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Old 01-26-2008, 07:30 AM   #1
sokoloff
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Using a grout bag

Getting close to grouting time. Was going through a website looking at what tools I might need and saw a grout application bag that kind of looked like the kind of bag my wife uses when icing a cake. Is this thing of any use and in what applications? I'll be applying sanded grout to 3/8th and 1/4 inch grout lines. This is my first floor tile job. For the back splashes that I've done in the past, I've just used the standard grout float to apply it and sponges to clean it up.

Thanks.

Len
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:47 AM   #2
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I've used them grouting man made coral looking stuff on A COLUMN. sTONE WAS ABOUT 2'X2', AND 4'X4'. Also on thinbrick on a wall, unfilled travertine pooldeck where the customer wanted it left unfilled.
Normally you mix the grout a little looser to get it out of the bag. Only used for very rough apps, like when it would be impossible to remove the grout from the surface; or on huge stone with very deep joints.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:02 AM   #3
Dave Taylor
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Hi Len.....

Its a pain to grout using a bag, a pain I would need to justify.
Mixing, filling, closing,, squeezing, opening, cleaning, drying, than starting over.

And why do this..... basically to keep excess grout off a ceramic, stone or some other surface.... because the surface won't clean well or may be adversely affected by the grout.

If excess grout will clean adequately from your tile, stone or other surface...... then your old way of doing things with a grout float is hard to beat.

If your don't want excess grout on your tile, stone or some surrounding surface.... ways (like applying masking or painters tape or pre-sealing ) are viable alternatives.

EDIT: Yep' what Royce said..... he's quick.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #4
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what type of tile are you doing on the floor ?

like these guys said, I would only use it for something like a tumbled
marble back splash or column you don't want to get grout in the holes.

as far as floors just use a float and get it clean with the sponge.

I used a grout bad on the top of this design since there as really no way to use a
float and fill each joint easily, it was actually fast as a caulk gun this way.
we mixed it loose and it worked great.

and this one to not fill the divots.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
sokoloff
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Thanks for the advice and info guys. The tile I'm using will clean up easily with a sponge, so it's the old tried and true method I'll be using.

Len
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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I know your'e doing a floor, but since you asked about grouting tools and technique, I thought I might add an option for doing walls for anyone reading the post.

Being an absolute novice, I was struggling with the getting the grout into the joints on my shower wall (1/4" joints in a slate type tile). Then I saw the hawk I use for spackling just sitting there and got an idea to use it to hold the grout and stuff it into the joint using the float like when re-pointing bricks.

Worked great with very little spillage on the floor.

JT
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:46 AM   #7
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A grout bag is handy on walls where the tile or brick have large, deep joints. We used a bag on these pavers. It was still a mess.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
ceramictec
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Using the Hawk is great for sanded grout on smooth wall tile..well actually on any wall tile that you have a lot of.
I pull it out when doing showers on a step or scaffolding since I barely drop any and it lands back on the Hawk.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:28 AM   #9
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Yep, the hawk is handy, we use it too sometimes. Those are cement pavers above and we had a hard time getting the joints to setup. Even with two coats of grout release on the face the grout wanted to set on the surface and not in the joint.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:24 AM   #10
Scooter
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Never used one except for really wide joints.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:36 PM   #11
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Grout Bag on floor tile

I read the thread about using a grout bag for tile. Can you pack a joint fully using a grout bag? I have an application where a customer wants me to use the grout bag on a 1" thick paver with 3/8" grout joint. He doesn't believe the grout release will work, and he wants absolutely no residue on the paver. It seems to me that comparing a grout float to a grout bag, I'll get a better packed joint on the floor with a grout float.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:13 PM   #12
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The grout float should pack better. You can have correctly mixed grout which is thicker and will pack better.
As far as him not believing in Grout release, do a test board to show him what it does.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #13
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I'm just figuring this out for myself as I grout my sandstone facade, but I have +- 3/4" joints that I have been using a grout bag on, and I've also tried a hawk with pointing trowel. I also don't think a grout release would work because the stone is so rough. I've found the grout bag goes quicker but it is a challenge to fully pack the joints, as you have suspected. I have to keep my mix "dangerously" wet to get good extrusion and penetration, and then I rely on my stone to suck up the excess water and firm up the mix. Then I go back with the pointing trowel, pack the grout in more (and I find that it packs in quite a ways, meaning that I am still not getting into all the voids with the bag alone), and then top the joint off with the bag again and pack one more time. The finish with the grout bag is still sloppy looking, but the classic sponge wash technique just makes a mess. So I've found that after I do the final topping in the joints, I leave a little extra piled up. I then come back after a few hours of curing and scrape the joints clean and flush and sweep away the crumbs. The final result has been very good looking, consistent, and with minimal internal voids. It is a huge amount of work, however. Similar method with the hawk and pointing trowel, but basically the grout bag can inject more material faster into an uneven and wandering joint pattern. Otherwise, the one-pass method with the grout bag leaves voids and gives your grout lines a "birthday cake" appearance.

So in conclusion, If there's any way you can use the float and wash method, you're going to save a lot of time and frustration, but with a lot of care it can be done with a grout bag to good effect.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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Good thread here guys! I am prepping to install a slate floor (12"x12" with 3/8" grout lines) and was wondering about the grouting process since the stone is somewhat rough. I was contemplating a grout bag, but have never used one. Then I heard about the grout release sealing method. What do you guys think? Also, what would be a good grout release to apply if I go that route? Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #15
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On slate, I wouldn't use a grout release. If you want the grouting to be easier, figure out what sealer you want and seal it before grouting, then again after the grout cures.
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