Grouting ceiling tile. [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-21-2001, 06:33 AM
While planning and building a new shower install in the basement, as per previous message, I under took to expand my parallel project remodeling our main bathroom.

Decided to extend tiles to ceiling AND also do the ceiling. Used mastic on DensShield and finished tiling the ceiling (used thinset on walls of bath surround). Despite my hesitancy, it was much easier than I thought it would be. While not keen on the Michaelangelo working position, this was offset by the tiles staying in place after I properly aligned them.

Now comes the grouting. Starting at the ceiling, I presume; however concerned about dripping grout/water as I work in spreading and washing. Any tips here, other than wear a raincoat and hat. I also used 8x10 tiles for this project, brick tiling the walls and incorporating a symetric pattern, yet without non grout line conflicts with the walls, ie staggered so that misalignments are avoided.

Looks good to me and when I get around to getting a digital camera I'll forward a pic of the complete job(s). So far the only negs about the tiling is my very slow progress. For me achieving excellence is time dependent at this stage of my experience.

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John Bridge
09-21-2001, 04:28 PM
Hey Wally,

Grouting ceilings is one of my favorite topics. I've got a system. Get about three ounces of grout on the end of the float, whack it up toward the ceiling and stand back. It's better to have it fall on the floor than in your hair or eyes.

Nah, put a little grout high up on the wall and then work it up onto the ceiling and spread it. You're still going to drop a little (maybe a lot).

Kirk Downey
09-21-2001, 06:34 PM

Wear a long sleeve shirt and eye protection, and maybe even a facemask. Grout is caustic from Lime in the mix. It will get in your eyes and the skin on your face isn't as tough as that on your hands.

Also cover the shower floor with about two days of newspapers so you can stomp about with impunity. This is gonna be messy and you're gonna look funny as hell. Like a kid splashing around in the mud - which is why us men like this stuff anyways.

After you are done you may want to neutralize the Lime with some vinegar in a sponge while you shower. (That's the advice of a chemistry teacher at the high school where I work. The tough guys on this site will laugh at my precautions about as much as I would have until I burned my arm mudding an arched cieling. Now they're really laughing at my rookie mistakes. As Homer Simpson says, "Doh.")

Have Fun Wally,

John Bridge
09-22-2001, 09:57 AM

Real men don't worry about little things like lime. As a matter of fact, old-timers like myself cauterize our cuts and scrapes with either a little grout or thin set. ;)

Rob Z
09-22-2001, 11:22 AM
Serious note about the ph of portland products:

One day I was talking to my allergy doctor about tile work, and he asked if I was having problems with my skin reacting with some of the products that I use in the tile business.

He told me about work he had done at his house, including some concrete work. One of the concrete workers came to him in some amount of agony asking him to do something about his legs. This poor guy had some concrete get down inside his rubber waders that caused 2d and 3d burns.

It turned out the guy didn't have any health insurance, so he didn't go to see anyone about it. My DR said it was quite a severe case, exacerbated by the concrete worker not getting treatment in time.

[Edited by Rob Zschoche on 09-22-2001 at 01:29 PM]

09-22-2001, 12:07 PM

If you're not a "real man" like John, and especially if you have a beautiful head of hair to protect like moi, one of the best ways to cover up for a job like that is to go to your friendly paint store (or perhaps your local HD - mine carries them) and get a paper coverall and a cotton hood (looks like a cheap ski mask) Used commonly for spraying paint or texture, especially in tight places. Inexpensive enough to be disposable.

Axe John to send you the photos he has of his stump he cauterized with some thinset last year. Well, actually, he cauterized a paper cut, but the photos are of the remaining stump. :D

Kirk Downey
09-22-2001, 01:18 PM
Rob - Its nice to know I'm not the only dumb ass to get burned. Got 1d and 2d burn on my biceps below the short sleeve where the mud kept falling while I worked overhead. Tender skin there. Fortunately I have health insurance and recognized it as a burn. Didn't need to got to the doctor but I did use bandages and antibiotic.

Also: My wife, the herbalist, insisted that fresh-cut aloe vera from the front porch would help it heal. It worked but after you rub on the oozey, aloe juice - it discolors to a red or purple that made the rather mild burn look horrible as hell. Got lots of sympathy, though.

God is Love

John Bridge
09-22-2001, 01:56 PM
Okay, you guys have convinced me. I'll quite using cement as a blood stopper and go back to band aids.

On a serious note, there is such a thing as "cement poisoning." Pretty heavy duty affliction. If not treated it can be fatal. People who are sensitive to other chemicals should be very cautious when working around cement. Don't use it to cauterize cuts and stuff. :D

09-22-2001, 09:10 PM
Thanks all, I plan to "cover up"and try JB's wall to ceiling grout transfer approach; currently waiting for the tile to really set in preparation for grouting. At least that's what I'm telling the first sergeant while I take a break.

Rob Z
09-22-2001, 10:40 PM

I frequently use the "curing time" excuse for not finishing a job! Can't argue with chemistry.


09-23-2001, 10:44 AM
when grouting ceilings try using a hawk!Its a lot easier than getting off the horse each time you need more grout. Plus the hawk will catch most of what is falling down.keep in mind the hawk puts the grout on the float!!!!Two hand coordination might be a little difficult for a DIY er

[Edited by tileprof on 09-23-2001 at 12:51 PM]

12-31-2009, 01:40 PM
what is a hawk?

12-31-2009, 03:20 PM

02-25-2011, 07:20 AM
I have applied 8x8x3/8" stone rough edged tiles (they are sealed) to a shower ceiling with approximately 1/4" spacing. I'm ready to grout and was considering using a grout bag to make it as clean as possible. Any advice would be appreciated.