Monday, December 31, 2007

Three's Company Grouting!

So yesterday was spent in its entirety grouting the kitchen floor and cleaning the grout off the tiles. I don't know why I thought this would be a much quicker job than the rest of it, but I envisioned us having our late afternoon off. Needless to say, that didn't happen. We started about 11AM and friend Suz was on-hand to help. Eric mixed up 1/2 a bag of grout after we did mathematical gymnastics to figure out the grout to admixture ratio in pounds vs. ounces, etc. Since there were 3 of us and 3 floats, we all took a section at the back of the kitchen and started slathering the grout into the seams. We got about 2 rows done when Suz and I concluded that we better start the cleanup. So Eric continued to grout and Suz and I hit the tiles with sponges. We were about halfway through the completed section when we decided Eric had to take a time out and help clean tiles before we had grout to chip off instead of wipe down. We whizzed through that and went back to grouting but had to dump a bit of the batch when it got unworkable. Suz departed to watch the Browns. We finished the rest of the floor by adjusting our methods. First, we mixed up the batches in much smaller portions (about 5-6 pounds of grout instead of 12). That way both of us were able to work the grout and by the time we finished the batch we could each return to our starting places and start the cleanup process. That went something like this: (1) with bucket of water at hand wring out the sponge as much as humanly possible (and it will still seem impossibly wet) and give the tile a first wipe-down to get the majority of excess grout off the tile, (2) rinse sponge, (3)use the rounded edge of the sponge to shape the grout seam, (4)rinse sponge, (5) go back over the tile, especially the edges along the seams to remove smeared grout), (6) rinse sponge, (7) continue ad infinitum until all tiles have been cleaned once, then get clean water and go over all of them another ten times and marvel that they still have significant grout haze. Here's me on one of the earlier re-cleans (as evident by the grin):
We took a "lunch break" at 4 and returned to grout the last 2 rows of tiles. Suz came in to aid in the final cleaning(s). Here we are happy to quit for the day (at 8:30PM):
For the last 2 passes we used a grout haze remover (from Lowe's) diluted in water in various ratios. We'll be getting some more of that to go over the tiles one more time in a stronger solution, but they still lookk great! The grout is actually "London Fog" grey and dried a bit lighter than expected, but will still go a long way to hiding dirt.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Nice! Good job on the grouting and laying!