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Unread 10-03-2019, 01:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 3
Improving the Tiling Process

Hello Friends,

I was happy to stumble across this forum and discover a treasure trove of knowledge. I have been on a lot of forums and have to complement you guys on how neat and organized it is! I hope my post doesn't fall out of community guidelines. I have read up on them, but there are things easy to over look. Please let me know if that is the case and I will try to fix it.

All right, time for some background. I'm currently am enrolled in a product design class. For this class we have had to find a problem or need, and produce a solution/product. A member of our group recently finished doing a tiled a floor for a customer and found cleaning the grout of the textured tiles took a tremendous amount of effort and time to complete.

With that experience in mind, our goal for the project is to develop a product/solution that reduces the amount of time spent cleaning up the grout. We have a few ideas, and I'm sure you guys might be familiar with a few alternative methods that may or may not be ideal. However, we are not looking for ideas yet on how we could do this. Currently we want to learn about and ensure that the method we come up with do not compromise the quality of the grouting process. Do this we need to understand what a good grouting job entails, and how we can measure/judge the quality.

Here's the guiding question to direct answers or thoughts:

What are some indicators or details that demonstrate a grouting job has been done well? What about poorly?

Thank you guys for your time. Any response is much appreciated. If you guys don't mind I wouldn't mind coming back here to report on our progress and look for more feed back/ideas as the project progresses. Hope you have a great day!

Last edited by trekChaser; 10-03-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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Unread 10-03-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Chase.

I'll throw a few ideas out there, good and bad, and I'm sure others will have more.

The tile should be free of all grout and grout haze.

IThe tile should retain it's original shine that it had prior to installation.

Grout should be mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions, with regard to speed of the mixer, amount of water or additive used, mixing time, and slaking.

The grout joints should be full so that the edge of the tile isn't visible, but not overfilled so that it "spills over" on the face of the tile.

Proper technique should be used when grouting the floor to reduce the chance of air bubbles below the surface.

The minimum amount of water should be used during mixing and clean up, since excessive water can wash the color out if the grout.

Chemicals should not be used during the clean up, and for at least ten days after grouting. (There are rare exceptions to this, as recommend by the manufacturer.)

There's enough for you to chew on until someone adds some more.

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Unread 10-08-2019, 07:21 AM   #3
Metropolitan Ceramics
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Location: Canton, Ohio
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Kevin has given you some good ones, I agree with everything he said. I spent many years with a grout manufacturer, so my points are from the perspective of someone who has fielded the complaints:

Your solution should not require excessive washing of the grout. Too much water applied to fresh grout can remove the cement leading to soft grout and/or the pigment leading to mottled coloration.

Your solution should not leave the grout raised above the height of the surrounding tiles or significantly below the surrounding tiles.

Your solution should not impact the surface of the tiles around the grout joint. Many tiles are shiny or polished (even some with texture) and the use of abrasives can dull or scratch them.

For typical (cement) grouts, harsh acids should be avoided as they can attack the composition of the grout.

The National Tile Contractors Reference Manual contains 25 pages on common grout defects to be avoided that may be useful for your cause. If you contact them directly and tell them that Dan Marvin suggested they reach out to you, they may be able to send you just that section instead of having to purchase the whole manual.
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Unread 10-26-2019, 02:22 PM   #4
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Thank you gentle men for your input! It certainly was valuable in guiding our project. We are a bit further along and now have a concept selected for how we'd like to help with improving the grouting process.

I will likely be making some new posts describing our approach looking for input, and addressing some other needs and concerns.

Many thanks again for your input!
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Unread 10-26-2019, 02:31 PM   #5
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Mock-up Grout Mixture

Hello friends,

I'm an engineering participating in a "Product Design Class". My group is working on a project that aims to improve the ergonomics and minimize the time associated with grouting floor tile.

We have selected a concept and are looking to begin mocking up prototypes and testing. An important element of the testing is the grout itself. We wouldn't mind using the real grout mixture but we figured it would be better to use a simulated grout to reduce cost and waste and avoid it setting within about half an hour.

Currently I am thinking of something along the lines of a mixture of fine a play sand, and silt.

What combinations of soils/sand do you think would closely approximate that of real grout?

Many thanks for any input offered!
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Unread 10-26-2019, 03:00 PM   #6
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A lot depends on your float. I've had way better luck and felt things went a lot faster using a hard rubber grout float compared to a soft red rubber float.
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Unread 10-26-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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I can only add that the epoxy grouts are pretty much the "gold standard" of grouting. Having said that, it DOES require a higher lever of attention than any of the others.

A cement based grout is commonly used for large work and will be in the foreseeable future. A number of the newer grouts, referred to as "single component" grouts are a recent addition. Good examples are the Custom's Fusion Pro and the Mapai's Flexcolour CQ. Both are excellent but need to follow the Mfg. guidelines
closely as to the usage.

There are "intermediate" grouts that seem to bridge the gap between the two and I recommend them highly. Custom's "Prism" comes to mind.

I hope this helps......

“I came, I saw, she conquered."
The original Latin seems to have been garbled.”
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Unread 10-26-2019, 06:01 PM   #8
ded dux
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Laticrete PCS would reduce cost and waste and be actual grout, allowing you to focus on other issues in your project.
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Unread 10-26-2019, 08:29 PM   #9
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Welcome, Chase.

Please keep all your questions about this project on this thread so folks can see the background and what's been previously asked and answered.

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