Types of Grout Used In Tile Installation

We take a look at the different types of grout that are used in tile installation and let you know when to use which one.

Ceramic tiles, of all sorts and varieties, make use of some type of grout in order to fill and to also seal the seams that are there between the tiles. It does not matter what type of tile you are using, making sure that the proper type of grout has been used in order to fill the seams is important in preventing moisture from going down into the underlayment. In order to keep a hold of this water-proof quality, the grout is needed to be maintained properly. It needs to be repaired when cracks form and also they need to be sealed periodically to keep it as waterproof as possible. 

We commonly find that there are three main types of grout. These are cementitious grouts made out of a Portland cement base, epoxy grouts, and also furan grouts. There are also different variations of each available in the market. Grouts that are of the cementitious and epoxy variety are both available in different colors. What this does is that it makes it possible for you to match or contrast with the tiles that you are grouting. The third type of grout, the furan grout, happens to be only available in black. 

Cementitious Grout

These are a type of grout whose main ingredients are the Portland cement, also filler particles of a variety of different sizes, an additive that is water-retentive and also pigments that are colored. These are the grouts that are the most traditional type of grouting material. They are most commonly used in residential applications and also sometimes in commercial applications. This type of grout also comes in a wide variety of colors. As we have mentioned before, it allows you to mix or match with the tiles you are grouting. Cementitious grout is normally mixed with water and then is applied with the use of a trowel. The quality of these grout that makes them water retentive allows the grout to retard the drying time. This is a very good thing as it allows the cement to cure slowly which will give it the maximum possible hardness. 

When this type of grout is used in tandem with porous tiles such as quarry, slate or other natural tiles made of stone, the grout has the potential to stain these surfaces. People who tile professionally will often seal the tiles that are porous before they proceed to grout. This step is not necessary with the non-porous standard glazed tiles.

Sanded and Unsanded:

Cementitious grout which is sanded, includes sand particles which are very large and that can be seen and also felt. This is why they look and also feel gritty. This type of sanded grout is recommended when the seams that are going to be grouted are ⅛ of an inch wide or more. This is done because the sand gives extra bonding power which prevents cracking. It is highly recommended that you be extra careful when you use these types of cementitious grout on highly polished tiles. Caution should be exercised as the sand has the very real potential to actually scratch these surfaces. It would be a very good idea to test out the grout on simple tile.

Cementitious grouts which are not sanded have a much smoother texture in comparison. This is because the mineral particles that they contain are very fine powders which have no visible grit. This type of grout is used when the seams are 1/16 to ⅛ inch wide. When it is used with seams that are wider, unsanded grouts have a reputation for cracking. This is because they lack the binding power that is offered by the other variety. 

Epoxy Grouts

This is a completely different type of grout and it uses no Portland cement. Water is also not used in the process of mixing. These are grouts that consist of epoxy resin, fillers of silica, pigments and also a hardener. These grouts are much less porous than grouts which are cementitious. This makes them a very good choice in places where acids and greases are there. 

This type of grout is available in both the sanded and also the unsanded for. The type of sand used in the sanded variety is also different. Epoxy grouts are able to be set up very quickly. This makes them a little tricky for people who are not familiar with them. These grouts are much more expensive as well. It is especially recommended for areas where maximum stain resistance is required. It is also an easy to clean grout

It is important to note that this type of grout can very easily stain surfaces that happen to be porous and unglazed. If you are to use epoxy grout on these kinds of tiles, make sure the tiles are sealed before you start grouting. 

Furan Grouts

This type of grout is not unlike epoxy but the difference is that it is made out of polymers of alcohol that is fortified and is also highly resistant to chemicals. The name is a result of the furfuryl alcohol that is present in the formula. Water is not used at all. These tiles work as a two-component system and it contains a furan resin and also a filler powder with a catalyst of acid. 

This type of grout is generally used in order to grout brick pavers and also quarry tiles. It is generally recommended for areas that are exposed to a lot of chemicals and also grease. The surface of the tiles may be smooth, non-skid or abrasive. It totally depends on how it is used for the floor in question. 

Lastly, installers have to be wary when mixing so as to not breathe in any vapors. This type of grout requires special skill for a proper installation. It should also be done when the temperature is between 60 and 90 degrees, in Fahrenheit.

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