grout before or after installation?

sunshine45March 23, 2010

I've just finished gluing down tiles on my first mosaic, a smallish (18 by 48 inch) backsplash piece for a built in kitchen hutch. (!) I might be hooked. Still waiting for that vicious cut in my finger to heal, though.

I used glass mosaic tiles from the tile store and some stained glass, as well as slices of blue agate, adhered with Lexel on clear 1/4 inch plexiglass to take advantage of the white wall behind it. Trying to ensure success, I made the design very simple. Originally, I thought something backlit would be gorgeous, but the plexi is too thin for this idea to work, I think.

Anyway, I'd planned to grout the mosaic before mounting it, but the plexiglass has some "give" to it, and I'm concerned that the grout will crack while I am trying to fit the piece in the backsplash area. . .But grouting it after installation makes me extremely nervous (new, beautiful cabinet and granite countertop).

Is there a certain kind of grout that won't crack as easily?

I lurked on this forum for a while before I decided to proceed with the project last fall. Reading all the helpful posts and seeing such fantastic and inspirational photos really convinced me that I could do this. . .but now I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks to everyone and anyone in advance.

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If I were doing your project, it w/be easier on the body to grout before installation. If, after installation, there are any cracks, you can always touch up w/re-grouting those areas. If you're careful, it should hold. Since it's 48" long, I assume you have help to avoid bending. I'd also use sanded grout. A picture w/be so nice here.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 8:53AM
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What Slow said. That's how I would do it. It's very easy to just lightly grout over any cracks before you seal the grout. Just wanted to add, you can buy a roll of brown Kraft paper and blue painter's tape (at Lowes or Home Depot) and cover the countertops and cabinets first.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:32AM
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It will be way easier to grout prior. Perhaps you could rest it on a board right to the point of putting it on the wall so you have the support then. Maybe put some strong tape along the back to give it a bit more support?Good luck . When I did my back splash I grouted with them in place and protected the counters.
good luck I'm sure it'll be gorgeous

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 11:20AM
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