How to Grout Mosaic Projects
Grouting is the final step in creating mosaics. If you try to see the tile pieces as the "positive" layer of your project, you'll see that the grout lines form the "negative" layer to create a complete and unique picture. Once you have mastered this uncomplicated technique, you will be able to create mosaic picture frames, decorative boxes, trivets and more. The same technique is used when installing a mosaic tile backsplash in a kitchen or bathroom.
Things You'll Need
- Mosaic tiles
- 2 buckets
- Grout powder
- Latex gloves
- Grout float
- Grout sponge
- Clean, soft cloth
Mix up a small amount of grout, enough for a mosaic trivet, by placing 3 inches of grout powder in a 2.5 gallon bucket. Add water a little at a time and stir with a large paint stick. Adjust the grout powder and water and stir until the mixture has a peanut butter consistency.
If inside, line the workspace and the floor underneath you with newspaper to facilitate easy clean-up. Set out the project, grout float, a grout sponge and a bucket filled halfway with water. Put on thin disposable latex gloves.
Check the dried mosaic project for any loose tiles. If you find one, simply scrape of the glue and re-glue.
Scoop some grout using the float or a gloved hand onto the center of the project. Raise one side of the float to create an angle that allows you to pull the float gently over the tiles, shoving the grout in between the spaces. Pull the float toward yourself and repeat until all the spaces are filled with grout, including any exposed edges. As you pull, scrape off the excess grout from the tiles using your float.
Let the grout set for about 5 minutes. Check for readiness by rubbing a clean palm across the top of your project. If the grout smears, it is not ready. If the grout powders or sands up, then it is set and ready to sponge off.
Sponge the project to smooth out the grout and clean off any excess. Dip the sponge in water, squeeze thoroughly and pass firmly over one portion of the project, once only. Turn the sponge to a clean side and wipe another portion of the project. Repeat, always using a clean side of the sponge, until you have wiped the entire project, leaving just a little grout color haze on the project. Let it dry 5 more minutes.
Wipe off the haze using a clean, dry, soft cloth.
- When sponging grout, less is more. You just want to pass over the project once. Any more than that can begin pulling grout out of the joints and wetting the project too much. Pre-mixed grout is available in home improvement stores.
- Always cover your clothing and wear old shoes. Grout stains and can be very messy to work with.