How to Grout Tile: Tips and Techniques

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An important part of putting together any sort of tile surfaces is the process of applying tile grout to fill the cracks between the tiles. If you have never used grout for tiles before, though, then the process of grouting tile surfaces can look a bit intimidating and can be offputting. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated to put grout in tiles, as long as you make sure you follow all of the right steps and take your time to do everything carefully and correctly.

Here at Best of Machinery (all rights reserved), we are here to help you learn how to grout tile the right way as quickly and easily as possible. We have put together a guide for you on how to grout tile, including our top tips and tricks for grout use and answers to some of the most common questions about how to grout tile. With our guide to how to grout tile, you will be getting your tile surface sealed up and professional looking in no time at all, even if you think you have no idea how to grout tile at all!

How long do you wait to wipe off Grout?

A large part of how to grout tile properly is making sure you leave it to set for the right length of time. Wiping off your excess grout too early can make a mess and ruin all your hard work so far, but leaving it for too long can leave unpleasant ridges of hard grout between your tiles.

Once you’ve finished applying grout to your preferred level, wait somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to let the grout set and stiffen a bit before wiping away the excess grout. After you’ve left it long enough to make sure things are set properly, use a sturdy grout sponge soaked in clean water to wipe away excess grout from the surface in order to keep it flush with the surface of your tile wall or floor and to clean the tile surface.

When can I Grout a New Tile?

It is important not to grout your tile too soon after applying the tiles to the surface. If you try to grout your tile too soon, then you might end up with the tiles coming loose and falling from the wall. You should always let your tiles dry and set for at least 24 hours before you begin to apply grout. 48 hours is better, but 24 hours should be enough for most situations, as long as the tiles aren’t particularly large and heavy.

Can you put new Grout over Existing Grout?

Sometimes, old grout can look battered, grimy, and unattractive. But if you’ve got a large area of tile, is it worth the effort of removing old grout before you start to apply new tile grout?

Well, that depends on how well grouted the tile joints are already. If the joints between your tiles were previously grouted with a thick layer, then you might have problems. In general, as long as you know how to grout tile properly, applying new grout over the top of the existing grout is likely to add around 1/8 of an inch of depth to the joints. That means that if you don’t want your joints to be ridged and annoying, you will need to make sure that there is at least 1/8 of an inch of free space in the joints for the new grout to fit into. It is also important to make sure that the old grout is properly sanded grout, or your new grouting will not stay attached in the joints properly. You should also clean the surface of your old grout, again in order to improve the chances of your new grout staying firmly attached to the joints between tiles.

Grouting Tips and Techniques

Here, we’ve put together a step by step guide and some top tips for grouting. Covering step 1 (preparation), step 2 (grouting) and step 3 (making sure you clean up extra grout properly), we’ve got all the tips you might ever need to use in order to learn how to grout tile like a professional in no time at all.

Essential Grouting Tools

There are a number of tools you will need in order to grout a tiled area properly. Some of them are needed to mix the grout, some are for applying the grout, and you will use some to clean up afterward. You will need a Bucket, a Caulk gun, a Grout float, a Margin trowel, a microfiber towel, a Putty knife, a Shop vacuum, a Tiling sponge, and finally a general Utility knife. You may find that you already have some of these tools in your home for use in other DIY projects, but if you are missing any of them, then you will want to buy them in advance in order to be sure that you have everything you need to grout properly, safely and efficiently.

Clean your Joints

It is important to be sure that the joints between your tiles are completely clean in order to let the grout attach properly to the surface. Vacuum the grout lines, then scrape away any old grout using a putty knife before vacuuming the debris away. Don’t use too much pressure, or you might damage the surface of your tile!

Mix your grout by Hand

Using a margin trowel to mix grout, mix vigorously until all of the dry powder is dissolved. Use a rolling motion on the bucket to be sure everything is mixed together properly. You are aiming for a consistency similar to that of peanut butter – when it starts to get close, slow down how you add water. Use a sponge to dribble the water into the bucket, in order to have the most control over the consistency at the end of the process. Be careful about adding too much air into the mixture!

Load up your Grout Float

Tilt your bucket of grout towards yourself. Using your grout float, drag some of the grout up the side of the bucket towards you. This gives you a good amount of grout on your float that you can work with. If you make certain that you load up your grout float while over the bucket, then you can ensure that you do not risk spilling excess grout off the float onto the floor! Any excess grout that falls off the float should land in the bucket.

Sanded vs. unsanded Grout

If you are grouting larger joints, then using sanded grout is a good idea. This is because it is generally stronger and resists both shrinkage and cracking better than unsanded grout does. If you’re working with softer stone tiles like marble or sandstone, though, then you should only ever use unsanded grout. If you use sanded grouting for this type of tile, then you run the risk of scratching the surface and ruining it with grit.


Grouting tiles is not necessarily all that difficult. Even if you have no experience at all, it shouldn’t take too long before you get your head around the process and start grouting like a real pro. Following our top tips and tricks above is a great option for getting started in the world of tile grouting!

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