Grout is a thin mortar that can be poured and used to fill cracks and bind things to the walls in your home – like your bathtub for example. Your bathtub is bound to the walls of your bathroom with grout.
Over time, it can crack and crumble so you just might find yourself in the midst of grouting a bathtub as a weekend project. Grouting a bathtub isn’t necessarily difficult but it does require paying attention to some very important details for a job well done!
Prepare the Grout
Unless you’re purchasing a bucket full of pre-mixed grout, it comes as a powder and you have to slowly mix it with water using a paint-mixing drill. The correct consistency that you’re looking for when mixing is one that is so thick that it can’t be poured out – it has to be scooped out. After ten minutes and another good round of an additional remix, you can begin grouting a bathtub with this stuff.
If you’re grouting a bathtub and you live in an area that is served with hard water, you might want to use distilled water to mix your grout with instead of regular tap water. Some people have noted that hard tap water leaves white residue in the grout after it dries – altering its color and bonding properties.
When first grouting a bathtub, you don’t need to worry about being too neat. Your primary concern is packing the grout into the joints (where the basin will meet the walls that surround it) with a grout trowel. Use a little elbow grease and really pack it in. You can wipe off the excess with a float (a tool used for smoothing and finishing a surface) and a sponge.
Get Rid of the Excess
Let the grout dry and monitor it so that you’ll know when you can commence work again. You’ll want to see if the grout can be wiped with a damp sponge without coming out of the joints that you put it into. When the grout behaves this way, you can continue grouting a bathtub by sponging off the excess until just a small trace of it remains.
Shaping the Grout
While you’re removing (cleaning) the excess away, you can go ahead and begin to shape it the way you want. Grout should level below the joints that it was placed in. Should you find any gaps, reapply a little more grout and repeat the wiping until you get a nice smooth level.
After this process, you can caulk around the tub joints. The caulk acts as a sealer and waterproofs the gout that you just applied.