Ready to grout [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-30-2001, 07:47 PM
I am ready to start grouting and I have a question on how clean it needs to be between the tiles before applying grout. I started to pick and pry all the dried mortar out, no...not A LOT, but enough....anyway, this seems like it's going to take forever to do this and I just need to know if it has to be totally clean between tiles before applying grout or is it ok to shove the grout over that stuff.

I also noticed the term or words "grout release" in a previous link. What does that mean? Is there anything you should share with me, John...before I go purchase this grout and start at it?

Thank you,

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Bud Cline
06-30-2001, 09:28 PM
Somewhere someone decided that the thinset (tile adhesive) should not rise above 1/3 the thickness of the tile I think. Too much thinset (too high) in the joints could effect the drying color of the grout (depending on the color) I'm told but frankly I don't think I have ever experienced this problem.

Grouting is the easiest part of the job if you mix the material properly and spread it with a grout float. Then when cleaning the grout just don't dig it out of the joint.

Grout release isn't something that should concern you, it isn't used everyday, in fact it's need is probably rare for most installers.

You don't say how much tile you have to grout so the only other advice is to not get ahead of yourself, take your time, most grouts are somewhat forgiving when it comes to allowing plenty of time.

John Bridge
07-01-2001, 12:00 PM
Hi Daisey, Welcome back! (We've been helping Daisey with a shower for several months. You can see pics on her web site.

What Bud says is pretty much it. You just need to get the thin set that might poke through the grout. I'll tell you, though, grouting those big tiles is harder than doing regular wall tiles. You'll need sanded grout and something to catch what you drop. I use my hawk along with a rubber float, but you can catch the droppings with a clean piece of cardboard placed on the floor. You can then recycle it back into your mix. Otherwise, you might end up using twice as much grout as you need to.

Don't worry about the grout release -- it doesn't work well on vertical surfaces. As Bud says, don't let it get away from you. Do small areas at one time and clean them up completely before you go on to the next.

Check back. I'm sure others will have something to add. The project looks great!

Rob Z
07-01-2001, 08:02 PM
Hi Daisey

Nice to hear from you-the project looks great.

If the amount of thinset that needs to cleaned out of the joints is more than you can easily cut out with a utility knife or margin trowel, then you may want to get the tool I have made by Barwalt. It's a thing that looks like a screw driver and has a triangular tip on the end. The tool is pulled along the grout joint and does a great job of cutting out the thinset.

I think it cost about $10 or so. If you get one, be extra careful at the intersections of tiles. It's easy to let the toool slip and break off a corner of a tile.

Let us know how the grouting goes.


07-02-2001, 03:08 PM
guys....this aint workin' for me!!! my grout has dried different colors everywhere and it was a pain in the ass trying to remove the excess grout from the grooves in the tiles to begin with. i only did a small section (so i thought) but it's still a nightmare. my instruction pamphlet says to spray it with water several times for 3 days but i'm worried how the colors look now. i went w/ a pewter grey for grout but in some areas it's really light. is that 'cause some water touched it when trying to clean the excess grout off the tiles???

help :-(

Bud Cline
07-02-2001, 03:38 PM

You say you used motar to set your tile but what exactly did you use, what color is it. If you used mortar (thinset) then it should be thoroughly dry by now. If you used yellow or white adhesive (organic) then it must be allowed to dry thouroughly before grouting.

Now here's three things that could be giving you trouble, the first is that instruction pamplet, throw that sucker in the trash can right now. Second thing is if you used organic adhesive and it is not fully cured, it will cause your grout to mottle. Third thing is if you used mortar thinset and allowed it to build up in your grout lines but only in places then this could cause your grout to mottle. This is because where the thinset is really thick it will have a tendency to draw moisture from your grout faster than the moisture naturally evaporates elsewhere. This inconsistency in evaporation can cause mottling.

Also, with pewter grout I would thoroughly mix the grout powder dry before adding water. The heavier additives in the grout will sometimes settle causing inconsistant batches when mixed with water. This has never seemed possible to me but it sure enough is.

You shouldn't be having this much trouble, so let's talk about this before you continue.

07-02-2001, 04:38 PM're killin' me!!! :-)

Ok...the area I'm grouting was set 3 weeks ago so the thinset is dry. The color of that is grey as well. It's Tile Perfect Premixed Thinset Mortar from Home Depot.

What is mottle? My grout lines are smooth for the most part but in some areas it's almost white and some it's the pewter color it's supposed to be. I am afraid to continue thinking that my entire shower and floor will look funky as well. Luckily I started in the small corner where the toilet goes. You can actually see the picture of where I'm doing it on my site. I only went 3 tiles out from the wall. I will try to get a picture on my site tonight of how the grout looks as of now so you can see what I'm talking about.

When I read the directions on the grout bag yesterday, it said to mix it first before putting the water in but it was phrased weirdly. So i just stirred water into it. But I can't see how that would make a difference with some grout being whitish and some grey. I am worried that my rag was too wet when I tried to clean the grout off the tiles...but I had no choice. It was tough getting the grout out of the tile's textured surface.

I hope I haven't confused anybody..... Should I go ahead and wipe the grout lines down with a wet rag and see if it's just haze I see? Whatever the case, I aint doing jack schit without somebody's (anybody's) approval!


P.S. And yes, the pamphlet is in the trash!!

Bud Cline
07-02-2001, 05:15 PM
"The pamplet is in the trash"??? Now there's some progress already!

Now throw that rag in the trash too.

Get a decent sponge and not one of those green things. get a small bucket of clean water. Wipe down some of your finished work and see if you are only dealing with haze at this point. Oh, and don't be spraying no more damned water on that grout for now. Toooooo much water can be a problem, I don't care what they say.

07-02-2001, 05:51 PM
Ok, some parts of the lines are still very white. How wet was the sponge supposed to be? I will definitely take a picture tonight and put it on the site or attach it somehow so you can check it out.

Please let this get better.....

John Bridge
07-02-2001, 06:22 PM
Okay Daisey,

This is not the end of the world (it may seem like it). In the worst case scenerio the grout you've already put in can be removed tomorrow without too much strain. So relax a little. Get a glass of wine. Red is preferable.

I just tried your site and couldn't get on, so maybe you're updating. Anyway, doesn't matter.

I'm not sure what the "Tile Perfect" grout is. Anything that says "perfect," though, scares me a little. Maybe the grout brand is the problem. Get another glass of wine and get some sleep. It'll all work out.


07-03-2001, 01:22 AM
Ok Guys...the picture of my grout job is on my site now at the bottom of the page.
I apologize that it's so big but I wanted you to be able to see how it REALLY looks. Actually, I think it may even look better in the picture than in person. I believe the flash made it so bright that you can't see the difference in colors as well as if you were looking at it yourself.

John, I couldn't imagine tearing that grout out. I'd be sure to f* up my tiles. YOu should see all the dings I put in the edges just trying to rip the dry thinset from between them. Do you really think I need to take such a (in my case) drastic measure???

Let me know if you need to see a better picture and I'll see what I can do. And laughing!!


John Bridge
07-03-2001, 06:19 AM
Two points. Looking at your picture, at the very bottom is an ungrouted joint. It apprears that the tiles are bumped direcctly together with little or no space between them. Is that correct?

The grout you bought from Home Depot. Is it made by "Custom"?

Gotta head out to work. Be back this afternoon.

07-03-2001, 12:04 PM
Yes, the grout manufacturer is Custom Polyblend Sanded Tile Grout.'

No, the tiles are not directly bumped together...that's just a bad shot of it. That particular grout line your questioning is 4 and 5 millimeters wide.

Please let me know how to proceed. I've already purchased a case of red wine.


John Bridge
07-03-2001, 03:41 PM
At this point I'm not sure how to proceed. Maybe we ought to drink the case of wine.

Well, maybe not.

Try another small patch. Mix the grout a little stiffer, kinda like peanut butter (Skippy brand, not that cheap store brand you use). Spread the grout, and let it set for 5 minutes.

Wring your sponge out tightly, and rub using a circular motion -- just enough to remove the build-up from the surface of the tiles and smooth out the joints. Then wring the sponge out and make a pass over the surface at a diagonal angle to the joints. Turn the sponge over and do it again. Then wring the sponge. Every time you make a swipe, rinse and wring the sponge out tight. When everything looks clean and straight, stop. Don't do anything more. If you have grout haze after it dries, we can deal with that later.

I could be wrong, but I think the problem with the first try has to do with too much water, either in the mix, during the clean up, or both.

The other thing. Mix the grout, let it slake for 10 minutes, then re-mix it. You might have to add a few drops of water when you re-mix, but don't over-do it.

Try this on just a few square feet, and let's see if we can do better. I may have to order a truck load of red wine before this is over.

What do you think, Bud, Keith, Rob, anybody?

07-03-2001, 04:17 PM
Good advice John.I think a stiffer mix on a few feet will tell the tale.I have to tell you though,I don't put a lot of faith in custom's products,especially grout.I would say that if this next batch does the same thing it's time to switch brands.TEC is my favorite.C-Cure has an improved grout and excellent matching caulk.Mapei is a world renowned leader and has a new grout that "fights off efflorescence, and Bonsal.I don't care for Laticrete.Any one of those four would be an excellent choice.It's just a question of availability in your area.

But let's go with the stiffer mix first and see what it does.It should be stiff enough that you need to "push" it into the joints with the float.After it stiffens some in the joint(5-10min.)Then begin cleanup with the damp sponge.

One way to make it easier to get off the tile is to wipe it down with the sponge first,"smearing" the grout.This looks like you're making a big mess but when you do your wiping like John said,you'll find that the grout comes up easier.This also helps even out the joints.Clean the sponge and start the wiping.Make sure you have CLEAN water!!! Don't rush,you have plenty of time.

If the mix is too thick to smooth the joints with the sponge,strike the joints with the end of a broom handle or the like.

07-03-2001, 04:54 PM
ok, i will try this again. i'm scared, guys. i believe that it was too much water in the first place, like john says, but that was only because after i did my grout and rubbed it all in and then went back to clean the grout off the tiles.....that stuff was dried to the tile surface and i had to use more water on my rag to soften it. that tile surface is very porous....not at all smooth... so it's tough to clean it off afterwards. i guess this time i will grout and clean as i go....maybe take it 12 inches at a time!! (no pun intended) ha ha!

What do you think of using a grout bag? I think the less grout I get on the tiles, the better chance I have of minimizing the need for water.

By the way, is there anything I need to follow up with my grout that's already done? The pamphlet said to mist with water for next 3 days which I never got a chance to do since Bud told me to 86 that thing. I wiped the lines down yesterday with a moist sponge to make sure it wasn't haze and am wondering if I need to do anything else with it. Can I just cover the lines with more grout??? :-)

Bud Cline
07-03-2001, 04:56 PM
"Confer", let's see what happens.

John Bridge
07-03-2001, 06:16 PM
Bud already told you to lose the rag. Use a sponge, a good one from a tile store, not that thing you use in the kitchen.

Don't worry about the first area. We'll deal with that later, and believe me, it's not going to be hard to do.

Daisey, keep your eye on the ball.

Let us know how you do.


07-03-2001, 06:40 PM
I will go and get the correct sponge for the job. Could you please tell me if I should invest in a grout bag as well?

Thank you.

Bud Cline
07-03-2001, 06:54 PM
"Darlin' you won't be needing no "stinking grout bag" unless of course you have a very large cake to decorate".

Which does bring up another question; how did you get the first batch of grout to and on the wall anyway? Do you have a real grout float?

07-03-2001, 07:16 PM
Hey Bud..."stinking grout bag"?...Pacino in Scarface...right?

07-03-2001, 07:30 PM
Well, as a matter of fact, Bud...I DO have a very large cake to decorate....big enough for 10 of me to jump out of so how do you like them apples? :-)

I am tiling the shower, shower floor, and bathroom floor. While the shower is almost completely tiled, I started grouting the bathroom floor first 'cause I wanted to get the toilet back in ASAP. I am really dreading when I have to do the walls. Do any of you know if a contractor will come out just to do that only?

Anyhow, I'll purchase the sponge and continue my grouting escapade tomorrow. What a way to spend the 4th, eh??

Happy 4th to all!

Bud Cline
07-03-2001, 07:37 PM
.....and you don't need no stinking contractor either. This is really easy, in fact a person doesn't even have to be able to spell grout to be able to do it, save your money. We can do it! You can do it! It can be done!

"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, you get the woman".

Whoops never mind me, I lost it there for a minute in Pacino land.

07-03-2001, 08:02 PM
"Mr are out of order"

07-03-2001, 08:14 PM
Nah, I appreciate his spunk and support! I just hope I don't let myself or anybody else down. Buds right....I/we CAN do this!!

Rob Z
07-03-2001, 09:41 PM

Bud doesn't know how to spell "grout"; the spell check had to do it for him. But, still he grouts everyday, and so can you.

Mix your grout as described on the package. After it slakes for 5 minutes or so, restir it with a margin trowel. If it is crumbly, it needs a little more liquid (add just a tiny amount at a time) and restir.

If it is too loose, it will just slide off your margin trowel as you tilt it slightly.

If the grout is just right, it will hold the imprint of your thumb as you push it into a pile of grout.

If your tile is porous, it may help to very, very lightly mist the surface with water before spreading the grout. Press the grout float as hard as you can, pushing the grout into the joints. You will need to go over each joint several times to get it completely packed in.

After all the joints are packed and the whole area looks like a grout bomb exploded, use the edge of the float to strike the surface as clean as possible. The more grout you can remove now the better off you'll be. Let the float do all the work. The float and your wrist and arm.

Keep your working area small-maybe just 1/2 the wall of the shower at a time. Or, start on the bench first. That's a nice small area to work on.

After the grout firms up (how long? it all depends on the climate in the house. It could be as soon as 10 minutes or so) start wiping the joints and the face of the tile with the good sponge that you got. Keep the sponge no more than damp and rinse it frequently. If you see standing water on the face of the tiles (or, dripping water on walls) you have too much water on the sponge.

Once you wipe if to get the bulk of the residue off, then make short passes with a clean sponge. Flip the sponge to the other side and edges with each pass, and rinse the sponge frequently. Once you go over the area with that, move on to another area and grout. When a haze forms after the clean sponge wipe, then use only a towel to buff the haze off.

This method will get the grout cleaned up properly on most tiles. I learned the hard way here recently on a job where I should have used some grout release, but that's another story...

I'm going to go check your website and look at the shower pics.


Rob Z
07-03-2001, 09:58 PM

I see that John and Keith already said some of this earlier! Oh Well, hopefully something new was added that helped!


07-03-2001, 10:53 PM
You go, girl!

I'm counting on you to fearlessly lead me through my own shower tile project.

By the way, what type of camera do you have? Digital? Brand?

Your Sister in Tile,


John Bridge
07-04-2001, 06:44 AM
Just one more short remark from your brother in tile.

Rob mentioned porous tiles, and I think you mentioned your tiles are porous earlier, but I think you meant rough on the surface. I don't think, from looking at your pictures, that the tiles are porous, and I don't think you should mist the surface before applying the grout.

Sister in Tile? Geez.

07-04-2001, 07:02 AM
Can't help but notice the high percentage of Tile/Mud MEN. Thought I would offer her some WOMEN power. Next move, take over the world. But first... tile. I know, it's subtle, but devious plans often work.



07-04-2001, 08:08 AM
They're already taking over here.Two Ladies own/operate one of the largest Ceramic Tile sales/installation businesses in West Tennessee.

07-08-2001, 11:15 AM
Daisy, I have to say I'm extremely impressed!!! John & the gang are helping me with a shower install as well and the pictures on your website really help!! Thanks for all the great questions you've posted as well! I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product, I've started taking digital pictures of mine as well! Thanks again for the encouragement.

07-09-2001, 09:43 PM
Hey, John....I'm just now seeing your 7/5 post to Lynda how "Daisey French is almost done with her shower" HA! HA! HA! Thanks for the best laugh I've had all year!!! :-)

I never got a chance to continue grouting on the 4th and have been busy ever since, but I plan to tackle it again this Friday. I do have a question concerning the small area I've already grouted I have to seal or stain that part ASAP or does it matter? Otherwise, I won't touch it again until the entire bathroom floor is done. Please let me know.

Amelia and Diane...thanks for the compliments. I wish I could say it's been easy. NOT!! As it turns out, the supposed "easiest part" being doing the grout has ended up the part I'm scared to proceed with most. Good luck to both of you.


Bud Cline
07-09-2001, 09:50 PM

You will want to allow your (yet to be installed) grout ample time to dry/cure so as to allow the color to catch up with what is already completed before any sealer is installed.

07-09-2001, 10:29 PM
Hi, Bud!
Please clarify what you mean or how long you mean when you say "allow the color to catch up with what was already completed".
So if I grouted the first area 9 days ago...are you saying I need to wait 9 days after I finish the rest of the floor before sealing? But then how could that be, because the first section keeps aging as well. Maybe I should just seal it this weekend and wait that same period of time to seal the remainder of the floor after it's grouted. Is that it??? Or have I completely lost you?

07-09-2001, 10:34 PM
The grout doesn't actually "age" but the moisture content may be different in the newest section grouted, so it may look a little darker. Eventually the moisture content will be the same in both areas,which would be the best time to seal.

07-09-2001, 11:14 PM
You need to allow three weeks curing time before you apply sealer.ALL the moisture must be gone not only from the grout but from the thinset as well.

07-10-2001, 07:25 AM
Dear Keith,

During that three weeks, are you allowed to use your new shower? Seems logical that you wouldn't want to add more moisture while you're waiting for the grout and thinset to dry. But...there you are with this beautiful new shower... wanting to testdrive it....



John Bridge
07-10-2001, 03:06 PM
I would follow the recommendations on the sealer container.

I tell people to wait five days before sealing a mud shower. I'm confident that 99 percent of the moisture will be gone by then. And we don't seal the floor at all. It needs to breathe throughout the life of the shower.

And, the newer sealers allow minimal moisture transfer from within, so it's really not a problem anyway.

Diane, You haven't used your shower in months anyway. What's a few more days?

07-10-2001, 03:21 PM
Dear John,

That made me laugh! Of course, there is a fine line between hurry-up and wait. Once the grout is done, I'm pretty sure it's a hurry-up moment.



Rob Z
07-10-2001, 03:24 PM
Aqua Mix Sealers Choice 15 is vapor-transmissable (spelling?), and permits sealing 48 hours after grouting.


John Bridge
07-10-2001, 06:08 PM
I gotta tell you guys about the spell checker on this board. You hav probly noticd that there is non.

What I do, when I'm not sure, is copy and paste what I'm working on to a "new mail" form on my email program (Outlook Express), which is always running in the background (because I getta lotta mail). You can then use the spell check on the email program. If you want to, you can copy and paste the results from the email form to the forum form. I usually just wing it from that point, though. I mean, who really wants to be perfect?

Bud Cline
07-10-2001, 06:24 PM

What I meant (catch up) was that sufficient time should be allowed for the second go-round of grout to cure/dry completely. Some grouts experience a color change as they dry so you shouldn't be in a hurry. Follow the directions on the sealer you buy, they vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer.

I think you should wait at least a week after the last grout is installed before sealing. If you have used "wall adhesive" time is required for this product to also cure under the tile, I don't think it will do it in only two days.

07-11-2001, 01:24 AM
Bud, what do you mean "if i used `wall adhesive`"?? I'm using the same thinset goop to set the floor tiles that I used to set the shower wall tiles. Is that a mistake?

John, when you said that you don't seal the floor, you meant shower floor, right?? Not the bathroom floor as well?? That DOES get sealed???

Rob, it turns out none of those Bonsal gizmos worked for my wall insert. That's the reason why (for those of you who have looked at my pics) that part of the shower wall is still not tiled. My friend has come up with an idea to use caulk to seal what is already there. Meaning, I took down the cementboard and now he is saying I should take caulk and seal around (I don't know how the hell I'm going to describe this clearly) the edges of the chloroloy that's in there and put the cement board back up against that would create a seal between the liner and the wall. I don't know, Guys....I'm starting to think I'm screwed in this case!! Does what he suggests sound possible to you? I don't want to look for an easy way out just to have to tear the thing down a year or so from now.
And another question which I asked in the am I going to get the thinset to stick to that liner since I can't use the prefab thingy. I believe John had suggested that I put backerboard in there, but I'm not sure how I'm even going to make that happen. That waterproofing membrane was also suggeted in the past but that's a big quantity to purchase for this little area. Is there any way I can make this work, Guys? I hate to think that I may have to scrap this part of the project all together. What's my best bet?
I'd really hate to have to turn around and grab the shampoo off the bench behind me!! ;-)

07-11-2001, 11:57 AM
How "bout a surface mount ceramic corner caddy? Do your tile and then place it anywhere you want in the shower>


Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 05:07 PM

The more I learn about your project the less I know about what you are doing.

Forget the wall adhesive comment....... "nevermind"!!!

If we are any where near on the same page then caulking the edge of your liner would be sensless........unnecessary.

I don't inderstand why you think you need to put thinset on your liner...don't do that either. Somebody help "me" out here I am lost.

Saw Keystone on sale here today: 30/can case, $10.49.

07-11-2001, 05:35 PM
Bud, the caulk was my friends suggestion for getting out of the waterproofing mastic route (whatever!). Since we can't get the niche (I knew I'd remember Rob's term) and want to stick with the concoction already created, he was thinking I could just use caulk to make a seal between the liner (edges of the shelf frame) and the cement board as another measure of preventative maintenance to keep water from getting to the wood.

Are you still with me?

Now....what I'm talking about the thinset that if I go ahead and proceed with using that as a shelf insert, I am wondering how I'm gonna get the tiles to stick to that liner realizing the thinset wouldn't make it stick. If I remember correctly, John suggested I line that thing (the inner walls) somehow with backerboard 'cause of course the thinset will stick to that.....but how do I get the backerboard to stick to the chloroloy? In other words, how am I gonna tile that thing, if at all? Bri, thanks for your suggestion, but if this thing doesn't work, I'm just gonna use the bench for storage. Can't see myself putting some cheap stick-up thing in (what will be) a beautiful tile and hardware setup.

See what you get when you mix an idiot with experts??? More red wine....that's what!! ;-)

07-11-2001, 05:48 PM
Your welcome....but it's not a cheap stick up thing..some of them look really carved might see one you really like.

Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 05:50 PM now I'm off in search of your pictures my seat!

Where the hell are the pictures??? And don't eat all the buttered stuff off the top before I get back!

07-11-2001, 05:53 PM
For your shelf..try lining it with this stuff:

It even has on installation video on the web page.


Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 05:56 PM

OK got's the problem? Don't give up, this can be done, and easily too. Dammit I just broke a nail on that pop top!

OK-OK, this is easy. Daisey you worry tooooo much. I wouldn't hesitate to screw that cement board. Just keep the lower screws about two inches off the bottom. FIRST: Cut the bottom piece to fit, set it in place and "DON'T SCREW IT". NEXT: Cut your top piece to fit and screw it into place. THEN: Cut your sides and back pieces, use them to "trap" (wedge) the bottom piece (never screw it) and srew them (sides and back) into place. WA-LA, DONE!

I would also "run" the junctures with thinset forcing it into the cracks you may have. Force it into the cracks until you see it bouncing back at you, then you'll know the crack is full. Use a putty knife to clean out your inside corners so your angles are sharp and your ready for tile.

OK what's next???

[Edited by Bud Cline on 07-11-2001 at 08:13 PM]

07-11-2001, 06:10 PM
Dear Daisy,

I'm curious why the niches wouldn't work. I was hoping you could share your experience so I can compare and contrast with my own. Now that I know niches exist... I want one!

All, where do you buy the Bonsal niches. I've been out to their website, but their store is not operational yet. Did, however, enjoy the pictures of them. My favorite has the gothic point, and I am smart enough to stay away from it.



Rob Z
07-11-2001, 06:33 PM
Hi Daisey

Bri has the best idea so far. Since you don't want to buy the expensive mininim quantity of a trowel applied liguid membrane, use a sheet membrane like Kerdi from Schluter or TS from Noble. (

You will be able to buy just what you need "off the roll" at a tile supplier. Let us know which brand(s) are available, and we'll help you install it.

It will be a breeze, just like John's website.

Don't use that nice bench for shampoo, that's the place to set a beer.


Diane: Quick, edit your post before Art sees that you mentioned the Bonsal niches. We'll never get him to calm down. Oh well, it may be too late. Art, I bought some curb and slope material, and the caulk, today at Conestoga.

07-11-2001, 08:09 PM
Ok, Folks.....I am thankful to hear some options coming forth. I will look around for that stuff Rob and Bri are talking about. Are there any nationwide Tile retailers in particular I should check out? How does everyone else feel about Bud's idea? That sounded good to me also. (Thank you, Bud!!) Thank you, Everyone!!

Diane...two reasons the niche won't work for me:
1) I am too lazy to tear our what is already built and the sizes they offer won't fit in there.
2) It's important to me to have the color flush in my shower. I don't want to have that tile and then some different colored thing in there. If it were cheaper tile or tile of a solid color, that'd be different.
I'm not sure where to purchase them as once I saw they didn't produce a size that suited me, I no longer pursued it.

Rob...I had other things in mind when I built that bench...but beer works too!! ;-)

The day to continue grouting is drawing near. I shudder at the thought.....


Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 09:08 PM

We're not done here. Someone yelled "FIRE" and I didn't want to be the last one out of the building, but I'm back.

If your niche as it appears in your photo today is still how it looks then listen closely.

You would want to cover that wall with cement board leaving out for the niche. The cement board that goes inside the niche should lap over the wall board. Don't forget to install the niche board pieces in the proper order this is important for proper water shed.

Also, for water shed purposes the tile should be installed in the same manner. This however will leave an unsightly tile edge exposed unless you have bullnose to work with. I don't have an answer for that problem. Your bottom tile in your niche should overlap your wall tile below it no matter what. You don't want a grout line on the horizontal plane of your niche shelf.

Almost forgot! You also want to slope your niche shelf ever so slightly (to the front) so that water will not be retained in your niche. If you still have two nickles to rub together after this project then use them to shim your niche shelf bottom tile. One nickle in each back corner is all it would take.

How's that? Pretty murky stuff huh?

07-11-2001, 09:48 PM must not have noticed on my page of pics, but one of them showed the cement board already up and you can see that a hole was cut out where the insert is. It would have stayed but I took it down since my friend said I should put a caulk seal between the board and the shelf. Do you think that's necessary or should I just put the board back up as it was?

Also, I do have a question regarding vcap pieces. How often have you seen vcap pieces longer on one side than the other? I was so upset when my trim came in. If you notice on my bench, the vertical edge is just tile meeting tile where I'd originally planned for vcaps to go there. But when I saw that one edge was longer than the other, I couldn't use them for vertical positions, only horizontal, like on the top edges of my bench. And can you believe that tiny corner cap on the tip of my bench cost TEN BUCKS??!!! My god...the smallest piece cost the most and that thing is hardly bigger than my thumb. I was amazed when I found out the trim for my shower cost $510 dollars where the cost of the tile to do my entire shower and bathroom floor was just under $500. That just blows me away. Anyway, since I was unable to use the left over vcaps on the bench, maybe I can use them for this shelf....but with that edge being longer, I'm worried it might look funny. You can't tell from the tiled bench picture just how weird those pieces are. I'll take a close-up picture this weekend and post it.

And not to worry....if it comes I need some shiny nickels, I have plenty of them up my sleeve!

Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 10:12 PM
Well I must have missed that flick showing the board up in place. Now that the board is down it can't hurt to caulk that area around the niche. I just wonder if caulk will set-up on the vinyl material. Those areas could have been caulked without removing the board (sorta). If you setup your watershed properly I don't think the caulk will make that much differance.

I'm not sure what your referring to as vcap but the way you describe it you are talking about countertop edgeing. And yes "CT edgeing" is different dimensions on each leg and there's good reason for this but that's another book.

But, the problem with vcap/ct edge is that one surface is raised slightly. This I think is to contain spills on countertops so they dont run off onto the floor. I have never seen ct edgeing that wasn't raised on the top. The longer leg is for the face (drop) of the countertop edge.

This raised feature will cause your shelf to retain (pool) water and you don't want that to happen. You also don't want water standing on top of your bench. In the case of your niche you also wouldn't want that grout joint on top of your shelf as explained earlier.

Just curious......did you choose these trim pieces or did a store recommend the materials to you?

PS: $10.00 for that little guy is cheap, it could have been worse.

[Edited by Bud Cline on 07-12-2001 at 12:19 AM]

Rob Z
07-12-2001, 07:36 AM

I thought of other options for that shower seat, as well, but it sure looks small to me.



John Bridge
07-12-2001, 01:57 PM

I think I like Bud's idea of lining the niche with backer board because you already have all the material at hand. I would slope the bottom piece of backer, though, instead of relying on the nickles. You can place a coupble gobs of stiff thinset under it and press it down to where you want it. We slope our shelves more than a nickle's worth. A quarter inch is not too much. It's nice to see the water come running out of there. Less chance for leaks.

Bud is right, too, about the v cap. You could maybe use it reversed, but if you use it right side up, it'll trap water. And I've just studied your seat. It will probably trap water, but that's okay as long as you dry out the shower after each use. (It wouldn't be okay on your NEXT shower, but I'm damn sure not going to tell you to tear it out now. I don't want to see those empty wine bottles come zinging my way.)

I disagree with Bud in having the grout line on the horizontal surface. I do it all the time because it usually looks better than the other way, especially if you intend to picture-frame the opening with bullnose, as we often do.

John Bridge
07-12-2001, 02:02 PM
Forgot something. Daisey, you need to make a new photo page. The current one takes forever to load. Too many big pictures. You could call it "what2" maybe.

Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 03:30 PM
I assumed there was no matching bullnose for this project, don't know where I got that. If there is bullnose, then by all means picture frame that sucker and forget what I said about the grout joint on the surface, hell you already got'em (grout joints) in the rest of the corners why not.

"WOW", this post just took us into five pages, Daisey; are we done yet?

John Bridge
07-12-2001, 07:38 PM
Bud, You may have assumed correctly. I don't know whether she can get any bullnose or not, but she got the sink edge/rail.

And yes, this must be a record. Five pages. I think I'll send you another T shirt.

07-13-2001, 01:24 AM
Hey, hey, hey.....come on, Guys....I can't help it if this post reached 5 pages. And NO, Bud....we're NOT almost done. Some things aren't as "quick" as you're obviously used to! :-D

So this weekend I will put the cement board back up...with caulk in between (pardon the pun) the board and the shelf frame. Then I will line the shelf insert per John's and Bud's instructions. If all goes well, the shower walls will finally be completely tiled. I did purchase bullnose trim, but it is already spoken for. I will just have to cut the tile edges at a 45 degree angle where they'll meet, just like I did for the vertical edge of the bench. Does that sound cool?

Now back to the grouting....I'm going to seal the mess I've already made before I grout any more. Is there a certain type of sealer I should purchase? And I want to follow the instructions Rob gave A FEW PAGES BACK!!!...but I'm not sure he understands how rough (you're right, John...not porous) the surface of this tile is. I don't think I like his image of "a grout bomb exploding" in my bathroom when I'm the one who's struggling to clean it up. He said to use the edge of the float to strike the surface as clean as possible, which I did, but it just wasn't happening. It's like it was digging it in the grooves even more. It seemed to make it even harder to clean. That's why my rag had to have water on it. I was so afraid the grout was going to permanently dry on/in the tiles. But this time I will follow his orders and have my good sponge just damp enough...yadda yadda yadda....and see if I can do a better job this time around.

Two more things, John....first, I understand the need to wipe the shower down with a towel, which I definitely plan to do...but why is drying the bench that big of a deal when it's built with bricks? Would the water weaken the grout?
Second, I will work on my website.....either compressing the pics or creating another page as you suggested. Unfortunately my web software doesn't support thumbnails, but come're supposed to be on DSL or cable modem. What's up with that??

Rob.....keep smiling!!

Bud, I did pick out the tile help from anyone. I wanted a stone look, as if I were showering in a cave. Why do you ask?

[Edited by racerettte on 07-13-2001 at 03:31 AM]

John Bridge
07-13-2001, 05:53 AM
I can't understand why you want to start sealing. Why not work on your technique and maybe get the whole thing looking good?

DSL is in the near future. I was holding out for ATT broadband, but they don't have the equipment close enough to me. We can barely get TV over our antiquated cable.

You dry the shower, including seat, to keep the tile and grout looking pristine. Furthermore, if your seat constantly contains water, it can eventually seep through the backerboard.

Bud Cline
07-13-2001, 06:49 AM
Hey Daisey, there's nothing wrong with quick. To get your grouting to go a little "quicker" follow Rob's advice about using the grout float. Now I'm curious, are you using a grout float with the Teflon pad? The Teflon style grout float will get your grout off quicker. The wet (damp) sponge should clean your (rough) tile fairly "quick" without too much struggle. I always hated struggle.

As far as picking out the tile trim....I would hate to think that a tile store would suggest you use vcap in your intended application.

07-13-2001, 04:23 PM
John...I wanted to seal the already grouted area because that is what Corky recommended (in a way). So then once I finish grouting the rest of the bathroom, the age of the grout when sealing would be the same....meaning, if I seal that small area today, I would wait two weeks before sealing the rest of the grout that is to be done. Question though....I still need to tile the upper wall of that shower, the shower floor, and the curb. Should I just wait until EVERYTHING is tiled before I continue grouting? Second question...what do you mean "Furthermore, if your seat constantly contains water, it can eventually seep through the backerboard." What backerboard are you talking about? The tile on the bench is laid right on the brick. I'm confused. Anyhow, I do plan to rub that entire area down with a towel after each use.

As for you, float is all rubber. Should I get one with teflon?

John Bridge
07-13-2001, 05:19 PM
I think we're getting into a gross case of micro-management here.

If you complete the grout on the bathroom floor you can get your toilet back in, etc. Sealing is not of paramount concern right now.

I meant that if the seat holds water and is not wiped off, it will eventually cause problems in the walls. You don't have to worry about that, because you will wipe it off.

I think you have it going your way now, Daisey.

Bud Cline
07-13-2001, 10:14 PM
"Teflon"??? Yes, you'll be glad you did.

07-16-2001, 09:55 PM
john, pardon my ignorance....but i just want to make sure i'm reading you clearly. i'm not gonna seal anything now, but it's ok to put the toilet in...even though it will be covering up grout lines that haven't been sealed?

bud, i can't find a teflon float, however i only looked at home depot. are they known to carry this tool?

Bud Cline
07-16-2001, 10:17 PM
Daisey those things are everywhere.

Rob Z
07-16-2001, 10:22 PM



07-16-2001, 10:28 PM
Bud....everywhere but the Fairfield Home Depot!! ;-)

Bud Cline
07-16-2001, 10:56 PM
Well as fast as this job is goin' down you still have time to have UPS bring you one. Check out Rob's offering above.

I just looked real quick and I think at that site they call them "Gum Rubber Floats"

07-16-2001, 11:51 PM
No hittin' below the belt!! In my defense I'll have you know that I only get to enjoy the comforts of my own home on the weekends as I work in Silicon Valley (90 miles from my house) which has me renting there during the week. Hence, I am only able to work on my project on the weekends which is also my only time to do gardening, housecleaning, etc. So hmmmmm, what was that line...."slow feet, quick feet..." (which, by the way, had me rollin' for days!!

This is my first of two bathroom remodeling projects. I want this to be over with more than you know....although I am really enjoying myself, also. Please bear with me. I'll find the darn teflon, aight?!

Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 07:54 AM
Somewhere in that 90 miles there is a suitable float, there is a suitable float, there is a suitable float.

John Bridge
07-17-2001, 04:31 PM
Take heart, Daisey. I've never heard of the teflon float either. You just need a grout float. Any grout float.

We always re-set the toilets before we grout. That way we can grout around the base of the toilet. When it sets, the toilet will never rock. And the grout doesn't stick to the bottom of the toilet, so you can always remove it if you have to.

Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 04:52 PM
"ALRIGHT" six pages, what do you think of that Diane?

07-17-2001, 05:54 PM
Six pages! Hey, breaks my record.

Diane, running off to have a drink in honor of John's Tile Forum

John Bridge
07-17-2001, 06:33 PM
I mean, it is rather exciting, wouldn't you say? In theory, this thing can go on forever. Sort of like contemplating infinity, eh?

07-17-2001, 06:52 PM
Being that I can only progress on the weekends, I feel like this WILL go on forever.....but I'm doing my best to get the job done correctly and completely....THAT I promise!

Oh great, are you telling me I'm gonna have a rocking toilet since I already grouted that area?? WAAAAH!!

Diane....sure wish I could join you for that drink!

John Bridge
07-17-2001, 07:11 PM
What's keeping you from going back and poking a little grout around the base of the toilet? Plumbers go through all kinds of contortions, i.e., shims, chunks of lead, nickles, pennies, quarters if they're desperate, all because plumbers don't have grout. (Thank God, or they'd have it all over the place.)

Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 07:40 PM

Hush. Don't give Daisey anything else to due for right now. You know Daisey, all work and no play........

Besides if the damned stool rocks it can also be shimmed and caulked.

All this talk about grouting or caulking toilet bases is sure to stir up the old "DON'T DO IT" topic.

07-17-2001, 08:32 PM
This one's for you, Babe:

Starts with B
Then with C
What can he do?

John...when I first read your last post, I thought I got the picture, but now I'm confused. At first I was thinking I would just remove the grout from the circle around the drain hole but when I thought of how the big the base of the toilet is and how it covers a much larger area than the drain hole, I don't understand how grout is going to hold anything in place. It's only the grout lines that are 12 inches apart that will touch it, right? Forgive me for asking you to visit the page that takes forever to download, but could you please tell me the area of grout I should remove?

Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 08:37 PM

I love it when you talk dirty.

07-17-2001, 09:28 PM
Bud....hope we haven't worked our way into the doghouse....but if we have, it's all yer fault!

John Bridge
07-18-2001, 06:06 AM
Don't remove any grout. Set the toilet in the usual manner. Then grout around the base of the toilet (between the toilet and the floor tiles). Wash the joint and let it get hard. That grout will support the toilet and keep it from trying to rock when someone sits on it, and the grout looks much nicer than caulking.

07-18-2001, 09:54 AM
Now who's talkin' dirty?? J/K Hey, John....when you say "wash the joint and let it get hard" there an actual "physical joint" or do you mean joint metaphorically speaking? Please clarify. My tiling ignorance tends to make me take things very literally on this lovely site of yours.

John Bridge
07-18-2001, 04:14 PM
There is a small space between the bottom of the toilet and the floor. Fill this with grout. Rinse it with a sponge. Make it look pretty. It will look nicer than caulking, which is the usual thing.

Bud Cline
07-18-2001, 04:41 PM

07-28-2001, 01:14 PM

I am wondering if the shower hardware should be put up before that wall is grouted or after...or does it not matter? I was worried that if I did it after it was grouted, it would loosen the grout. (from the drilling and all).
Next question, is there a certain way to start drilling through the porcelain tile so it doesn't crack or mess up the tile?

07-28-2001, 01:52 PM
It's really important that the tile is grouted before you do any drilling...there's a much greater chance of breaking a tile with the joints empty...the grout gives the tile more strength.

Bud Cline
07-28-2001, 01:59 PM
What "shower hardware"?

Rob Z
07-28-2001, 02:16 PM
Hi Daisey

I drill porcelin tile by scoring or knicking the surface with a spring loaded machinist's punch (a nail or awl hit by a hammer would work also). This knick helps keep the bit from wandering.

I use Bosch brand masonry bits that I get from HD (these bits seem to hold up much better than other brands). I drill on slow speed with a hammer drill while my helper sprays water on the bit to keep it cool and to lubricate the hole.

Normally, I don't use hammer mode on the drill when going through tile, but some of these porcelins are so hard that you won't get anywhere otherwise. Try it first on non-hammer mode to see if it will work.

What fixtures are you installing?

Squirt silicone in the hole before running the screw into the wall.

I agree with Bri-grout before drilling.


07-28-2001, 03:08 PM
Ok, well if I have to wait until it's grouted before I install the hardware, then that will be a while from now. I'm not doing any more grouting until all tile is installed and I still have to do the shower floor and curb after I finish this wall and shelf insert. Luckily I can refer to the "installing a shower" post to guide me on the floor.

I'm installing a hand shower so it's that long bar that needs to be mounted. I also got a grab bar to put in there, which I had a post on several months ago, but now I'm not sure about that 'cause the color doesn't match the shower bar too well. We'll see.

Ok, guys. Don't stray too far. I need you.

Rob Z
07-28-2001, 03:19 PM

Keep on tiling. We're not going anywhere until John gets sick of us and kicks us all out.


07-29-2001, 02:47 AM
hey, bud.....i just wanted to tell you i lined the shelf insert per your instructions and she's quite the beauty. i thought i was going to have to throw that idea out the door since i didn't want to go with an unmatching niche. special thanks to you.

Bud Cline
07-29-2001, 10:48 AM
Daisey when your finished with this project you won't want to leave your shower. Creative minds can find many things to do in a shower, bathing is not your only option, but of course you already know that don't you?

Have you considered installing a microwave? It's not too late you know?

07-29-2001, 03:55 PM
microwave?? i generate enough heat, thank you very much.

does it matter what order the tiles are layed in this box i've created. now that i'm about to tackle it, i'm wondering in what order, if it makes a difference.

07-29-2001, 04:31 PM
mix them up ahead of time to keep them uniform

John Bridge
07-29-2001, 05:19 PM
JC, She's talking about putting tile in her shampoo recess.

Daisey, Bud gave you the order back a ways in this post.

07-29-2001, 05:46 PM
Sorry I admit I did'nt read the last 6 pages or so. I just stay out of this..good luck your in good hands

07-30-2001, 10:42 PM
john, i reviewed what bud wrote earlier in this post but i'm a little confused about the grout line on the horizontal surface. he says no; you say yes. if i tile the insert the way i backerboarded it, as he suggested, then the grout line would be on the vertical wall, wouldn't it...since the horizontal tile is supposed to overlap the vertical tile?
also, i've been walking on the bathroom floor tile that was layed a few weeks ago. i recently read a post where that is a no-no. is there anyway to know now if i've screwed it up or just grout it anyway?

Bud Cline
07-30-2001, 11:00 PM

The grout line on the horizontal (as John suggests) is no big deal, I would do it the other way for a positive watershed effect. Problem is in the absence of "bullnose" you've got the tile edge to look at either way. If you have sloped the shelf (or not) water will sit in the grout line if it is on top (horizontal) and eventually find its way thru the grout and behind the wall tile.

Walking on raw tile is never a good idea. Try to step in the center of the tiles and stay away from the corners if you must walk on it. You could take a solid object like a wooden hammer "handle" and lightly tap on each tile to check for broken bond. If the bond has been violated the tile will usually have a hollow sound when tapped, as compared to a solid sound when properly bonded.

08-01-2001, 04:19 AM
It's critical that you don't walk on the tile for the 1st 24 hours. The mortar is curing and if the material is seperated from itself, it will not rebond.

After that, it's ok, except that your corners and edges are exposed, unless you got total coverage. Most installers don't. That is why it is recomended to grout, and pack the grout into the joints the best you can, so possibly the grout can fill any voids in this area.


08-01-2001, 09:53 PM
Looks like I'll have to grout the floor this weekend...IF I haven't already messed it all up. (I am NOT looking forward to this)

Bud, I don't have a hammer with a wooden "HANDLE". Can you recommend another instrument that will give me the same effect? (Not that if I had a wooden "HANDLE" I'd be able to tell the difference between solid and hollow)

Art...I didn't walk on the tiles after the first week that they were laid so maybe it won't be that bad.

Oh..this past weekend I was cutting tile and I got a 12 inch tile stuck in the saw. It's one of those saws where the water drips on it. Anyway, I couldn't get it out and I tried for a good 10 minutes. Can you offer any suggestions or do I have to break the tile?

Rob Z
08-01-2001, 10:01 PM
Hi Daisey

How about a piece of broom stick? Or a wooden soup spoon like Mom used to spank us with when we were kids? You'll know the hollow sound if you hear it.

Can you send in a picture of the tile saw? This I gotta see.

Don't worry about the grouting. You can do it. Did you read Michael Byrne's article about grouting at JLC?


08-02-2001, 04:23 PM
You should be ok, but I would like to see this saw as well.

By the way, just for the sake of knowing, how hot does it get in your shower? Or is that XXX rated?

Curious minds want to know!!!!!!!!!!


08-02-2001, 09:20 PM
Ok, Rob....I've got a wooden broom stick. Do I just tap the tiles dead center? And please don't make the grouting sound so easy. You're making me feel bad. No, I didn't read M.B.'s article on grouting. It's just so hard getting that grout off the tile surface after packing it in between. It smears and dries and needs to be scrubbed off meaning "more water". But as I said earlier, I will do tiny sections so maybe it won't dry so much. I'll read the article and go from there. But hey, you wouldn't just happen to be in California in the next couple of weeks, would ya? ;-)

What's with you and Art wanting to see my saw so bad? Is it prehistoric?? Well sh*t, it may as well be after what I went thru last weekend. I will put a picture of it on my site....with the tile stuck in it, of course.

Art...what are you trying to do....get me kicked off the forum?? OF COURSE it's XXX rated. I wouldn't settle for anything less, Mister!!! ;-)

Rob Z
08-02-2001, 09:53 PM
Hi Daisey

Yep, just tap on the tiles, and you'll hear it if it's hollow. Tap all around the tile, not just the center.

As a matter of fact, I will be in CAL for the first two weeks of September.

Grouting is work, but not impossible to do. I'm drawing a blank on why you're having problems.

How about this: identify the tile you used, by brand name and "style", and maybe someone will recognize it so we'll know if you coincidentally picked the hardest tile in the country to grout.

How much area have you been trying to grout at once?

Yes, a picture of the tile saw that is so messed up would be helpful.


08-03-2001, 07:20 PM
Rob...where in California will you be????

I just tapped all the tiles with a broom stick. It all sounds the same to me. Can anybody else clue me in on what hollow sounds like?

The tile I'm using is Florence Porcelain Stoneware, but it's also has the name Colorado too. I don't see a style on the box so I'm not sure what to say except for that the tile has a rough, stone like surface....not smooth at all. You have seen the only area I have ever grouted.....a small corner where the toilet sits. It's about a 3X3 foot section. Was that too large a space to start with?

When I got home today and looked at the saw, the tile was already broke. It must have been under pressure. Anyway, I'll get a picture of that and let you know when it's up.

Rob Z
08-03-2001, 07:45 PM

A 3 x 3 area is not to much to try and handle. the more you , the larger the areas can be and still manage.

Go lay a loose tile on the concrete in your garage. Tap on it. It should sound hollow. Got any cement board left? mix some thinset and deliberately only cover just a portion on the back of the tile. Set the tile and let the thinset cure. Tap on it. That will sound hollow. I'm out of ideas.

I'll be in Los Olivos, CAL. Before I start to work, Christina and I are going to take a trip along the coast, recreating our honeymoon of '94.

I don't recognize the tile that you have. Hopefuly, someone will know about it. I don't know what to say about the grouting problem. Unless I could see the tile, I can't imagine why you are having a hard time with the grouting.

Time to go and read to my daughter.



Bud Cline
08-03-2001, 08:36 PM
My guess is if it's porcelain and looks like stone it is probably what is called "cleaved slate" in appearance by some manufacturers, and being a porcelain tile it just can't be that rough in texture.

C'mon Daisey, you know the tile jambed in the saw broke because it was under pressure but you can't grout your tile? Me thinks someone is getting their leg pulled or somethin'.

08-03-2001, 08:51 PM
Bud...if I could shove one of those tiles where I'd LOVE to right about'd feel just how rough the surface is indeed!
And yes, I realize now that the tile broke from the pressure. Do you think when I was pushing the tile through, I made it crooked? I neglected to mention that when it happened last weekend. After I couldn't get it out, I noticed that the blade looked slanted.
I just did the "tile on the garage floor" stunt as Rob suggested. Didn't sound hollow to me there either...just clanked against the cement.
I'm gonna grout a tiny bit tomorrow and see how it goes. You should have a little more mercy on the rookies, ya know!

08-03-2001, 08:54 PM
I just lightly caressed my tile and you know what it feels like??.......very fine sandpaper. So now tell me...what's the easy way to clean grout off of fine sandpaper without having to use a reasonable amount of water to get it off? Sliding the grout tool over it, even with teflon, isn't enough. (i don't think)

Bud Cline
08-03-2001, 09:42 PM

The broken tile thing was probably a tile that was already cracked before it went in the saw, happens.

The best way I know to clean grout from sandpaper is to fight fire with fire, get one of those white scrubby pads with the handle on it, in fact get two or three or four if the tile is that rough.

Put some water on the tile, with the scrubby, scrub in circles growing outward, don't let your path dry. Wring a sponge, make one pass drawing the sponge to you. About a two foot long path the width of the sponge. STOP. Turn the sponge over, draw it to you about two feet. STOP. Rinse the sponge. Do it again until you have cleaned just the area you scrubbied. When that area is clean, scrubby another area and go again with the sponge thing. Use one side of the sponge ONE TIME then turn it over and use the other side ONE TIME (TWO FEET). Keep the sponge clean.

Rinse the sponge after every two strokes without fail.

Try using the narrow end of your float only and dragging grout over the grout line only, don't spread grout over the entire tile if it's that difficult to clean. Force the grout into the joint until you see the grout bounce back at you, when the grout bounces back you know the joint is full. If the grout on the floor you are working gets too dry and rolls and balls and skips instead of filling the joint, pick it up, throw it back in your grout bucket, and remix it with the other grout in the bucket. DON'T ADD WATER JUST REMIX IT.

08-03-2001, 10:05 PM
Bud...please don't kill me...but I have another question. I got what you said except for when you started a paragraph with "put some water on the tile". I don't have a problem with the work involved, but remember, the whole reason I am so hesistant to finish the grouting in the first place is because I'm worried the grout color will come out uneven like in my first attempt. It was gray in some places and white in others which I believe was caused by water. So when you say "put water...", you send chills up my spine.
That said, my question much water?

I apologize for my nitpickiness. I don't mean to be a pain in the neck...I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.


08-04-2001, 05:24 AM
If the grout has cured/hardened you can use as much water as you need. Just stay out of the joint with the scrubbie pad. By the way, Bud said to buy several. He meant only the white scrubbies. You don't have to buy the entire assemblies.

If the grout hasn't cured, always clean on a diagonal across the body of the tile. This keep your tool out of the joints.

Also, the gray blotches you referenced from your previous foray into grouting was no doubt caused by too much water during clean up and or wiping the grout joint too much and taking the color pigment off the top of the grout joint.


By the way, I didn't mean to upset you earlier, but I liked your answer!

08-04-2001, 11:32 AM
How soon after I grout this floor can I walk on it? I'm about to head out to purchase the "scrubby with a handle". You wouldn't happen to have an actual name for that, would ya? What does this scrubby pad look like? Is it bristles or one of those sponges wrapped in a net?


08-04-2001, 11:37 AM
The name for it is a Doodle Bug Pad, The original was made by 3-M, although I'm sure there are copies.

It looks like the green material on your kitchen sponge.

Is the grout set up, and you can't clean it off?

You can walk on your floor within a couple of hours. The grout joints are normally below the surface of the tile.


08-04-2001, 11:42 AM
Ok, gonna find Mr. Doodle and start my adventure. Last question....what kind of container do you usually mix your grout in? I had to throw my last plastic one away.

So I'm going to mix my grout per the instructions, shove it in the cracks diagonally, clean the tile surface per Bud's instructions, and then come back and tell everyone how successful it was this time around.


08-04-2001, 11:48 AM
Don't shove in the joints diagonally, use the edge of the float to force it into all the joints and then using the same float & your sponge later, come across the tile diagonally, to clean off the excess.

By coming across the joints diagonally in clean up, it keeps you out of the joints. This way they stay uniformally filled.

Allow a haze to form on the tile before you use the sponge, and use as little water in the sponge as possible.

A mop bucket, like the one you use around the house will be fine.


Bud Cline
08-04-2001, 03:42 PM
"WHOAH HOLD IT DAISEY". Don't buy a "Doodle Bug" and DON'T USE A GREEN PAD. These things have heavy green dyes and the green will leach into your grout. Art I don't know about you. First thinsetting tile to linoleum and now this.

In my earlier post I said "WHITE" pad, use a "white" pad. I buy them by the case from 3M but as Art says there are many brands. Not bristles, not a sponge wrappped in a net, A FIBROUS PAD, WHITE.

I'm never goona make it thru this one.

You know John I'm sitting here the past I have "walked off" better jobs than this one, and they paid more too.

Art, meet in my office in five minutes please.

08-04-2001, 04:17 PM
Hey, Bud..I just spent 3 hours hammering and chiseling out dried thinset between the tiles. Before I started grouting, I thought I'd check my email (as I was also taking the wrapper off the Doodle) and I see your post. Well, the thing that I bought today (which the salesman said was a Doodle) looks almost like the grout float, designwise, and comes with a white scrubby thing and a green one. IF I took the wrapper off, it would have untied the green one and left me with a white head. Can/should I still use it since the green one will come off? It looks like these pads just velcro onto the handle. The name on the barcode just says Scrub Pad Set....manufacturer, Superior.
Ok, ready to grout when I hear the word "Go!"

John Bridge
08-04-2001, 06:33 PM
Hi Daisey,

Bud's not on the boards right now. You'll have to settle for me.

The doodlebug is good for scrubbing the grout off the surface of the tiles after it's dried a little. Use either scrubber, as far as I know.

Then finish up with a sponge. Wring it out tightly each pass.

I swear I don't know how you got onto the doodlebug.

08-05-2001, 10:38 AM
John...your guidance/expertise is a privilege; a settlement by no means. I actually dialed your number yesterday, but thought better of ruining your Saturday afternoon.

I grouted the entire floor and kicked a$$ and took names while doing so. I can't say it's perfect...there is a little discoloration, but I'm very happy with it...maybe even proud of it!

My question for the day is...I remember Bud telling me a while back to disregard a particular pamphlet's instructions to mist the grout once in a while for 3 days to help it cure. Well, I see it says that same thing on the back of my grout bag and I want to know should I still ignore this instruction?

08-05-2001, 10:50 AM
I never said to buy a green one, I said it is like the green material on her kitchen sponge.

You recomended white for cleaning off grout that was set up.


Misting the grout joints won't hurt, although they will be just fine without. Misting is done to allow maximum hydration of cements to give them ultimate strength. You shower floor, Unless you wear high heals in there, well.... never mind, will be just fine.


08-05-2001, 10:53 AM
This my bathroom floor, not the shower floor. Still nevermind?

BTW- I like the way you're thinkin'!

08-05-2001, 10:56 AM
It wouldn't hurt a bit to mist the joints.

Oh, and it's just the kinda guy I am.


Bud Cline
08-05-2001, 10:57 AM
We'll see what John says but here's the deal as far as I am concerned. That statement is probably a "scientifically correct" statement. I personally think it is a "cover your ass" statement on the part of the seller (they all make lots of those). The slower grout cures the stronger, yes. If you have nothing better to do with your time than mist that sucker, then by all means mist it.

Can you imagine a person that does this for a living purposely returning to the job for an additional three days to "mist" the grout? "Hey Bud you got time to grab some lunch"? "No thanks man, I have to drive 60 miles back to a job I finished yesterday to "MIST" the grout". "OK then maybe luch tomorrow what do you say"? "Nope not tomorrow either, I have to drive back to "MIST" the grout again". "But thanks anyway, maybe some time when I'm not so busy needlessly burning gas and running the tires off my truck".

Point is Daisey/Guys, I have never done this. I have never been aware of a problem because I didn't do this. It doesn't matter. This is just yet another "out" for the manufacturer.

08-05-2001, 10:59 AM
People actually invite you to lunch?!

Thanks for the info.

08-05-2001, 11:04 AM
Please forgive these installer types, they get awfull touchy.

I personally demanded that this statement be put on all bags of cementitious products.

I happen to be a stock holder of all the major oil companies and the tire manufacturers as well.

I'm thinking about investing in drive thru resturants in Nebraska next.

Daisey, I hope I made myself clear that it isn't critical, geeeezzzz, I gotta find a way to cool this Bud guy down!!!

Hey Bud,

How about you? Do you wear your high heels in the shower? Can I watch? Got any pictures?


John Bridge
08-05-2001, 12:40 PM
Please take your trashy talk to the mud box. :D

I've never misted either.

08-05-2001, 02:05 PM
Lets go!!

08-05-2001, 10:23 PM
Rob and Art....the tilesaw pic is on my site now. Go to Let me know if it's a bad saw.
Didn't post my recent grout work. Will soon though so you can tell me what a great job I've done!
Art, I'll be seeing you in the mud pool. ;-)

Grout Queen

Bud Cline
08-05-2001, 10:40 PM
Hey guys what is that thing? I've never seen anything like it!

Rob Z
08-06-2001, 05:56 AM
WHOA! What kinda tools are they selling out in CALIFORNIA? How'd the tile get stuck in that thing, anyway?

Grout Queen...I like it.

John Bridge
08-06-2001, 06:04 AM
I think somebody adapted it from a wood cutting bench saw. Daisey, see if you can find a label on that thing.

Bud Cline
08-06-2001, 07:25 AM
How much more tile do you have to cut with this Goldberg anyway? Are we done yet?

08-06-2001, 09:45 AM
It's a Chicago Electric Power Tools Tile Saw (Camarillo, CA...but also says Made in Taiwan)
This tile saw was "a friend of a friend's" and was supposed to be "the sh*t!" I didn't know they meant literally. It has been a pain in the neck cutting with that thing.
Bud, it's funny you should ask how much more tile is left to cut. That brings up my next question I've yet to ask but I have to head to work so it'll have to wait.
Is the saw really that bad, Guys? Wait...maybe the tile getting stuck in there answered my own question. It has been a pain in the neck cutting tile with that thing, that's for darn sure!
Ok, well ....have a nice day, Everyone!

08-06-2001, 09:51 AM quickly answer your question 'how'd the tile get stuck?' ...I don't know what to say except for I had a 12 inch tile on there and when I had it half way thru, all the sudden I couldn't push it anymore. It wouldn't go backword, forward, or even liftup. I think maybe one of my hands was giving more pressure than the other making it go in there uneven. When I lifted the plastic cover to see what was going on in there, the blade looked crooked in the tile. I didn't want to force anything as not to break a tile, but when I got home the next weekend, it snapped itself. And no, I'm not pulling anyone's leg (BUD!!!)
That's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me, John!

Bud Cline
08-06-2001, 02:31 PM
Daisey, I predict you could eliminate 75% of your frustration in this project by getting a "real" tile saw. The other 25%??? Well that's up to you.

Now I can easily see what is "Driving Miss Daisey"!

Rob Z
08-06-2001, 05:19 PM
Bud.... Good 'un!

Daisey, would you please take that saw out and throw it on the freeway so tractor trailers can smash it too pieces?

I swear if you were closer to my destination when I visit CA I would come by your house to give you a hand. But everything in CA is at least a day's drive away, I think.

Bud is right, a real tile saw will not only make your life easier, but safer as well. Get all the your cuts planned and go rent a saw for a few hours.

I am familiar with that company. Their tools cost about 1/5 the price of professional grade tools but last about 1/100 as long.

Keep us posted.


08-07-2001, 10:34 PM
By the way, Bud...what's a Goldberg?

Where do you rent a tile saw from? I don't even know where to start. Does Home Depot rent them? Is it pricey?

"Driving Miss Daisey"......'nuff sed!!

08-08-2001, 05:15 AM
Look in the phone book under Rental. Most every tool rental house has a tile saw.


John Bridge
08-08-2001, 06:09 AM

If you only have a few saw cuts you can probably con some local tile setter into cutting them for you. I do it for people around here all the time. They mark the cuts and bring them over. No problemo.

08-09-2001, 07:45 PM
So, you mean show up on some tiler's doorstep with a box of tile and a smile? I'll look in the yellow pages and see who I can find.

But to answer Buds previous question on how much more tile do I have to cut...that all depends on your answer to this question. When I purchased my tile, I bought 12 inch tiles for the walls and bathroom floor and 6 inch tiles to go on the shower floor, which I planned to cut down to 3 inches. Now I know you highly recommend using 2 to 3 inch tiles for shower floors because of slipping, etc., but since the surface of my tile isn't slippery/smooth, do you think I could get away with 6 inch tiles? If I can, then I've not much more tile to cut...just finish a wall and cut some pieces for the curb, but if I should still cut those 6" pieces down, then there's much more to be done. Either way, I'm not gonna use that saw anymore. I'll have to toss a coin between renting a saw or FedEx'ing the tile to Bud to be cut. :-)

Rob Z
08-09-2001, 07:49 PM
Hi Daisey

The smaller the tile, the easier it is to conform to the slope of the shower floor. 2" tiles are easy. I think 3" tiles are the largest I ever used on a shower floor.

Cutting them down to 2" or 3" will work well for you. How does the edge look when the tile is cut? There will be a lot of exposed cut edges to see. Is the tile the same color under the surface? Or is it a different color under the surface glaze?


Bud Cline
08-09-2001, 09:11 PM
"ahhh-j-jjeeeezzzzzzz Edith.......I mean Daisey", "This job ain't never gonna get done".

08-11-2001, 01:07 PM
The tile is not the same color under the surface. It's much lighter. The edges look ok when long as they're not knicked or anything. Is it a bad idea to cut them to small pieces for the shower far as looks go? I would really like to keep all the tile the same color.'re askin' for it!! I'm doing the best I can, aight?!! Be patient with me.

John Bridge
08-11-2001, 01:51 PM
Yeah, Bud. Be patient, man. You grouch, you.


The cut pieces look good on the shower floor if all the edges are cut, meaning the "factory" edges have to be cut off and discarded, maybe a quarter inch or so all the way around. You'll need a saw. You can make four 3x3s out of each 6x6. They may be a little smaller than 3 in. after you cut off the factory edges.

Repeat. You zip off the edges of the 6x6 and then cut it into quarters. You can rig up some sort of guide on the saw to make repeat cuts.

You should not use the 6x6 pieces on the shower floor. They will look terrible, and they'll be slippery when soapy.

Rob Z
08-11-2001, 02:16 PM
Hi Daisey

When you rent the saw, be sure to ask for a cut off guide.

This is a thing that can clamp on the sliding platform. You can set it so that the inside of it is 2 3/4" from the blade. then you drop the tile in and can cut everyone to the same size.

Don't mind bud. We've sent him to his room to take a nap.


Bud Cline
08-11-2001, 03:18 PM

First of all just let me say "Aarrrg-g-g"!

Then let me ask about the sharp edges that will result when cutting those tile down to three inches. I would think the edges should then be softened a touch with a diamond file. Only problem here is the color difference will then show.

Daisey, 99.8% of the shower floors here are done with 2" X 2" porcelain mosaics. These tiles are matted in 1 foot by 2 foot mats. Very easy to install. Quick to install. Very high coefficient of friction because of the many grout lines. This means "slip resistant". They easily conform to any slope in a shower floor. The best thing is these tiles come in a million colors and you could easily find something compatible with your other tile, easily. They are also available in 1" X 1" tiles matted together. This stuff cost around $5 per square foot.

I would strongly suggest doing it this way. I think you could be asking for trouble cutting and using 3 X 3's.

Oh and Daisey? Hurry up will ya!

08-11-2001, 03:34 PM
I already special ordered all my tile and it's too late to return it. I don't want to pay the restocking fee. I'm gonna rent the tile saw ($40 for 4pm to 9am...not bad..) and start cutting away. And then I'm going to send a hitman to Bud's place.

Sound good?

John Bridge
08-11-2001, 04:01 PM
Way to go, Daisey. I'll go halfies on the hit man.


I've done countless shower floors the way I described it to Daisey. You see a lot of the rich folks around here insist on having the same material on the floor as is on the walls.

And it seems more and more we're installing large floor tiles on shower walls.

If you space the pieces about 3/16 in. apart and grout with sanded, you'll have no problem with the edges. I've even cut them with a cutter, which leaves a much sharper edge than a tile saw.

Go for it, Daisey. Let's get this project wrapped up so we can start on the kitchen, eh? Bud's already come up with some pretty good ideas.

Bud Cline
08-11-2001, 04:18 PM

Obviously you have a great deal more experience with this technique than I. I bow to your senior status.

"Go for it Daisey".

("Gives me cold chills".)

John Bridge
08-11-2001, 04:41 PM
Now I'm nervous. You bow to MY senior status? Always get nervous when someone agrees with me or acquiesces. Guess I've been arguing too long.

Bud Cline
08-12-2001, 10:39 AM

Isn't that the tiny little bubbles that rise from the bottom and sides of a tall pilsner when gently filled with a great ale?

"Acquiesces"? "Boy, this thread just keeps getting better and better".


John Bridge
08-12-2001, 04:12 PM
Acquiesce = throw in the towel. Sorry. I'll try to control myself.

08-21-2001, 10:14 PM
Hi, Guys...

Um, I suppose I should mention this and get your opinions....I've been making my own bullnose pieces for the vertical edge of the "beer etc. bench" and also for the edges of the shelf insert. Meaning, cutting the edges at a 45 (I think) degree angle and having them meet. Does that make sense and if so, am I a total moron for going this route?


John Bridge
08-22-2001, 06:23 AM
That's one way to do it, and if done neatly, it'll look fine. Post another pic.

08-22-2001, 04:40 PM
How come nobody explained what a Goldberg is?

Daisey, a Goldberg is a very complicated machine designed in the worst possible way to do a very simple task. Let's say you want the lights to go on in your house when you pull into the garage.

As you drive into the garage your tires go over a large balloon causing a blast of air to rush thru a hose the end of which is inside the house. As the air is expelled it blows a small rock off a shelf down a shute onto a scale which then tips and drops the rock onto the light switch.

Goldbrg's machines were much more complicated and imaginative.

Rube Golberg was a cartoonist of yore who designed one of these which appeared every day in syndicated newspapers. They were usually aimed at government folly.

There is still an organization dedicated to his memory, they promote an annual contest with cash prizes or scholarships awarded.

John Bridge
08-22-2001, 04:45 PM
By Golly, that's entertaining, Jim. For a minute there, I though you might discuss scamming the public on the public board. I'm sure glad you didn't do that. All that has to be hush hush.

08-22-2001, 05:33 PM
My lips are sealed, but Daisey, if you have any spare..

Rob Z
08-22-2001, 07:32 PM

good to hear from you.

yes, could you post a pic on your website. i'm too tired to try and think right now.


08-23-2001, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the history on the Goldberg, Flatfloor, as I really did want to know what that was.

Ok, I'll post some pictures this weekend and let you know when they're up. John, you'll be happy to know I finally got thumbnails on there so it's back to more what2.

Hi, Rob :)

Rob Z
08-23-2001, 09:58 PM
Hello Daisey.

Hey, how can I get a smiley face down here in the message?

:) :) :)

[Edited by Bud Cline on 08-24-2001 at 09:27 AM]

07-30-2004, 10:17 AM
I lay tile for a living. I read all the comments about grout and feel your pain. I think it is a misconception that once the tile is laid the hardest part is over. This is more of a problem than peolpe realize. I'm a small business and plan to keep it that way to maintain quality. I live in Augusta,GA and see professional tile installers all the time overlooking these problems. They get paid for subpar grout installation on a regular basis with no contemplation. On the other hand it bothers me to do so.
Laying tile is math and being comfortable with the procedures. These are things that are constant and can be controlled with ease once you do it for a living. I've conducted more research than I care to on the subject. Guess what i found out. "Nothing"! All i know is to have a chance you must control the elements. Wind(fan blowing on only part of the floor) , Water, temperature, "humidity", sunlight, and any porous material that comes in contact with the grout that breaks the consistency, like bulging thinset, cut egdes exposed to grout, etc....
It's not always a problem but when it is a problem one or more of those elements I listed has decided to become extreme pain for that day. If you have a whitish powder covering the actual color and comes back everytime it dries. You may have eflorescence. Its not a powder, its a salt than makes its way through the grout and resides on top. If present, everytime you wipe it with water the process starts over again. The best way to get rid of this problem seems to be sulfamic crystals mixed with water. Sulfamic, not sulfuric!!! Big difference. Pick it up from your local tile center. Read and go directly by the directions. It will work if eflorescence is your problem.
Some people look at my work think I'm crazy for not being happy overall. I've always tried to be better than everyone around me at anything I've tried in life. Some say its a curse. I say its the only way to live.
Anyway, grout is a problem, so don't feel bad. If anyone finds the mathmatical equation to plug in all the elements for a perfect grout job I'll buy it from you.

07-30-2004, 11:16 AM
Hey daisy, how come you have a pass to get into your site? I would love to see what you've done / or doing.

John Bridge
07-31-2004, 03:59 PM
We are glad to have you join us. Two things: Please give us a name; and notice that this thread is very very old. Daisey may not come around again. ;)

08-03-2004, 10:23 AM
Hi. My name is Robin. I was hoping to see Daisey's finished products. Oh well. Too bad she has a password entrance to her web site. Wonder why? Scarey!

08-03-2004, 06:14 PM
I think she has some x-rated mosaics in there, ol' Daiseywas a bit... er... a, John, you explain it. :rolleyes:

John Bridge
08-03-2004, 07:01 PM
Naw, it's a personal site. She used to give us the password. It might be in one of the threads. :)

Or, you might be able to email her. The email might still be the same.

John Bridge
08-03-2004, 07:01 PM
Naw, it's a personal site. She used to give us the password. It might be in one of the threads. :)

Or, you might be able to email her. The email might still be the same.

John Bridge
08-03-2004, 07:02 PM
Naw, it's a personal site. She used to give us the password. It might be in one of the threads. :)

Or, you might be able to email her. The email might still be the same.

08-03-2004, 08:20 PM
John you stutter in complete sentences? :D

08-04-2004, 05:24 AM
Hey, john, there's an echo in this room! How come your post shows not once, not twice, but thrice?

John Bridge
08-04-2004, 04:31 PM
I think flatfloor caused that. :)

Actually, we've been having problems with the forum lately. Dave Misevich, our systems guy is about to upgrade it, maybe this everning or tommorrow evening. It will look a little different, but it will work much better. The upgrade won't do anything for flatfloor, though. ;)

08-04-2004, 04:37 PM
I don't need no steenkin upgrade software, maybe more memory might help tho. :confused: ;)

10-22-2007, 10:33 AM
Dang, I disappear for a few years and can't believe the suggestions I'm reading about why my website had a password on it.... I'll just take it as a compliment, whatever FlatFloor meant by that.