Uncle Bobs Tips

Tiling Tips From Tile Experts

Tiling Tips From Tile Experts

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Now that you know how to tile, here are some tile tips to help make those tiling projects come out great. Before we get to the general tiling tips, though, I want to give you an overall tiling grout crash course. These words come straight from the best builder, home improver and craftsman I've ever known, my Dad. So listen up.

First things first... Grouting is not difficult if you start with the proper mixture consistency and the proper attitude. Oh, and it also helps to have knee pads and a healthy back. Now, there is a basic difference between wall and floor grout. Wall grout is usually fine-powdered Portland cement, and the joints you are generally working with are 1/8" wide or less. Floor grout, on the other hand, is used with much larger joints and often has sand in it to prevent cracking when the grout dries. The silica sand used in this application has two jobs. Firstly, it makes the grout very durable, and secondly the sand takes up space. The second role is extremely helpful because the grout will shrink as it dries, and, without sand, it would crack.

As far as the consistency, it should be thick enough to be workable so it can be spread with a rubber float, but not so wet that it will run. A texture akin to that of sour cream consistency would probably be too thin, so maybe smooth peanut butter is a good analogy. When the grout is this stiff, it fills the joints to the top and doesn't form valleys when wiped with a sponge. Remember to mix only a small amount at a time because you'll be spending time smoothing and removing excess grout, and during this process, the unused grout in the pan can dry out and harden.

Now that we know the basics and the fundamentals, here are some helpful wall and floor tile tips to help your tiling projects go smoothly.

Grouting tile tips

Grout with a rubber trowel for best results.

Push the grout into the joints by moving the trowel first in line with the tiles and then diagonal to them.

Use spacers all around each tile to create even grout lines, but make sure spacers used in a wall tiling project are no bigger than 1/8" to ensure easy sealing.

Spacers are unnecessary when using self-spacing tiles, unless you want the gap to be larger than the space that the attached spacers will create.

Remember to remove the spacers prior to grouting. (So simple, yet you'd be amazed how many people forget this basic step.)

When using polished marble tiles, use non-sanded grout so the polished tiles will not be scratched by the abrasive grout.

When cleaning off excess grout, rinse sponge frequently so you are always using a clean sponge.

These are just the grouting tile tips. If you are looking for more tiling projects tips, check out our other tiling tips article.

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