How to Grout Stainless Steel Tile Backsplash

Choosing the Right Grout

When grouting stainless steel tiles, it’s important to use a grout that can withstand moisture and heat. Here are some good options:

  • Epoxy grout – Epoxy grouts are highly durable, stain resistant, and waterproof. They come in a wide range of colors. Epoxy grouts won’t scratch stainless steel tiles.
  • Polymer-modified grout – These grouts have polymers added to make them more flexible, durable and water-resistant. They are a good option for stainless steel tiles.
  • Sanded grout – For wider grout lines (1/8 inch or wider), use a sanded grout. The sand in the grout provides structural stability. Make sure to use a grout release agent so the grout won’t stick to the stainless steel.

Avoid regular cement-based grouts as they can scratch and corrode stainless steel tiles over time. Match the grout color to your stainless steel tile to create a cohesive look.

Preparing the Tile Surface

Before grouting, make sure the stainless steel tiles are clean and free of any coatings or sealants. Use a pH-neutral cleaner and rub the tiles down with a soft cloth. This will help the grout adhere properly.

It’s also important to make sure the tiles are level and have even grout lines. Use tile leveling spacers when installing the tiles. Uneven tiles or grout lines will make grouting more difficult.

Applying Grout Release

Apply a grout release agent to the surfaces of the stainless steel tiles before grouting. Grout release will prevent grout from bonding to or staining the tile. Apply it evenly across the tile surface.

Let the grout release sit for about 5 minutes and then wipe away any excess with a clean cloth. This will leave just a thin, protective layer on the tile.

Mixing and Applying the Grout

Mix up a batch of grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not add too much water as this can weaken the grout and cause cracking.

Use a grout float or rubber grout float to spread the grout over the tile surface, pressing it firmly into the grout lines and gaps. Hold the float at a 45° angle like a squeegee to smooth the grout evenly across the tiles.

Make sure all lines and gaps are packed fully with no voids or gaps. Grout across the surface in small sections so the grout stays workable. Don’t spread out large areas at once.

Removing Excess Grout

Let the grout sit for about 15-20 minutes until it becomes firm. Then take a damp grout sponge and start wiping diagonally across the tiles to remove any excess grout. Rinse and wring out the sponge frequently.

You want to leave grout only in the grout lines, not sitting on the surface of the tiles. Work in small sections and keep rinsing the sponge for best results. Change the water often to keep it clean.

Final Cleaning of the Tiles

Once all excess grout is removed, do a final cleaning of the tiles. Mix up a spray bottle solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap or glass cleaner. Spray the solution onto the tiles and wipe clean with soft cloths.

Rinse any residue away with clean water and a sponge. Check for any remaining grout film and remove it with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Buff the tiles dry with a towel.

Curing the Grout

Allow the grout to cure fully according to manufacturer’s guidelines, usually 24-48 hours. Avoid getting the grout wet during this time.

Once cured, the grout will be fully hardened and water-resistant. You can then enjoy your durable, hygienic stainless steel tile backsplash!

FAQs About Grouting Stainless Steel Tiles

Should I seal stainless steel tiles after grouting?

Sealing is not necessary. Stainless steel tiles are impervious to staining already. Sealing them can actually cause bonding issues with the grout.

How soon can I get the backsplash wet after grouting?

Wait at least 24-48 hours for the grout to cure fully before exposing it to moisture. This allows the grout to harden completely.

What’s the best way to clean grout haze off stainless steel tiles?

Mix a spray bottle with warm water and a couple drops of dish soap. Lightly spray the tiles and wipe clean with soft cloths. Avoid abrasive pads.

Can I use caulk instead of grout for the gaps?

Caulk adheres poorly to stainless steel. It can peel off over time. Grout is a much more durable option for filling in gaps.

How do I get dried grout off of stainless steel tiles?

Gently scrub with a plastic bristle brush and baking soda paste. Take care not to scratch the tiles. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Should sanded or unsanded grout be used for stainless steel tiles?

For grout lines 1/8” or less, use unsanded grout. For wider grout lines, sanded grout provides better stability and adhesion.


Grouting stainless steel tiles properly helps protect them and gives a finished look. With the right grout and techniques, you can get flawless results. Epoxy or polymer-modified grouts work best. Prepare the tiles correctly, use grout release, and carefully apply and clean the grout. Follow curing times. With a quality grout and some care, your stainless steel backsplash can look amazing for years to come. Just take it step-by-step.