Grouting Travertine Wall Tiles [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-21-2008, 11:06 PM
I would like to avoid filling in all the voids on the tiles when I grout as the natural texture of these tiles is what appealed to me in the first place. What is the "best" method to use:
1. Grout bag;
2. float it very carefully; or
3. some other method?

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02-22-2008, 12:38 AM
I had good results on some tumbled 4x4 travertine by just taping the face of them off. Kinda time consuming, but it was only a small area of them. Not sure how big an area you doing, so can't say if its practical for you or not.

02-22-2008, 06:08 AM
what type of travertine and what are your joint sizes ?

I have used grout bags successfully and also sanded caulk on a full height fireplace.

02-22-2008, 09:58 AM
The tiles are tumbled 4x4s and they are on 9 and 8.5 foot long runs so it would get rather tedious taping each one. On instructions of the tile store, I did carefully seal the face of the tiles first which may reduce the ability of the grout to stick as much there. I'll seal over everything once the grout cures.

02-22-2008, 10:07 AM
Hey Greg -

You will get the results you want using a grout bag. Overfill those joints just a tad and after every few square feet or so, strike the joints with your grout float. You will still need to tool and clean up those joints with a sponge like any other installation.

Great attention to detail on your part. It's frustrating to see this tile packed full of grout on most installations.

02-22-2008, 10:16 AM
A grout bag and margin float will help but in many cases you can't avoid getting grout in the cavities unless you tape them off as suggested. If you do get some grout where you don't want it, then you can pick it out with a dental pick or the corner of a small wet sponge while the grout is still soft. I've only used a grout bag on tile with large (1/4 inch or more) grout line. Not sure how well it will work on something smaller (1/8 or less).

02-22-2008, 01:31 PM
the reason I asked the size was that on larger tile like 16x16 or 18x18 a grout bag or caulk would work. we used them on large fireplaces that were 15' high on the wall. didn't want to tape or have grout falling all over the place.

but with 4x4's you have lotsa joints there.

02-22-2008, 01:46 PM
Thanks, guys!

The grout lines are about 3/16" on average. I start off trying a grout bag but if that doesn't work, switch to using a float but also using a 6" taping knife to protect the surface of the tile while applying grout. Very slow process but it should work (in theory)!