Items in cart: 0
1-877-631-2845 See Hours Mon – Fri: 9AM – 8PM EST
Sat – Sun: 10AM – 8PM EST
Hablamos Español
 
Shop By:
Porcelain Tile Articles

How to install ceramic tile flooring Part 8 - Applying Grout

By now you've taken your installation from the "rehearsal" stage or dry run � laying out your ceramic tiles as you�d like them to be � to the point where you�ve added the mortar adhesive to install ceramic tiles in your space permanently. At this point, you�ll need to fill in the gaps, or joints, that you�ve allowed between the ceramic tiles. This is where your choice of grout comes into play.


Grout is a cement-based bonding material used for filling joints between tiles and is offered in a variety of colors. Generally, sanded grout should be used in grout joints 1/8 inch or larger and unsanded grout may be used in joints less than 1/8 inch.


You can also choose regular, Portland cement-based grout or latex and Portland cement grout. You can use stain-proof epoxy grouts for a better result and less maintenance, but epoxy is very expensive compared to regular grouts. Here are a few more pointers:


  • When purchasing grout make sure to buy enough to cover the entire project. It is a good idea to buy extra for repairs later.

  • Allow the floor to set overnight before grouting.

  • Mix the grout in a small bucket. Add the powder first and then add water to the bucket and stir with a wooden stick. Do not use a paint mixer attached to a drill to stir. This can create air bubbles in the grout.

  • Mix the grout into a thick, yogurt-like consistency. Allow this mixture to set for ten minutes and recheck to make sure it remains to be the same consistency. If not, add more water or additive.

  • While applying grout, you will still be working in quadrants as you were when you applied the mortar adhesive. Apply a moderate amount of grout on your putty knife. Press grout into the joints to an even level with the tile, keeping your knife on an angle. Skim excess grout.

  • You may notice a mild 'grout haze' on your tiles. Use a damp sponge to remove this haze, but make sure you don't press too hard on joints. This works best by using a dry terry cloth towel. Damp mop the floor afterwards. Be careful that you do not dig the grout out of the spaces.

  • When the grout has set for 24 hours, remove the spacers between the tiles.

  • Repeat this process with other joints in the remaining quadrants.

  • To help the grout cure to a solid, resilient surface, mop the floor daily for the first 3 days. Allow it to cure for a full week. Then brush it with a silicone sealer.


Note: Be careful... if you start washing the grout off the tiles too soon, you might wash down the joints at the same time. However, if you wait too long, it is even worse: you will have a very hard time cleaning the tiles. Start washing the tiles to remove any excess grout when the grout feels firm.


After you're done with the grouting and/or caulking, the installation is almost complete. Wait for the entire floor to cure for about a week. Later, you can give it a good mop to remove any remaining grout haze. You may also choose to seal the grout with a sealer to lock out dirt and or grease. But it is best to wait at least 10 days before applying a sealer.


A smart tip to remove excess grout is to frequently rinse your sponge, and use clean water. Also keep several buckets of clean water ready beside the floor.

RSS Feeds   Add to Google   Add to My Yahoo!   My MSN   Add to My AOL  

Post to del.icio.us   Digg This   Add to Technorati Favorites   StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!