Mixing Grout Video
When you are getting ready to grout floor tile, there can be a color match problem. The problem arises when there is an existing tile floor that has already been grouted. The new tile matches the existing tile, but how do you match the grout? The new grout will be installed and hopefully it will match.
First of all, you have to use sanded grout when you grout floor tile as shown. This is because the joints on this floor are so big, 3/8 of an inch wide. If you would use regular grout, which is just Portland cement, it would crack in these wide joints. The sanded grout contains small pieces of silica sand that acts like the rocks you can see in regular concrete. Therefore, the sanded grout is like miniature concrete. In addition, the silica sand is extremely hard and that gives sanded grout its durability.
To match the grout color, first be sure to clean the existing tile floor. The grout has to be clean to match colors. It would be a mistake to match the new grout to the dirty color of the existing grout. One of the best cleaners for floor tile grout is oxygen bleach. So go to StainSolver.com and find out about oxygen bleach and how to clean grout and tile floors.
Another thing after cleaning the floor don’t try to match it right away. The grout is a different color when it is wet. Be sure the grout is completely dry before color matching. As you can see in the video (2:28), water on the grout makes it darker then the dry grout. It might take a day or two for the cleaned grout to complete dry. When clean and dry, get the little sample color cards and match the color. Or take a small section, if available, of the existing grout to the store to match the color.
The next step is to take a little bit of the sanded grout and pour it on the existing tile. The color of the grout right out of the bag is very close to the color of the grout when it is installed, cured and dried. The final tip is as soon as the grout is installed, it will be very dark because it is wet. Don’t freak out. If you matched it close from the bag, it will match once it is dried.
Now, how do you mix the grout? Use a smaller bucket, not a 5-gallon bucket, and pour about half the bag of sanded grout into the bucket. Next pour in some clear water, not too much. Using a nice stiff putty knife, mix up the water and grout. If you add too much water, the grout might be too thin to use. If you added too much water and you have some grout left in the bag, pour some more out of the bag into the bucket. This will allow you to thicken-up the mixture. Keep adding more powered grout until you achieve the proper thickness. The mixture should be nice and stiff, and doesn’t want to flow when the bucket is rotated. Scrape the sides of the bucket to be sure all the powered grout is mixed with the water.
Safety Warning: Due to the dust nature of the grout, be sure to wear a particle mask when working with grout. I am not wearing one in the video so you can hear what I am saying.
Be sure the existing floor grout is clean, and you get a good color match when purchasing the sanded grout. Then you will be good to go.
Read Ryan's comments on this video series in the August 31, 2010 Newsletter.