How to Mix Tile Grout for Perfect Results


Installing tile can transform the look of your home. But if the grout application isn’t done properly, it can ruin the entire project. Learning how to mix tile grout correctly is essential for achieving a flawless finished product.

Properly mixed grout ensures strong, long-lasting results. Grout fills the joints between tiles, binding them together into a cohesive surface while allowing for slight movement. Using the right mixing technique and grout product for your particular tile and project will help you avoid common problems like cracking, shrinking, and discoloration.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to mix tile grout for perfect results. You’ll learn grout basics, types of grout, and step-by-step instructions for mixing and applying grout. With the right information and supplies, you can mix grout like a pro. Let’s get started!

How to Mix Tile Grout for Perfect Results

Choose the Right Grout for Your Project

The first step in mixing grout is selecting the right product. There are a few main categories of grout to choose from:

  • Cement-based grout – The most common and economical choice. Offers good strength and color consistency. Requires sealing.
  • Epoxy grout – Extremely durable and stain-resistant. Used for heavy traffic areas. More difficult to work with.
  • Pre-mixed grout – Convenient all-in-one formula. Limited color options. May not be as durable.
  • Specialty grout – Enhanced flexiblity, adhesion, or other properties. Used for specific applications.

Consider the type of tile, desired finish, and exposure to moisture when choosing a grout. Your tile supplier can help recommend the best option.

Calculate How Much Grout is Needed

To find the amount of grout needed, you’ll need to know your tile dimensions and total square footage of tiled area. Refer to your tile packaging or measure tile length and width.

Use this formula:

(Tile length in inches x Tile width in inches x Total tiled area in square feet) ÷ 144 = Number of gallons of grout needed

Don’t forget that spacing between tiles reduces total coverage. Check grout package instructions for coverage estimates. It’s better to have extra than to run short halfway through!

Prepare Grout Mix According to Instructions

Once you’ve selected the right grout and calculated the quantity needed, it’s time to mix up a batch. Be sure to follow the product instructions exactly.

Here are some general mixing guidelines:

  • Cement-based grout is mixed with water in a bucket. Use a trowel or grout float to vigorously blend the powder and liquid to a smooth, lump-free consistency. Allow to slake for 5-10 minutes then remix before using. The mix will be fairly thick.
  • Epoxy grouts require accurately measuring the resin and hardener. Thoroughly mix the two parts together with a paddle mixer on low speed. Avoid creating bubbles.
  • Pre-mixed grouts only require stirring before use. Check expiry dates and avoid freezing.
  • Don’t mix up more grout than can be used within the working time noted on the packaging. Stiffened grout is unusable.

Prepare Work Area and Gather Tools

Grouting can get messy, so cover the floor and any surfaces around the tile edges. Have all necessary supplies on hand before starting:

  • Grout float or rubber grout squeegee
  • Grout sponge
  • Clean buckets of water
  • Old rags or paper towels
  • Grout sealer (for cement grout)
  • Caulk for perimeter gaps

Apply Grout Using Proper Technique

With your grout mixed and tools at the ready, it’s time to start grouting. Use the following technique:

  1. Hold the float or squeegee at a 45° angle to the tile surface. Force the grout diagonally into the joints with a firm downward motion.
  2. Make sure joints are completely filled. Pack in the grout firmly.
  3. Remove any excess grout from the tile surface by holding the float edge at a 90° angle and dragging it diagonally across tiles.
  4. Clean grout off tile edges for a neat finish. Don’t allow grout to dry on the tile surface.
  5. After 10-15 minutes, use a damp grout sponge in a circular motion to smooth joints and clean off residual grout. Rinse sponge frequently.
  6. Avoid digging out grout from joints. Allow grout to become firm in joints.
  7. Once cleaning is complete, allow grout to cure fully per product instructions before sealing or using shower.

Apply Grout Sealer on Cement Grout

For cement grout, applying a grout sealer is highly recommended. This adds an invisible protective barrier against stains and moisture.

Follow product directions for precise application timing and method. Typically, 2-3 thin coats are brushed or rolled on. Avoid puddling sealer on the tile surface.

That covers the key steps for how to mix tile grout for perfect results. Now let’s look at some tips for troubleshooting common grouting problems.

Solutions for Common Grout Mixing Problems

Even if you carefully follow mixing directions, issues can still crop up. Here are some potential problems and fixes:

Grout Not Sticking in Joints

If newly applied grout scrapes out easily, the mix is likely too wet. To fix:

  • Mix in additional grout powder to thicken it up.
  • Ensure joints are clean and free of debris before regrouting.

Grout Drying Too Fast

Hot, dry, or windy conditions can cause grout to dry prematurely before it flows into joints. Solutions include:

  • Mist tile lightly with water before grouting to cool surface.
  • Mix less grout at a time and work in smaller sections.
  • Tent area with drop cloths to block wind and sun exposure.

Grout Cracking After Drying

Cracks usually mean the mix was too thin or joints were left incomplete while grouting. Re-grouting is required to fill any cracks or voids.

Grout color Inconsistent

Variation in grout color after drying could be from inconsistent mixing. Make sure measurements or proportions are exact when preparing batches.

Grout Hazing or Smearing on Tile

Leaving residual grout to harden on the tile surface can create a cloudy haze. To prevent this:

  • Wipe off excess grout with edge of float before it dries.
  • Rinse sponge frequently when washing tiles.
  • Change rinse water often to avoid leaving a film.

With careful mixing and application, your grout should turn out picture-perfect!

Frequently Asked Questions About Mixing Tile Grout

Still have questions about achieving flawless grout results? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

How long does tile grout take to dry?

Drying time depends on the grout type, temperature, and humidity. In general, cement grout takes 24-48 hours to cure initially, and epoxy grouts may take 7 days or longer to fully cure. Don’t get the tiles wet during this time.

What is the best grout color to use with white subway tile?

A classic choice is an off-white or light gray grout, which creates a subtle contrast with bright white tile. Dark grout highlights the tile grid pattern but requires meticulous cleaning.

Should sanded or unsanded grout be used for wall tiles?

For joints 1/8″ or smaller, use unsanded grout. It provides a smoother finish for narrow grout lines. Use sanded grout for larger joint widths.

How soon can I get the tiles wet after grouting?

It’s best to wait a full 72 hours after grouting before exposing tiles to moisture. This allows cement grout to fully cure and prevents whitish efflorescence on the grout lines.

How do you apply grout into the corners?

Use a grout float or old toothbrush to work grout into inside corners. For outside corners, smear grout using the edge of a grout sponge for easier cleaning.

Can grout be mixed by hand rather than a mixer?

Pre-mixed and epoxy grout should always be blended mechanically to ensure proper incorporation. Cement grout can be hand mixed but it takes muscle to prevent lumps!


There’s a real art to learning how to mix tile grout to achieve picture-perfect results. By selecting the ideal grout for your project, preparing the mixture exactly as specified, and applying with care, you can avoid pitfalls like cracking or color variation. Don’t rush through the job—allowing adequate drying time is key. With the techniques in this guide, you can grout like a pro for long-lasting, professional-quality results.