Grout, Am I doing it wrong? HELP ! ! ! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-31-2001, 11:32 AM
I just finished putting down about 70 SQ FT of tile in a bathroom, they are 12x12 with 1/4" grout lines. Last night I finely had time to apply the grout. I thought the grouting would probably be the easiest thing, much easier than cutting around the curves, angles, and doorways right? No way, grouting kicked my butt! I am so sore today from doing that grouting yesterday. My hands hurt, my arms hurt, and my floor is still not clean. They call that grout tool a "float" who named that it does anything but float, you have to press and mush and do all sorts of stuff to get that stuff into all those little cracks. It got that stuff everywhere. Once I got it all mushed into to all the cracks I had to do that sponge thing to make them look all smooth and nice. Did that the lines look good. I still have a lot of grout on the tops of the tiles. I hope it will clean off pretty easy.

I guess my question is am I doing this right? Is the stuff really supposed to be that thick? Is there an easier way to clean off the tile when the grouting is done?

The bathroom was just my starting point, I am getting ready to do my kitchen, utility room, dining room, hall, and another bathroom. I really hope there is an easier way.

Please help me!

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Bud Cline
08-31-2001, 02:11 PM

You have to put water in the grout you know.

(joke, ha)

But seriously folks, if it's that much trouble I think you should add just a little more water, we're talking the consistancy of toothpaste maybe. Don't wait overnight to clean the tile completely, big no no. You are using "sanded" grout right? Grouting is a breeze, says Bud.

08-31-2001, 02:29 PM
Ok so you are saying that my problem was that it was probably to thick?

I did it like the back of the bag said.

It is sanded grout, and on the back of the 25# bag it said to add 2 quarts of water and mix well in a buckett. I had to add a little more water than that but it was still very thick, almost like dry mud. I know the person at Home Depot said that it would be really dry. Is that not necessary? I think it would be much easier if the stuff were a little wetter.

Thanks for your help.

Bud Cline
08-31-2001, 02:40 PM
Keep in mind when adding water that a little goes a long way don't over water causing a need to add more powder if you can avoid it.

But yes, thin that stuff down some. You should be able (assuming we're talking walls here and you don't have a hawk) be able to dip some grout with your float and get it to the wall before it ends up on your toes. Push it in the cracks (it should stick to the walls) until you run out of grout on your trowel then go back move the squished stuff around and put it where you want it. Pick up what you drop on the floor from time to time and use it.

Any flat rigid object could used as a hawk, like the back of a clipboard for example. Pile some grout on the (hawk), then while holding the hawk to the wall move the grout onto the wall with your float. This will give you a supply of grout and a means of catching what falls.

08-31-2001, 02:48 PM
I am grouting on the floor, is it the same texture?

Bud Cline
08-31-2001, 03:11 PM
OK then this is really easy, add some H20, dump a pile on the floor, push it around and down, knife the tile surface with the edge of the float in back and forth arcing movements. Alas...done.

Let the grout firm up, scrub it with a wet/damp sponge about four square feet at a time in a circular fashion, checking that all your grout joints have a nice finish to the surface.

Rinse the sponge, draw it one time making one pass across two tile, turn the sponge over and draw it one time again. Rinse the sponge and repeat. Use one side of the sponge one time only.

08-31-2001, 04:59 PM
Hi Nathan,

It also helps if you drag the float at an angle to the grout lines. This will prvent the edge of the float from catching the grout lines and leaving depressions.

By the way....Grouting is supposed to make a mess. Just make sure to clean up it up before it dries. Have several small buckets of CLEAN water and some good clean sponges. I usually make one pass with each side of the sponge - rinse the sponge - then go at it again. Do this at an angle to the grout lines as well and there should be no problem.

If you use dirty water or try to use a dirty sponge, you may never get the "clean" look


John Bridge
08-31-2001, 05:51 PM
Hey Nathan,

I didn't hear anyone tell you how to clean up the mess on the 70 square feet. You need to get that grout off the surface "soonest." (if not sooner). If you have grout built up on some of the tiles, you need to knock it off right now. Use a piece of wood or something to smack it with. A short piece of wood dowel hit with a hammer will work.

Then get some grout cleaner and start on the haze.

After you get this thing straightened out we'll talk kitchen, okay?

I'm either on the ball here, or I've gone beyond my limit of Miller's. It's Friday night, you know.

07-23-2005, 01:40 PM
dont know if anyone checks this forum anymore, but im havin trouble with grouting my bathroom floor. I dug up the old grout, mixed and applied the new stuff. i let it sit, i cleaned up, and a few days later, i sealed it multiple times with grout sealer/stain/water repeller... about a week later the grout just started to come up. it crumbles, you rub your hand on it and ur hand gets covered with a gray "dust," it chips, it flakes... anyway, its irritating as u can imagin... why is this happening? i thought i did everything right. why is it now just flaking up and comming out of the grooves?

07-23-2005, 01:55 PM
Hi bruski, got a name. Was the grout mixed properly? Was it fresh? meaning not sitting around for years. How soon was a couple of days. Most water based sealers recommend 72 hrs. Most grouts recommend 28 days. I usually follow the grout instructions.