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How to Grout Tile Floors: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Floors

How to Grout Tile Floors: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Floors

Getting the grout lines in your floor tiles right doesn't have to be hard, but sometimes one simple mistake or not having all the tools you need can give some interesting results. But have no fear, e are here to walk you through the process of how to grout tiles, and in just a few simple steps, you'll be a grouting expert.

Understanding Tile Grout

Before we delve into grouting floor tiles it is important to understand the common types of grout, as this will affect your budget and aesthetic appeal, and each offers different pros and cons.

The two most common types of grout are:

  • Cement based: This is the most common grout type and is either sanded - ideal for tile gaps wider than an eighth of an inch (3.18mm) - or non-sanded - perfect for grout lines less than an eighth of an inch. This grout type is also typically the cheapest.
  • Epoxy based: This grout type is commonly used in industrial settings as it is made from epoxy resins and hardener, making it more expensive but more durable in the long run.

Selecting the right colour grout can either subtly complement the overall aesthetic or become a bold statement feature. Most choose to opt for neutral or matching colours when grouting floor tiles, but the colour is entirely up to personal preference.

Other Flooring Issues

If you have creaky, loose or hollow flooring, we also have a great way to fix these issues without having to remove and replace your tiles or re-grout your joints. Follow our handy guide on how to fix squeaky wood floors.

Preparing for Grouting

Preparation is key to ensuring the proper application and visual aesthetic of grouting. The bare minimum of tools you'll need are:

  • Your chosen floor tile grout
  • Grout float or spreader tool
  • Grout mixing bucket
  • Bucket of clean water (this will need to be refilled)
  • Grout sponges and microfibre cloths
  • Grout sealer
  • Caulk gun
  • Masking tape
  • Putty knife
  • Vacuum cleaner

Surface Preparation

Grab your vacuum and clear any debris from the joints and then use your putty knife to scrape any old grout and lumps. This will most likely create more debris so just go over these areas again with the vacuum. You can also wipe away any dust or remaining debris with a cloth or damp sponge and then dry the area if any moisture remains.

Next, it is advisable to tape off any areas you don't want to be covered in the grout such as walls or edging.

How to Grout Tiles - The Process

Step One - Mixing Your Grout

Always follow manufacturer's instructions. Start by pouring your chosen grout into a bucket and mix with water until it becomes a thicker consistency and all dry grout from the bottom is mixed thoroughly. It is recommended to leave the mixture to harden very slightly to make the grouting process easier. Leave to stand for around five to ten minutes.

Step Two - Applying Your Grout

For the best ways to grout your floor tiles, load up your grout float, or spreader tool, by evenly scraping your float around your bucket. Then, spread the grout over the tile surface and press the grout into the joints to fill them completely. Don't be afraid to apply a generous amount, and remember - holding the float at a 45-degree angle helps to maximise coverage.

Also, work in small areas to ensure smooth application before moving onto other floor tiles. Another great tip for grouting floor tiles is to ensure the joints are filled completely before moving to a different area.

Step Three - Remove Excess Grout

There will be excess grout on your floor tiles, and this can be removed with a dry sponge, but be careful not to spread the excess grout too much. You'll want to remove just enough to inspect the filled joints and see whether any more grout needs applying. 

If you are grouting more areas, simply repeat step two. The excess grout can be positioned to your new areas with your floater. During this process, take care not to dig into your newly grouted joints and ensure a smooth, filled layer on each grout line.

Step Four - Cleaning Up

The clean-up process is relatively simple, but making sure this step is done right can help avoid complications.

Wait around 15-20 minutes for the grout to set. Grab a moist sponge (moist, not wet!) and wipe away the remaining excess grout so the surface of your floor tiles is visible, leaving an even finish to the joints. Wiping in a diagonal motion is the best method. This will result in a hazy layer of grout.

Step Five - Finishing Touches

This hazy layer can easily be removed with a damp microfibre cloth. Be careful not to push the haze dust into the joints or dampen the grout too much as this will add to the curing time.

Another final touch is to caulk along your baseboards, walls or inside corners. Grab a caulk gun and load it up our Fix-A-Floor adhesive and apply. The caulk helps prevent dirt and debris from entering any crevices. To learn the best methods on using adhesives to fix loose tiles in bathrooms, or putting an end to creaky floorboards, explore our expert guides.

Now, apply your sealer to the grout - using a narrow paintbrush is a great way to do this. The sealer helps stop any dust, stains, moisture, oils and other contaminants entering the joints, so your new floor tiles look amazing, and the integrity of the grout stays strong.

How Long Does Grouting Take to Dry?

The length of time grout takes to dry will depend on the type you have used. Depending on the surface area you have to grout, your working time will range from one to ten hours. The curing, or drying, time of the grout can range from one to seven days, with epoxy grout taking longer. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours before inspecting your freshly grouted floor tiles to see if they are fully cured.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Common grouting issues may include cracking, which will happen if the grout dries too quickly. There may also be a chance of uneven colour from inconsistent mixing and application. More grout and minor adjustments will be required if these issues occur.

Regularly sealing your grout lines improves their appearance and durability, as it will help prevent moisture and stains that can be common in high-traffic and wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Master Groutsman!

Congratulations, you've just learnt the best way to grout floor tiles from the flooring experts at Fix-A-Floor! Enjoy your stunning floor tiles and embrace any further grouting with masterful confidence. If you have any questions or flooring issues, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at Fix-A-Floor for a wide range of leading knowledge and assistance.