looking for some grouting advice [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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04-21-2008, 10:28 AM
I am very new to this, and am embarking on my first tiling project. With advice here and elsewhere I got through the tiling itself, but I'm worried about grouting....

I'm doing a tumbled stone backsplash, limestone I believe. The tiles are mostly smooth, but a few of them have some rough spots, and there is a bit of variation in the thickness of the tiles. The tiles are 4x4, 2x4, and 4x2, in a random pattern, so my grout lines are all over the place. Before starting the kitchen, I did a small sample project to practice laying tile, and last night I tried to grout that small project, again for practice. I'm using Custom sanded grout. It turned out ok, but I'm not ready to move on to the real thing. Problems:

1. Using the float to "squeegie" off the extra grout is not super effective, seemingly because my tiles are not glass-smooth like the ones in the demos I watched (hehehe) and because though I tried to make everything really flat, it is not perfect. Tips?

2. Maybe I just have to accept this, but it took *forever* to sponge off the tiles, and it is really hard with the little tiles not to work grout out of the groutlines and onto the tile surface. I tried to wait till the grout was setting a little, but I was terrified the grout would dry on the surfaces of the tile.

3. My grout dried overnight, and it is a bit grainy/rough. Should I have smoothed over all the lines? I was worried about mixing in too much more water in my attempt to smooth it out. I prolly also overworked it a bit trying to sponge off the tile.......ack!

4. Right now the grout looks splotchy, and I'm hoping that is just because it is still drying. Is this normal, or does it indicate I made an error?

5. Maybe this would be a good place to use a grout bag?

6. Any other tips? I know that as a newbie there is just going to be a learning curve to deal with, and that is fine, but I'd like to feel a bit better about this before trying again!

thanks! Here's pictures for reference:

my mini-practice-project:

And here's the real thing:

thank you!!!!!!

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04-21-2008, 10:43 AM
I would seal your tile a few times, you are using a darker grout on a lighter tile and that will so all the nooks, chips,thicks spots. etc.

if you seal the tile you can allow the grout to set up longer and not wipe it out of the joints. also this will stop the grout from staining while it sets on the tile longer.

p.s. using a tube of matching sanded caulk along the top (tile to wall) will make it easier to do and clean off (just a swipe of your wet finger) then using a rubber float on your step down edge.

or you can blue tape off the area and use the float and sanded grout.

04-21-2008, 11:11 AM
thank you! I should have mentioned that I did seal the tile. 3 thin coats on the backsplash, but just one on my "sample project". I should have done them exactly the same, but I just forgot to do more coats.

thanks for mentioning how to handle the step-down edge. I had forgotten to ask. I should be doing the caulking, both along that edge and between the tile and the granite AFTER the grout dries, right?