Adding tile flooring to a kitchen or bathroom is a simple enough task that many homeowners undertake it themselves. Yet your results may be less than satisfactory if you don't arm yourself with some key information before starting. If you have plans to install tile flooring in your home, read on. This article will present three crucial tips for working with grout.
Clean joints between tiles before grouting.
A tiling job consists of three main phases. First, you apply a layer of thinset mortar to the floor. Then you lay the tiles out on the thinset and allow it to dry. Finally, you fill in the joints between your tiles with grout. But it's important to realize that you will run into problems if you don't remove any loose or crumbing thinset from between the tiles before applying your grout.
Those who skip this step often end up with visually unattractive grout. Worse still, a preponderance of thinset dust will negatively impact the grout's ability to bond with the tile. Once your thinset has completely dried, it is a wise idea to remove any excess thinset using a paint scraper. Then be sure to vacuum up any lingering dust or debris.
Ensure a perfect consistency to your grout.
Grout can be a finicky substance to work with--especially if its consistency is less than ideal. Adding too much water to the mix will yield an overly thin grout, one which will have a hard time holding up as the years go by. Adding too little water will leave you with a thick paste that is difficult to apply evenly. The consistency of a perfect grout should ideally possess the consistency of peanut butter--creamy peanut butter, that is!
Plan to mix your grout in a large bucket. Remember that you must dissolve the powdered grout mix completely. This can be more easily accomplished by tipping the bucket on its side. Now roll it in a circle as you mix the grout, using a margin trowel to scrape up undissolved mixture from the bottom of the bucket as you proceed. To avoid over watering the grout, use a sponge to carefully squeeze in the final portion of water.
Apply the grout diagonally.
Once you've got your grout mixed up to the perfect consistency, you're ready to begin applying it to the floor. This task is accomplished using a tool known as a grout float. When using the float to add a portion of grout, always be sure to move across the tiles in a diagonal direction. This will help to ensure an even distribution of grout. Furthermore, it will keep the edge of the float from digging into any of the grout lines.