Tiling the Sun Porch: Part 2

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Sundays are apparently our designated tiling days.  Last Sunday Dain set the tiles (in Part 1), and this Sunday he was back at it with the grouting.  We might have the most fun weekends of any young couple ever.  Maybe.  According to Dain, grouting is the most stressful part of tiling since you have to hustle to make it look nice in the end.  Luckily this one wasn’t as complicated as our last grouting job on our bathroom floor and shower, so he jumped right in yesterday making quick work of yet another tedious project that was bound to leave marks on his legs from those gnarly velcro straps on his kneepads.  The perils of a DIY homeowner I guess.

Here’s where we left off last Sunday.

The next step was for Dain to get down and dirty once again and grout these puppies.  The Home Depot actually carries a nice selection of grout colors.  Our grout color of choice? Alabaster.  It’s a very light beige color that we thought would complement our equally subdued and neutral tile.

Dain began by preparing the grout, which required him to add water, mix it for 5 minutes (with the paddle mixer again), wait for 10 minutes, and then mix it again before it was ready to go. Just like the thinset, you want it to be the consistency of toothpaste.

Then he whipped out his fancy rubber float for the hard part.  He used it to spread the grout into the joints at a 45 degree angle and then scrape off the excess at a 90 degree angle. At this point the grout looks very rough in the cracks, and you let it set for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes passed, Dain took a damp sponge to rub the grout lines. This is how they become smooth, and it creates a uniform shape between the tiles. It takes a few passes to make everything look nice and smooth. However, this process leaves a thin layer of grout over the tiles making it all look kind of hazy. To get rid of this, you have to scrub the tiles with a dry cloth to take away the excess leaving the tiles in their original condition.  Dain carefully did this making sure that all of the grout was off of the tiles by using pieces of an old t-shirt.

After all of Dain’s hard work, the tiles were looking pretty good.  Ignoring the lack of baseboards, it is all starting to come together nicely. An immeasurable improvement over our creepy carpet scrap that we removed.

The next step will be to seal the grout (after waiting 3 days), which will be a very easy step in comparison to the first two.  Then it’s on to everything else we need to do in our sun porch before we can have our fall fiesta. Namely, painting the ceiling, purchasing and installing the baseboards, finishing the painting of all of the trim, hanging curtains, possibly making some custom built-in tables, and decorating.  And eventually purchasing a new door. The fun never ends.  How about you?  What were you up to over the weekend?

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