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I have installed a glass/natural stone tiled backsplash. I used a darker grout but when I cleaned the excess grout off,all of the holes and dimples in the stone tiles were filled with the grout and I can't clean them out.It looks awful.Would a sealant have stopped this from happening or would a lighter colored grout have worked better. Luckily I only did a small area so I can re-tile that area but I need to get it right next time.

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If you really want to prevent any grout getting stuck in the dimples of the tile you need to mask it off. Yes- I know.. every single tile? Unfortunately, yes.

Style and beauty is hard work.

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But you can use the wide masking tapes and then just try to grout as cleanly as possible. Do not smear the grout allover the tile. Keep to the area you want to grout. Possibly apply grout with a grouting tool then smooth it with a sponge; washing it regularly.

Once its all dr peel the masking tape away. Viola.

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Don't Float it!!!!

The worst DIY advice anyone ever gave me was to use a float to spread grout across my rough stone (porcelain replica) tile. It took me over 70 hrs with a putty knife (I rounded the edges on 3 actually), a wire brush (actually 5 of them), and acidic grout haze remover just to get it looking presentable again.

Fill a masonry bag, or empty caulking tube with grout and just dispense what you need to fill the voids as you would silicone sealant.

If there's a budge, wait until the grout sets up then use a putty knife to scrape the excess away (preferably while it's still a little soft, but not sticky)

Also, you may find the caulking gun technique is actually more effective than floating as it's easier to avoid air bubbles.

Or combine this with a bit of masking and a silicone bead finisher for the best results!

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Two coats of sealer on the face of the tile is not too much for grout release. Try not to overseal the empty lines where the final grout will go.

If it's very porous, like travertine, you could prefill the faces with a near match grout and let it set. Then seal the face before doing the dark grout lines. This will add 3-4 days for most sealers.

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Well it is too late now but maybe this will help people in the future. I use a heavy mixture of palmolive dish soap and warm water. I wipe the tiles twice right before grouting. The second pass I leave the soap suds on. Give it 5-10 mins to dry up a bit. Then grout.

There is a huge difference in what will come off after it is soaped. You will always get a little to stick especially with travertine... If you do, you really need to try to remove most right after grouting. This can be tedious but you can use a dull knife and rag if you are within an hour or two.

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Humm, to be extra cautious, do you think I could run a hard bar of soap over the surface to fill all to voids? – virtualxtc Apr 8 '14 at 5:12

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