Picking up where we left off: It has been a little bit of time since the backsplash tile was installed. Enough time for the countertop appliances to migrate back over to the back wall & for a fresh coat of the proper grey paint on the walls. (The previous darker grey looked too similar to the countertop color).
The items needed for the grouting stage:
– Stone sealer
– non-sanded grout
– sponge & gloves
– bucket & water
– Grout haze remover
We went the more lazy route an purchased the sealer and haze remover at Floor & Decor: the same store as the tile, trowels, wet saw, mortar, & grout. We went with a mid-level sealer as the price point was right.
Before we applied the grout, we applied the sealer. The sealer is not only something that you reapply to a backsplash periodically to help prevent cooking splatter stains after a tile job is finished, but it is also applied before grouting as well. You wipe on the sealer & let soak in for 15-30 minutes and then wipe off with a clean/dry towel, repeat a second time.
The grout for the project was the generic brand at the store, white, and unsanded. We needed unsnanded grout because sanded grout would scratch the soft marble natural stone tile.
We used that wall float after all! After purchasing the float (and not being able to return it because Floor & Decor has a silly short return window) we thought we would try to use it for it’s not-intended-purpose… as a wall grout trowel. Oh, and for the grout: just mix the grout per the bag’s instructions and smear onto the wall. “Smear” is a technical term, btw.
There is still a lot of grout residue left after only the first wipe down. Also, I left the darker grey color on the two walls that didn’t really touch the countertop (the one spot that does will be hidden by an appliance in a dark corner.) I kept them because the dark walls still looked cool, and frankly, I don’t think anyone really notices that they are different shades.
After the tile is as clean as it can get with just water, apply a haze remover to help lift off any residual grout residue from the surface.
Next, all the edges will be filled with white sanded caulk to smooth everything out… the countertop, walls, ceiling and under & above the wall cabinets! There were a few pretty uneven areas that severely needed caulk. Yay! So close to the end of this project!