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Figure 1. Before grouting, spacers must be removed (left) or the grout around them will be weak and discolored. Use a dental pick, utility knife, or thin margin trowel. Also use the knife or margin trowel to clean out the grout joints (right). With plenty of fresh grout under the trowel, the author forces the material into the joints. The key is to apply ample force and work the trowel from several directions, holding it at 15 to 25 degrees. A successful grout job starts with good prep work, a proper mix, and an experienced hand by Michael Byrne Ceramic Tile Grouting JLC ??NOVEMBER 1990 There are few contractors who cannot recall a horror story