How Much to Grout at One Time
Barb Havens and her husband are building a house in Eldora, Iowa.
He's just finished installing the tile in a cozy sunroom and Barb wants to know how much to grout at one time.
Can the entire floor be done the same day?
Here's what she sent to me. Look at the photo above too.
"How much can be grouted at once?
This sunroom is 13'x8'.
My husband has grouted smaller porcelain tile areas, but I am concerned it's too large of an area to do all at once, even if I'm cleaning the tile while my husband is grouting.
Is it okay to grout this in sections? Since it's a sunroom, we're waiting until it's cooler to grout it.
Should the tile be really clean before we grout? I am still seeing some areas of the thinset on the sides of the tile and a slight haze from the thinset when I try cleaning it on the tile surfaces. Won't that thinset haze mix with the grout we use?
Thanks so much for your help Tim. My husband has been working on this house for ten years. Your videos are so well done."
Here's my answer for Barb and her hard-working husband.
Barb, that's a pretty small room. One person who's got grouting experience could do that entire job in about three hours or less. With a helper changing out rinse water, I estimate I could do the floor in ninety minutes.
You can do the job in stages, but when you do this, there's always the chance that you could have very subtle differences in the color of the grout.
You MUST get off any excess thinset from the edges of the tile. This should really be done as you lay tile and the thinset is wet.
Now that it's hard, it's going to be a chore.
If there is a thinset haze on the tile, it needs to be completely cleaned off before you grout. Use a diluted solution of muriatic acid to do this, but TEST IT FIRST on some tile scraps to make sure the acid does not harm the tile.
Mix ten parts water to one part acid for this cleaning solution. Open the sun room door as the acid fumes are toxic.