a grout float spreading grout over a surface of small tiles

Grout Float

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 3/17/2021

Whether you’re laying new floors in your kitchen or you're putting in a new tub surround, there’s one thing you should know about tiling. Not all tiling jobs are created equal! There are several things to think about, including the types of tiles or stones that will work best for the areas you're redoing. You’re also going to need to decide on the type of grout that best suits your project. And, of course, the type of grout float you choose to work with, as it will have a big impact on the overall duration and quality of the whole thing.

Definition

A grout float is a hand tool that is typically used to press in, smooth out, and wipe away grout from joints when laying tile or stone. These handy float tools typically consist of three parts: the handle, the base, and the pad. They are typically made from wood, plastic, or steel, and can come in a variety of sizes and shapes for different jobs. Grout floats are sometimes overlooked during the preparation phase of tiling. However, using a quality tool will not only provide better results, it will also make your work-time shorter and the application easier.

What Makes A Good Grout Float?

If you’re in the market for a grout float, it’s important to know that there are several different types available. Depending on the type of tiling job, there are several things to think about before choosing the right float tool, such as the size and construction of the tool. Here are a few tips for getting the best float for the job:

  • For most indoor applications, the rubber pad typically comes in a soft, medium, and hard pliability. Commonly, softer pads are used for walls because they are easier to use, less abrasive, and are better for getting into corners.
  • You’ll also need to know what type of grout and tile you’re working with. Harder float pads may scratch soft tiles, especially if you’re using a coarse grout. Softer float pads may not be suitable for coarser grout types.
  • You’ll also want to consider the type of material the handle is made from. Wooden handles tend to absorb more water and are more difficult to clean than rubber handles.
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