Monday, November 22, 2010

Kitchen Remodel: DIY Tile Backsplash {Part 3}

If you've been following along, then you'll know that we last left off with {Phase 1}, where we had put down the tiles with adhesive, and so now they were ready to look professional - so bring on the grout!

How To DIY a Tile Backplash: Phase 2 {Grouting}

1) Gather your supplies. To grout your tiles, you'll need:

Grout (we used white unsanded grout, which is for smaller grout lines)
Buckets filled with water
Grout Sponges (they're the big ones at the home improvement store)
Tile Float

And don't forget to cover your work area with something protective. I used old towels to protect the existing countertop.

2) Mix up your grout (or grab your bucket of premixed stuff if you're lazy). I used a paint stir stick to stir mine... which I wouldn't recommend you do. I noticed while I was stirring it, that the blue ink was coming off of the stick into our pretty white grout. Ssshhhh, don't tell anyone. ;)

3) After letting the grout mixture sit for 10 minutes to "set up", grab your float and get a goop of grout and squish it into the cracks between the tile. Holding the float at about a 45 degree angle, push the grout into the cracks using the small end of the float, trying not to let any air bubbles get trapped in there.

4) Get off excess grout by using the long side of the float and going across the surface of the tiles at an angle, which should scoop up excess grout and leave the remaining grout in the cracks. This step makes the sponging-step much, MUCH easier.

5) Work in small sections. I usually did 1/3-1/2 of each wall, then it was time for the water buckets and sponges.

6) After the grout has dried for about 20-45 minutes, take a sponge and dip it in the water bucket. Wring out the excess water until the sponge is just barely damp.

7) Take the sponge and gently go across the tiles - this will take up the excess grout.

8) Rinse the sponge in the water bucket and repeat. Alot. After each pass, make sure to clean off your sponge in the water bucket - or else you'll just keep getting grout back on the tiles and make a huge mess (and headache). If your water gets really dirty, replace it with clean water.

9) Scope out the places where you want to caulk instead of grout. Usually this is anywhere 2 different planes meet (like corners), as well as the small area where the backsplash will meet the countertop. Don't get any grout in these areas - if any does get in, take a toothpick and pick it out before it dries.

10) After the grout dries (we waited 24 hours), take a clean cloth to it and gently buff out the existing grout haze left on the tiles.

11) Step back and admire your beautiful grout work!

While grouting isn't the funnest thing to do, I thought it was way easier than laying the tiles with adhesive. All-in-all it only took me about 5.5 hours to grout the whole thing by myself, and that includes the time it takes to prep the work area and mix the grout, along with various trips outside to dump out dirty water and refill the buckets. Grouting was time consuming, certainly, but it wasn't that hard.

Next up we'll seal the grout and tiles so they'll be stain and water-resistant (always a good thing in the kitchen!), and we'll also tackle the caulking (which proved trickier than we thought!), so head on over here to check out Phase 3! Then it'll be time for what you've been waiting for: the big reveal!
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  1. Mmmmmmm, shiny white goodness! You guys do great tutorials.

  2. I second Sunny on the tutorials! very helpful and the result is beautiful. can't wait to see the full kitchen!!

  3. Very good tutorial, even though I don't plan on doing anything like this any time soon! Your tiles and your grout job look awesome!

  4. They look great! I want to do this too in my kitchen - oh well, maybe one day... oh, I linked this to my tile post too, thanks!!!


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