>> Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Happy House-iversary to my little construction site! Three years ago, I moved into my 1960s ranch house complete with filthy carpet (that has since been removed to uncover the original hardwoods), a dark and dated kitchen (which has since been lightened and brightened), a terribly leaky master bathroom (that has since been gutted to the studs & remodeled) and a Pepto-Bismol pink guest bathroom…that is still Pepto-Bismol pink.
Technically, yesterday was my 3 year house-iversary but sometimes a girl just gets busy. We’ll count today as the birthday party, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than by grouting the newly tiled kitchen floor. Who’s with me?!
Last I left you on this project, the groutable vinyl tiles were set in place and looking fine. I’m actually super pumped with the way they turned out. If you are looking for a less labor intensive (and less expensive) flooring option, give these guys serious consideration.
Here is an up-close glimpse of the kitchen floor post tile install/pre-grout…
Now for the tools: Pre-mixed grout (you can mix your own for slightly less money, but I was up for the shortcut), a grout float (more detail on this in a bit), a sponge and bowl of clean water.
Whoever wrote the instructions on the box of tiles was very insistent that the novice grout applier (ahem, me) not smear grout over the entire tile but only as close to the tile joint as possible.
They spoke, I listened. Terrified of ruining the new tiles that we’d so carefully placed, I used a 2” margin float for this gig.
Time to get to work with a little maneuver I like to call the scoop, slap, swipe & scrape.
SCOOP a hearty clump of grout onto the float.
SLAP the grout on the corner joints.
SWIPE grout into the joint. I used small diagonal motions to make sure the grout filled the joint without smearing grout all over the tiles.
SCRAPE the excess grout from the tile. I just held the float at a 90 degree angle and, well, scraped.
I repeated the process over a few tiles but as the back-of-the-tile-box man told me to, I stopped every few feet or so to remove the excess grout so that it would not dry on the tiles.
Using a sponge & clean water, I rubbed the tiles in a circular motion to remove the extra grout.
Once all of the tiles were grouted, I made sure to grout the gaps between the tiles and door trim, since those portions won’t be covered by new quarter round like the edges of the room would be.
24 hours later, the grout was completely dry. I carefully walked on them well before the 24 hours was up, but furniture and puppy toenails dare not set foot until the grout was completely solid.