How did you do yesterday with the How to Tile a Backsplash: Tile Setting tutorial? Not too bad, right? Well, today will be a very gratifying day. Today I’m going to show you how to grout (and seal) your tiles and finish off your kitchen backsplash. You are going to love the end result.
- Grout (Used: Mapei UltraColor Plus Rapid-Setting Sanded Grout color: Frost)
- VanHearron’s Grout Once
- Two buckets (same size or one larger)
- Grout Float
- Buffing pad
- Basin filled with clean water
Prep work: If you are working with a natural stone tile, you may want to seal the tiles before grouting. I sprayed StainGuard5000 on a dry clean rag and wiped it onto all the tiles. Then buffed it off after five minutes.
If you are using a rapid setting grout, you might want to slow the “setting” process slightly. I learned this trick from our local tile shop: Start by filling one bucket with ice water. Nest the second bucket inside the first.
Mix your grout according the package directions. Mix as much as you can spread in about 15-20 minutes. If you want to save yourself the extra step of sealing your grout later, you should use Grout Once (or another sealer additive) instead of water when mixing your grout.
Mix until you have a thick consistency, like smooth peanut butter.
Watch this video to learn the techniques for spreading the grout and how to clean after grouting:
Use the spatula to load the grout float with grout.
Spread the grout onto the tile by dragging the float across the tile at a 45 degree angle and along the wall at an angle. Then drag the float in the opposite direction (imagine creating an “X” on the wall. Push firmly to force the grout into the spaces between tiles.
Scrape off excess grout from the float and use it to squeegee off any excess grout from the tiles.
As the grout starts to firm, sponge off your tiles with a very damp sponge. Remove any excess grout from the tiles by frequently flipping the sponge to a clean side and rinsing the sponge in water.
After the tiles dry, you will have a slight haze left on the tiles. Buff them with a clean dry rag and/or a buffing pad (check automotive stores.)
When your wall has been grouted and has dried, you need to fill the space between the tiles and the countertop with caulk. I used Mapei’s Keracolor unsanded caulk that matches the grout (Frost color.)
Follow this tutorial to learn how to caulk with a caulking gun. To get a smooth caulk line, I like to use my finger dipped in ice water. I follow up with a baby wipe on my finger to smooth and get rid of excess caulk.
Before the caulk dries, remove any painter’s tape (put up before you tiled) to reveal a clean line.
That’s it! Enjoy your newly finished kitchen backsplash!
I am in LOVE with our backsplash. I was talking to my friend and told her that it was amazing how much more “finished” the kitchen feels now that the backsplash is done.
I have one more project before I’m ready to call the kitchen officially DONE. It involves something awesome on this wall:
The tiles I used are Venato Marble 3″ x 6″ honed subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com. If you are looking for a good source for tiles, check out TheBuilderDepot.com. Their prices are fantastic! Plus, you can use this coupon code to save even more money!
Now, I hope you’ll excuse me as I enjoy my new view while cooking.
I will put together a tutorial later on how I built the tiled niche above the stove.
Feel free to leave me questions if you have any about tiling and grouting. This is definitely a task any DIYer can accomplish!
Here are some other helpful tiling tutorials:
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tiles from TheBuilderDepot in exchange for mentioning them in this post. As with all the companies I mention, I have thoroughly researched the company and I share these resources with you because I believe in the quality of their products at an affordable price. I was not told what to say or write. All words and ideas are my own.