Grout is the material that is smeared between tiles to fill the seams that are created during their installation. The component is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Thus, it’s naturally absorbent and porous because sand absorbs water hence allowing mildew to thrive.
You can eliminate this problem by covering the grout with a sealer, which is either solvent or water-based. Sealing the grouts once each year will keep mildew and mould away.
Types of Grout
There are different types of grouting tiles, and they all affect the durability of the tiles. Further, each type of grout has different ways of application.
It’s a type of grout that is durable, stains, and water-resistant and can hold up against harsh acidic cleaners. Therefore, when grouting tiles in areas where there is a higher likelihood of water and stain contamination, such as in the kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms.
Additionally, epoxy grouts shouldn’t be installed on exterior areas because it tends to fade. You can contact Hervey Bay Tiling and Waterproofing for specific grouting tiles for any outdoor use.
Epoxy grout has the base and the activator parts that are combined during installation, and a chemical reaction starts immediately. Therefore, when grouting tiles with epoxy grout they should be installed by a professional tile installer because it has to be applied very fast before it sets.
Further, this type of grout is expansive; however, it doesn’t require sealing; thus, it’s cost-effective in the long run.
This is a cement-based grout and sand is added in the mixture. The benefits of adding sand in the grout are that it makes it resistant to shrinking and cracking when it cures. It also adds a rough texture, thus making the tiled surface slip-resistant.
Sanded grout is suitable for grout lines that are bigger than 3 mm. Thus, it’s used in glazed thin brick or ceramic tile, for it prevents them from cracking and shrinking.
This type of grout doesn’t set faster like epoxy; thus, its ideal for handmade tiles since they allow the installer to adjust anything that might have gone wrong during the installation.
It’s also a cement-based grout that is used in smaller grout joints with a spacing that ranges from 1.5 mm to 3 mm. The lack of sand causes the grout to crack when smeared on larger joints. As stated above, the sand creates a bonding effect, and lack of it makes the grout to shrink more than the sanded grout.
It also works well with the vertical wall because it’s too sticky and stays in place during installation.
It’s a component that prevents moisture from penetrating through the grout and getting under the tiles. Sealers are selected based on two factors, namely the type of tiles and the location of these tiles.
There are two types of sealers.
The compound forms a coat on the surface of the grout, thus making it water-resistant. The sealer is only suitable for kitchen backsplashes ad floors but not bathroom because the membrane doesn’t allow trapped water to evaporate. Thus, the underneath water allows mildew to flourish.
On the other hand, these sealers are ideal for unglazed tiles like natural stones but not glazed tiles such as subway or ceramics tiles. Thus, the later tiles will not hold up well and will slide off the surfaces.
Penetrating Grout Sealers
The compound is water-based, thus allowing its particles to infiltrate the grout because it’s porous. Therefore, the sealer occupies the space and keeps the moisture off. These sealers are suitable for damp surfaces such as bathrooms and showers. They are also ideal for porcelain or ceramic tiled areas due to their penetrating ability.
When to Seal the Grout
It’s essential to seal the grout, particularly those installed in moisture-prone areas or those that are light-coloured. Therefore, grout should be sealed after tile installation apart from epoxy type since it’s inherently pre-sealed.
Sealers are sold in spray or applicator form. Spray sealers don’t require a lot of precision before installation but demand more clean-up after that. On the other hand, applicator sealers are smeared directly to the grout using a brush or a rollerball.
Penetrating sealer soaks through the grout to create an impermeable barrier, thus displacing the moisture. On the other hand, the membrane sealers form a layer on the top of the surface, thus trapping the moisture underneath. Grouts should be resealed after a few years irrespective of the sealer used to keep the tiles looking attractive.
It’s recommended to use the same brand of sealer and grout or products made by the same manufacturer to minimize complications.
The Best Grout Color
Another stressful task is to select the colour of the grout due to the full range of options. Further, the colour that you choose for the grout will have an impact on the overall design.
Additionally, the grout colour can affect the cost of tile maintenance. For instance, the darker grout is prone to fading and tends to hide stains.
On the other hand, lighter grout is harder to clean, and they show stains. Thus the colour of the grout has a significant impact on the appearance of the tiled surface.
The following are the potential route to follow when it’s come to the colour of the grout.
You can use matching colours for both the tiles and the grout to make the tiles the centre of attention in a room. Alternatively, you can opt for a closer tone when you choose a brighter colour.
The ideal is a bold type and is used to highlight the shape of the tile and pattern on the layout.
The grout goes well with everything. A neutral pattern makes the tiles more noticeable than a matching option.
The Appropriate Size of the Grout Joint
The tighter grout joint makes the tile size variation noticeable, and the installation looks sloppy. On the other hand, a larger grout line makes it straighter. Thus, even when the tiles are not regular, space gives you more room for adjustment and finally tricks the eyes that the tiles have uniform size form one piece to the other. Therefore, consider your tiles’ size before selecting the grout size.
Contact Hervey Bay Tiling and Waterproofing if you have more questions regarding grout application.