>> Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Alright, we are back at it! Yesterday I filled you in on the first steps of my kitchen backsplash (Missed that post? No worries. Click here to play catch up) and today we are sliding on in to home plate as we wrap up this super simple DIY.
With all of the tiles cut to size and the mortar holding them in place with plenty of time to dry—I let them sit overnight—it was time to finish up this project with a little adventure in grouting.
The type of tiles you are using for your backsplash (ceramic, natural stone, etc.) and the amount of space between your tiles determines whether you should use sanded or unsanded grout. Since I was using ceramic tiles with a small amount or space between each tile, non-sanded grout was the best option for two reasons: 1. Grout with sand may not fit between the narrow cracks & 2. sanded grout may have scratched the smooth surface of the ceramic tiles.
Now that I knew just what type of grout I needed to by, I simply followed the instructions on the back of the box to whip up a batch of fresh grout…and this is where my hands became so slathered in white non-sanded grout that I couldn’t even think about taking pictures.
But this is the brand of grout I used (purchased at Home Depot in Bright White) that had picture perfect instructions (literally) on the back of the box for we visual learners.
Once the grout was mixed and ready to go, I used a rubber float to apply to the tiles. A float looks like this…
Holding the float at a 45 degree angle, I smeared grout over the tiles to make sure every crack was filled. Then sccraping the float at a 90 degree angle against the top of the tiles to remove as much of the excess grout as possible.
There is absolutely no possible way to remove all of the excess grout with the float, so don’t panic if it looks like a bucket of grout exploded in your kitchen. After the grout has a good 10-20 minutes to sit, just run a damp sponge over the tiles to get rid of any grout left behind on the surface.
Then just give the grout a couple of hours to dry and your tile backsplash is practically a wrap! You’ll want to go over any leftover cracks and crevices with a thin bead of caulk. For kitchens and baths, waterproof silicone is your best bet to ward off mold and mildew.
It’s amazing how far a $3.00 tube of caulk can go in giving a project a finished look. Check out a few before and afters from my backsplash…
And that, my friends, is how you can knock out a DIY kitchen backsplash in 2 days flat. Pretty easy, right?
Check back in tomorrow and I’ll give you the tour of my brand spankin’ new kitchen now that phase 2 of DIY Kitchen/Laundry Room Remodel 2012 is a wrap!