After you have prepared your drywall and tiled the surface, you’re going to need to start applying grout, and while it may initially seem pretty simple to do in practice, there are several different factors and considerations to take into account which can make or break a part of the kitchen, and it’s aesthetic, so it’s essential to get it right!
The backsplash, located behind the sink or cooker, is particularly important to grout because it prevents any water, grease, or other messy liquids from damaging the kitchen walls, so giving it that extra element of protection is never a bad thing.
Let’s take a look at how exactly you can grout a backsplash, and what you should always keep in mind when doing so.
The key to grouting a backsplash is mixing some water with the bucket to help even the mixture out, and applying it in the smallest crevices first.
You should also let it dry for 10 minutes before washing any excess off once it’s been applied, and always use a grout float as your primary piece of equipment.
What You Should Consider First
Before you start applying the grout, there are a few things to point out first which you will need to know so that you can choose a type of grout that is both aesthetically pleasing, and suitable to install on your specific backsplash.
Here’s what you need to consider when choosing what grout to buy.
At the end of the day, the grout is the final layer that goes onto a backsplash panel, so it’s going to be the most prominent color that people see when they first lay their eyes on it.
Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend choosing a color that is going to clash with the drywall or tiles, and luckily this can easily be avoided because of just how many color variations you have to choose from.
White grout for example is very popular since it helps the backsplash look modern and very clean in its appearance, but it will have a more challenging time hiding grease and grime marks.
Soft gray grout will hide mess a lot easier, and will also highlight the pattern of the tile, making it a slightly more hollow, but still attractive option.
Of course, if you’re particularly worried about grease splashes marking the wall, then a darker-colored grout will be your best option.
I would recommend also choosing a much more eye-popping color if you want to experiment and have a little fun with the kitchen’s appearance, especially if the color matches the aesthetic of the specific tiles you’re applying it to.
Select The Appropriate Grout Type
You will first need to choose a grout type that suits the distances between your tiles.
For example, unsanded grout is a lot smoother than its counterparts and does not require a sealer thanks to the polymers. Unsanded grout is designed to be used on narrow gaps between the tiles that are less than 1/8 inch wide.
Finely sanded grout on the other hand is a little more coarse and durable than unsanded, and it is the option we would recommend going with for medium-sized gaps ranging from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch wide.
You then have quarry grout which is cement-based and primarily used for slate and terracotta tiles. I find this is usually best suited for wider joints that range from between 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch wide.
Finally, we have epoxy, a grout variant that can be very hard to work with, but that dries extremely quickly thanks to the resin and hardener which it uses in the mixture.
How To Grout A Backsplash Correctly
Now that you know the type of grout that you think would suit your kitchen the best, it’s time to start applying the grout, but first, you’re going to need some equipment that will help make the job as easy as possible.
- Two buckets
- Grout Float
- Grout Sealer
- Plastic sheeting
- Painter’s Tape
- Putty knife
Step 1: Protect The Countertops
Applying grout is a job that can get very messy, very quickly, so it can be worth spreading the plastic sheeting over the countertops and pinning down the corners using painter’s tape to save you from having to clean up later on.
Step 2: Begin Mixing The Grout
Pour the grout into a bucket and slowly start swirling it around and mixing it together until it becomes thick and easy to pick out with the putty knife.
You’re also going to need to pour some water into the bucket since it will help form the texture and consistency that you want, which is a lumpy and thick mixture that resembles toothpaste more than anything else.
From personal experience, I find that leaving the grout to slake for 10 minutes is the perfect amount of time before using it so that all the chemicals can come together to make the grout a lot stiffer and much more firm overall.
Step 3: Start Applying The Grout
With your grout float at the ready, work on small areas at a time and fill in the joints by spreading in an upward direction so that you don’t drop as much mess on the floor.
Step 4: Wipe Away Any Excess
Once the grout is applied, leave it to dry for 10 minutes, and then fill up a second bucket with warm water and use a sponge to carefully wipe away any excess that might have splashed onto the tiles.
Step 5: Seal The Grout
After 24 hours have passed, use the sealer product to seal the grout, and start applying beads of the caulk to any corners and along the countertops so that it can seal up any air leaks.
After approximately 30 minutes, the caulk will be completely dry, and your backsplash project will be complete. Enjoy your new and protected backsplash!
So, is grouting a backsplash really worth it considering how much time and effort it can take? Absolutely, especially because it is necessary for supporting tiles in the long term, otherwise, you can expect them to break and crack in no time.
Always remember that the tile and grout are a pairing that should never be separated, and one simply won’t hold up without the other, so once you have an idea of the space between your tiles, and what grout you would like to use, you’re all set to start applying grout to your backsplash.