Discuss When to use a finishing tool on grout? in the DIY Tiling Forum | How to tile area at TilersForums.com



Hi, im sorry if this is a stupid question... cant seem to find a clear cut answer on it.

At what stage do you use a finishing tool / dowel or whatever suits for grout lines?
Is it after its dried for 10 mins as that would be when the joints are cleaned if using a sponge? or another time?

Thanks alot. :D

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!


Thanks guys i will use it just before i sponge (after 10 mins or so) its properly obsolete in the professional scene but us diy warriors use them still :cool: I did try with a sponge but did not seem as consistant compared to a tool.

Time's Ran Out

What the tooling stick does is ensures the grout is pushed fully into the joint and gives a uniform finish to the tile edge. On anything over a 3mm joint it is still an essential part of a Tilers tool box!

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.

Mark Frost

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i love a grouting tool.. 2mm joints and wooden dowel.. it gets rid of the air bubbles and pin holes. It also saves the use of too much water when washing down.. its so important to grouting still.

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.

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