Welcome to the next section in our series on tiling a shower. If you have not read it already, please go HERE to get an idea of where we are in the project.
The first step in grouting the tile is to choose which type of grout you want to use. They all have their advantages.
Sanded grout is good for spaces greater than 1/8” and for high traffic areas such as floors.
Unsanded grout works well in spaces less than 1/8”. It also provides a smooth surface that does not take as many coats to seal. I recommend this for backsplashes, showers, and countertops.
Another option is epoxy grout such as Latipoxy. I have used this before to grout floor tile underneath a stove. It is expensive but very strong and durable. Plus, epoxy has a 100% solids content so it is impermeable when set. This means it does not need sealed and will not stain. However, it is not the easiest thing to work with. It must be cleaned with a vinegar and water combination and special sponges. There is no room for error once it sets up.
The next step is to make sure you buy enough grout. On the back of the bag or box will be a table that tells you how many square feet it will cover according to your tile and spacing size. If you must buy more than one container mix them prior to making up the grout so that the color will be consistent throughout the entire grouting job.
1. Mix the grout with water or additive according to the package instructions. For my shower I mixed with an additive like Microban that inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold.
2. With a trowel slap a glob of grout on your rubber float.
3. Float the grout onto the tile pressing it into the spaces. Push the grout in diagonally to get good compacting.
4. Go back over the tile with the sponge float to try to get as much excess grout off the tile as possible.
5. Follow the directions on the bag for your particular grout but generally you will wait 30-40 minutes before the first cleaning. You want a haze to form over the tile. Get a bucket of clean water and a sponge. You want to ring as much water out of the sponge as possible before wiping the excess grout off the tile with a circular motion.
6. Repeat step 5 until most of the excess grout is removed. Let sit for 24 hours and then go back with a dry paper towel and buff the tiles clean. You can then let it sit another 24 hours and seal it.