mixing grout

Mixing Grout: 7 Easy Steps

Grout maintains materials in place and guards against damage in addition to being aesthetically pleasing. Smaller batches work best so you can apply the grout before it dries, but mixing grout is quick and simple. Spend some time considering your options if you haven’t already decided which grout to use for your project because the wrong grout can cause discoloration, poor protection, or crumbling.

What Is the Quick Way?

  1. Choose the appropriate grout for the project.
  2. Choose a grout additive if necessary.
  3. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, mix water into grouting powder.
  4. With a grout-mixing knife, tilt the mixing bucket while stirring.
  5. Grout consistency can be changed by adding more powder or water.
  6. For up to 10 minutes, let the grout rest (slake).
  7. Once more, thoroughly combine using a grout knife.

What Are the TYPES of GROUT?

Grout comes in a variety of forms. However, in general, there are two unique varieties: sanded and unsanded.

The project you’re working on and the results you’re after will determine which kind of tile grout will work best. In general, the grout you’ll want to work with will be dependent on the size of the tiles you’re using.

Sanded Grout

Grout will be dry when you purchase it if you are buying it. Sanded grout, in particular, features the following components:

  • Cement
  • Pigment
  • Filler particles
  • Sand

Sand increases the texture of sanded grout, making it much coarser and grainier. The appearance will also appear a little less polished. It is not recommended for use in close contact with delicate materials like marble and is less than ideal for some polished tiles due to its rougher texture.

When your tile joints will be wider than 1/8 inch, it is best to use sanded grout. This is due to the fact that between these wider joints, the sand will adhere better. You are also much less likely to notice obvious cracks in the grout job.

To best use sanded grout, be sure you clean it off all tile surfaces after installation and before it gets the chance to harden. If you want to avoid stains and discoloration after it has dried or hardened, you should coat it with a sealant.

Sanded grout typically needs 72 hours to cure. You should be able to find a color that works, regardless of the tile’s design. Sanded grout is offered in a huge selection of colors.

Unsanded Grout

If you’re installing tiles, you need to utilize grout. But what do you do when you need a sleeker-looking grout that isn’t so coarse? Here comes the unsanded grout.

The only difference between sanded and unsanded grout is that sand is not present in unsanded grout. This gives it a much smoother texture, but less binding power.

Unsanded grout works best for joints with a thickness of less than 1/8 inch. It’s also good for projects that feature more delicate materials, such as marble. Projects featuring mosaic tiles should also consider unsanded grout.

mixing grout

Unsanded grout will take just as long as sanded grout to cure, about 72 hours. Unsanded grout is much more sticky than sanded grout, so it might take a little more work to get it into the gaps between the tiles. But be careful to make this effort, particularly if you want your tiles to adhere.

Like sanded grout, unsanded grout comes in a huge range of colors. Similar to how you should finish the project, you should coat it to protect it. You shouldn’t be concerned if the cost of these products worries you. Grout that has been sanded and grout that hasn’t is typically around the same price.

What Should You Use?

Although some sort of sealant is usually advised, you won’t always need a grout additive. Primary and secondary sealants are both available. In either case, you must safeguard your grout. Grout additives allow you to add strength, color, or flexibility to your grout mixture. These additives are essential for some projects.

Mixed-in Sealants

Mixed-in or “primary” sealants are a liquid that typically takes the place of water in grout mixtures. Secondary sealants, which are used after installation is complete, and mixed-in sealants generally have the same objectives. These goals include:

  • Prevent moisture penetration
  • Protect against stains
  • Prevent mold and mildew build-up
  • Preserve the color of the grout

It’s possible for sealants to make claims about fortifying grout and extending its life. Using a secondary sealant after the installation is frequently unnecessary if you use a mixed-in sealant. For use on both sanded and unsanded grout, there are specific sealants. Before you start mixing the grout, be sure to verify that the sealant and grout are compatible.

Latex Additives

If you want your grout to be a bit more flexible, latex additives are your new best friend. With a latex additive, you receive benefits such as:

  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved durability
  • Stronger adhesion
  • More freeze-thaw resistance

Latex additives are especially great for the kitchen or bathroom grout, as they may allow the grout to cure harder and prevent moisture penetration.

Color Additives

There are many different colors available for both sanded and unsanded grouts. You might not particularly like these, though. If so, you can purchase color additives to change the appearance of your grout.

Powdered color additives are available. They are simple to incorporate into grout and water or grout and sealant mixtures. The amount of pigment you apply will change the color, though your grout will dry lighter than it appears in the mixture.

There are even special color additives, such as glitter or glow-in-the-dark powders that can make your grout look even more unique.

How to Mix Grout?

You can start mixing once you have selected the ideal grout for your project.

STEP 1: Select the Correct Grout for the Job

Sanded Grout

Sanded grout is composed of cement, filler pieces, pigment, and sand in its dry state. Grout that has been sanded is advised for joints wider than 18 inches because the sand improves its ability to stay in the joints and reduces the likelihood that it will crack as it dries.

This kind of grout offers a coarser, grainier texture and appearance because it contains sand. Sanded grout may not be ideal for use with polished or honed tile because it could scratch delicate surfaces, like marble. Whatever it is that you are tiling, you need to remove the grout from the tile surfaces quickly before it has a chance to set and become permanent. Sanded grout needs to be sealed after it has dried, or 72 hours after installation, to avoid staining and discoloration.

Unsanded Grout

Without the sand, of course, the composition of unsanded grout is very similar to that of sanded grout. Although this kind of grout is less strong and binding than sanded grout, it produces a smoother texture and functions better for smaller joints, those that are less than 18 inches thick. According to Austin, Texas-based tile installer Sean Chavoustie, it’s also ideal for use with tile materials that are prone to scratches, like marble tile and the majority of mosaics.

To prevent the grout from collapsing, you’ll want to make sure every gap is completely filled. Unsanded grout is stickier, so it might take a little more work to push it into the joints between tiles.

Unsanded grout, which is also offered in a variety of colors, cures in about 72 hours, just like sanded grout, and after that time should be sealed to guard against spills and stains. He adds that it is roughly the same price as sanded grout.

Step 2: If Needed, Select a Grout Additive

Sealant Additives

Instead of using water, the sealant is a pre-mixed, ready-to-use liquid that is combined with grout powder. In place of secondary sealants that are typically applied after installation, this sealant is made to make grout joints less vulnerable to moisture penetration and protect the grout from stains, mold, and mildew.

Sealants maintain the color of the grout while also enhancing the consistency of the color. Additionally, some sealant additives claim to strengthen the grout.

Keep in mind that some sealants are made to work with both sanded and unsanded grouts; therefore, you should make sure the sealant you’re thinking about will work with the grout you’re using. Some products don’t work well together, according to Chavoustie

Colorant Additives

If none of the readily available grout colors appeal to you, you can choose white grout and alter it with any of the many grout colorants available on the market.

Simply add water and these powdered pigments to your grout. According to Chavoustie, you can adjust the amount of pigment you add to achieve the desired color, but keep in mind that the grout will dry a little bit lighter than what you see when the grout is wet. Or, for a closer match, adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proportions of pigment to grout powder.

Consider adding glitter—in any of a variety of shiny shades—to your grout mixture or perhaps pigments that glow in the dark to up the glam factor of the room you’re redecorating.

Latex Additives

To enhance grout’s workability, flexibility, adhesion, impact strength, and freeze-thaw resistance, latex additives are mixed in. According to Chavoustie, these additives can also strengthen the bond and make the grout cure more thoroughly. Making the tile joints less vulnerable to water penetration is an additional benefit.

Step 3: Add Water to Grouting Powder Per Manufacturer’s Instructions.

mixing grout

Prior to adding the grouting powder, Chavoustie advises filling the mixing bucket with the appropriate volume of water. “It’s easier to mix if you put the water in first,” he says, adding that you can add more water if needed to get the right consistency. Pour about a quarter to a half of the grouting powder into the bucket; you’ll want to have extra on hand in case you mix the powder and water incorrectly. Refer to the manufacturer’s mixing directions for how much water to use, and start with a fraction less water than recommended; you can always add more later

Advice: To prevent efflorescence, an unsightly white residue caused by minerals in hard or well water, avoid mixing grout with these substances. Use distilled water if your area has hard water wells or if you have to.

STEP 4: Tilt Mixing Bucket and Stir With a Grout-mixing Knife.

Mix thoroughly with the grout-mixing knife or small trowel while tilting the bucket to about a 45-degree angle to make it easier to see the contents. Making sure to get rid of any lumps, mix the powder until it is completely incorporated.

As a piece of advice, resist the urge to mix grout with a corded drill that has a paddle attachment. Automated mixing may add too many air bubbles, weakening the grout and possibly discoloring it.

STEP 5: Adjust Grout Consistency by Adding Powder Or Water.

Examine the consistency of the grout. Chavoustie says grout mixed for floors should be “smooth peanut butter consistency” while grout for walls should be a bit thicker. Other tiling experts compare the ideal consistency to soft bread dough, where you can grab a handful and it maintains its shape and, if squeezed slightly, doesn’t leak water.

Add more powder and thoroughly combine if the grout is too liquidy or slack. If it is too thin, it will contract and crack. To push good grout into the tiles, use a little elbow grease.

If the grout is too hard and clumpy, dampen a sponge with water and squeeze a tiny bit of water into the mixture. Add the ingredients gradually until the desired peanut butter texture is achieved.

STEP 6: Let Grout Rest (slake) for Up to 10 Minutes.

Allow the grout to “slake,” the term for letting it rest for five to 10 minutes so that the chemicals can bond. Without proper slaking, grout will be weaker and more prone to cracking and chipping. During slaking, moisture fully permeates all the powder. If the grout seems a little bit thicker after 10 minutes, don’t worry, and don’t add water.

STEP 7: Use a Grout Knife to Mix Thoroughly Once More.

For the final grouting step of your do-it-yourself tile project, thoroughly mix your grout batch once more and get to work.

What Consistency Should Grout Be Mixed To?

The consistency of the grout should resemble smooth peanut butter. It should be malleable but not drip when the trowel is lifted. More water should be added if the mixture is too stiff or if the dry powder is apparent. Add more grout powder if the mixture is too liquid and watery.


What is the Ratio for Mixing Grout?

You usually add two quarts of water to 25 pounds of powdered grout, though the proportions will vary slightly from product to product.

How Long to Leave Grout before Wiping?

Before removing extra grout, wait 15 to 20 minutes. According to Chavoustie, the balance is precarious. Too soon will result in too much being pulled from the joints if you wipe it. It gets harder to remove if you wait too long.

What Happens If Tile Grout is Too Wet?

Simply add more powder to thicken your grout mixture if you made it too liquid. Too-wet grout won’t adhere properly and may drip or smear, leaking out of the joints and creating a big mess. When wet grout finally dries, it might contract and crack.

What is the Correct Way to Mix Grout?

In order to get the right amount of powder to water, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a grout-mixing knife or trowel to combine the powder and water in your work bucket while tilting it at a 45-degree angle. Remix the grout after letting it sit for five to ten minutes.


Mixing grout isn’t particularly challenging, but it may take some practice to get the consistency just right. If an additive is appropriate for your project, think about using one. You can quickly become an expert tile DIYer with the right equipment and some perseverance.