After a 12-hour Superbowl Sunday full of installing tile, we reward ourselves with the pleasure of adding grout the following evening. The grout process is pretty simple and requires the least amount of tools to accomplish. Below you will see the items needed,
Because of the subway tile that we used, the grout joint will be less than 1/8″. For any tile that uses such a small grout line, you will need to use a Non-Sanded type. For obvious reasons, the difference between sanded and non-sanded is sand, haha. The addition of sand is good for being able to cheaply add volume to the joint without compromising strength. The good thing about non-sanded grout is that it’s silky smooth and won’t scratch the tiles. The process of grouting starts with a box of dry mix that you will add water to in a bucket and mix till you have a smooth buttery consistency. Once this is achieved, you simply take your grout float and scoop some out then apply it in small amounts into the joints.
With the subway tile, I tried to only apply the grout into each joint which is very time consuming but allows confidence that you have filled each joint with material. Working in 3×3 foot sections, I would fill all the gaps with grout and wipe off any excess chunks with the float. Immediately after I followed up with the sponge that was rung out really well in warm water. I had a second bucket filled with clean water so I can lightly wipe off the excess grout then clean, wipe off, then clean again. I got about halfway done with all of the tile until I was able to pick up my partner in crime to help out. Daniela came home from work to quickly change over to grout mode. I was able to concentrate on just grouting as she followed behind me with the sponge for the clean-up.
The whole process took a good 3 hours from start to clean-up and it came out great!
For the tile, we still have a couple more steps before we can move on. First thing you might notice is that all the inside corners don’t have grout. This is done on purpose to be able to caulk these joints as they are prone to shifting. If you were to grout them, most likely in time they would be the first location to crack. Not grouting them and adding a color matched caulk ensured the seal will be good and flexible for years to come.
The second part will be to seal the grout. As I mentioned in the RedGard post, grout itself is very porous and water will seep though it in no time at all. Sealing the grout will not only slow this process down but it will also give the grout a coating much like car wax to repel water and assist in keeping the grout clean for a longer period of time. Without it, mold and mildew will form as they saturate with standing water.
Some completed pictures of the grouting.