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Grout it Out.

February 23, 2012

Our kitchen backsplash tile was laid this weekend in three hours, mentioned here.  The next step: Grout.  Here is a picture of what the glossy white 4×4 tiles look like before said grout.

After filling two buckets of water, locating several big sponges and the grout float I twas ready to go.  Or so I thought.  After reading the grout I realized it was meant for grout lines 1/8″ and smaller.  Womp Womp.  We have several areas where the grout lines ended up much larger.  The culprit?  Those darn bullnose edge tiles.  For some reason the bullnose tiles are slightly smaller than the regular 4×4 tiles and we ended up with 1/4″ grout lines in those areas (not noticeable to the naked eye).  It probably would have been okay to use but because we are perfectionists we would never knowingly half ass a job, I made my third trip of the day to Lowes and picked up the bigger, pricier $27 bucket of ready to use, white grout with the sealant.  At that point price wasn’t an object.  I just wanted to get the stuff and go home.

When I was good and ready and ‘in the mood’ (because you definitely have to be’ in the mood’ to do any kind of DIY project) I got all my supplies ready and prepared to grout….again.

I taped a bunch of plastic on our new granite countertops to protect them from whatever mess the grout (or Michelle, more specifically) would leave behind.

Using the float, i applied the self-sealant grout at a 45 degree angle and carefully wiped away the excess at a 90 degree angle on the side of the float.

I worked in 3 sections.  The first being the bottom row of tiles where the existing backsplash was, the second was the area we built, and the third was the area next to the fridge where the Nutone Speaker use to call home (found here and here).

After working each section I used a clean bucket of water and a clean sponge to wipe away the excess grout in a smooth circular motion.  This is when the grout starts looking like grouted tile.  In my opinion this is the most rewarding part….just like pulling a white satin ribbon off a little blue box…seriously, just as exciting to me.  I know, I’m so weird.

So glad I put down all that plastic on the granite.  Did you see the mess I made?!  Grouting only took about 45 minutes or so.

In true Before and After DIY fashion here is the progression from before to after:

And the final backsplash afters…

Notice how flush the light switch sits on the those 4 new tiles….so much better then before!

And these electrical switches also sit very nicely on top of the backsplash tile.  Did you notice that awful 3″ external electrical box by the butcher block has been removed?  Much better!

And a smooth bullnose transition between the 45 of the two walls…awesome!

All that’s left in the kitchen is:

  1. caulking between the backsplash and granite
  2. adding the 3 shelves between the two cabinets to create a smooth transition (found here)
  3. finding/making base cabinet doors for the bottom cabinet addition

And that’s it!  yeah, right.   I’m sure we’ll find more thing to tweak during the decorating process.

What do you think?  Grout makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?  Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

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