Grouting is a significant element of any tiling job and one that causes many novices to trip up. When you lay new tiles, your main concern will be preserving them, which is where grout comes in.
It’s essentially a sealant of sorts and ensures your tiles will last for years instead of just a few months. If you’re new to grouting, then many things can go wrong – but they’re completely avoidable in most cases.
So, this post is about giving you the basic skills you need to approach any grouting task confidently.
Let’s dive in.
Why Is Grouting Important?
Grouting is essential for two main reasons: protection and aesthetics. Your tile may be strong, but it’s not impenetrable. Over time, water can seep into the cracks and crevices around your tile, causing all sorts of problems.
When your grouting doesn’t perform its job correctly, it can lead to mould and mildew growth. Other issues include warping and staining, which impact the aesthetic appeal of your tiles and make them deteriorate rapidly.
All households need grouting, but those with children and pets soon learn quickly that it’s an essential element of laying tiles.
The Types Of Grout
Before we go into how to grout, it’s important to discuss the different forms of grouting available. In general, there are four types, including sanded, unsanded, coloured and epoxy grout.
Sanded Grout: The most common form of grouting available, it contains sand which gives it a more textured finish. It’s ideal for areas with a lot of traffic, as it’s durable and gives your tiles the support they need.
Unsanded Grout: If you don’t need to fill large gaps with the grout or are laying tiles in a low-traffic area, unsanded is the way to go. There’s no sand, so it’s much smoother and easier to work with.
Coloured Grout: If you want to add a bit of personality to your tiling job or make a bold statement, coloured grout is ideal. You can find it in most hardware stores, and it’s mixed with water before being applied.
Epoxy Grout: The most expensive form of grouting, epoxy is impervious to water and staining. It’s ideal for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens but can be tricky to work with as you need to apply an extra barrier.
How To Grout Like A Pro
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s move on to how to grout tile. The process seems pretty straightforward, but there are a few things you should understand before diving head first into the tiling job.
So, let’s get straight to it.
The Mixing Process
You first need to mix your grout, and all brands you buy will have instructions on the packet. As grout usually comes in powdered form, you’ll need to mix it with water until it reaches the desired consistency.
You’ll need a bucket to mix the grout with water, and it’s essential to find one large enough to accommodate both the power and the final result.
We also advise people to mix what they need for half an hour of tiling, as grout mixtures tend to dry quickly, making the entire task more challenging.
You should also ensure you mix the powder and water properly, as the grouting should have a smooth consistency. Once you’ve mixed everything, leave it for around five minutes so that it can settle.
You should now have the perfect mixture of grout, so it’s time to get started on filling those gaps.
Remove Any Old Grouting
If you’re applying new tiles to an old surface, removing the old grouting is essential before you begin. If you don’t have a smooth surface to work on, the grouting won’t stick, and you might need to repeat the job.
Some people prefer to use a scraper, but you can also grab a grouting saw to speed up the process.
Applying The Grout
Now comes the fun part – applying the grout to your tiles. You’ll need a float, which makes the job easier and ensures a smoother finish.
We recommend buying tiling tools from UK recommended providers, as they do a professional job. Remember, grouting dries quickly once applied, so the more tools you have at your disposal, the better.
When applying it, start with the corners and work the mixture to the rest of the surface area. Keeping the flat at a 45-degree angle will ensure it doesn’t dig into the tile surface, and everything will be smooth.
It’s best to tackle one tile at a time and go over the gaps in a diagonal motion, as the mixture will harden quickly.
You should also wipe away any excess grout from the surface of your tiles as you go along instead of leaving it to the last minute.
Some people like to perform general maintenance first and then grab a bucket of water and a sponge to clean all areas properly once they finish the main grouting job.
Seal And Admire
Once the grout dries, it’s time to seal it to add extra protection to your tiles. There are plenty of available sealants, including roll-on, brush and spray brands, so you can find one to suit your needs.
That’s it! You’ve now filled the gaps between your tiles with grout and can sit back and admire your handiwork.
While grouting seems relatively easy, it can be quite technical and requires attention to detail. However, once you master the general mixing and application process, you’ll have no issues.
We hope you found this guide helpful and that you feel confident enough to approach tiling jobs in the future.
Remember that when you learn practical skills like this, it’s easy to apply them to a potential new career or that extensive renovation project you’ve been putting off.
Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team if you’d like to broaden your skill set or are interested in pursuing an exciting and highly lucrative tiling career. We’d welcome the opportunity to support you.