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When to use a finishing tool on grout?

Discuss When to use a finishing tool on grout? in the DIY Tiling Forum area at


Time's Ran Out

There is no hard and fast rule. As an apprentice you tend to grout every day for months before you even fix a tile and it's during this time that you can feel/understand the joint drying. The grout has to harden sufficiently enough to stay in the joint at a high level, but be soft enough to take out without 'pulling' an uneven line. The humidity of the air has an important effect on drying and consequently the final polish of the face of the tile surface/glaze. The 'tooling' stick itself is important, and for years before washing off, I used a drumming stick with rounded end prior to polishing with a white 't' shirt!
Happy days!

Time's Ran Out

Never used one either...
I feel a poll coming on...
John might be a billy no mates..

As I said it's an essential part of a Tilers tool box!;)
You should try it on your Metro splash back tiles to rake out the bevelled edges.
Modern grouts are more reason to rake the joint - they require less water on the surface to clean away any excess thus keeping the consistency of the grout equal.
But what do I know - 44 years of watching people do it their own way!
Billy no mates - your spot on.

Tile Shop

Never tried one. When I first got taught grouting, I was shown to go over the joints in a crisscross diagonal direction. That way it doesn't pull the grout out of the joint getting rid of the need to use a finisher.

But I'm gonna try one now, cuz no matter what method or sponge I use to clean the grout off there is still the odd patch that I have to go back an pay a bit of extra attention to to get it right. Need more practice.


Thanks guys, i used a virtex finshing tool in the end, only cost a few £ from screwfix. :cool: But in places it does look like its taken to much grout out, most likely slightly different size lines. The tile above causes light shadows onto the grout lines. Think the tool is likely better suited for smaller gaps.

Any tips on what i can use, i used spacers 3mm for tiling.
Also can i grout on top of it or am i better raking the areas out? Nice one thx ;)

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