Applying Grout And Our Best Grout Removal Tool Guide
Check out our quick overview guide on how to apply grout and the best grout removal tool to get rid of it.
What is Grout?
Grout is a particularly fluid form of concrete, typically made from mixing cement, water and in some cases sand. Grout is designed to flow easily into small spaces, such as the gaps between tiles when a small amount of surface pressure is applied.
Grout is used to provide a strong water tight seal between tiles and keep the tiles seated firmly in place. Grout provides both a practical and aesthetic finish to your tiling jobs.
Types of Grout
Sanded grout is so named due to the ultra fine sand that’s added to the mix.
The added sand reduces the likely hood of the grout shrinking as it dries out, this makes it suitable for larger applications where the distance between tiles is greater than 1/8th inch or 3mm.
Care needs to be taken when using sanded grout on polished surfaces such as marble. This is because of the action of working the grout into the tile gaps may leave small abrasions on the surface of the tile, ruining the effects.
Non Sanded Grout
Non-sanded grout is a cement based grout used for smaller tile joints, typically smaller that 1/8th or 1/16th inch across (3mm to 1.5mm).
Non-sanded (sometimes referred to as un-sanded) grout has a tendency to shrink as it dries and because it lacks a binding agent (sand) it can often crack as it dries if used on gaps of over 1/8th inch (3mm).
Un-sanded grout is generally easier to work with as it is able to stick to surfaces easily. This allows you to force the grout between the tiles with a little pressure, leaving a nice clean finish to the surface.
Epoxy grout is a relatively new and high-end solution for grouting tiles. The grout is supplied in two parts, these are mixed together to form the finished product, ready for application.
Once the two parts are mixed, they begin to cure – this means that your working time is limited. Once the epoxy grout has partially cured, it is no longer workable and needs to be discarded. A fresh batch of epoxy grout will need to be mixed up to finish the job.
Although expensive, epoxy grout has the benefit of being extremely heat resistant and durable – with low ongoing maintenance.
The appearance of these grouts can be changed by simply adding in the desired colour when mixing up the batch. Most brands are able to supply pre-coloured grout in consistent shades through normal retailers.
How is Grout Applied?
Once your tiles have been fixed to the walls and the adhesive has fully dried (normally overnight) you can begin the grouting stage.
- Ensure the surface of the tiles is clean and free of debris
- Open your tub of grout (or mix according to the manufacturers instructions)
- Apply the grout using a Grouting Sponge or a Float
- Wipe down the finished surfaces with a damp cloth
Thats really it for basic sanded and un-sanded grout – epoxy based solutions are a little more work so please check out the suppliers instructions.
Once you have finished grouting you may want to consider a grout protection spray to ensure the longevity of your work.
Whats the Best Grout Removal Tool?
Traditional Methods of Grout Removal
Roll up your sleeves, this is going to involve a lot of manual labour!
Before you start, you are going to need to pick up a grout removal tool such as the Draper Grout Rake and some protective eye-ware. Once you have those, you are ready to start.
Using your Grout Rake you need to make an incision along the centre line of the grout you wish to remove and remove as much as you can. You can then tidy things up using a set of fine chisels and a hammer.
Thats it for removing grout – it can be done easily and cheaply, however it will be time intensive depending on the amount you need to get rid of. You’ll also make a lot of mess, so keep some dust sheets or a cordless vac on hand to keep things neat and tidy
For smaller jobs you can use this manual method, however for a larger area, we consider our best grout removal tool to be something a little more automatic..
Modern Methods of Grout Removal
For a slightly less intensive way of removing grout we consider the best grout removal tool to be the Vitrex Grout Out Electric Grout Remover.
We love this little tool because of the cost (its very reasonably priced) and the fact that it does the job brilliantly. Its a 230V mains powered tool with a handy 2.5m cable and features a variable 3 way pneumatic action and interchangeable chisel tips for increased accuracy.
Its your very own mini Jackhammer.
It really does make short work of tidying up that bathroom ready to be retiled!