If it’s your first time grouting tile, you don’t have to be intimidated. This post will walk you step by step how to grout kitchen backsplash tile (but you can use this same technique anywhere!)
How to Grout Kitchen Tile
I did it, you guys. I really did.
I cut every single piece of tile required for our kitchen backsplash, installed it, grouted it, cleaned it, cried over it, screamed and cussed. But I did it.
And learned SO MUCH.
This was one project from the beginning of our kitchen renovation plans that I said I was going to tackle myself.
So if you’ve been asking yourself the question, “how do you grout tile?” I’m here for you!
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- Grout in color of your choice (We used this MAPEI Flexcolor Premixed Grout in White)
- Grout float
- Craft paper
- Large sponge
- Microfiber towel
- Optional: Razor blade scraper tool
How Long Does It Take To Grout Tile?
Before you start, you might be asking yourself how long you should set aside for this project.
This will depend on the size of your project obviously, but for a normal kitchen backsplash, this should take you 2-3 hours.
To grout a kitchen tile backsplash, it’s not that it takes forever, but it is pretty messy – especially if you’ve never done it before.
How *Do* You Grout Tile?
First, if you have appliances or brand new countertops make sure they’re covered with your craft paper or some kind of drop cloth.
Installing tile is in and of itself a messy job so your first step is to wipe down your tiles with a damp microfiber cloth to make sure you’ve got all your tile thinset (also called mortar) off of the tiles.
Curious to know about other tile layout options? Check out this post on 6 of the most popular tile layouts!
If you do feel any spots on your tiles or even in between the tiles that would prevent grout from going in between the tiles, this is where you’d want to use your optional razor blade scraper tool I mentioned in the supply list.
Just be gentle, as to not scratch your tile.
Now comes the fun.
When trying to grout kitchen tile, you need to work in sections within arms reach. That’s because this stuff sets up pretty quickly so you need to be able to move quickly.
The second your grout float hits your tile, tell Siri or Alexa to set a timer for 5 minutes. You can also just look at a clock, but as a mom of 3 kiddos, I needed to not have to think about that.
Your first swipe with your grout float, you want it to be flat. That way you can get as much grout as you can in the lines between the tile.
This is a workout; it’s not just gently wiping. You need to use pressure to ensure that it’s getting down in the grout lines.
Imagine that mess you see right there times 500k which is what kind of a mess I ended up with.
Once you’ve pressed, you’ll want to angle your grout float on your tile about 45 degrees.
Using the sides of your grout float, press in and move in different directions to ensure that it’s getting where it needs to go.
Then using the long side of your grout float, hold it very close to 90 degrees to your tile and wipe off as much excess as you can so that your next step with wiping it off will be easier.
How to Clean Grout Off of Tile
Now that you’ve finished grouting, you may be looking at me like, “Okay now how do you remove grout from the tile?”
Once your timer goes off, it’s time to start wiping it all off.
Pro tip: If you’re doing this project solo, I recommend having 2 grout sponges so that you can move quicker.
I filled up our laundry room with warm water because it was close, but you can use your kitchen sink or more preferably a bucket of water. You’ll need to change the water pretty often, though.
Your sponge needs to be damp, not wet. Make sure that you squeeze as much excess water out of it as you can.
Use one side to wipe and then use your other side to clean up the grout lines, ensuring that there are no holes or gaps.
You’ll repeat this process over and over until you’re all done.
You want to give the grout time to fully cure before you add grout caulk or try to remove the inevitable grout haze.
But the good news is that I have found the EASIEST grout haze remover and shared all about how to remove grout haze in this post!