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Old 10-14-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
DMC
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Grouting rough surface tiles

Hello,

I'm just starting to grout about 1000 sq feet of tile on a patio, and I'm finding that pushing grout over the tiles with the float forces a lot into the ridges and cracks on the tile surface. It's taking a lot of time to go back and clean the tiles off so the grout doesn't permanently adhere, which also makes me wonder about causing efflorescence and weakening the grout.

Does anyone have any suggestions for:
1. Different tools or techniques that will minimize excess grout on the tiles but properly fill the joints.
2. How to clean grout off the tiles effectively without damaging the grout.

I'm a capable DIYer, but this is my first tile project.

Thanks
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #2
custombuilt
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what kind of tile is this??? some tile require sealing before grouting just for this issue....you got me a little confused with the crack in the surface par
more info is needed to help you out....
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:34 PM   #3
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Some more info: 16" slate tiles. They have been sealed, but the surfaces can be very irregular. Not cracks as in breakage, but high and low areas that really attract the grout.

Thanks
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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slate is hard to grout.....some guys grout it, let the area dry a bit, and the brush the surface....i just grout the joints on slate not floating the whole surface. and then clean after it sets a few minutes with a damp sponge (not wet)...its slow, its painful, its SLATE!
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
DMC
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That's what I figured. I have the time to spend on it, but I was hoping for better. Slate is a pain, but it looks great.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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I seen my guys use a mortar bag to make it easier to apply grout to the joints only. It help a bit because the joints are usually fairly wide due to the unevenness of the slate. You still need to use a float and sponge afterwards. Anyway you look at it it's a PITA.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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the other thing is to seal the slate first, then once that is dry use a product called grout release. it is basically a water soluble coating that the grout sticks to, and when you sponge the grout, the grout release breaks down and lifts off the tile. it works great on textured porcelain, and it helps quite a bit on slate. no matter what, it's an animal, but at least it will be a little easier.
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