Grout. It’s a sore subject for most if I have ever heard one! Although I haven’t always had the best experiences with grout, my mosaic projects just wouldn’t be the same without grout and sometimes it’s even the grout actually makes my mosaic interesting. There are a few things I have learned to help deal with my disgruntled groutitude (that would be my attitude about grout – I like to get crafty with my words too, just go with it!).
- Make sure your tiles are clean before you glue them to your surface or if you are using an indirect method, before you grout. If grout is placed over a tile that had any type of sticky residue on it, you will have a miserable experience trying to scrape it off .
- When you mount your tile to your surface, make sure you don’t use too much adhesive, and if you do over-glue, make sure you remove any excess immediately, especially if the glue gets on your tesserae. There is nothing worse that figuring out that you grouted over dried glue and have to peel /pull it out.
- When you are mixing your grout, make sure you have a good consistence, something to the effect of brownie batter, if your grout is too wet or too dry it just won’t set correctly and it will be much harder to clean up.
- Grout with a gloved hand or keep plenty of vinegar on hand if you do not like using gloves. Grout tends to destroy the PH balance in your soft and lovely skin; the vinegar will help restore the PH balance.
- You do not always have to choose a grout that will complement your tiles; sometimes a bold and contrasting color can really make your mosaic project pop!
- Most grout manufacturers make standard grout colors like white, cream, grey and black but if that’s not your cup of tea, you can mix is grout colorant and create any shade your desire! Check out Diamond Tech’s grout colorant.
- While I’m on the topic of grout colorant, you can definitely add dimension to your projects by using more than one color of grout, don’t be afraid to mix it up and complement your grout to your tile, especially if you’re choosy like me, you really don’t have to be!
- Clean up is probably what makes me most upset with grout. Vinegar comes in very handy here! I love vinegar for clean up, it takes grout haze off my tile immediately, it’s super cheap and I always have it on hand too!
Bottom line, don’t get angry with your grout, embrace it in all its gooey glory! Follow these tips and you will find yourself turning that pouty grouty frown upsidedown. Check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner for some great mosaic patterns and projects and take a look at the store locator to find a store near you that stocks Diamond Tech products.