Installing tile is tiring and dirty work. However, the process is fairly simple and it does not require that much special training or rare tools. It does require heavy lifting and a few helpers, but you should not be intimidated by the work. One of the hardest and most technical parts of the job is installing the grout. This article explains how to get the best grout lines. It will also help you reduce the mess and speed up the process.
Prepping the Grout Lines
Once the tile is installed and secured to the floor with mortar, you need to prep the grout lines. If there are any points where the mortar has squeezed up and is even with the top of the tile, you need to fix this. You can use a flathead screwdrivers, chisel or grout saw to break off and scrape away this mortar. If you did have to do a lot of scraping and fixing the mortar, you will then need to vacuum out the grout lines before moving forward.
Mixing the Grout
Using large bags of mortar mix with 5-gallon buckets is best for large floors. If you have a mixing attachment for your power drill, you can quickly mix the grout and make new batches as needed. You will also need grout floats, lots (at least 6) of tiling sponges and several more 5-gallon buckets that are just filled with water. You might also want to wear latex gloves to protect your fingers.
Applying the Grout
Basically, you take a big scoop of grout out of the bucket and slop into onto the floor. Spread and push the grout into the grout lines. It obviously does not matter if the tile gets grout all over it. But, try to wipe away the excess grout on top of the tile and spread it into the grout lines. The more grout left on top of the tile, the messier the sponging will be.
Sponging the Grout
It is usually best to have another person working right behind you to sponge the tile right after you apply the grout. If you wait too long, the grout can dry and become harder to work with. The key is to use a slightly damp sponge to wipe away all of the excess grout from on the tile. But, you also need to wipe the actual grout lines to make them smooth and make sure they are sunken beneath the top of the tile. Of course, the more wiping your do, the deeper you grout line will be, so don't overdo it.
You will need to constantly wring out the sponges in the buckets of water. The cleaner the sponge is, the cleaner you will be able to get the tile.
Once the grout has dried, you can wipe down the tile one last time with a dry sponge.
For tile installation, contact a company such as Costen Floors Inc.