Kitchen Living Room

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stick 'Em Up!

Another title for this article could very well be, "How Grouting Actually Can Help a Bad Tile Job." 

I actually finished grouting one of the kitchen backsplash walls! (I haven't even started on the other wall. But let's not concentrate on that!) Here's the wall with all of the tiles finally in place. 

It took me a loooong time to get all of the tiles cut. That was partially my fault for measuring incorrectly (or at least writing down my measurements improperly) and partially the fault of a poor tile cutter at Lowe's. I ended up taking the tiles back to the guy in my boyfriend's city who knows how to cut tile. 

This project has been dragging on since the beginning of December. I am not exactly speedy at this home renovations stuff. That's right - almost five months. Ha ha!

Here's the grout on the float ready to go. I figured out that the reason this part took me so long (besides having to go back and forth from Lowe's over the course of months to get the tiles cut) was because I was really nervous to do this part. I didn't realize it until I was about to start. 

Eventually I started to get the hang of it. I would smoosh the grout into the tile with the grout float, then I would drag it around at a 40 degree angle, and then I would scrape it off at a 90 degree angle. Not too bad. I wasn't very good at getting the majority of the grout scraped off. This is where my less than perfect tile job came into play. It is difficult to scrape off the grout at a 90 degree angle and not remove grout from uneven tiles. That's probably why you hear people say there's no cure to a bad tile job. But! I wouldn't buy it. I am just scrappy like that. So I did my best and the rest I buffed off with a sponge and paper towels. 

TEC Invision 6.5 Lbs. White Sanded Premixed Grout

I used white grout to match the white tiles. I debated using a dark grout, but I decided that white on white would hide my mistakes better. I was right. I used a premixed grout for convenience since I live in a condo building and it's such a small space. I don't exactly keep a bucket on hand for mixing up grout. It was more expensive, but I think it was worth it. Plus, I didn't have much space to tile, so I only had to buy one bucket. The grout I used actually gets terrible reviews online. But heck, what do I know? It seems fine to me. The grout looks almost gray but it dries pretty white.

In the picture below you can see where I actually missed a few spots around the outlet. I went back and filled those in (whoops). Yea, I'm just a professional through and through.

Here's the whole wall for a better look.

Here's another spot where the tile wasn't cut perfectly.

See how the gap underneath the outlet between the two tiles is wider than in other places? That's because I probably didn't measure accurately, or the tile wasn't cut perfectly (it's difficult to cut tile perfectly, so I've seen). The grout really seemed to clean up spots like this. They just weren't as noticeable as they were pre-grouting. Also, the overall unevenness of my relatively cruddy tile job wasn't as noticeable once the grout was in place. Win for team lazy tile! Next I have to finish buffing the tiles and then seal them. And of course do the other wall. But here's a quick "before" and "during" shot just for fun (even though I'm not completely "after" yet!).




Hold your horses!

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