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General Application Guidelines for Grout Installation
How to install grout correctly
Before beginning, clean joints and surface of tile thoroughly to remove dirt and dried thinset mortar. Fill all perimeter tile joints along walls, cabinets, etc. with a siliconized mildew resistant caulk. Mix grout mortar thoroughly according to the manufactur's directions. Place a generous amount of grout on your starting point. Then hold the grout float at a slight angle and squeegee the grout mortar into the tile joints. Use a clean grout float to remove any excess grout from tile. Grout only a managable area of tile at a time so the grout doesn't dry out making clean up more difficult.
Allow up to 15 minutes for the grout to set and then proceed to wipe tile clean. Use a margin trowel to remove excess grout mortar from corners and along baseboards. Keep a clean bucket of water available and replace as necessary. Take a damp sponge and place flush on tile at an angle to tile joints. Pull sponge down and towards you. Be careful not to dig the grout mortar out of the joints. Flip sponge over and repeat making sure to overlap the adjacent area you have just wiped. Then rinse sponge thoroughly and repeat process. Allow 24 hours for grout mortar to set. Grout will generally cure in 3-5 days. Remove leftover dust or grout haze from tile by rinsing with clean water.
A quality impregnating sealer is always recommended with all new tile installations. Sealing the tile will help to preserve the grout color and make maintenance easier. It also helps provide a degree of moisture protection since tile and grout are not waterproof. Always use acid neutral products for the routine cleaning of your tile installation.