Nowadays we all look to do it for ourselves whenever we can. Whether it's painting the kitchen or resurfacing the deck or laying our own tile (and, subsequently, the grout), we have all necessarily become DIY experts--which is not to say that we're actually good at it.
Don't get me wrong, we all have the capacity for great skill and your ability can be significantly increased with the sheer volume of accessible tutorials and blogs and videos available. As we continue to be driven toward remote learning and remote work, the Internet has become a primary platform for self- and home-improvement.
That said, sometimes our first attempts are colossal failures. And sometimes we just aren't cut out for it.
Don't let that limit you--if you have the interest and the persistence, you can hone any skill. Laying tile, in particular, takes a few pretty specific skills and tools, and there's really no sandbox or staging environment for something like this--you just have to do it, and do it again.
Check out some of these huge mistakes people tend to make when it comes to laying grout.
Uneven Gaps Between Tiles
When laying your tile, it is important to ensure that the corners meet in a perfect square, and that each edge aligns. Every tile that you lay is another chance to get just a little off of true. If that happens again and again, the gaps will begin to compound until what began a small gap becomes a big one.
Use a spacing tool or tire spacers (which sometimes come with wedges to help level each tile) can be a cheap and easy to learn way to keep your tile gapped perfectly.
Using the Wrong Type of Grout
I can't count the number of times grout needed to be replaced because they simply chose wrong at the time they laid the grout. This can lead to grout gouges or an inability to appropriately gauge the amount of time necessary to let the grout seal before cleaning up the excess.
Be sure you have the right grout for the job in question. If you're laying grout in a kitchen or bathroom, consider what waterproofing is necessary, and what that will mean for the grout you use. The wrong choice of type, color, and composition can lead to extra maintenance and look wrong.
Failure to Seal the Grout Properly
All the skill and all the correct application of grout in the world will do nothing for you if you fail to appropriately seal the grout. Waterproof grout will go a long way, but eventually the chemicals that make it waterproof will break down, even with the best of grouts.
Take the time to properly research the best grout sealer for the job, and ensure you have a full understanding of the instructions for the product.
If you don't correctly seal the grout, time and traffic will wear away at it, allowing water and other solvents to slowly break the bonds that keep it looking clean and staying strong. Eventually the grout will start gouging and flaking away, until the floor below is visible between the tiles.
Taking the time to understand these simple basics will save you hours of work in the long run. You won't regret taking the right amount of time to do it right the first time.