Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grouting- The Final Frontier

This week I tackled grouting our bathroom floor. Not going to lie, I was scared. Really scared. But I pushed through and it all worked out in the end. Here are a few tips.

1. Take the time to make sure any mortar that pushed up through the grout lines is removed. This takes forever but it is worth it.

2. Work in small batches. I did 2 cups of grout mix at a time. which was about 1/4 of our 42 sq/ft bathroom floor.

3. Be prepared. Get everything ready and have extras. Extra gloves, water, etc.

4. It's going to be messy, and that's ok.

This was the scary part. I had my beautiful clean tile and then I dumped grout on it. (below you can see all three phases. Clean in the upper left, hazy in the upper right and freshly dumped grout on the bottom)

And then I freaked out.

Yeah. Not very pretty. But keep going. Just like the instructions say (I liked this series of tutorials btw) keep working that grout in to the grout lines and scraping away. It looks like a mess but it will clean up. I promise.

5.  Walk away. This was the hardest but, because I was working on the floor, I couldn't grout the whole thing at once if I had any hope of getting back in there to clean up. So I put my 2 cups worth of grout down, spread it around and then walked away for 15 min. That gave the grout time to set enough that I could form my grout lines (for a good explanation of this you can watch the video) and clean up. It still wasn't pretty but don't worry.

The first day I did half the floor, cleaned as much of the grout off the surface of the tiles as possible with my sponge (there was still a back haze) and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I used a damp sponge to clean off the last bit of haze. If you don't wait for things to dry a bit you just pull up the grout from where you want it and spread it around the top of the tiles. No good.

So pretty right?

It took two days but only about 3 hours of actual labor. Lots of waiting. Don't rush it. I still think it is scary (how on earth will I manage a vertical surface- the grout is like pudding!?!?) but at least now I know it can be done. We are tackling the shower this weekend so I'll let you know how it goes!

Anyone else have grouting tips? This was my first experience with mixing my own grout and it is a lot more liquid than the pre-mixed stuff. Good for the floor but I'm curious to see how it works on the walls.



Tile- Black and White Basket Weave from The Tile Shop
Grout- Un-sanded grout from Home Depot in Charcoal

  Weekend Bloggy Reading

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