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05 April 2007

How to Grout a Tile Shower

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.


Greg said...

Have your heard about a laytex additive for grout. I seem to remember a product that is used instead of water to mix the grout. Do you know anything about it.

Clint said...


I actually worked as a lab engineer for a masonry company and we had about 10 different latex additives that we developed. There are many reason for additives, some speed up drying in colder climates, some retard drying in warmer climates. Others help the grout flow better. I happened to use an anti-microbial additive for my project. It is also latex based. This will help to repel mold and bacteria, ask the help desk at your local Lowes or Home Depot about it.

Greg said...

Thanks for the info. We don't have a local Lowes or Home Depot. Do the additives give the grout more elasticity do help retard failure?

Clint said...


I am not aware of any additives that would make the grout more elastic. That isn't to say that they don't exist, but I would think you would always want the grout to set up solid. In spots where there is a lot of expansion and contraction such as corners, caulk is used in place of grout because the grout will crack.

Susan Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shannon said...

Hi, I recently used a laticrete epoxy grout on a bathroom floor and purchased additional for the shower (which we haven't grouted yet). After putting in the grout it turned black on the edges of the tile and has areas where the grout turned lighter colors. It looks absolutely terrible. I spent a fortune on the grout and followed the directions exactly. It was very difficult to work with to. Has anyone ever seen anything like that happen before with this type of grout? I am afraid to grout the shower and have it happen again. Any ideas. Thanks

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Shirley said...

I have a problem I hope you have an answer to. I had hairline cracks in one of my showers. I hired a man who does this kind od work to repair the shower. He removed the old grout where it was cracked and replaced it with unsanded grout that he mixed. Now, every time the new grout gets wet it turns dark. The other (older) grout stays white as it always has. Why is the new grout turning dark with water? Please help me.
Thank you, Shirley

HRJ Taps said...

Very informative for bathroom walls

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley I couldn't post all of this up but i found this article and it may answer the question you have about strange colors you had.
guidelines for applying grout

Hope it helps

London Handyman said...

The information regarding the materials required for grouting and the step by step instruction to carry out the grouting on our own is really useful.

Home Renovation Guide said...

This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.

Uptrend said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Epoxy Grouting

acting jobs said...

I find carry out the grouting very hard, can some give me some usful tips?

acting jobs said...

really useful post, I tried doing this without any advice, and got it all wrong. Cheers for this.

rubbish removal said...

This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part.

Felcy said...

Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

Epoxy Grouting

Phil said...

the best way to grout your shower is to take human poo and mix it with olive oil in a blender and mix into your grout mixture. it sounds gross but it actually works amazing. your shower will never stain or mold ever again.

Anonymous said...

a friend used non sanded grout on his shower but for some reason three weeks later the grout didnt harden properly. he said he followed the mixing directions correctly. any ideas why?

Wet Rooms London said...

Very well explained! Nothing to add from myself and I've been doing bathrooms for two decades