Preventing Common Tile Grouting Problems

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Tile grouting is one thing that causes a lot of people problems. The process of grouting is actually quite simple, but there are a lot of ways that you could make mistakes. If you are about to undertake a grouting project, here are a few things that you will need to keep in mind to avoid some common problems.

1. Avoid Peaks and Valleys

applying grout to tile

One of the most common problems that people run into when they grout tile is that they have "peaks and valleys" when they get done. This means that one spot in the grout is very high and other spots are very thin. If you let the grout dry like this, it can make the tile work look amateur.

In order to avoid this problem, you need to remember two things. First, make sure that you get plenty of grout in the joints. Do not be afraid to pack it in there with your trowel. Many people worry that they have too much grout in the joint. However, at first, you should just make sure the grout joints are pretty full.

Secondly, you need to wipe the grout joints down with a wet sponge afterwards. Do this before the grout dries, directly after you have filled the joints. This process actually serves two purposes. First, it helps clean the excess grout off of the tiles. Secondly, it smooths out the grout joints and helps you to avoid those "peaks."

2. Mix the Grout Properly

wiping away excess grout from tile

Another very common grouting problem that people run into is not mixing the grout properly. You have to make sure that you mix the grout to the right consistency if you want the job to turn out right. Each brand of grout has their own set of instructions on the package that will help you avoid this problem. Follow the directions to the letter.

If you add too much water to the mixture, it makes the grout runny and does not allow it to set up properly. If it is too thick it will not spread properly. Also take care when mixing in color so that it is consistent throughout. If the color is not consistent it will look spotty and dirty or faded. Take the time to properly mix all ingredients for the desired finished look.

3. Allow it to Dry

When you install grout, you need to make sure that you allow it ample time to dry before you let anyone walk on it. If you try to move furniture into the room or even allow foot traffic, your grout will stain from dirt, smear with contact, and cause damage to your completed work. Don’t take any chances. Instead let the grout dry at least overnight before you start walking on it. Also consider types of grout and whether applying grout sealer is right for your project.