Tumbled marble is a beautiful and versatile material, perfect for the kitchen backsplash. Because the way that tumbled marble is made produces tiles that have uneven edges and surface pitting, grouting a tumbled marble backsplash requires additional attention to details.
Wider grout joints are required with tumbled marble to help keep the uneven tiles in straight lines, and the occasionally broken corners and pitted surfaces require filling with grout as well. For these reasons, sanded grout is required to fill up the space.
Things You'll Need
- Impregnating marble sealer
- Foam brush or roller
- Soft cloth
- Sanded grout
Seal the tumbled marble tiles well, after they have been installed for 24 hours. The sealer will act as a grout release and keep the marble from being discolored by the pigments in the grout. Paint the sealer onto the backsplash using a foam brush or roller. Cover all edges of each tile, overlapping strokes slightly for thorough coverage. Allow the sealer to penetrate for 10 minutes before wiping away the excess with a soft cloth.
Mix sanded grout to the consistency of runny peanut butter in a large bucket. Add the dry grout first and slowly add water, stopping to mix down the sides of the bucket with a trowel frequently.
Scoop up a fist-sized amount of grout with a soft rubber grout float. Place the grout with the float at the top of the tumbled marble, below the cabinets, and drag the grout down across the face of the marble with the flat side of the float. Push gently on the tiles as you drag the grout and float to pack the grout into the many pits, uneven corners and wide grout joints of the tumbled marble.
Work the grout from top to bottom over the entire backsplash, pushing the grout from different angles to ensure even coverage. Allow the grout to begin to dry for 10 minutes.
Dampen a sponge in clean water and use it to clean the surface of the tiles. Allow the grout to remain in any deep holes or cracks in the tile; clean only the surface of the marble with the damp sponge and clean water. The grout will continue to dry and cure for the next three weeks.
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