Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Vinyl flooring can be a great flooring option for your kitchen area or bathroom. Whether or not the space is large or small, it gives you many options to work with. And...it's super easy to install if you're a DIYer. But how do you install grout around the tiles? We've looked into the best method to grout around vinyl floor tile, and in this post, we'll cover it.
Once you've laid down your tile flooring, you can begin to install the grout around it. Here are the steps to do it:
- Inspect the spacers
- Apply painter's tape
- Mix and apply the grout
- Wipe down the tiles
The most important thing to remember when applying grout around vinyl tile is to ensure there are spacers between the tiles. It's best to lay down the spacers before installing the tile to ensure accuracy and consistency across the tile pattern. Continue reading to learn more about how to do it.
Steps to Grout Vinyl Tile
Remember that the pattern on your tile joints will determine the overall look and size of your grout. So if you don't want your grout to show as much, you'll want to place the tiles closer together so the lines will be thinner.
Things you'll need:
- Tile spacers
- Vinyl tile
- 2-gallon bucket
- Utility knife
- Grout mixer
- Knee pads
- Floor cleaner
1. Inspect the spacers
Take a look at the spacers between the tiles to make sure that they are even and perfectly aligned with one another. Remember that if you want your grout lines to be fine, you'll need to measure the floor to know how many pieces of tile you need. This will also give you an idea of how the grout lines can be positioned. Also, keep in mind that you will need more grout if you have larger or wider grout lines.
2. Apply painter's tape
Next, apply painter's tape to the perimeter of the tiles to ensure that you don't accidentally apply the grout to the bottom of the room's walls. Also, be sure to apply painter's tape to the bottom of any standing furniture, cabinets, and trim.
3. Mix and apply the grout
While some grout products come premixed, others will need to be mixed with water before they can be applied to the tile. You can usually do this by pouring the grout into a bucket and adding the recommended amount of water according to the instructions on the back of the grout's label. You'll then need to blend the grout using a grout mixer. However, if you don't have one, you can typically use your trowel as well.
Next, starting in small sections, take a small amount of grout and apply it to the lower third of the trowel. Next, start at the corner farthest away from the door and apply the grout between the tiles. Going from left to right, cover the perimeter of each tile and try not to get the grout on top of the tile--this means less cleanup efforts afterward.
After you finish the first row, start on the second row beneath it. Be sure to firmly press the grout into the joint so that you won't have any open gaps later on, which can cause water damage and other issues. You'll also want to wipe up any grout splatters with a damp sponge after you finish each row before it has a chance to set. It may be harder to remove when it does, and you may need to use a utility knife to do so.
4. Wipe down the tiles
After you have applied the grout to all of the tile joints, take a step back to look at your work and make sure that you haven't missed any areas. The grout should look fresh, and the grout line should look even and consistent. Then, take a sponge and go over the entire floor to remove any accidental splatters and grout haze from the top of the tiles. You may need to do this a few times to get rid of the haze completely.
Remember that you don't want the grout to dry on the floor. The vinyl tiles should shine once the grout is completely cleaned away--and there shouldn't be a hazy appearance to the tiles. You can even use a bit of floor cleaner to help lift the grout from the tiles. After you've finished, let the tiles sit for about 24 hours before allowing traffic on them.
What kind of grout do you use for vinyl tile?
Due to its flexibility, many people opt for acrylic grout, though it's not the only option for grouting vinyl tiles. Epoxy grout can be used as well.
Acrylic grout is great for vinyl tile because it is the least likely to crack. It has great flexibility and adhesion qualities and can also be used outdoors. This silicone additive typically comes pre-mixed and is stable in both warm and colder environments.
It's also stain-resistant and retains its color better than cement and epoxy-based grouts. Acrylic grout is applied the same way as other grout products, though it's more commonly found in tube form, allowing it to be applied using a caulk gun.
Epoxy grout is made from hardeners and resin, as well as pigments and silica fillers. This grout is durable and naturally waterproof, making it an attractive option for vinyl tile applications. However, epoxy grout is more expensive than regular grout, and it can quickly go to waste if you don't apply it fast enough. Epoxy grout sets relatively fast, so you'll need to be somewhat familiar with applying grout to get the best use out of it.
If you are applying for the first time, it's best only to mix a small amount at a time. You'll also want to make sure to clean the vinyl thoroughly afterward to prevent the plastic haze that this grout can leave on the tiles from accidental splatters. Overall, you'll find that epoxy ground gives great results and works wonderfully with vinyl tiles.
What do you use to seal vinyl tiles?
You can seal vinyl tiles using a vinyl floor sealer. These products create a waterproof seal to protect the tile from damage caused by water and daily wear and tear. They can also protect the tile from eventually becoming discolored from dirt and debris. You can find a good vinyl flooring sealant at most hardware stores or online. Applying sealant is a fairly simple process though it can take time to apply to the floor-- particularly larger floors.
You can apply sealant with a floor finishing pad or a mop once you find the right one for your vinyl floor. Make sure that you thoroughly sweep and mop the floor beforehand, as you don't want to trap any debris on top of the floor once you apply the sealant.
Also, be sure that the floor is completely dry so that you don't trap any moisture on top of the vinyl, which can cause it to bubble and peel. It's typically recommended to apply at least two coats of sealant for the best results and long-lasting protection.
Does peel and stick vinyl tile need grout?
No. Peel and stick vinyl tile does not necessarily need tile grout. However, if you plan to have at least a 1/16th of an inch or larger space between the tiles, it's best to grout them. If not, you'll want to place the tiles as close together as possible and then apply a sealant on top of the tile to prevent issues with moisture, debris accumulation, and discoloration.
Applying a grout between the tiles can help to mitigate potential issues with moisture, dirt, debris, and pests. However, this is more of a matter of personal preference and decorative style. Applying the grout will take more time, but the results may last longer than just applying a sealant.
Wrapping Things Up
If you have vinyl tiles in your home, applying grout around them will help to keep pests away and prevent moisture buildup. It's best to use a trowel when applying the grout to the tiles, as it will ensure that you applied firmly enough to avoid creating gaps in the grout. Afterward, always be sure to clean the tiles thoroughly to avoid grout haze.
Be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go: