The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Grout

02 / 07 / 2022

 

 

 

Become a grout pro before you install your cement tiles!

 

Why let grout intimidate you when you can become a bonafide grout expert? We’re going to walk you through the most important steps to make sure your grout is good-to-go. As long as you follow these expert tips, you can turn your grouting experience from a minefield to a masterclass. Stay calm, cool, and collected with this guide to grout advice. Give your cement tiles the TLC they deserve by taking extra care during the grouting process. Let’s get grouting!

 

 

The Pre-Grout Program

 

We know you’re eager to grout, but there are a few simple steps you have to follow first! Apply your thin-set to the subfloor with a trowel. Wet the back of each tile with a damp sponge, and gently press your handcrafted tiles into place. If any thin-set creeps onto the surface of the tiles, wipe it away ASAP! Once your tiles have been laid, allow them to rest for 48 hours before moving on to the next step.

 

 

Spacing Out ✨: We recommend using 1/16th tile spacers for the perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality.

 

grout spacers

 

 

 

Signed, SEALED, Delivered

 

Sealing is one of (if not the most) important steps in the installation process! First, use a pH-neutral cleaner on your tiles before you seal them. Avoid acid at all costs! The pH-neutral status of your tile cleaner is essential. Once your tiles are clean and dry, apply a penetrating sealer in thin layers. Fully saturate the tiles, but the layer of sealer shouldn’t be too thick! You want your tiles to dry evenly, without a waxy film.

 

Wait! We know you’re excited, but before you move on to grouting, let your sealer dry for 1-2 days. You might be eager to speed through the process, but it’s worth the wait! If you move onto grouting too soon before the sealant is fully cured, your tile could absorb the grout and cause dreaded staining.

 

 

Picking the Perfect Grout

 

Choosing the ideal grout for your cement tiling project is just as crucial as the grouting process itself. To start, make sure your grout is un-sanded. We also recommend a neutral grout color, similar to the shade of your tile, if possible. Avoid contrasting grout colors for an easier install and a more reliable outcome. If you’re dead-set on using contrasting or dark-colored grout, apply your grout carefully by hand using a grout bag (like frosting a cake)! Be aware that dark grout on a light tile can easily stain the surface.

Most of our customers choose to use a white or off-white grout color with their cement tiles, like the (gorgeous) Jaipur Pink 2×8 install pictured below:

 

cement shower tile

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow and Steady Wins the (Grout) Race

 

It might be tempting to grout in large sections, but slow your horses! It’s super important to grout in small areas – no larger than 2’x2’. All excess grout on the surface of the tiles should be cleaned off ASAP. If you try to grout the entire floor at once, the excess grout will stain the tiles before you have time to wipe it away.

 

 

 

 

Seal, Seal, & Seal Again!

 

Woohoo! You’re almost done. Once you’ve applied your grout, let it cure for 48 hours. It might be hard to wait, but you have to let your grout set. Once your grout is completely cured, wipe your tiles with a pH-neutral cleaner. Before applying your second layer of sealer, wait for your tiles to dry! Finally, apply your 511 Porous Plus Sealer and let it cure again.

 

Pro Tip: For an extra layer of protection in bathroom, kitchen, and entryway installations, we are obsessed with Fila Matte Wax Sealer. It’s a super-easy way to avoid moisture seeping into your cement tiles.

 

grout mistakes

 

A Summary of No’s and Go’s

 

-Use a pH-neutral cleaner – avoid an acid cleaner at all costs!

-Make sure to let your sealer (and subsequent grout!) cure for 1-2 full days

-Opt for a neutral-colored grout, similar in shade to your cement tile

-Always apply your grout in very small (<2’x2’) sections

-Immediately wipe away any excess grout or sealer to prevent staining

-Don’t cut corners, use the FILA Matte Wax sealer for optimal indoor results

 

Still stumped on a grout query? Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us for advice! Contact info@ziatile.com to speak to our friendly team. Happy grouting!

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