Grouting Basketweave: Much Less of a Headache

After the annoying headache that laying the basketweave was, I was sort of loathing grouting. And add to the fun the fact that we were going to be using a different kind of grout and I was even more nervous. For the floor in this room we went with urethane grout

In our main bathroom we have problems with the white grout looking dingy and dirty. While this new grout is way more expensive (we needed one and a half of those tubs and they clocked in at $83 EACH), there are also great upsides to it: it doesn't stain, is flexible and is durable (it's used in commercial applications). You also don't need to worry about sealing it. So despite the super hefty price tag, we were willing to go for it because the tile is pretty and with white grout we want it to stay pretty.

But before we could get to any grouting, we had to prep the tile which meant we had to slide around on the floor and scratch out any bits of thinset that had squirted their way through the gaps between all the tiles

Once that was done (it took about 30 minutes or so with the two of us working together) I brought out the shop vac and did a diligent vacuum job while Chris got the rest of the area ready.

The grout comes pre-mixed, but it's pretty solid inside the bucket so we brought out the mixing paddle and mixed it some more

Then it was finally time to get started grouting. We were nervous for this step because although the grout goes on easier (much less shoving needed to get into the cracks) it also dries much quicker and as soon as you introduce water to it you really need to get the grout cleaned up off of all the tiles very quickly because that last little bit of haze that can be left on the tile can be a bitch to get off. On the plus side, it cleaned up faster and much less dirty.

In order to get comfortable with the process Chris spread it out at first in small 2x2 foot sections

I kept 3 sponges very very very lightly damp and ready in the rotation for Chris has he diligently cleaned the tile

Once he had cleaned 95% of the grout off the surface of the tile with the sponges, a very lightly damp microfiber cloth was used to get the last residue off.

Then it was just lather, rinse, repeat

Chris got more and more comfortable working in larger areas and I kept the sponges clean. When we grout we have 2 buckets to clean the sponges with. We have one "dirty" bucket and one "clean" bucket

The one on the right is the "dirty" bucket. In that bucket we initially clean the grout off of the sponges. Once they're mostly clean and rinsed we do a final rinse in the "clean" bucket to get the last of the grout out of the sponge. This results in much cleaner sponges throughout the grouting process without having to clean out as many buckets.

And so we went, Chris grouting, Meryl cleaning

In the end it actually went fairly quickly and with no headaches, hooray! I actually think it was quicker and with less of a headache than normal grouting. It was really easy to work with and cleaned up a lot faster. And in the end, it looked gorgeous

Despite what a fucking headache the tile was to lay, it looks beautiful. I LOVE all the variation: there is white, gray, green and yellow all speckled everywhere. The dots are simple or spotted or dark or light. It's just awesome. And I'm happy that grouting was a much easier and less violent experience :)


Deb said...

Looks stunning!

meryl rose said...

Thanks Deb!

Vincent P said...

Looks awesome guys! Question - why did you bring the water supply for the toilet thru the floor? Easier to clean around if you come thru wall. I know you have a good reason which is why I'm asking

aptpupil said...

Easier to what? What is this "to clean" you speak of? haha.

The toilet supply in the other bathroom was originally through the floor so we matched it. Also, when we did the framing for the window we didn't really have much wiggle room for the placement of the king and jack studs. We could have worked around them for the water supply, but the framing really was in the perfect location for the valve, so that made the decision to match the other bathroom easier.

Vincent P said...

Good one dude! ;)