Is this your first time grouting tile? There are a few tips and short cuts to achieve a good tile finish. Skip these and your grout could end up a disaster.
# 1. Get organized before you start. You will need three large buckets, clean water in two of the buckets. A sponge with rounded corners, a grout float, a grout trowel, grout powder and a dust mask.
# 2. Make sure the tile setting adhesive has been given enough time to cure before grouting. Use a utility knife to remove any excess adhesive from the tile setting.
# 3. Plan the work. You do not want to walk on any newly grouted tiles. Also, concentrate on a small area like 10 square feet, finish applying the grout in that area before moving on to the next area.
# 4. Mix the grout in small amounts, about enough to cover a 10 square foot area. That way you'll have time to apply it before it sets. Mix it thoroughly. It should have the consistency of toothpaste when mixed correctly.
# 5. Apply the grout using the float. Dump some grout onto the tiles and pack it into the joints using a 45 degree angle. Keep the float moving. Grout will set in around 30 minutes.
# 6. Once you've packed the seams with grout, use a 90 degree angle on the float to remove excess grout. Follow up with a damp sponge.
# 7. When the grout is no longer soft to the touch, it's time to clean up. This could be around 15 to 30 minutes. Use a clean damp sponge to wipe the tiles in a circular motion. Keep rinsing the sponge clean and ring out until it is just damp. When you are left with a light haze on the tile, switch to wiping diagonally across the tiles until the haze is cleaned up.