How to Grout Mosaic Tiles

Bare feet on a mosaic tile floor.
What You'll Need
Grout mix
Mixing attachment
Grout float
Tile sponge
Latex gloves

Mosaic tiles are a fantastic way to add character and flair to your bathroom tile design. Mosaics are comprised of smaller tiles arranged in a variety of patterns in 12-inch by 12-inch sheets. The size of the tiles can vary and the entire pattern is held together by a mesh backing.

The unique layout of mosaic tiles produces many grout lines, so grouting is an important step in achieving a clean final look. Fortunately, all you need for a successful grout job is clean water, a clean sponge, a steady hand, and plenty of patience. The following will provide you some steps for making the whole process go as smoothly as possible.

Mix the Grout

Properly mixing the grout is an important step that is often overlooked. There are two types of grout -- sanded and unsanded. Sanded grout is stronger than unsanded and is recommended for tile floors. Unsanded grout is commonly used for tile walls instead, as they handle much less day-to-day stress. However, even if you're using the right type of grout, it's important that your mix is right. Grout that has too much water is difficult to control and work into the lines. Grout with not enough water becomes thick and pasty and dries out quickly, making it difficult to remove in the event that you make a mistake.

Make sure you don't mix all of the grout at once since it will dry out in your bucket. Instead, mix smaller portions based on the size of the area you're working with. Add the grout mix into a bucket and gradually mix in water until it is the consistency of cake batter. You can also either mix the grout by hand or use a special attachment that will fit on most drills.

Lay the Grout

Spreading grout for mosaic tiles requires a little more care and attention than a traditional tile floor. The layout of these tiles means there are numerous lines to fill, so spreading the grout evenly across the entire surface is important.

First, scoop out a portion of the grout using the rubber float. Turn the float on a 45-degree angle and use the edge to spread the grout over the tile. The material can be worked into the lines using the edge of the float. When you’re finished, all that should be left is a thin film of residue. Let the grout sit for about 15 minutes before you begin wiping it down.

Wipe Down the Tile

Wiping down the mosaic tile will require a bucket of clean water, a tile sponge, a squeegee, and some latex gloves. Fill the bucket with clean water and dip the sponge into it, taking care to wring out any excess water; the sponge should be damp, not sopping wet. Carefully wipe down each of the lines, making sure they’re even. Always switch the side of the sponge after the first wipe and rinse the entire sponge after the second wipe. It’s important to remember to constantly clean the sponge and water to achieve the best, cleanest results. After you’ve cleaned the grout lines and removed the excess grout, give the surface a once-over to remove grout film.