How to Grout a Tile Backsplash

Someone grouting a tile backsplash.
  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-200
What You'll Need
Plastic sheeting
Painter’s tape
Grout mix
Grout sealer
Grout float
Putty knife
Two buckets
Soft cloth

An intricate, textured, or colorful backsplash can make a world of difference in your kitchen or bathroom. Installing a backsplash is also a relatively simple DIY project that can completely alter any given space. Grouting a backsplash, though, is a separate process that requires different materials, tools, and steps. Don’t worry—this process is simple too, and it’s easy to do on your own. Read the below tutorial to learn how to do it on your own to finish off your beautiful backsplash and your kitchen or bathroom will be well on its way to having a whole new look.

Step 1 - Protect Your Countertops

The first step in this process is to take measures to protect your countertops. Do so by covering them with plastic sheeting, securing the protective layer at its corners with painters tape.

Step 2 - Mix Your Grout

Once your counters are ready for the project, mix your grout. Take one bucket and mix the grout using a putty knife, carefully following the directions on the grout’s packaging. When the substance is the same consistency as peanut butter, you’re done mixing and your grout is ready for use.

Step 3 - Apply The Grout

Someone using a grout float on a tile wall.

This is probably the most important step—actually applying the grout to the backsplash. Start by mentally breaking the backsplash into separate, smaller sections, focusing on one section at a time. Apply the mixture by spreading the substance over the tiles using a float. Working at a 45-degree angle, spread the grout upward. Firmly press the substance between the tiles where the empty space exists. As you do this, ensure that you’re not grouting the space too closely to your kitchen cabinets or surrounding windows. This is because these spaces will eventually be caulked.

Step 4 - Let the Grout Dry

Your grout will dry quickly. It only needs about 10 to 15 minutes until it will be firm and dried into the space it was molded into.

Step 5 - Remove Excess Grout

Wiping off excess grout from a backsplash.

Fill your second bucket with warm water and use a sponge to carefully wipe away any excess grout that is sitting on the tiles. You should rinse your sponge clean as needed throughout this process, although the sponge should not be soaking wet. Instead, it should be only lightly dampened. This will avoid negatively affecting your grout lines, as excess water will do this, but will ensure that there is no dirty haze over the tiles, which would result if the sponge is not rinsed regularly.

Step 6 - Let the Grout Dry Further

Now that you’ve cleaned up the tiles, let the grout fully dry, either overnight or for several hours. Once this is done, go over the area again with a soft cloth as an extra measure to avoid a film from forming on your backsplash.

Step 7 - Seal Your Grout

Wait 72 hours before you complete this next step. Once the allotted time has passed, use sealer and a clean cloth to protect your grout against stains and natural discolorations over time.

Step 8 - Caulk Your Backsplash

Someone caulking around a sink.

Finally, it’s time to take the last step in this process: caulking your backsplash. Do so around your countertops, where the backsplash meets any windows, and so on. Apply a bead carefully along the edges, continuing over the line using a damp sponge. Use your finger to delicately press over every caulk line, finally running over it with a sponge once again to ensure it is all secure. Once the caulk dries, your backsplash and grouting process has come to a close.

It’s as easy as that! Grouting your backsplash is a painless process that will make a big difference in the appearance and lifespan of your backsplash. This is a DIY project that can certainly be completed in a weekend, but will have lasting results.