Mixing Grout

A man grouts tile.
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40-60
What You'll Need
Plastic bucket
Newspaper sheets
Water hose
Mixing equipment, like a rubber float or an industrial stirrer
Retail grout powder
Grout stabilizer
Grout color

You should know how to mix grout if you're planning to remodel your home with new flooring. Grout is one of the most commonly used materials for repairing and finishing flooring surfaces. It's essentially a special type of quick-setting mortar, used to fill in gaps between ceramic tiles. Though grout application is easy to handle, preparing the appropriate grout mix can be a bit tedious.

Step 1 - Get Started

Mixing grout involves repeated use of water, and the dried grout powder is often scattered during the mixing process. Before you begin, cover the entire floor with old newspaper sheets. It's better to use a large plastic bucket for the mixing process. A two-gallon bucket is recommended. Ensure that you buy the right kind of grout powder.

Sanded grout is ideally suited for mosaic tile application—the space between the tiles is less than 1/8-inches wide. However, sanded grout is better suited for wall-tiling repairs. Flooring grout is used for repairing or finishing flooring surfaces only, like ceramic tiles.

Step 2 - Identify Useful Grouting Compounds

You can also add a grout color if you want to render a particular shade to the repaired or finished joints. This is often needed when handling designer ceramic tiles. If you're worried that excess grout may spoil the surrounding tiled surfaces, add a non-stick grout stabilizer. This additive ensures that any scattered grout mix doesn't readily stick to the surrounding surface.

Step 3 - Mix Grout

It's better that you start with mixing a small amount of grout. This ensures that the consistency of the grout mix can be easily manipulated. Many branded versions of grout powder carry packaged instructions, but a simple approximation is equally useful. An easy calculation for household use grout mix involves filling a two-gallon bucket with about 3-1/2 inches of grout powder.

Sprinkle the grouting compounds according to packaged instructions. Pour some water into the bucket. You can use a long stick for mixing the grout and water. Ensure that you stir continuously. Not doing so can create lumps in the grout mix.

Step 4 - Check Grout Consistency

Mixing grout is about achieving the right consistency. The idea is to make the grout mix workable without compromising its drying qualities. Approximating the correct amount of water assumes critical importance. Ideally, the mixed grout should be easily spreadable with a rubber float or a cement spatula. The grout shouldn't contain so much water that it develops a cake-icing like consistency. The mix should be moist, with a firm appearance. This consistency is recommended for both flooring and sanded wall grout.

Among ceramic flooring, grout application often includes filling in small joints between the flooring tiles and walls. The prepared grout mix should be stable enough to be hand-held like a piece of soft dough, without any water dripping from it when squeezed slightly. When you check the grout mix, it should be workable enough to be inserted like a thick paste.

This ensures that the grout is able to enter small crevices between the flooring tiles. This also helps in easily shaving off the excess grout. Once you achieve this kind of consistency, allow the grout mix to settle down for about five minutes. Your grout mix is now ready for application.