How to Grout Tiles for DIY Projects

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Recycled Brick - Brooklyn - Herringbone - over grout - Stone3 Brisbane

Installing your own tiles doesn’t need to be a difficult job, but many DIYers need help with the grouting stage. We’re happy to report the process is straightforward and you can achieve a stunning result with a little practice!

Before you begin coordinating your colours, you need to think about the types of tiles you’re using. Porous tiles – such as ceramics – will need to be coated with a tile sealant prior to grouting, otherwise the excess grout will be impossible to clean off. With that out of the way, read on to see our 6-step guide on how to grout tiles.

1. Choose Your Grout

There are three main types of grout: cement-based, epoxy and urethane grout. For a DIY job we usually recommend cement-based grout. It’s the cheapest and most common kind and is much easier to apply and clean up than the others. Epoxy and urethane grouts are more expensive products and better left to the professionals. While epoxy grout is probably the best choice for outdoor tiles, it’s harder to work with and special safety equipment should always be worn when working with epoxy products.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Whichever type of grout you choose, you’ll need to have all your tools and supplies assembled before you begin mixing. Make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • 3-4 Buckets
  • Grout float
  • Tiling sponges
  • Clean, soft cloths
  • Grout mix
  • Rubber or nitrile gloves

You will also need something to mix your grout with. Professionals use power drills with mixing attachments, but it can be done by hand using a trowel. Make sure to mix thoroughly until there’s no dry cement left in the bucket while adding just enough water so your grout has a peanut butter consistency.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Before you tackle an entire shower cubicle it’s a good idea to make a small test board with a few leftover tiles and practice on that. If you don’t have any leftover tiles for practice, then begin working in an area that will be harder to see when the room is complete.

4. Work in Small Sections

Use your grout float to apply a small amount of grout to one area and work it into the joints while holding the float tilted at a 45-degree angle to the surface. Sweep the float along the gaps between your tiles, ensuring the joints are filled completely, before using the float to scoop excess grout off the tiles.

5. Clean Your Tiles

Following the directions on your grout mix, allow the tiles to dry for a few minutes before using a damp grout sponge to wipe down the surface. Use as little water as possible on the sponge to avoid washing away the unset grout. Simply dip your sponge into a bucket of water, rinse out any grout it has collected, squeeze out the excess water and continue cleaning. Make sure to replace your cleaning water frequently!

6. Buff Any Haze Away

After cleaning you should allow your grout to set according to directions on the mix. Your tiles will be coated in a light haze that can be buffed away with a soft, dry cloth once the grout is dry. 

If you need any help choosing grout or tips on how to apply it, please give the friendly team at Stone3 a call. We’re more than happy to point you towards the right colours and the best products for your application!

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