I have grout-a-phobia!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dave Poehlman, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I tiled my kitchen backsplash a couple weeks ago with 4X4 slate tiles and it looks great. I've sealed the tiles twice and am ready to apply the grout. It's kind of a mortar type looking grout... gray. The problem is.. I'm afraid to do it.

    I know it's a messy job and maybe that's part of my procrastination. But I'm also afraid I'm going to somehow ruin the tile.

    Any words of encouragement or tips from grouters out there?
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Dave, I just tiled my front door entry way last weekend with slate, about a 24 sf area. I used a dark gray grout.

    Grouting is probably the easiest part of tile work. Mix it up and use a rubber grout flout to apply it. Once you've grouted, you can wipe down the tile (careful, not to hit the fresh grout) with a damp sponge. This will get the majority of the grout off the tile. The trick here is to use clean water on just about every wipe to avoid spreading the grout over more of the tile. Keep doing this until the tile is clean. It gets easier and faster as the grout cures. Again, clean water is the trick.

    I also use a mist type spray bottle to lightly wet the tile and grout for several days after to avoid the grout from cracking do to drying too fast.

    Good luck. I love the look of slate, nice choice. [​IMG]
     
  3. Steve Kuester

    Steve Kuester Second Unit

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    Last summer I tiled my backsplash with 6x6" slate tiles. Yes, it's a messy job - and very time consuming.

    In no particular order, my opinions/suggestions...

    1. I'm assuming you're using sanded grout. If so, don't use a grout bag - it was a waste of time for me.

    2. Only do a small area at a time.

    3. I didn't use a grout float. I felt with the texture of the slate tiles I would be trying to clean out the grout from every imperfection on the surface of the slate. I just used a 4" wide plastic putty knife. I just put a line of grout on the end of the knife and stuffed it into the seam. I'm sure it took a little longer, but I think the cleanup would be much easier this way.

    4. Start in an inconsipcuous area.

    5. When the grout has dried a bit and you start the cleanup, have lots of water and rags/sponges handy. When you wipe a tile off, do not use that section of the rag/sponge again until you rinse it out. I repeat, do not make 2 swipes with the same section of the sponge.

    6. I used a green scouring pad (like the kind you would use for pots and pans) to scrub any hardend grout from the tiles.

    That's all I can think of right now. Good luck.
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Thanks for the tips, guys. My next question is: where the tile meets the countertop, I was told to use caulk there. My brother says to use a latex based caulk and not a silicone based one. Fine.

    But, do I caulk before grouting or grout before caulking? I've yet to hit the hardware store to find some colored caulk that'll match the grout.

    Also... I have some metal "L-channel" edges at the end of the countertop where the tile ends to dress up the tile edges. My brother says I'm supposed to caulk anyplace I have two different materials meeting (ie: metal & slate). Did you guys caulk these places?
     
  5. Steve Kuester

    Steve Kuester Second Unit

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    My tile met the countertop and the upper cupboards. I caulked both places. I caulked after I grouted. I'm not sure what you mean by the "L-channel" edges, but my understanding is that you should caulk wherever there could be movement between two surfaces. (Wall and countertop being a prime example) If these edges you talk about are on the same plane as the tile and would have no opportunity to move seperately from the tile, I think you would be fine to grout if it would look better.

    This next part is only if you are really anal.

    As far as colored caulk... I mixed a couple colors together to get the color I wanted. My grout was a dark gray, and all the gray caulk was to light. I bought both black and gray caulk, squirted a bunch of both in a ziploc freezer bag and mixed together. You can then snip off one corner of the bag and apply it that way.
     
  6. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I only use silicone based caulk if water is going to be anywhere near by. It's more difficult to work with but much more durable in the long run. It holds up to water where the latex stuff will not.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Very beneficial! You can also apply some brown kraft paper over the tilework and mist that as well to further retard the evaporation and improve the curing.

    Dave, your local library and even some video stores have DIY tapes on tiling. Sometimes seeing the work done and the techniques used is helpful. Also, some of the local home improvement stores have weekly workshops on this. Might want to check on that.
     
  8. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Question for all you grout experts !

    We moved into a house where the white grout in the bathrooms has been discolored over time. Normal cleaning helps a little, but it does seem to need some re-work to get it back to "like new" condition.

    Does it need to be stripped and re-sealed ? Or perhaps some sort of specialized cleaner is needed ?

    Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.

    Dave - apologies for hijacking your thread !
     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "Does it need to be stripped and re-sealed ? Or perhaps some sort of specialized cleaner is needed ?"

    I would go to a tile/flooring store and ask someone in the know.


    I just finished my bathroom this past weekend and tiled and grouted the wall around the mirror. Its really not that hard.

    Pics here........
    http://www.geocities.com/tarim69/housepics.html

    My G/F build the cabinet
     
  10. Steve Kuester

    Steve Kuester Second Unit

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    Sorry Kirk, I've never had to deal with that. Sounds like you may need to re-grout, but I'm not really sure.
     
  11. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Kirk, we had the same problem with our shower. I did it the hard way and buzzed out all of the grout with a Dremel and grout removal bits. I also caulked all of the corners just in case. It took a while (two weekends total) and was messy, but well worth the work.

    I'd try some Tilex/CLR to see if it's rust or mold or whatever. If the chemicals don't clean it up, then I'd remove the old grout, put new in and seal. Remember that you should reseal every year or so depending on what type of grout sealer you use. I ended up buying some cheaper stuff at Home Depot which says to reseal every year or two. The more expensive stuff I think can last up to 5 years.
     
  12. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I finally got around to grouting my kitchen.

    HOLY CRAP WHAT A MESS!

    We used sanded grout. The instructions on the container are pretty vague, but they tell you to mix it to the consistency of "peanut butter". But it's more like playing with wet sandcastle sand. The difficulty was we were trying to get it to stick to a vertical surface... couple that with the rough texture of the tile... and the cramped spaces under the cabinets and... well, you've got grout everywhere. [​IMG]

    The end result came out well though. Some grout filled in a few pockets on some of the tiles... changing their look a little bit. But overall it looks good.

    I don't know if I'll ever grout a vertical surface again. A floor, maybe.. or perhaps a bathroom where I've got more room to work... but never a backsplash again. Not with sanded grout, anyway.

    Thanks for the help, HTF!

    Oh! And P.S. - Be careful wiping a wet sponge around electrical outlets. A thanks goes out to Square D for making trustworthy circuit breakers. [​IMG]
     
  13. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I was gonna disagree with Ron up top [​IMG]

    The grouting was THE WORST part of tiling my home. I HATED IT [​IMG]

    But i got it done and was so pleased with the result, id do it again (to my home at least [​IMG]).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Looks great
     

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