How to Grout Tiles

To the inexperienced DIY enthusiast, tiling can seem like quite a difficult task. However, once you've mastered the initial task of fixing your tiles to the wall, the final step of applying tiling grout can be an easy job - even for beginners. As always, the secret to achieving a professional looking result is to first make sure your area is clean and you are well-prepared with the appropriate tools and materials before you start.

What you will need:

  • Grout
  • Plastic spatula, spreader or grout float
  • Sponge
  • Pliers
  • Cloth
  • Scraper
  • Bucket of water
  • Waterproof sealant

1) Post-tiling

With your tiles fixed to the wall, but before the adhesive has fully dried, clean away any excessive adhesive using a cloth as once set this will be more difficult to remove and will require scraping. At this stage it may be necessary to use pliers to remove your plastic spacers, scraping away any excess tile adhesive as you go. However, it is possible to skip this stage in most instances as spacers can remain in situ unless they are protruding, saving you time and effort.

2) Get out your grout!

After carefully reading the instructions provided with your grout, prepare the mixture as described. Spread your tiling grout over the tile surface with your plastic spatula or grout float. This should be done using golf ball-sized lumps for ease. Work across the tiles diagonally using the tool and a 45 degree angle to push the grout mix into the joints.

3) Make your grout stout

Once you have worked your tile grout into gaps covering an area of about one metre square, use your damp sponge to wipe off any excess grout before it is fully set. Make sure you don’t miss any excess by pulling the sponge lightly across each joint at a right angle.

4) Check for excess grout

Continue the process across your tiled area, removing excess grout as you go so that it doesn’t become stuck on the surface of your tiles; it will be difficult to remove if it dries on. Once the surface is dry, polish it clean using a dry cloth. Finally, use waterproof sealant where your tiles join a worktop, bath, sink or window ledge.