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Old 10-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #1
june
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reliability of premixed sanded grouts

I tiled my 20 ft. backsplash 8 months ago with a filled and honed tumbled travertine 2 inch tile on the diagonal using simpleset premixed stone and porcelain thin-set mortar. I then used Tec Invision premixed sanded grout to complete the job. Received great praise on the install from a local experienced
tiler and am personally very pleased with both products. I now have had 81 sq ft. of 19" procelain tiles with 3/16" grout line installed on bathroom floor. My intent was to do the grouting myself using the same Tec premixed sanded grout used on my backsplash as the container says it can be used on floors with joints up to 1/2" Since reading a number of comments here from pros who say do not use anything premixed, I am now undecided. Do the pros make these comments because they have used the premixed and had bad results or just because most of their experience is with dry products? I know that your job can be a disaster at times whether or not you use dry or premixed. Why not a premix? It is hard to believe that companies would put out a premix product if they had not tested it and found it to work satisfactorily. I certainly do not want to use the Tec product on my floor if it is doomed to failure but I would like to know what there is about premixes that causes problems according to the pros. It is just a dry product mixed with a liquid by the producer rather than being mixed with a liquid at the time of installation by the installer. I certainly appreciate any helpful hints by the pros on doing any job, but wonder just how many pros have actually used the premixed products themselves or are they just biased against anything premixed. Would really like for someone to advise me whether or not to use the Tec premixed grout on my floor and why.....I have also heard that you do not use sealer on premixed grout. True???? Thanks from all DIY's
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
Jason_Butler
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"It is hard to believe that companies would put out a premix product if they had not tested it and found it to work satisfactorily."

Sounds correct but I take alot of the claims with a grain of salt.

Premixed thinsets and grout have their place but it's certainly not on floors and wet area. I'll concede to the backsplash application but no floor, showers, fountains, swimming pools, etc


I'm a bit confused on the " TEC preixed sanded grout" part. Do you mean it comes in a bag and mixes with water?. That's premixed to an extent. When we hear "premixed" we think of the product in the plastic bucket that requires no water, no mixing, etc

Please clarify.

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Old 10-13-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
cx
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Welcome back, June.

I don't see any indication that you saw the responses to your original thread on your backsplash, but I'll not combine it here as it doesn't appear relevant.

Jason, I'm confused about what we're dealing with here, too. She said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by june
It is just a dry product mixed with a liquid by the producer rather than being mixed with a liquid at the time of installation by the installer.
And I don't know what that really means.

June, there is no cementitious product that can be mixed with liquid before hand and stored in that condition pending sale to the consumer. Same is true about epoxy grouts. The only ones I know that can do that are the few urethane-based grouts and those that are some sort of organic compound like the mastics. And the organic ones are the ones you'll usually hear pros complaining about. Some complain about the urethanes, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by june
using simpleset premixed stone and porcelain thin-set mortar.
For a manufacturer to say that on packaging of an organic adhesive borders upon false and misleading advertising as far as I'm concerned. Very, very close border, that.

The mastics (organic adhesive, A136.1) have improved greatly over the past few years, and some are indicated for wet areas and even for light-duty floors with tiles of a limited size, but most of the pros recognize that there is really no benefit to using those products rather than the far more versatile cementitious thinset mortars. And the real mortars cost significantly less.

But for backsplashes, I don't think you'll find any serious argument against their use. And that's the only type of application where they seem to make any sense to me.

Some of the raving against those products is, as you may have surmised, just bashing based upon old-school knowledge and bias, but some of it is quite rational and well founded. You just gotta be able to sort that out based upon intended use and the source of the bashing, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
jas_il
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The previous owner of our house used a premixed grout on our bathroom floor, and it does not hold up the same way that a cement-based (dry power mixed with water) grout does.

It is not as hard as a cement-based grout, and traps dirt, etc. It looks dirty, but cannot be cleaned. I would never use it on my own floor.

I would definitely recommend that you use a dry-mixed cement-based grout on your floor. Once you get the hang of it, it is not difficult, but it is a little stressful the first time (making sure that you use the right amount of water to get the right consistency, don't use too much water for clean-up, etc.)

If you want to feel safe, make up a practice board with some cheap tiles and a piece of CBU to practice grouting on. If you are not in a hurry, let it dry all the way to ensure you are happy with the results, before starting on the real floor.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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June said: It is just a dry product mixed with a liquid by the producer rather than being mixed with a liquid at the time of installation by the installer.

As CX said, No, its not the same at all. The pre-mixed stuff is nothing like the stuff in the bag. If you mixed up real cement based thinset from a bag and put it in an air tight bucket, it would still harden in a few hours, it does not need air to cure, its a chemical reaction.

The dry stuff in the bag is cement based (more or less concrete) based and once it get hard its hard until the cows come home. It is quite durable, except in changes of plane (corners that is) where it might crack...this is where caulk belongs.

The premixed stuff is an organic based mastic (called pre-mixed thinset to fool the uninformed user into thinking its the same thing as real thinset), and can become gooey again if it gets wet a lot.

That said, I have used mastic (aka Premixed Thinset) on kitchen backsplashes, but I would never use it on a floor since it takes forever to dry under large tiles, nor in a bathroom at all due to moisture and the fact that since its organic based mold will feed on the mastic (yuck!).

I will not ever even consider trying the premixed grout...it just don't make sense to use it since regular grout is easier to use, hardens nicely and is much cheaper. Premixed grout is just mastic or urethane caulk, and it has no where near the life of real grout.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
june
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Thanks Jason, CX and Jas, il for replying to my inquiry. I did not mean to come down on pros who take the time to help and reply to DIY's inquiries, but the premixes are very convenient for DIY's like me who only have an hour or two each day to work on projects and then can put the lid on the can until the next time we get time to work. The 20 ft. backsplash took me about a week to thinset to the wall, but because I was using premixed product, I got to stop whenever I ran out of time or reached a good "stopping place" and picked up where I left off the next day. The same was true using theTec Ready To Use premixed grout. The word "sanded" was not included on the label, but it was a sanded grout and left a great grout line. I did make up a board and practiced with the premixed products using the 2' tiles before starting on my backsplash. We have tried prying those tiles off with hammer and chisel and they will not budge, so that was the reason we felt it would be safe to use the same grout on the floor tiles in the guest bath. We had an experienced tile man to lay the procelain tiles and he suggested putting Ditra under the tiles which we had him do. He is the one who had great things to say about my backsplash, but he also said that he would not use a premixed grout even though he admitted that he had very little experience with them....So....I guess I will bite the bullet and nix the premix and hope for the best. I will do as suggested and make a board again to practice. Wish me luck. Thanks again for the helpful hints....
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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You don't have to mix all your grout at once. Mix maybe 5 lbs. Feels good? Mix 10. etc......................................................................
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