How to Grout Tile Backsplash Edge

Grouting the edges of a tile backsplash finishes the installation and gives it a clean, professional look. With some careful planning and the right techniques, grouting the edges can be straightforward. Here is a step-by-step guide to grouting tile backsplash edges smoothly and seamlessly.

Why Grout Backsplash Edges?

Grouting serves several important purposes for tile backsplash edges:

  • It seals the gaps between tiles to prevent moisture from seeping behind the tiles. This protects the wall from water damage.
  • It helps lock the tiles in place and prevent them from shifting.
  • It gives the installation a uniform, finished look by concealing the spaces between tiles.
  • It allows you to create decorative designs or patterns with different grout colors.

Neglecting to grout the edges properly can lead to cracks, damage from moisture, and a sloppy, unprofessional appearance.

Choosing the Right Grout

When grouting backsplash edges, it’s important to choose the right type of grout:

  • Sanded grout is best for wider grout lines (1/8 inch or wider). It’s more durable and less likely to crack. The sand in the mixture helps fill the wider spaces.
  • Unsanded grout works for narrow grout lines (less than 1/8 inch). It spreads more smoothly in tight spaces.
  • Epoxy grout is extremely durable and stain-resistant. It’s a good option for countertops and floors but is difficult to work with.

For most basic tile backsplashes with typical grout lines, unsanded grout is the easiest to work with and provides the best results.

Timing the Grout Application

It’s crucial to allow the thinset mortar beneath the tiles to fully cure before grouting. This usually takes 24-48 hours. If you grout too soon, the grout may sink into the unset mortar and create low spots along the edges.

Before grouting, remove any spacers between the tiles and make sure the tiles are clean and free of dust, oil, or debris left from installation.

Grout Tile Edges in Sections

Don’t try to grout the entire backsplash at once. It’s much easier to work in small sections so the grout doesn’t dry too quickly.

Follow these steps for each section:

  • Use painters tape to mask off the section you are grouting. Apply it along the edges perpendicular to the countertop or stove.
  • Thoroughly dampen the tiles and edges just before applying the grout. This helps prevent premature drying.
  • Hold the grout float at a 45° angle and firmly press the grout into the gaps, scraping across diagonally.
  • Once filled, hold the float edge flat and scrape it diagonally across the tiles to remove excess grout.
  • After 5-10 minutes, use a damp sponge to clean excess grout off the tile surfaces. Rinse the sponge frequently.
  • Carefully remove the painter’s tape before the grout dries.
  • Allow that section to dry for 30-60 minutes before moving onto adjacent sections.

Grouting the Edge Against the Wall

The vertical edge where the backsplash meets the wall can be tricky. Use a grout bag or grout syringe to neatly apply the grout into this gap. Apply steady, even pressure as you dispense the grout, then tool it with a rounded sculpting tool.

Alternatively, you can place a thin strip of painters tape along the wall to help create a clean edge. Remove it after scraping off excess grout with the float.

Grouting Where the Backsplash Meets the Countertop

Where the bottom tiles meets the countertop, take care to neatly finish the grout line for a seamless look:

  • Apply painter’s tape along the countertop edge before grouting.
  • Angle the grout float slightly inward when scraping to avoid smearing grout onto the countertop.
  • Use a damp sponge folded into a corner to carefully clean excess grout where the tile and countertop meet.
  • Remove the tape after cleaning the grout but before it dries.

Finishing Touches for Grouted Edges

Once all sections are grouted and dried, inspect the edges for any final touches:

  • Check for any pinholes or gaps in the grout and fill them in if needed.
  • If the grout lines appear uneven, lightly scrape them with a sharpened tool to level them out.
  • Polish the grout with a very slightly damp sponge in a circular motion to smooth the finish.
  • Avoid wiping or spilling anything on the grout for at least 72 hours while it fully cures.

Properly grouting the edges of a backsplash results in clean lines and a cohesive look. With patience and care, you can achieve sleek, professional-looking edges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grouting Backsplash Edges

How long should I wait before grouting a new backsplash?

It’s best to allow 24-48 hours for the thinset mortar below the tiles to fully cure before applying grout. Grouting too soon can lead to sunk lines along the edges.

What’s the easiest way to apply grout into the vertical gap along the wall?

Using a grout bag or grout syringe allows you to neatly force grout into the vertical edge. Angle it diagonally and apply steady, even pressure as you dispense the grout.

Should I grout all the way to where the backsplash meets the countertop?

Yes, you’ll want to fully grout along the bottom edge for a seamless look. Just be extra careful not to smear grout onto the countertop.

What’s the best way to remove haze from tiles after grouting?

Use a lightly damp sponge in a circular motion to buff off any haze once the grout has partially cured. Too much moisture can pull grout out of the joints.

How soon can I get the backsplash wet after grouting?

Avoid exposing it to moisture for at least 72 hours while the grout fully cures. Premature contact with water can lead to whitish grout haze and other issues.


Grouting tile backsplash edges properly is an important finishing step. With unsanded grout, some painters tape, the right tools, and a bit of patience, you can achieve clean, elegant lines along your backsplash. Section by section, take your time applying the grout, wiping away excess, and smoothing the edges. The finished look will be a uniform, professional-quality backsplash installation.