View Full Version : GROUT LINE THICKNESS
07-24-2001, 11:25 AM
I'VE DECIDED ON "PROTECTO WRAP" FOR MY ISOLATION MEMBRANE (SEE "CRACK ISOLATION" 7/12/01). THE CORK IDEA WAS INTERESTING. I ACTUALLY GOT SOME SAMPLES FROM WECORK; PRETTY NEAT STUFF. FOR THOSE INTERESTED, TRY WECORK.COM FOR MORE INFOR. ANYWAY, I'M LAYING THE "WRAP" THIS WEEK AND STARTING MY TILE LAYING THIS WEEKEND. NERVOUS BUT EXCITED AT THE SAME TIME!!! I DO ALL THE REMODELING AT MY HOUSE, BUT FOR SOME REASON THIS TILE HAS ME A LITTLE NERVOUS. ANYWAY, MY QUESTION INVOLVES GROUT LINE THICKNESS. WE ARE LAYING 16 1/4" TILES AND MY WIFE WOULD LIKE AS SMALL OF GROUT LINE AS POSSIBLE. I WAS THINKING 3/16" BUT SHE HAD SMALLER IDEAS!! LIKE 1/8" OR EVEN 1/16"!! WHAT IS COMMON OR MINIMUM? WILL I HAVE TROUBLE APPLYING THE GROUT IF THE LINE IS TOO SMALL? THOUGHTS, ADVICE? ONCE AGAIN THANKS FOR YOUR TIME. YOU GUYS ANSWER SO MANY QUESTIONS IT'S A WONDER YOU GET ANY WORK DONE!!
The grout for smaller than 1/8'' joints must be unsanded.
It is a common practice to install tiles with this spacing.
The concern is lippage, tiles adjacent to one another being set at different levels. You can incure chipped tiles due to this.
I'll let the pro's explain the installation techniques for the tiles to get them as close to level as possible.
Curious, what prompted the decision to purchase the protecto wrap, it is a good product, just wondering what it was that swayed you?
07-24-2001, 03:58 PM
Narrow grout lines are fine and as Art says 1/8" or smaller usually requires unsanded (wall) grout.
Usually narrow grout lines are reserved for natural stone because you can expect more precision in the size and shape of a sawn tile. Granite, marble, travertine, etc; are sawn to shape.
On the other hand ceramic (clay) tiles are formed, stamped, extruded, then fired in a kiln. This kiln firing can change the shape of clay products to some degree. Fired products may experience a slight curl or crowning or sagging within the shape of the unit, tiles can also expand and contract a little during firing. Point is their shape changes and is not as precise as a sawn stone product.
A grout line that is too narrow will not allow you any forgiveness when laying your tile, and you find yourself crowding tiles noticeably. If the grout line is wider this variation in tile sizes goes unnoticed and the process is more forgiving. Fired tiles can also have a slight crown or saucer shape or raised corner that when placed too closely to an adjacent tile will shown the lippage Art is talking about. A wider grout line will soften the lippage just a little.
I wouldn't recommend a grout line smaller than 1/4" using a fired clay product, but hey that's just me, what do I know?
Tell your wife 1/16" is impossible, you can't there from here!
07-24-2001, 04:27 PM
I agree with Bud on this one. With "fired" tiles of this size, a 1/4" joint would be the absolute minimum I would be willing to work with. You could easily incorporate a somewhat larger (3/8") joint with tiles this size and end up with a very attractive installation. Do yourself a favor and put a little "breathing room" in there.
07-24-2001, 04:43 PM
3/16 to 1/4"for ceramic.sanded grout.1/16 to 1/8" for stone but we use sanded and usanded mixed due to depth unsanded shrinks.
07-24-2001, 04:45 PM
There's a retailer I work for that always wants 1/8" joints in my ceramic tile jobs. This character has been in the business (retailing) for about twenty-four years and hasn't learned a damned thing about the mechanics of installation.
If you want a really crappy ceramic tile job then start off with 1/8" grout joints sometime. "IT DOESN'T WORK".
07-24-2001, 05:05 PM
Hey Frank, I told you you'd get plenty of replies. These seem pretty consistent, though. You might shoot for 3/16, end up with a quarter and be happy with the results. There is really no way to get those big mammas close together. (Sorry, Karen.)
Guess who talked Frank out of cork and into Protecto Wrap. Guess who got the Protecto Wrap for him at contractor's discount.
Derek & Jacqui
07-24-2001, 05:08 PM
Except for marble granite & quarry, I always work to a 3/16" joint.
For mable & granite I work to a 1/16", and quarry, a 1/4".
07-24-2001, 05:08 PM
Bud, I just completed 1200 sf of tile from Home Depot for a customer that called me after they had purchased the tile and had it delivered to their house. It was one of those HD specials, .79/tile. It was delivered on two pallets which they chose to stack on top of each other.
Well, the top pallet contained one shade/caliber lot, and the bottom pallet contained two different shade/caliber lots mixed togehter, neither of which matched the top pallet. Guess when I found this out? Yep, after I had established a layout based on the top pallet and installed almost 600 sf of tile. The tiles on the top pallet were all reasonably close to the listed 11 13/16" listed on the box. The tiles off the bottom pallet ran anywhere from 11 11/16" to 11 3/4". I'd like to see someone maintain a 1/8" or 1/16" grout joint with tiles varying in size by as much as 1/8".
Fortunately, the second pallet tiles were all smaller and would fit within the dimensions of the existing layout. The grout joints just got a little wider "down the road". Additionally, I talked them into a closely colored grout to blend the differences down. They are happy.
I guess the point to including this "fresh" incident here is if your buying your tile from a "discount" house, make sure they sell/deliver the same lot/shade/caliber for all the tile your installing in adjoining rooms. Most of the time, shade variations can be blended by pulling from 3-5 boxes at a time, but size variations of this extreme can only be blended with an adequate grout joint.
Once again, forget the 1/8 - 1/16 grout joint. Lippage is bad enough, size variations will "eat your lunch".
07-24-2001, 05:21 PM
Dealing with the "Big Boxes" is one problem after another and the unwary consumer always takes the hit.
There is no way in hell any installer can/should be expected to cull thru two pallets of tile to achieve a random look from three lots of tile.
07-24-2001, 05:30 PM
Well . . . I could argue about that, but it would have to be over on the other board.
Mix,Mix, Mix...that's what the old Italian tile setters used to say to me all the time...and they didn't mean thin set...hands were raw at the end of the day. Of course it didn't help that the palets were on top of each other.
07-26-2001, 11:08 AM
THANKS AGAIN FOR THE QUICK RESPONSES!! SOUNDS LIKE 3/16" TO 1/4" IS THE ANSWER. READY TO GET STARTED; I'LL KEEP YOU POSTED.
07-26-2001, 11:38 PM
we always mix stone from several pallets why not tile?
07-27-2001, 12:02 AM
Slow down now, before I end up eating my words let me say that the boxes should be mixed. I usually work from six to eight boxes.
When buying that much tile (as stated above) from a Big Box and knowing full well that there are three lots involved; there is no way an installer should be expected to spend his time culling thru that much tile without compensation.
The customer should have been informed by the Big Box that they were mixing lots on 'em. They should have also been made aware of the potential consequences of making such a purchase.
Let the owner cull tile in the evening with the family and a pizza. They enjoyed the discount price they got by shopping at their friendly Big Box. Quality time brother, quality time.
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, but with all the guessing I had to do over the protecto wrap, I just didn't want to make any rash decisions.
I'll guess........ John Bridge to both questions.
I'll bet.......... everyone involved paid more than .35 cents a s/f for the material, and the results won't be any better. I'll supply a test sample for the comparison. Any one up for a test?
This is a residential, out of a wet area installation, as memory serves. Isn't it?
07-27-2001, 06:32 AM
This is Houston. All areas are wet areas. And yeah, Protecto Wrap runs a buck or so a foot.
Are you suggesting that no one has carpeting? Or if they do they just leave those dryer fans running all the time?
I have been to Houston, and I don't recall seeing too many house built on stilts, it would seem to me if moisture or flooding was as common place as you suggest, housing being up on stilts would be the norm.
I know down here and the Carolinas, housing in flood prone areas are off the ground.
Maybe this could be a new sideline for you and your company.
Art (just trying to help) Phenis
07-27-2001, 02:33 PM
I think he may be talking about the humidity.
If you've been to Houston then surely you haven't forgotten about the humidity there.
Takes a lot of getting used to.
I wouldn't know about humidity, I live in South florida.
Not much heat or moisture down here.
So what are you doing at the County fair everyday? Showing some hogs? Judge in the pie baking contest? Taking your sweetie (Laura Lee) for a ride in the tunnel of love?
Who was that singer you saw the other night? Some Country singer?
By the way, how come you didn't get that self leveling job at the zoo? I'll bet if you had been on the job, it wouldn't have failed.
I'm Bud's agent, if you want it done right and not to fail, you just give me and ole' Bud a call.
Oh, and by the way, just make the checks out to our Uncle "C ash". Great guy, looks after all of our negotiated moneies.
07-27-2001, 03:40 PM
Floridas humidity never seemed as bad to me as Houstons, I don't know why, must be the smell of citris out weighs the blanket of humidity. Besides you spend too much time in the Keys and there is no humidity in Paradise. If you see Ernest next time your there tell him I said Hi.
Two nights at the Fair that's all. Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack and a whole bunch of filthy carnies. Boy, I don't know how those guys do it. They all wore green shirts so you knew when walking past a green shirt you just had to hold your breath (and your wallet).
HOLD ON ART, gotta phone call, be right back.
It was nobody....so where were we? So any way celebrities are few and far between here in the cornfields and everyone jumps at the chance to have some live entertainment.
Gotta go get my kid picked up....Later.
PS: Made my day Art. LMAO!
07-27-2001, 04:42 PM
I've been campaigning for some time to get houses up off the ground around here. Cost's more, though, and regular folks buy what the builders put out, which is slab-on-grade.
The recent round of flooding (Tropical Storm Allison) will make people think for a while, but the thought will receed, and things will get back to normal, meaning slab-on-grade. Did a little piece on it a while back.
Do you know that Houston, although it is about 40 miles inland, is just a few feet above sea level?
I have to get an act of congress to get insurance down here.
How do you do it with all that flooding all the time?
By the way, when we come down for the month of October or whenever the big party is, I have a upstairs room, don't I.
07-27-2001, 06:06 PM
I've already reserved the second floor Art, sorry. Cletus needs a lot of room, he doesn't want to be cramped anymore after September 15. Cletus hasn't been out of the house much for the past fifteen years or so, you could say he has lived a sheltered life and I want him to be happy, very very happy. This will be sort of a "coming out" party for him, visiting Houston and John & Patty and all.
07-27-2001, 07:05 PM
[Patti, tally everything up. Do you think we could just sort of get out of town for the fall months?]
Just leave the key under the door mat, John.
A 1/2 dozen kegs will get us started, and don't forget to leave the visa card, cuz' some places don't take master card.
You know come to think of it, just leave a 1/2 dozen signed, blank checks and we'll take care of the beer.
God, we're going to miss you and Patti, well er... we'll miss Patti.
Art (you know I love ya') Phenis
07-27-2001, 09:12 PM
"A 1/2 dozen eggs, what the hell are we going to do with a half dozen eggs Ar.........."
07-31-2001, 07:01 PM
you can send my key u.p.s.!since im bring'n beer!!!
From your post on 7/27.
You know your right, it's humid, but it's a dry humidity!?!
By the way, who is this Cletus? And why does he get the whole upstairs?
08-01-2001, 07:20 AM
You'll learn not to argue with Cletus. Do you remember the song by Jim Croce back in the seventies? Same deal!
08-01-2001, 02:24 PM
Frank emailed me today. He wants to hire someone to do the work. I'm going to close this thread.
Meaner than a junkyard dog?
Frank, This doesn't mean we don't want you around. Join us over at the Hangout.
[Edited by John Bridge on 08-01-2001 at 04:40 PM]
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