Grout on Tile Backsplash

Old 11-21-03, 08:44 AM
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Grout on Tile Backsplash

I'm getting ready to do my first tile project this weekend and it's going to be our kitchen backsplash. I have 4.25" glazed ceramic tiles that I'm going to space 1/8" apart (we like the larger grout lines than the tabs the tiles have). My question comes down to the classic grout question - sanded or unsanded? I was leaning towards sanded, but heard there may be issues with scratching the tile surface. If sanded is better, how do you prevent tile scratching? Is one less prone to cracking (if everything else in the installation is correct)?

Thanks for the help.

Old 11-21-03, 03:45 PM
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Big grout lines need the sand to hold the grout together when it dries. Glazed tiles if polished can get scratched by the sand. Try testing sanded grout on a tile and see.
Old 11-25-03, 12:11 PM
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Grout bag

To avoid scratching the tile use a grout bag. It's like a big cake decorator bag and is sold in all tile shops and home improvement centers. You literally squirt the grout directly into the spaces where you need it. Mix the grout to a consistencey that allows you to do this - you will have to play with the water/mixture to get it right. Key is to have the grout stay in place (no runs) when it leaves the grout bag - like soft peanut butter. Then let the grout setup a bit (30 minutes) then with a rubber backed trowel press in the grout best you can. Then followup with a bristle brush to remove excess grout. Finish with a sponge and water when the grout is not wet to touch and or does not smear when you go over it with your fingers. Key thing is to avoid pushing the sanded grout over the tile surface - like you do if you applied the grout using the float technique. Good luck.

(edit)For small projects like backsplashes I use my fingers to work in the grout and smooth it after it goes in with the grout bag. Just invest in a pair of heavy rubber gloves as the grout really messes (drys and cracks) the skin.(/edit)

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