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Old 04-29-2002, 03:30 PM   #1
flatfloor
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Grouts

All tile grouts fall into two basic categories: cement-based grout and epoxy grout. Grouts used for tiling should not be confused with caulks, which are elastomeric materials used for filling gaps between various building materials.

Cement-based grouts have a base of portland cement, but they differ in the types of additives they contain. Most come in powdered form to which water or liquid latex is added. Cement-based grouts include commercial portland cement, dry-set and latex-portland cement grouts. Latex-portland cement grout is the most versatile grout for residential applications.

Epoxy grout contains an epoxy resin and hardener, giving it a high degree of chemical resistance, excellent bond strength and superior impact resistance. It is the most expensive of the grouts, and therefore usually confined to industrial and commercial applications. It is somewhat thick and not easy to apply. If your tiles are more than 1/2-inch thick and the grout joints are less than 1/4- inch wide, the grout will not penetrate.

When it comes to cement-based grouts there are basically two form variations.

One is SANDED GROUT and the other is UNSANDED GROUT.

SANDED GROUT is used to fill wider grout joints. Sand (usually silica sand) is added to the basic portland cement along with colorants and other additives. When sand is added this increases strength and lends bulk for filler. Sanded grout is generally used in grout lines that exceed 1/16 inch in width.

UNSANDED GROUT is reserved for smaller grout lines around 1/16 inch or less. It might be noted that some natural stone tiles such as granite and marble are placed very close together having usually a 1/16 inch grout line and generally not more than 1/8 inch wide.

There are additives that can also be used (added) in grouts at mixing time to promote a stronger more stain resistant product when cured.

Grout sealers are also available for application to the grouts surface after it has thoroughly dried/cured. Grout sealers are strongly recommended.


[Edited by John Bridge on 05-05-2002 at 10:35 AM]
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Last edited by davem; 08-24-2003 at 08:16 PM.
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