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Old 10-30-2010, 11:36 PM  
serpentine5
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Default Putting in grout

I dont see a place for title info... so I am posting here in the masonary section....
The house I bought has nice looking tile for the backsplash in the kitchen, but whoever installed it did not grout it. I bought un-sanded grout, and a bottle of sealer to seal the grout once I am finished with it, but I have never laid grout before and have no clue how to do it. Do I need to do anything to prep the title? anything after? I found extra tiles in the basement and I believe it is plastic; or atleast some type of man made stuff that I can cut with my chop saw. The finish is shiny and I dont want to scratch it up.
point me to any tuts that are complete or whatever would be great.
Thanks



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Old 10-31-2010, 12:34 AM  
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Using sanded or unsanded grout depends on the width of the joint between the tiles. Generally, if the width is 3/16" or less, unsanded is the way to go. Any wider, go back and get the sanded type.

Grouting is very simple. Mix enough to cover 4 square feet (about 1/2 pound) if you are a beginner, so you can experiment and understand how to apply it. Mix with water until you have a peanut butter consistancy. You can now apply it using several various tools. My wife's favorite tool is a flexible rubber straight edge. My favorite is a grout float, which has a firm spongy rubber on one side. Apply at a 45 degree angle, making sure you cover all the cracks evenly. Scrape off any excess, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Once you see a haze on the tile, use a moist sponge and bucket and wipe at a 45 degree angle, so as to not remove any grout from the cracks. Wipe only once, and rinse the sponge. Continue until all the excess grout is removed and uniform looking. Allow it to haze over until nearly dry, and wipe the haze again using a soft cloth. Allow to fully dry for 3+ days before using the sealer.

If you find the sanded grout will scratch the surface of the plastic tile, you will need to use smaller tools, like a rubber spatula, and gently pack it into the cracks, and carefully wipe away any excess with a wet sponge on a 45 degree angle. Don't push too hard, or you will scratch it.

If you choose to use an unsanded grout, it will be more gentle on the tiles, but will tend to crack out on a wide joint.

Good luck and have fun!



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Old 10-31-2010, 05:48 PM  
serpentine5
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cool, thank you much.
The joints are less than 3/16 so I got the unsanded.
I will probably get to work on this later this week. Have several other projects going on right now and dont want to start another one just yet.
Will post back how I did.

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Old 10-31-2010, 09:17 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serpentine5 View Post
cool, thank you much.
The joints are less than 3/16 so I got the unsanded.
I will probably get to work on this later this week. Have several other projects going on right now and dont want to start another one just yet.
Will post back how I did.
What Havusa said is right - including the part about grouting not being particularly difficult.

I'd add a couple things...

First, I kind of like the grout to be a little "wetter" than peanut butter consistency. It's a personal preference, and you don't want it to be too watery, but I like it to go on easily. *For cost reasons, I'd suggest you don't bother getting pre-mixed grout. Just get the powder in the bag.

Second, when applying the grout, go over it several times to make sure it is thoroughly worked in to all the areas. Don't skimp on the amount of grout you're applying, because you just wipe off the excess anyway.

Third, Havusa is spot-on regarding what you apply it with. I usually use a grout trowel, but I often just use my hands. I'm not sure why, but sometimes it seems like I can get it on better with my bare hands.


Mostly though, don't worry. You're already asking the right questions. Applying grout isn't rocket science. Just take your time & enjoy it.
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