Glass backsplashes can add a unique, eye-catching accent to any kitchen. However, grouting a glass backsplash requires some special considerations compared to grouting tile or stone. Properly grouting a glass backsplash ensures it is sealed, secure, and aesthetically pleasing. Follow this comprehensive guide to learn everything you need to know about grouting a glass backsplash.
Choosing the Right Grout
When grouting a glass backsplash, it’s important to choose the right type of grout. Here are the best options:
Epoxy grout is the top recommendation for glass backsplashes. It creates an incredibly strong, durable seal. Epoxy grout comes in a wide variety of colors and is stain and water resistant. It may be more expensive upfront but is well worth it for glass applications.
Polymer-Modified Sanded Grout
Polymer-modified sanded grout contains latex additives that make it more flexible and durable. This is a good option if you want a less expensive grout but still need flexibility and strength for the glass substrate. Make sure to choose an unsanded polymer-modified grout to avoid scratching the glass.
Avoid Standard Cement Grout
Standard cement grouts are too inflexible for glass and can result in cracks or damage to the backsplash over time. The cement can also scratch the surface. Avoid using pure cement grout with glass backsplashes.
Grout Joint Considerations
The width of grout joints is an important consideration with glass backsplashes:
- Narrow joints 1/16″ to 1/8″ – Best for clean, sleek look and easier grouting
- Standard joints 1/8″ to 3/16″ – Allow more flexibility but can look busier
- Wide joints 3/16″ to 1/4″ – Require epoxy or flexible grout to prevent cracking
In general, choose the narrowest grout joint possible with glass backsplashes. Wide grout lines may crack over time.
Prep the Glass Before Grouting
Proper prep is key to achieving clean grout lines on a glass backsplash:
- Clean the glass thoroughly with denatured alcohol to remove any dirt, oil or residue
- Use painter’s tape along the edges to prevent grout from contacting the glass
- Apply a grout release agent like a wax pencil along glass edges
- Check for any loose tiles or gaps and use silicone caulk if needed
This prep prevents the grout from bonding to the glass so it can be easily cleaned off later.
Mix and Apply Epoxy Grout
When using epoxy grout:
- Carefully measure epoxy resin and hardener amounts and thoroughly mix together
- Only mix as much epoxy grout as can be applied in 30-40 minutes
- Use a grout float or squeegee to spread grout over the entire backsplash, forcing it into joints
- Hold float at a 90° angle and scrape excess grout diagonally off the glass
- Immediately remove any remaining grout film with a damp sponge
Work in small sections so the grout doesn’t begin curing on any glass areas before it’s cleaned off.
Cleaning and Polishing the Glass
Once epoxy grout has cured:
- Use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape any remaining film off the glass
- Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water and scrub the backsplash with a nylon pad
- Rinse thoroughly and use a microfiber cloth to buff the glass back to a polished shine
Take care not to scratch the surface during this final cleaning step.
Grouting Do’s and Don’ts
Keep these best practices in mind when grouting a glass backsplash:
- Prep the glass surface thoroughly before grouting
- Use epoxy or modified grout specifically for glass
- Clean epoxy grout off glass immediately before curing
- Tape off edges of glass prior to grouting
- Seal any raw tile edges with silicone caulk
- Allow regular cement grout to cure on the glass surface
- Use acidic cleaners to remove cured grout from glass
- Grout glass tiles with wide joint sizes over 1/8″
- Spread more grout than can be cleaned off within 30 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the easiest way to get grout off glass?
Immediately cleaning with a damp sponge and water before the grout begins curing is the easiest method. If grout residue remains, a mix of vinegar and water can safely dissolve hardened epoxy or modified grout.
How long does epoxy grout take to cure on glass?
Epoxy will be dry to the touch in 5-6 hours but takes a full 72 hours to reach maximum hardness and bond strength. Avoid excessive cleaning or pressure during the curing phase.
Should I seal my glass backsplash after grouting?
Sealing is not necessary with a backsplash made of solid glass tiles. The epoxy or modified grout itself will provide a protective seal.
What color grout looks best with a glass backsplash?
A neutral color like white or light grey provides a clean finish and seamlessly blends with the glass. Darker grout can look too busy behind transparent glass. Match the grout color to your overall kitchen design.
Can I use sanded grout on a glass backsplash?
No, sanded grout should never be used with glass. The abrasive sand particles can badly scratch the smooth surface. Use only unsanded grout specially designed for glass.
Grouting a glass backsplash adds challenge compared to traditional tile or stone. With the right grout choice, proper surface prep, and careful application, you can achieve secure, visually appealing grout lines. Epoxy grout provides the best durability, flexibility, and stain resistance for a glass backsplash installation. Follow the recommendations in this guide to gain confidence in grouting glass backsplashes.