How to Apply Grout on Tile

Applying grout to tile is an important part of finalizing tile installation.

Grout is used to hold tiles firmly in place.Grout is used to hold tiles firmly in place.
Grout is applied to tile joints (spaces between each tile) to fill the gaps and prevent the tiles from shifting or moving over time. Besides holding tiles together, grout also prevents water from penetrating tile seams and gives the tiles a more finished look. Grout must be properly applied and maintained to prevent stains, cracking or other damage that can affect the look and stability of the tiles.

Remove the plastic spacers from between the tiles if you are grouting new floor tiles. Do this by grabbing on to one side of the spacer with a pair of needle-nose pliers and pulling the spacer out. Do this to every spacer between the tiles.

Vacuum any particles of thin-set mortar and debris from between the tile spaces using a vacuum cleaner with a hose or small attachment.

Mix a batch of grout according to the instructions on the product. How you mix the grout will depend on the type of grout you've purchased and the number of tiles to which you're applying grout. According to HammerZone.com, grout is generally mixed in a large bucket of water using a plastic spatula.

Spray a light mist of water onto the tiles using a spray bottle filled with warm water. This moistens the tiles and helps the grout set properly.

Scoop a generous amount of grout from the bucket using a plastic spatula and place it on the tiles. If you're applying grout to floor tiles, start in a back corner. If you're applying grout to wall tiles, start at a top corner.

Spread the grout into the spaces between the tiles using a rubber grout float held at a low, 30- to 45-degree angle to the grout lines. It's important to apply the grout at an angle using a wiping motion to prevent the grout float from catching on the edges of the tiles.

Wait about 20 minutes for the grout to begin setting (a thin film appears on the tiles), then use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess grout from the tiles' surface.

Wait about 48 hours for the grout to set completely, then apply grout sealer over the grout, between the spaces in the tiles, using a small paintbrush. Allow the grout sealer to dry for the length of time indicated on the product, usually at least 24 hours.

Things You Will Need

  • Grout
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Large bucket
  • Plastic spatula
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber grout float
  • Sponge
  • Grout sealer
  • Small paintbrush

Tip

  • Because mixed grout hardens if it's not used within 30 minutes and becomes unusable, AsktheBuilder.com advises mixing only half the bag of grout at a time.

About the Author

Sarai Jeremiah is a freelance writer and graphic designer living on the East Coast, where she is currently pursuing an education in both fields. She has been writing articles and content on a variety of topics since 2006 and has contributed articles to Web sites such as Spark People.