July 21, 2024


Making a New Home

Why Grout Is Just as Important as Tile

5 min read


What is under your feet is as crucial as anything when it comes to residence. That is why this tumble, we collaborated with The Dwelling Depot on an A to Z guidebook that’ll give you the self esteem to make flooring options you can like. Test out the A to Z handbook listed here.


Tile has one of the major personalities of the flooring world—and loves to be the heart of awareness. It usually draws a great deal of “oohs!” and “ahhs!” from visitors, whether or not it’s showcased in a splashy entryway or a serene lavatory.

It is time, though, that these showpieces commence sharing the spotlight—and credit!—with their sidekick: grout. The Dwelling Depot is a veritable one-cease shop for tilework, whether or not you strategy to employ a professional or Do-it-yourself a tile floor (or even a backsplash or shower). Knowing a thing or two about grouting will support you possibly way.


The project dictates grout style

Usually sold in just-increase-drinking water powder type or pre-combined, grout is a combination of cement, sand, and drinking water that fills in the grooves between every single tile. It comes in a range of hues and can drastically improve the search of tile, whether or not by introducing a further amount of contrast (imagine white subway tile, black grout) or complementing it for a far more uniform search (white subway tile, white grout).

Sanded grout is employed when joints—the room between the tiles—are larger than one/8” and is the go-to for most flooring initiatives thanks to the point it can be far more resistant to cracking. Unsanded grout, on the other hand, is a thinner regularity, and much better suited for vertical tile-do the job, like a back splash. (An exception to the rule is when you might be performing with a softer materials like marble, which wants unsanded grout thanks to its delicate character.)


Color and spacing go hand in hand

one/eight in. Original Work-Hard Tombstone-Style Tile Spacers (250 pack)

When it comes to picking out a shade, contemplate that grout will possible darken extra time many thanks to filth brought in from foot visitors. And there’s also the grout-to-tile ratio to be mindful of. With smaller sized tiles, the grout strains will be far more notable for the reason that the tiles them selves acquire up much less room. The two will do the job far more in tandem than with larger sized tiles, exactly where the grout will acquire far more of a backseat.

one/8” is the normal spacing for a flooring grout line, but will depend on the style of tile, its dimensions, and the pattern becoming developed. (In typical, you might be under no circumstances likely to dip beneath one/8” for flooring, but could have a grout line that is one/4” or one/2”.) Applying spacers—like individuals proven below—will be certain an even grout-line in the course of the project, so except if you genuinely have confidence in on your own, you should not try to freestyle.


The suitable tools make matters a lot easier

If you strategy to Do-it-yourself, thinking about tile and grout as two pieces of an aesthetic complete can make the installation method a lot easier. “When you might be laying tile, preserve a bristle brush with you and a bucket of drinking water,” counsels typical contractor Mark Clements, who makes use of the brush to remove any excessive mortar when installing the tiles prior to the grouting stage. “That will save you a day when you get all set to grout.”

Except if acquired pre-combined, it’s crucial to totally combine your grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions to be certain the most colorfast and constant consequence feasible. Just after all, no one is on the hunt for tie-dye grout. Just after mixing, grout rests for a even though to allow the drinking water to thoroughly penetrate the dry elements, a method identified as “slaking.”


Doing the job quickly is critical

Then, the spreading method commences. Doing the job in a manageably small-sized area (imagine 3’ x 3’ at most) and utilizing a unique, trowel-like tool identified as a “grout float,” spread the grout as evenly as feasible in excess of the empty areas between the tiles at a 90-degree angle, filling in the joints even though wiping absent excessive grout. The grout will commence to harden soon after a couple minutes—success is in close proximity to!—but the following action is one that usually hangs up DIYers.


The method of grouting (from prime remaining, clockwise) is rapid do the job. Prepping the grout, applying it, and washing it all want to be carried out swiftly.

Applying a “grout sponge” (basically, a significant-responsibility kitchen sponge), wipe the tiles in a round motion, paying excess awareness not to disrupt the edges of the grout line. Getting mindful is the title of the recreation listed here: you can end up spreading soaked grout about on the tile and generating messy, excessive do the job. Fortuitously, typical contractor Joe Truini has a trick.

“The grout sponge speedily gets saturated with grout—you can only wipe the sponge throughout so significantly and it can be complete, and then you might be just going it about,” he states. “So, the method for wiping down grout is count, ‘One, two—flip the sponge—three, ring it out.’” This method of wiping and rinsing could want to be repeated various periods, specially if you are utilizing dim-coloured grout that is environmentally friendly or black.

The moment you’ve “one, two, flipped” with success and the grout has dried (about 24 several hours), the tiles will possible be remaining with a movie identified as “grout haze” on them. This can be cleaned with various different types of specialty items, but wiping with a moist towel, then buffing with a dry one, commonly functions just as effectively.


Never neglect to seal

And as you bask in the glow of the flawlessly matched tile-and-grout pairing that now make up your new floor (or shower, or backsplash), be sure to acquire the time to seal the grout, which is porous and wants excess safety from the elements—particularly in dampness-significant areas like loos. Truini favors a quarter inch or narrower artist’s brush, and suggests utilizing two coats the initial time and resealing your grout the moment a yr.

The connection between grout and tile is one of give and take—choosing complementary colours, variations, and patterns—as effectively as one of mutual respect, which makes certain that the grout is specified as significantly awareness as the tile for the duration of both installation and in the years to arrive. And if that comes about? You’ve acquired on your own the commencing of a gorgeous flooring friendship.