After tile is installed, the next step is grouting the gaps between tiles. This task is less time-consuming and labor intensive than installing tile; however, you will still be working on your knees for an extended period. Here's how to grout a tile floor in a single day.
Method 1 of 2: Choosing and Mixing Grout
1. If you're re-grouting an old tile surface, remove the old grout. You can remove the old grouting compound with a grout saw or a grout removal bit in a rotary tool. Make sure this is fully removed before proceeding.
2. Pick a color of grout. The color of the grout will affect whether the eye notices the beauty of the individual tiles, or to the overall pattern of the tiles. Light grout tends to accentuate the individual tiles by blending in, becoming "invisible," while dark grout tends to accentuate the pattern of the tiles, their overall structure on the floor.
- Choose a color that matches the tile if you want the floor to have a continuous appearance. If you installed the tile yourself and the grout lines aren't perfectly straight, a matching color of grout can help conceal these imperfections.
- Choose a color of grout that contrasts the tile color if you want the individual tiles to stand out. If you installed tiles with an irregular edge, a contrasting color of grout will enhance this feature of the tile.
- Choose a dark color for high traffic areas. White or light-colored grout will be difficult to keep clean.
3. Choose between sanded or unsanded grout. Sanded grout is stronger than unsanded grout. Sanded grout is needed when the grout lines are greater than 1/8-inch (3-mm) wide to add strength. Unsanded grout is liable to crack on wider joints.
4. Wait for the thinset mortar to cure. Thinset is used to adhere the tiles to the floor during installation. The exact drying time varies by brand, so read and follow the thinset packaging carefully. You usually have to wait at least a day to grout a tile floor.
5. Mix the grout according to the package directions. You only want to mix as much as you can apply in about a half hour, as it will begin to dry out.
- Dump the powder into a large bucket, and add only 3/4 of the recommended water, mixing thoroughly with a trowel. Afterwards, mix in the remaining 1/4 of water and mix again. It should be the consistency of thick batter; too much water will prevent it from hardening properly.
Method 2 of 2: Applying the Grout