How Long Does it Take to Grout a Backsplash: Comprehensive Guide

Last updated on January 3, 2024

Grouting a backsplash can transform your kitchen aesthetics, because the process, while critical, reveals surprising insights about time management, technique, and style choices.

Grouting a backsplash doesn’t have to take up too much of your day, with most projects wrapping up in about 5 to 8 hours. This estimate includes both the necessary application and drying times, creating a finished look that will withstand daily use.

However, keep in mind that factors like your skill level, the type and size of the tiles, and the temperature and humidity of your home could impact this timeline.

To help you navigate through this task efficiently and effectively, read further for an in-depth guide including all the refined tips and tricks you might need when grouting your backsplash.

Key takeaways:

  • Grouting a backsplash takes 5-8 hours.
  • Gather necessary materials before grouting.
  • Prep the area by cleaning and securing surrounding areas.
  • Choose the right grout and mix it correctly.
  • Clean the tiles after grouting and apply sealant.

What's Inside

Materials Required for Grouting a Backsplash

materials required for grouting a backsplash

To ensure a smooth and successful grouting process for your backsplash, gathering the right tools and materials ahead of time is crucial. Of course, your primary necessity will be grout, preferably one that matches your tile color for a seamless finish. Depending on your chosen grout type, a grout additive may also be needed to enhance its durability and ensure a protective, stain-resistant surface.

Other necessary tools include a grout float, used to evenly apply the grout over the tiles, a grout mixer, used to properly mix the grout to the right consistency, and a bucket for mixing the grout. A sponge and water will come in handy to wipe off excess grout from the tiles, keep the work area clean, and maintain the newness of your tiles.

If this is a DIY task, safety materials such as gloves and safety glasses are also indispensable. Your tiles will also need a good sealant after grouting to maintain the fresh look, prevent moisture absorption, and resist staining. Always double-check your list to ensure you have all things necessary for the job.

Getting Ready for the DIY Backsplash Task

getting ready for the diy backsplash task

Before diving into the grouting process, make sure you gather all necessary tools including grout, a grout float, tiles, a bucket, and a sponge.

Check that your tile adhesive is fully dry and ready – this generally takes 24 hours. Note that porous tiles like natural stone need sealing pre-grout to avoid discoloration.

Prepare a dedicated work area that’s convenient and easy to clean, ideally close to a water source for mixing grout and cleaning up.

Lastly, using gloves and safety goggles is recommended as grout can irritate the skin and eyes.

In this way, you’ll set the stage for a successful, mess-free DIY backsplash grouting.

Prepping the Backsplash Area

Before diving into the grouting process, it’s essential to prep the area to ensure a seamless application. Start by removing any old grout, dust, or debris that might interfere with the new grout’s adhesion. This can be accomplished using a utility knife or grout saw, then vacuum the space to catch lingering substances.

Next, apply a high-quality tile cleaner to the entire backsplash area. Use a soft scrubbing brush to work the product into the tile and remove any stubborn dirt or grease. Rinse thoroughly, and dry well. Remember, a good rule of thumb is always to apply grout on a completely dry surface for optimal results.

Lastly, secure the surrounding areas from the backsplash. Masking tape and plastic sheeting should do the trick. This effective barrier protects countertops, cabinets, and appliances from stray grout and makes clean up a breeze.

In essence, a well-prepared area ensures better adhesion of the grout and reduces the likelihood of future issues, such as chipping or discoloration. Now the backsplash is ready to receive the grout for a perfect finish.

Choose Your Tile Grout

The selection of the right grout can influence the durability and aesthetic appeal of your backsplash. For regular-sized tiles, sanded grout is typically recommended due to its resilience and ability to fill spaces of 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch. On the other hand, unsanded grout is suitable for less than 1/8 inch spaces often found between glass, polished stone, and metal tiles.

Additionally, grout comes in a wide variety of colors. You may opt for a color that matches your tiles to create a seamless look, or a contrasting one to highlight the tile design. Remember, darker grouts tend to hide dirt and stains better than lighter ones. Also, consider the use of sealed grout for an extended lifespan as they offer resistance to moisture and stains.

Lastly, always remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions before making your choice as different brands may have unique specifications.

Mixing the Grout Correctly

Start by pouring the grout powder into a clean bucket, but avoid adding the entire bag at once. Gradually add water as you stir until you achieve a creamy, yet thick consistency. It should hold its form without being overly runny.

It’s crucial not to rush this process; blending the water and powder properly ensures that the grout will be strong and long-lasting after it drys. A crucial tip to remember is that the mixture will begin to thicken as you stir — make sure to add water sparingly as it thickens to avoid over dilution.

Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the chemicals to activate which is vital for a sturdy finish. After the wait, give it one final stir, and you’re ready to grout. Remember, a well-mixed grout means a beautiful high-quality backsplash.

Proper Application of Grout On the Tile Backsplash

Start by using a grout float to spread the concoction over your tiles on the backsplash. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle and spread a generous and even grout layer, reaching all the tile spaces. The diagonal strokes ensure that the crevices between the tiles are entirely filled.

Once finished, remove the excess with the float’s edge, leaving enough grout to make a continuous line between the tiles. This application process requires a bit of patience and skill, but it’s very rewarding. Practice and consistency are your best allies here. Remember, it’s okay if a bit of grout stays on the tiles – you’ll remove this in the next steps.

Cleaning the Tile After Grouting

Once the grout has been applied, it’s essential to keep the tiles clean to ensure an even, polished finish. Follow these few, easy steps:

  • 1. Wait for about 15-30 minutes, allowing the grout to set a bit.
  • 2. Use a damp sponge – but not soaking wet – to gently wipe over the tiles, removing grout from the tile surface. Do this in a diagonal motion to avoid digging out the grout from between the tiles.
  • 3. Rinse the sponge frequently in clean water. This keeps it free of grout and prevents smearing grout residue back on the tiles.
  • 4. Be careful not to press too hard. Your aim is to take off only the excess on the tile surface and not disturb the lines between the tiles.

As you can see, with simple steps and a little patience, those tiles are on their way to looking spectacular! Enjoy this crafting stage and take pride in doing a thorough job. Remember, patience always pays off in the end!

Wipe Away the Excess Grout

Having finished applying the grout, you will probably notice that the excess grout has smeared across your tiles. This needs to be promptly addressed. Using a grout float, operate at a diagonal angle to the tiles and scrape the surface to take off the excess. Start from the top and move gradually downward to ensure all excess is removed.

Remember not to press too hard, just gently glide across the surface. You’ll aim for a clean, but still a little messy look; perfect uniformity at this stage is not necessary. This step should be done immediately while the grout is still wet, making it easier to remove. Once you have had the chance to scrape off all the unnecessary overflow, give it 15-20 minutes to stay put.

Up next, take a damp sponge with rounded corners for round grout joints or squared edges for square grout joints. Now wipe again diagonally across the tiles. The sponge helps to shape the grout lines and further remove any remaining excess from the tiles.

Remember to rinse the sponge frequently as it collects grout. Repeat this gentle sponge cleaning process 2-3 times until your tiles look clean but avoid overwashing.

This stage of the process is crucial; hence, it requires patience and precision. Going about the process methodically ensures a professional finish to your backsplash.

Sealing and Finishing Touches

After the grout has dried thoroughly, usually within 24 to 48 hours, the grout sealant comes into play. Applying sealant assists in preventing stains and discoloration, which is particularly useful in kitchen spaces where splashes can happen frequently.

When applying the sealant, always remember to:

  • Clean: Ensure the backsplash area is thoroughly clean and free from any grout haze or dust. This promotes better adhesion of the sealant to the grout lines.
  • Technique: Use a small brush or a sponge applicator to apply the sealant directly onto the grout. Be careful to avoid the tiles as much as possible.
  • Timing: Allow adequate time for the sealant to penetrate into the grout, which takes roughly 10 minutes. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any excess sealant.
  • Second Coat: Depending on the grout and sealant used, a second coat may be needed. Check your product specifications for guidance.

By preemptively protecting your work with sealant, you’ll ensure the longevity of your beautiful backsplash for years to come.

How Long to Wait After Installing Backsplash to Grout

After installing the backsplash, a significant step in the process is allowing ample time for the adhesive to dry. Typically, this drying period lasts for a minimum of 24 hours. However, it could extend to 48 hours depending on environmental factors like humidity and temperature. This time frame is crucial to ensure a firm bond between the tile and the wall, readying the surface for the next step: grouting. Remember, patience yields the best results; rushing through this step can lead to loose tiles and improper sealing. Refer to the adhesive’s manufacturer’s instructions for accurate drying times.

Time Required for the Grouting Project

Grouting can be a quick process once you have mastered the technique. Ideally, applying the grout should take between 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the scale of your backsplash. Yet, remember that grout needs to cure for around 24 to 48 hours before you can seal it, ensuring it’s waterproof and stain-resistant.

Ensure you set aside enough time to handle this task to the end without interruptions. Consider factors such as your pace and skill level. If it’s your first time, it might take longer. Furthermore, if your backsplash contains intricate patterns or smaller tiles, you’ll need extra time to apply and clean off the grout due to the increased number of grout lines.

The ideal scenario is to avoid rushing as it may lead to mistakes and a subpar finish. Patience, precision, and practice are key measures to achieve the best results in a timely manner.

Aftercare and Cleaning of the Backsplash

Maintaining your newly grouted backsplash is crucial for preserving its fresh aesthetics and longevity. Start by avoiding harsh cleaners; they can wear away the grout over time. Instead, use mild soaps and warm water.

For regular cleaning, simply wipe the tiles down with a damp cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbing to preserve the grout’s lifespan. If you encounter tough stains, make a baking soda and water paste. Applying it on the stain and lightly scrubbing with a soft brush can help remove it.

Sealed grout is less prone to staining, but it doesn’t make it immune. Sealing should be done annually to keep the grout in top condition. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for sealers and cleaning products.

Remember, improper cleaning and lack of maintenance can cause your backsplash to fade and become discoloured. By following these tips, your backsplash can remain as striking as the day it was installed.


How long does it take to put grout?

Putting grout on your tile backsplash approximately takes a few hours.

Do I have to grout right away?

No, you don’t have to grout right away; it’s recommended to wait at least 48 hours after laying the tile to allow ample time for the mortar to set and dry.

Is it hard to grout backsplash?

No, grouting a backsplash is not hard provided you have the appropriate tools, supplies, and demonstrate patience.

How long does tile grouting take?

Tile grouting duration can vary, typically ranging from a few hours for smaller areas like a backsplash or shower stall to a full day or more for larger areas like a kitchen floor or an entire bathroom.

Can I apply grout on a newly installed backsplash?

Yes, you can apply grout on a newly installed backsplash after allowing the adhesive to cure for 24 hours.

Are there differences in the time it takes to grout different types of tiles?

Yes, the time it takes to grout tiles can vary based on the type of tile, with porous materials like marble taking longer than smooth ceramic tiles due to additional sealing steps.

What factors can influence the drying time of the grout?

The drying time of the grout can be influenced by factors such as the type of grout used, humidity levels, temperature, and the type of tile.

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