How clean do the spaces between tiles have to be?

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Old 12-03-08, 06:04 AM
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How clean do the spaces between tiles have to be?

Right now the gaps arent filled to the top with the mortar but do have mortar in them. Can the grout go over the top of this or do i need to clean all that out? Also, if anyone has any tips on grouting, please let me know! Thank you
 
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Old 12-03-08, 06:25 AM
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A little mortar in the gaps is no big deal. Big chunks can be knocked down with a chisel.

Grouting is a simple process. Mix the grout according to the instructions on the package, spread it on the tile with a rubber faced grout float making sure to press the grout into the joints. Lay the float almost flat on the tiles and drag it diagonally to spread the grout. Once you have a small area grouted drag the float at a steeper angle to remove the excess grout. A small margin trowel is handy in tight spots and edges. It will leave a grout film on the tile.

Here's the most important part - do not let the grout haze to dry on the tile. Once dry it is a real bear to remove. Once the grout has had time to stiffen per the instructions you can start cleanup. Use large sponges and lots of clean water when grouting. You have to be careful not to pull the wet grout out of the joints with the sponge. After you have applied the grout to the tile start removing the film with the clean wet sponges. Keep at it until all the grout haze is removed. After the haze is off, buff the floor with a cloth to make sure everything is removed.

Taking a break in the middle of grouting is not a good idea.
 
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Old 12-03-08, 06:38 AM
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My bathroom is only 6x5. Being that its my first tile job, do you think I could grout the whole area before wiping off the haze? Or should I maybe do it in quadrants?
 
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Old 12-03-08, 01:54 PM
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I wouldn't use a chisel to removed excess mortar from between tiles. Could cause some damage!

I use a utility knife to cut any thinset that fills more than 1/3 of the thickness (height) of the gap. The rules say to leave 2/3rds for grout.

Jaz
 
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Old 12-03-08, 10:51 PM
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I agree with Jazman about the chisel. I use a grout saw myself, but a utility knife will work. Just make sure all the thinset will be well covered with grout or it will show through the grout and look bad. I would do the whole thing before beginning the washing process in order to let the grout stiffen up some. I don't like to wash too much grout out of the joints so I tend to give it a little set up time before beginning that phase.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 12:43 AM
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They also have a grout removal tool that could remove the thinset. It is a triangle shaped tool that will fit down into the joints without tile damage. Another tip about grouting..wait a few days and then use a good solvent based sealer...ventilate well when sealing.
 
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