly will ensure a strong seal, increased water resistance, and protection from dirt; all necessary things to achieve a professional finish. Some grouts, such as Forever White Powder Wall Tile Grout and 704 Super White Powder Wall Tile Grout, also contain fungicide to combat mould growth and PVA for increased adhesion.
In this blog post, we share a step-by-step guide on how to grout wall and floor tiles.
What You Will Need:
- Grout Powder
- Rubber Grout Float
- Dust Sheets
- Masking Tape
- Mixing Paddle
- Empty Bucket
- Bucket Of Water
- Safety Glasses
- Wonder Wipes
- Micro Fibre Cloth
Step 1: Prepare Your Work Area
The first step to grouting tiles is to prepare your work area. If you’re working on wall tiles, we recommend laying out some dust sheets on the floor and securing them with masking tape before doing anything else. This will reduce mess and means that you won’t need to spend as much time cleaning up after you’ve finished. In addition, make sure that you’re wearing any appropriate health and safety equipment; for example, safety glasses can be used to avoid excess grout flicking into your eyes. You may also want to invest in some Everbuild Wonder Wipes to minimise time spent cleaning your hands afterwards.
Step 2: Mix Your Grout
Different products have different setting times, so it’s important to read the instructions before mixing the grout. Pour enough grout powder to last 30 minutes into an empty bucket – any more than this and the mixture could dry out – before adding the correct amount of water. The grout should be a similar consistency to clotted cream, so make sure to add more water or powder if it seems too hard or too soft. Leave the mixture to sit for 10 minutes before using it and don’t forget to continue mixing it every 15 minutes or so to stop it from drying out.
Step 3: Spread Your Grout
Now it’s time to apply the grout to your surface. We recommend testing the grout on a small section of tiles first to check that it is compatible; if you discover that you’ve used the wrong type of grout after finishing the full job then it can be a tedious process to remove the grout and start again. From here, it can help to split your job into manageable sections to ensure the grout doesn’t dry out – 1m by 1m sections is usually a good size.
Next, scoop up a small amount of the grout mixture using a rubber float – metal floats can damage the tiles – and spread it over the joints between tiles. Angle the float at 45 degrees in order to get the mixture right in between the tiles. You can also use the rounded corner of the float to compress the grout into the joints; if it’s not compact then the grout won’t hold its strength. Continue to add more grout until all the joints have been filled. It’s important to note that grout should only go between two sets of tiles; any joints that are between tiles and another surface should be left empty as these can be caulked at a later time.
Step 4: Remove Excess Grout
Next, remove any excess grout from the tiles with the rubber float. Angling the float at 90 degrees can make this task easier. Try not to spend too much time on this as you’ll have to clean it up again later anyway.
Step 5: Shape Your Grout
From here, use the rounded corner of the float or the back of a toothbrush to shape your grout, similar to how you did this earlier. This will also compress the grout to ensure that it does not crack or weaken further down the line. Be careful not to remove too much grout whilst doing this.
Step 6: Wipe Off Excess Grout
Approximately 30 minutes after first applying the grout, fill an empty bucket with water and dip the sponge into it. From here, apply the sponge on to the tiles and wipe off any excess grout. It’s important to focus on the surface of the tiles here rather than the joints. If possible, try to use a hydrophilic sponge for this task as these are ideal for delicate surfaces.
Step 7: Clean The Tiles
Once you’ve removed any excess grout with a wet sponge, we recommend leaving your tiles to dry for another 30 minutes or so. By this time, you may notice a thin layer of powder on the tiles; use a microfiber cloth to buff the tiles and remove this powder, leaving a clean, shiny finish.
Step 8: Caulk Adjacent Joints
The final step now is to go back and caulk any leftover joints that occur between tiles and other surfaces, e.g. the space between the tiles and bath tub. There’s a wide range of caulks to choose from depending on the scenario; Forever White is ideal for bathroom environments and Caulk Once or Everflex 125 One Hour Caulk are ideal for most other requirements.
So there you have it – everything you need to know to achieve the perfect grout on wall tiles or floor tiles. Why not check out some of our other handy guides, such as how to achieve the perfect patio or how to install wood flooring?