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Sealed with Grout (and a Kiss)….mwah!

January 5, 2012

We did it!  It’s been 7 days since we started on the kitchen floor and our beautiful Fuerte Riverstone tile made by Ragno (in the USA!)  is cut, laid, and grouted!

Here’s what the tile looked like before grout (mention here):

The tile itself is porcelain- meaning it’s completely non-porous and extremely stain resistant.  The TEC Invision grout I applied (in Smoke Grey color) is also stain resistant and contains a sealer which will protect against any kitchen splatter (no need to seal-yeah!).

The TEC grout is on the pricier side since it’s pre-mixed and contains sealant.  I think it ran about $25 for a half gallon bucket.  Each bucket covers approximately 76 square feet and our kitchen is 100 square feet, so yep, we needed just barely over one, ugh.

Tools used: large sponge, tile float, grout, bucket of clean water for wiping.

Since Ryan was on his knees for three days measuring and setting the tile, I gave him a break and strapped on the ole’ knee pads and hit the ground with the grout float.  The directions on the bucket said to mix it all up so I got out a paint stir stick , gave it a little blend, and was off like the horses at Keeneland!

Grout should be applied by moving the float at a 45 degree angle across the tiles.  The angle ensures the grout fills each joint completely.  Once all the joints are filled I removed the excess grout from the tiles by turning the float on a 90 degree angel.  The directions indicate only working 10 square feet at a time.  Since I am a rule follower, I made sure not to move too far ahead.

After covering10 square feet of tile I went back with a clean damp tile sponge to remove excess grout, making sure to fully wring out extra the water.  I wiped in a circular motion, as recommended by the manufacturer.  It was necessary to repeat the sponging step several times to remove the haze.  Every 10 feet Ryan emptied and refilled my clean water buckets and I continued this process across the entire kitchen floor over a span of two hours.

On a side note, I swear I do not always wear my hair in a ponytail and headband.  I’ve noticed the last couple weeks all the blog photos I am sporting this look.  It’s the “I’m trying to grow my hair and bangs out while do manual labor” look.

Anyway, back to the grout.  We noticed a really bad grout haze after an additional two hours of dry time.  The instructions said the haze could be easily removed the following day, but having done this project before we had a hard time believing that.  I went to the interwebs to do a little research and found (on several creditable sources) that I could go back with a vinegar wash to clean the haze after 2 hours of set time.

The Vinegar to water ratio is 1:3.  Once cup of vinegar to three cups of water.  I grabbed a clean sponge and started to wipe the tiles in a circular motion, flipping the sponge every two tiles.  I washed out the sponge with the vinegar water solutions about ever 4-5 tiles so that I wasn’t wiping the haze back on the tile….that would be a huge step backward!

The results?  It didn’t completely remove the haze, but I must admit it looks 100% better.  I figure one more vinegar wash tomorrow should do the trick.  If that doesn’t work, they have a (not so ‘green’) chemical product at Home Depot that will remove the remaining haze.

Tile project #7 can officially be classified as complete!  I must say it moved moderately fast.  In true Before and After DIY fashion, here is the before laminate:

And the very beautiful tiled afters:

And the obligatory split screen:

The break down of what we did over New Years weekend:

  • Thursday Ryan removed the old laminate flooring like Houdini (found here)
  • Friday we laid  and secured Hardie Backer-board (here),
  • Saturday thru Monday consisted of cutting and laying tile (here)
  • Wednesday Michelle hit the floor with some grout (today’s post!)

What do you think?  Do you dig the diagonal brick pattern?  Doesn’t it make the kitchen look wider?  Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

P.S. Countertop talk is next…we change our minds more than Elizabeth Taylor changed husbands.

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