We finally grouted the new tiles in the kitchen. We first had to clean them and then soak them really well with water, so that they don't absorb all the moisture from the grout and make it dry too quickly, without letting it stick. The reason it took us so long to get to this stage, is that we first thought that we'd seal the tile before grouting. We thought that if the tile is not sealed, it will absorb the grout that would inevitably land on it, and so get stained. But we then realized that if the tiles are soaked, the grout can be cleared pretty easily off of them while it's still wet. So we finally did it, and it took us two nights. Last Tuesday we did the part under the oven and by the sink:
And also the part under the fridge (on the right):
We finished the rest on Wednesday night, including all along the cabinets.
I'm glad we ended up not sealing the tiles before grouting. The grout does leave something on the tile, but it makes it match the old tiles, which were probably also not sealed before grouting. The difference between old and new tiles that was obvious before, all but disappeared after grouting. Of course, the old tiles are way dirtier... We'll need to scrub them with ammonia and then reseal them, but we'll do that only after we seal the new tiles under the oven and fridge, and then move the oven and fridge - finally - to where they're supposed to be. And we can only do that after the tiles and the grout are completely dry.
Grouting was mostly done by Mark. My job was to get clean water and clean the buckets. This was not fun: I had to wash the bucket and sponges in the cold water outside, where the temperatures dropped to somewhere in the 40s, plus a chilly breeze... Brrrr... I'm glad it's done!