Grouting tiles is one of the last steps in covering a surface with these materials. It is not necessary to be a great master with years of experience to perform this procedure – here, below, how to prepare it and how to complete it, without much effort or training.
If you have reached this section, it means that you want to know more about how a surface is grouted, after you have covered it with tiles. Let’s go through the basics of this activity, listing both the necessary equipment and the steps to follow to complete the whole process:
What is putty
As a definition, this procedure is the putty covering of the spaces between the tiles. Putty can also be used in other areas of construction and landscaping, for example in wooden structures. This step is particularly important not only in ensuring the very pleasant aesthetic aspect of the work, but also in preventing the accumulation of liquids or impurities between the installed boards, thus ensuring the durability of your work.
What is putty, first of all? From a chemical point of view, the mixture of sand and cement is a formula for putty, but other substances can be added, depending on which product you buy, especially to give the mix the desired color.
Chromatics is an important factor, therefore, in choosing the putty, so that it matches the palette of the tiles you have installed. As for prices, putty packages may vary slightly, but the differences are not very noticeable in terms of quality – more important is your ability to mix and apply putty, and we will guide you through these procedures in the paragraphs that begin more down.
Materials and tools required
Well, before going on to explain the steps, let’s go through the necessary inventory: first of all, obviously, a few bags with putty, the most common on the market being 5 times 4 kilograms.
You will need two relatively large buckets, we recommend at least 20 liters, spatulas, sponge, cancioc, and if you use a rotary hammer with SDS chuck , then you can put a snail at the end to mix in the putty with the water.
If you have a rubber trowel, it is good for large surfaces, but the putty is suitable for small rooms, such as bathrooms, especially when working in corners. Don’t be afraid that the metal blade of the spatula will scratch the tiles, you can use it with great confidence, without leaving any marks on the tiles.
Preparing the mix to be applied
You have the two buckets, one with water and one for preparing the putty. The ratio in which the putty-powder and water will have to be mixed is about 2 liters of cold, clean water, for a bag of 4-5 kilograms of putty – but it is not advisable to prepare a bag of putty at once, but rather put 2 kilograms and mix them with 1 liter of water.
With the rotary hammer, equipped with a screw, you will work very efficiently, and it is important that your mixture does not come out too thin. Thus, after mixing until a paste comes out, leave a break of 10 minutes and mix again.
If you are satisfied with the result, ie if the paste is relatively viscous and does not flow from the mixing auger, then add another 2 kilograms of putty and another 1 liter of water, stirring again.
How much is needed in relation to the surface?
For an area of about 20-30 square meters, ie approximately a normal bathroom, with floor and walls, you will need about 10 kilograms of putty, in other words, two whole bags, approximately. It is good to prepare more putty, but less than that, anyway the excess material will be wiped afterwards.
The estimation of the necessary material also depends on the dimensions of the tiles. Therefore, if the tiles are larger, there will be smaller spaces between them, therefore you will need less putty to fill the joints.
How we choose the color
The aesthetic aspect of the chromatics must also be taken into account. We have already mentioned, above, how the various commercial packages come in various colors – you can find gray, white, brick, brown putty and so on, depending on taste. There is no rule here, regarding the color combination with the tiles, but most craftsmen say that too much contrast between their color and the color of the putty will look unpleasant.
Don’t forget to choose the right putty for the application environment! Thus, there are formulas only for indoor application, in bathrooms and kitchens, but also outdoor formulas, if you apply them on the entrance stairs or on the alley leading to the house door!
If the mixture is ready, it’s time to apply it – before this step, however, clean the joints between the plates and moisten them, after removing the spacers. Use a cloth with water to moisten these spaces so that there are no traces of adhesive on the tiles. It is recommended to apply putty on an area of 6-7 square meters at once, not on the whole bathroom.
First, moisten the joints with the bellies with water, take the spatula and spread the putty on the about 6 square meters, directly in the joints. Then, take the sponge again and spread it over the plates, so that you level the putty between them, without any trace of putty. Change the water in the bucket, wash the sponge and wipe again, until the tile will remain without any trace of putty. Do not use a dry cloth, as this will scratch the substance.
If you are finished, move to the next area of about 6 square meters and repeat the process. At the end, leave the bath for about 12 hours with the door open, so that all the work dries and the putty hardens.
After that, the sanitary objects will be installed, if you worked in a bathroom, or the furniture, if it is a kitchen. Ready, congratulations, you have finished the grouting process for the tiles in your chosen room!