Grouting Wall Tiles

Today I’m going to talk to you about how to grout wall tiles. I’m going to start off by showing you all the tools and materials that we need to do this job. We’re going to need a roll of painters masking tape, I prefer the wider stuff, we’re going to need a rubber float for actually pressing the grout into the joints of the tiles, we’re going to need something to stir the grout with, we’ll also need this tool, which is used for cleaning the grout lines out, sometimes after you applied the tiles, there’s going to be some Mastic or thinset between, use this edge to scrape that out of there, so there is room for your grout to go in, clean sponge, a clean bucket with clean cool water in it for rinsing and of course, your grout.

In this case I like to use Quartz Lock product, it’s urethane grout, it’s got pretty superior stain and molding resistance, they recommended it even in showers, but not in a high steam, but showers seem to be fine. Let’s start over, I’m going to use this painter masking tape to mask off the edges on painted surfaces, showers, basically anywhere that I don;t want the grout to stick to, this type of grout dries and tacks up pretty quickly. Simply, it’s pretty basic, decide what you want for reveal here, I’m using about an eighth of an inch, apply your tape and same thing on the edge of the shower in here.

grout wall tileI’m not actually going to be putting grout in this joint, against the shower, but I still want the tape here, just for clean up, so I don’t have to the surface or take a chance of scratching the shower. This will get white kitchen and bath silicone, I’ll use the silicone all the way around. Once you have the masking tape down, with this grout, you want to use your margin trowel and when you first open it up it’s going to have a bit of a milky consistency on the top, just take the trowel, I’ve already mixed this, but take your trowel, mix it around, if you have to use a power mixer or something in your drill, go very slow, you don’t want to get too much air entering there; just mix it up, it’s perfectly normal to have that milky consistency on top. We’ve got that stirred, take my rubber float, get a little bit on a corner. It’s kind of hard, you don’t have a lot of room to work here, but you’re going to get the idea of what I’m doing, I’m going to be pressing the grout with the float, trying to fill the joint as much as I can.

You want to actually see it oozing over the side, if you can then you know you’ve got it nice and full, you’re going to drop some, it’s a good idea to have a drop cloth around your work area. Besides that you got enough in the joint itself, just run your float down on a bit of an angle to your line so that it doesn’t fall into the groove and damage it out. As you can see, I’m just going down on a bit of an angle, that just kind of floats it off straight level.

One key is, until you really get one like this, don’t do too much at a time, until you get a feel how quickly is drying and how that’s going to work out for you. I’m not sure if you can see this, but you can see the grout actually oozing a little on the side there, we’ll clean that up with the sponge as we go, that way you know you got the grout right back into the back of your line.Now I’m going to take my clean sponge and get it wet, you want to rinse as much of that water out as you can, you really need very little water, you just need a damp sponge. And try not to get wiping on the clean surface, that’s why the tape is there, we’re just trying to clean this up, I already feel that urethane sticking on the tiles, it just gives you an idea that we don’t want to do too many feet at a time, where you are just going to do scrubbing and scrubbing.

wall tile groutSo you can see, I’m just giving that a quick wipe; on porcelain tiles is a little easier, it’s easy to clean, there’s no extra grout falling. I am going to rinse my sponge. I’m going to continue on up here. You’re just going to push it in there, working it into the joint. On a bigger wall, you’d be able to actually get some good motion. Here is a little tedious, you’ll have to go around all your edges. Get a good wipe, get any of the excess off the surface of the tile, make sure it’s cleaned up pretty good and that’s how you basically get all your joints done nice. I’m going to rinse this sponge once more, so it’s ready for next time.

In this application, on these edges here, you could use a strip, which is a brand name of a metal finish trim piece that could go along here, make the transition from your tile surface to your painted surface or whatever you’re using. In this case, we don’t have that so what I’ll do, I left my tape back about an eight of an inch, now I’m actually going to use my finger, you could use a stick, I’ll just use my finger, it’s as easy as anything. I’m actually going to finish that edge with a little bit of grout, I’m just roughly get into place for right now. This looks a little barbaric, but it’s really the best way to get it in there without having a big grout mess. So you’re going to push it in there, make sure you are packing it right back into the corner. Use your finger, whatever, just like I was using the trowel before, basically finishing it off, get it on the angle that you want.

Once you’ve got your area done, don’t do too much at a time. I would generally do more than this, but for what we are doing in here, this is good. Take your sponge again, give that a wipe, that first wipe kind of gets the major excess off, next wipe is going to finish it up. I just cleaned off what I squirted all over the tile. You can see the difference here now, from unfinished to finished. I’ll try to remove the tape fairly quickly after I do that edge, just to prevent peeling any paint. As you can see, as I am removing the tape, we have a nice clean edge and you can see the difference here where we have no grout to where we do have grout and it’s a nice finish, nice neat finish. Just try and keep your tools cleaned up, use as little water you need to, to do the cleaning, don’t let things dry, don’t let the grout too long in between the cleaning or you’re just doing a lot more work than you have to. I hope this was helpful and along with the video installing the tiles and now grouting the tiles, you should be able to do your job start to finish.

Mathew Lilienthal