Grouting tile when installing ceramic tile for floors or walls

This page will cover how to lay floor tiles and grouting tile for beginners. For areas where there will be a lot of moisture like kitchens and bathrooms, it’s a good idea to use cement board or more commonly called “backer board” on top of the underlayment flooring.

This will protect the plywood floor from water damage. You will need to put a layer of thin-set mortar mix down with a ¼-inch notched trowel. Backer board can be fastened with 1 1/2-inch galvanized screws.

applying floor tiles

Once you get the backer board screwed down, you will need to put another layer of adhesive for the tiles. Ceramic tile is perfect for humid environments.

installing tiles

It helps to use spacers on ceramic tile to keep them even. See the illustration below. Smaller tiles usually come on a mesh screen so they stay uniform without spacers.

how to grout

Once you’ve secured the tiles and let the adhesive dry a bit, you can apply the grout. Grout is a special type of cement that you spread into the cracks between tiles.

It helps to tilt the float trowel a bit to push the grout into the cracks. When the grout has evenly filled the cracks, you can remove any excess grout by wiping the tiles with a damp sponge.

Do this very lightly and just enough to remove the excess without pulling any grout from the cracks.

Once the grout is dry completely, make sure you apply a grout sealer.

After a few days you will want to polish the tile to remove the grout haze. This is a thin grout film that covers the tile and makes it look dirty. This takes a lot of hard work unless you use a power polisher or a car wax polisher. The tile will look shiny once you are done.

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