How to Grout Marble Tile Backsplash

Installing a marble tile backsplash can add elegance and style to your kitchen. Marble is a beautiful natural stone that makes a striking backsplash, but it does require some special care when it comes to grouting. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly grout marble tile for your backsplash.

Choosing the Right Grout

When grouting marble tile, it’s important to choose the right type of grout. Here are some tips:

  • Use unsanded grout. Sanded grout can scratch the surface of polished marble. Unsanded grout is smoother and less abrasive.
  • Choose a grout color that matches or complements the color of your marble tile. White and light grey are popular grout colors for marble.
  • Look for grout specifically formulated for natural stone. These grouts contain polymers and resins to provide adhesion and flexibility.
  • Epoxy grout is a great option for marble because it resists staining and is waterproof.
  • Stay away from Grout with color pigments because they are more likely to stain the marble.

Preparing the Marble Tile Surface

Proper preparation of the marble tile is crucial before grouting:

  • Make sure the marble tiles are clean and free of dust, dirt, and oily residues. Clean with a PH-neutral cleaner.
  • Use painter’s tape to cover the edges and seams of the marble tile. This prevents grout from sticking to the marble surface.
  • Seal the marble with a penetrating sealer according to manufacturer’s directions. Sealing minimizes staining from the grout.
  • Allow the sealer to cure fully before grouting, usually 24-48 hours.

Mixing the Grout

With unsanded grout, take care not to add too much water when mixing:

  • Start with less water than you think you need, adding it gradually. Too much water will make the grout runny and difficult to work with.
  • Mix to a thick, peanut butter-like consistency. The grout should easily clump onto a trowel.
  • Only mix up as much grout as you can use in 30 minutes. Unsanded grout dries quickly.
  • With epoxy grout, carefully follow manufacturer’s mixing directions.

Applying the Grout

When grouting marble tile:

  • Use a rubber grout float or squeegee, not a sponge, to spread the grout into the joints. The rubber is gentler on the marble surface.
  • Push the grout diagonally across the joints to fill completely. Take care not to smear grout onto the marble.
  • Let the grout remain on the tile for 10-15 minutes before wiping away excess. This allows it to start setting up.
  • Use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe excess grout off at a 90° angle to the joints. Change cloths as needed.
  • Buff any remaining grout haze off with dry cheesecloth once the grout has dried.
  • Use painter’s tape edge guards and remove them before the grout fully hardens.
  • Avoid wiping or disturbing the grout joints for at least 48 hours as it cures.

Curing and Sealing the Grout

Allowing the grout to cure properly ensures it will be resistant to stains:

  • Cure epoxy grout for the time specified by the manufacturer, usually 72 hours.
  • For unsanded cement grout, allow 3 days minimum for curing before sealing.
  • Once fully cured, seal the grout with a penetrating grout sealer. This adds stain protection.
  • Apply the sealer according to product directions, usually 30 minutes after grouting.
  • Allow sealer to penetrate for 5-10 minutes, then buff off any excess with a clean cloth.
  • Avoid walking on the grouted marble tile floor for 24 hours.
  • Do not expose the grout to water or cleaning for at least 3 days.

With the proper precautions, you can successfully grout marble tile without damaging the beautiful surface. Proper grout sealing and maintenance will keep your marble backsplash looking like new for years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grouting Marble Tile Backsplash

Should I use sanded or unsanded grout for marble tile?

Unsanded grout is highly recommended for grouting marble tile. The fine particles in sanded grout can scratch and dull the polished surface of marble.

How long should I wait to seal grout on marble?

It’s best to wait at least 72 hours after grouting marble tile before applying a penetrating grout sealer. This allows the grout to fully cure so the sealer can bond effectively.

What’s the easiest way to remove grout haze from marble?

Use a clean, dry cheesecloth to gently buff off any residual grout haze on the marble surface once the grout has fully hardened, usually after 24 hours. Take care not to scrub the marble.

Can I use epoxy grout on marble tile?

Yes, epoxy grout is an excellent choice for grouting marble tile. Its high strength, stain resistance, and waterproof properties make it ideal for marble’s delicate surface.

How soon can I expose grouted marble tile to water?

Avoid exposing freshly grouted marble tile to water for at least 72 hours. This allows the grout to fully cure and prevents washout. Wait 3 days before using the sink or backsplash regularly.


Installing a marble tile backsplash can definitely be more challenging than grouting ceramic tile. However, with the proper products, techniques, and care, you can achieve beautiful results. Taking steps to protect the polished marble surface, choosing the optimal grout, and allowing proper curing time are the keys to success. With some patience, your marble backsplash can look stunning for many years, adding an elegant focal point to your kitchen.