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Friday, May 1, 2009

Grout for the Subway Tile

I got the subway tile grouted today. I used a color called Delorean Gray. (Like "Back to the Future", I guess..)

The gray looks great next to the white tiles. Before grouting it's important to try to scrape most of the hardened thinset out of the grout lines. The grout needs to fill the space between the tiles so the thinset has to go.

I again covered the tub really good with plastic to catch all the falling grout debris. Here's a tip for mixing grout: It takes less water than you think. It's not like mixing pancake batter! :) It only takes 5 pints of water to mix the entire bag of grout, so if you don't need that much, it will really not feel like enough. Just add enough powder to the water so that it's not runny.

After applying the grout with my rubber float, I got ready for the 'sponge-off'. By the time I finished the surround, the part I started with was dry enough to wipe off. By this I mean that you get a sponge and wipe off the excess grout that is streaked across your tiles. Have a bucket or two of clean water available and clean your sponge out very often.

At this point, it's imperative to keep changing out your water for clean water. Otherwise, you'll just keep streaking grout everywhere. If you've got a lot to do, you might enlist a helper to keep refilling your buckets while you do the sponge work.

After a dozen trips down the stairs to refill my buckets, my tile was looking really good. Once it started drying I just wiped them down with a rag to get the last haze off. Later I'll go back and caulk the corners and edges with a special caulk that matches the grout color.

Done right, you'll have a durable surface that may last for decades, so it's best to do it right the first time.



  1. Peter - I'm looking forward to going through your blog. I'm working on a bathroom remodel now with subway tile ... so I'm hoping you've got more tips for me with the process of grouting and caulking. I'm a bit confused about those corners.

  2. I know this is an old post, but I am happy to find the pic. I am going to use Delorean Gray on my subway tile (tiling is a few weeks away) for our kitchen remodel and I am at the stage now where I want to see the finished product! At least I have this pic to look at ;)