As simple as it sounds mixing a pre manufactured grout mix with some water and slopping it into the gaps between your tiles how hard can it be ?  Well it depends on the area you are planning on doing if it’s just a small repair than it can be very easy but when working with larger areas it gets a bit more tricky. It is very important to be correct and consistent throughout the job making sure your second mix of grout and your technique is exactly the same as your first as this can lead to major inconsistencies in your job.

Mixing The Grout

  • Mixing large amounts by hand can make a very inconsistent colour so should not be done unless you are only mixing a very small amount for repair work.
  • Use a five litre plastic bucket and a slurry mixer attachment you can buy at your hardware store that can attach to a drill.
  • Add some water and start the slurry mixer ready for grout to be added.
  • Add dry grout gradually to mixing water until it reaches the correct consistency.
  • The grout mix should be wet enough to flow freely into joints. You should be able to make a groove across the grout surface with your finger and the grout slowly flows back to fill in the groove.

Applying the Grout

  • Prior to grouting moisten the area with water from a sponge but no too much this will help prevent shrinkage.
  • Plop some grout on a small work area to start.
  • Using a soft rubber or sponge bottom float tilted up. (tools available at hardware store) push grout around to fill the joints.
  • Come at the joints at a 45 degree angle from two directions with the float pushing grout to pack into the joints. It is very important the grout gets packed in with no voids of air underneath as this will cause issues later.
  • Use a large, damp tile setting sponge to remove grout from tile face and even out grout joints to the desired depth. Keep cleaning the sponge with fresh water so you are slowly removing the excess grout off the tile surface.
  • Final cleanup with more clean water and the sponge. Grout should be dry enough within a few minutes to not be dragged out and onto the tile face. This step also removes the remaining residue. It is important to get tiles as clean as possible as any grout left on the surface of the tile will be very hard to remove once set.

What Causes Colour Problems With Grout?

  • Too much water can create shrinkage cracks, low density, less strength, efflorescence, extended drying time.
  • Too much wet clean up can wash out pigment and create efflorescence.
  • Cleaning up too soon can pull grout out and a delayed clean up can cause colour to be  lighter.
  • A smoother finish looks lighter than a rougher finish due to light reflection. A sponge finishes smoother, a towel finishes rougher.
  • The speed that certain tiles absorb water from the grout can affect the resulting colour.