How to Spread Grout on Backsplash

Spreading grout on a backsplash is an important step in finishing your tiling project. Properly applying and cleaning grout ensures your backsplash looks uniform and put together. With some planning and care, you can achieve beautiful grouted joints for your backsplash.

Materials Needed

  • Grout – Either sanded or unsanded grout depending on the size of your tiles and joints
  • Grout float – A rubber grout float used to spread and work the grout into the joints
  • Grout sealer – For sealing the grout after cleaning
  • Sponges – For wiping up excess grout
  • Buckets – For grout and water
  • Grout haze remover – For removing grout haze
  • Rags
  • Grout bag – For grouting corners and edges

Prepare the Grout

Before spreading grout, it’s important to properly mix and prepare it.

  • Read the packaging and mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you’ll mix grout powder with water in a bucket to a toothpaste-like consistency.
  • Allow the grout to slake for 5-10 minutes after initial mixing. This allows the grout to fully absorb the water.
  • Remix the grout just before use. The grout should now be smooth and free of lumps.

Spreading the Grout

With your grout mixed and ready to use, it’s time to spread it on the backsplash.

Apply Grout Diagonally

  • Hold the grout float at a 45° angle to the joints and apply grout diagonally across the tiles. This helps fully pack the joints.
  • Apply grout in small sections of around 4-6 square feet at a time so it doesn’t dry out before you can clean it.
  • Spread grout over the entire section, forcing it deeply into the joints with firm pressure.

Clean Excess Grout

  • Let the grout sit for a few minutes until it becomes firm. The time will vary based on the grout used.
  • Holding the grout float edge at a 90° angle, scrape off excess grout with firm pressure. Wipe diagonally across the tiles.
  • Dip a damp sponge in water and wipe diagonally across the tiles to clean off residual grout. Rinse the sponge frequently.
  • Wipe gently to avoid pulling grout out of the joints. Aim to just clean the tile surface.

Finish and Edge Grout Lines

  • Carefully grout corners and edges with a grout bag for a clean finish.
  • Check for any low spots as you clean and reapply grout as needed to fill.
  • Give the grout one final wipe with a damp sponge once the section is evenly grouted.

Curing and Sealing Grout

To complete your backsplash grouting, allow the grout to fully cure and seal it for protection.

  • Allow the grout to cure for 2-3 days. Avoid getting it wet during this time.
  • Polish the grout with a dry cloth once fully cured to remove any remaining haze.
  • Apply a grout sealer according to product instructions to protect from stains.
  • Consider using a grout haze remover if the tiles have a stubborn film after cleaning.

Grout Maintenance

With proper care, your grouted backsplash can stay looking fresh for years.

  • Use a gentle pH neutral cleaner for regular backsplash cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Re-seal grout every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer.
  • Check for cracks and re-grout if necessary over time.
  • Use caulk instead of grout for corner joints that need flexibility.

Common Grout Issues


Cracking occurs when grout loses moisture and shrinks. Check that the crack hasn’t extended into the tile. Re-grouting is then required to fill it.


Grout can become stained over time. Re-sealing will often help improve discoloration. For stubborn stains, try cleaning with an oxygen bleach cleaner.


White powdery deposits on grout lines is efflorescence. It happens when moisture draws mineral salts to the surface. Remove it with an acid-based grout cleaner.

Hollow Joints

This is when there are gaps in the grout joints. Apply new grout to fill any hollow areas. Take care to pack it fully into the joints.

Proper grout application is key to a finished backsplash look. With care and cleaning, your grouted tiles can stay looking fresh for many years. Always refer to manufacturer directions for best practices with your specific grout and tiles. Let your backsplash become a stunning focal point in the kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions about Spreading Grout on Backsplash

How long should I wait before sealing grout?

It’s best to wait 2-3 days for the grout to fully cure before applying a penetrating sealer. This ensures the grout has dried evenly. Wet grout won’t absorb sealer properly.

What is the easiest way to apply grout on a backsplash?

Using a rubber grout float is the easiest way for beginners to spread grout smoothly and evenly. Holding it at a 45° angle packs the joints fully. Let the grout firm up before cleaning excess off the tiles.

Should I grout all the way to the countertop edge?

It’s best not to grout the joint between the backsplash and countertop. Leave a small gap and fill it with caulk instead. Caulk allows flexibility so the countertop can move without cracking grout.

What can I do about haze on tiles after grouting?

Grout haze removers or oxygen bleach cleaners can help break down stubborn haze or films left after grouting. Use as directed and rinse thoroughly. Ensure tiles are fully dry before sealing or using the backsplash.

How do I get grout out of textured tiles?

For textured tile, use a stiff-nylon brush and scrub gently in circles to work grout out of the surface. Acidic grout haze removers can also help dissolve grout film. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning textured tiles.

Can I use leftover grout for a future project?

Only use leftover grout if it hasn’t started curing and is still fresh. Always mix with new grout as well so batch colors are consistent. Don’t try to re-wet hardened grout. The mixture won’t spread or set properly.

Spreading grout well takes some finesse. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve durable and attractive grout lines on your backsplash. Taking care to fully pack joints and properly clean excess grout will help ensure success.