An important part of joining any type of tile surface is applying tile mortar to fill the cracks between the tiles. However, if you’ve never used tile grout before, grouting tile surfaces can be a little intimidating and off-putting. The good news is that laying grout in tiles doesn’t have to be too complicated as long as you make sure you follow all the right steps and take the time to do everything carefully and correctly.
Here at Best of Machinery (all rights reserved) we are here to help you learn how to grout tiles the right way as quickly and easily as possible. We have put together a guide for grouting tiles for you, including our key tips and tricks for using grouting and answers to some of the most common questions about grouting tiles. Our tile grouting guide will get your tile surface sealed and look professional in no time, even if you think you have no idea how to grout tiles!
How long do you wait to wipe grout?
Much of the right grout is making sure you let it cure for the right amount of time. Wiping your excess grout too soon can cause clutter and ruin your hard work to date. However, if you leave it for too long, unpleasant joint residues may remain between your tiles.
When you are finished applying the grout to your preferred level, wait between 15 and 30 minutes for the grout to settle and stiffen slightly before wiping off the excess grout. After leaving it long enough to make sure things are set properly, wipe off any excess mortar from the surface with a stable grout sponge soaked in clean water to keep it flush with the surface of your tiled wall or floor Clean the tile surface.
When can I grout a new tile?
It is important that you do not grout your tiles too soon after you have applied the tiles to the surface. If you try to grout your tiles too early, the tiles can come off and fall off the wall. You should always let your tiles dry for at least 24 hours before you start applying grout. 48 hours is better, but 24 hours should be enough for most situations as long as the tiles are not particularly large and heavy.
Can you put new grout over existing grout?
Sometimes old mortar looks battered, dirty and unattractive. But if you have a large tile area, is it worth removing old joints before applying new tile mortar?
Well, that depends on how well the tile joints are already grouted. If the joints between your tiles have previously been grouted with a thick layer, you may have problems. As long as you know how to properly tile, applying new grout over the existing grout will generally result in a depth of about 1/8 inch for the grout. That said, if you don’t want your grout to be grooved and annoying, you need to make sure there is at least 1/8 inch clearance in the grout for the new grout to fit in. It is also important to ensure that the old mortar is sanded properly, otherwise the new mortar will not stick properly in the joints. You should also clean the surface of your old grout again to increase the likelihood that your new grout will stick to the joints between the tiles.
Grouting tips and techniques
Here we have put together a step-by-step guide and some top tips for grouting. In step 1 (preparation), step 2 (grouting) and step 3 (making sure that you properly clean additional joints) you will find all the tips you may need to learn how to grout tiles like a professional without delay.
Important injection tools
There are a number of tools you need to properly grout a tiled area. Some of them are needed to mix the mortar, others to apply the mortar, and you will use some for subsequent cleaning. You will need a bucket, a cartridge gun, a grout float, an edge trowel, a microfiber cloth, a spatula, a shop vacuum, a tile sponge and finally a general utility knife. You may already have some of these tools at home to use in other DIY projects. However, if you miss one of these, you should buy it in advance to make sure you have everything you need to properly, safely, and efficiently.
Clean your joints
It is important that the joints between your tiles are completely clean so that the mortar can adhere properly to the surface. Vacuum the joint lines and then scrape off all old joints with a spatula before vacuuming off the residue. Do not apply too much pressure, otherwise you could damage the surface of your tile!
Mix your mortar by hand
Mix the mortar vigorously with a trowel until all the dry powder has dissolved. Use a rolling motion on the bucket to make sure everything is mixed properly. They strive for a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. If it approaches, slow down the addition of water. Use a sponge to drip the water into the bucket to have the greatest possible control over the consistency at the end of the process. Be careful not to add too much air to the mixture!
Charge your fugue swimmer
Tilt your mortar bucket towards you. Use your mortar float to pull part of the mortar on the side of the bucket towards you. This gives you a good amount of grout on your float that you can work with. By ensuring that you load your grout float over the bucket, you can ensure that you don’t risk spilling excess grout from the float to the floor! Excess mortar that falls from the float should end up in the bucket.
Ground versus unground grout
If you are grouting larger joints, then using sanded grout is a good idea. This is because it is generally stronger and is more resistant to both shrinking and cracking than uncut mortar. However, if you are working with softer stone tiles such as marble or sandstone, you should only ever use unpolished mortar. If you use ground joints for this type of tile, there is a risk of scratching the surface and damaging it with sand.
Grouting tiles is not that difficult. Even if you have no experience at all, it shouldn’t take too long to familiarize yourself with the process and start grouting like a real professional. Following our tips and tricks above is a great option to get into the world of tile grouting!