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Unread 01-04-2022, 07:31 AM   #76
r-mm
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Thanks for the advice. I laid a bunch of tiles last night using this method and it feels more consistent. I have read about the slant notch trowel but haven't tried one yet.

At this point I'm going to grout so I can get out of my own way and move stuff back on the tiled area. I've got my tools lines up for this, as well as my Laticrete Permacolor. For my first time I'll mix a real small batch. Should a newbie like me do this by prorating the weight of grout / water, the way I am prorating the thinset for smaller batches? I've seen some guys just mix it with a trowel, is it a lot easier / quicker than mixing thinset? In other words is the mixing drill overkill here?
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Unread 01-04-2022, 10:34 AM   #77
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Mixing batches of grout is a bit more finicky than mixing batches of mortar, if for no other reason than the desire to maintain color consistency which could be impacted by more or less water in each batch relative to powder. So, yeah, I'd want to measure each. Each time.

I might consider using a trowel, or a paint stick, if I need only a cup of grout. But mixing up a gallon or more at a time will be faster and, more importantly IMO, far more thorough using a mixing paddle chucked into a drill.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 11:10 AM   #78
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Good point on color I'd forgotten about that. I suppose I already have the wife's bathroom scale in the garage so may as well keep using it...

Still no sign of my mixing drill, supposedly it shows up today if I believe Fedex.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 01:42 PM   #79
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Finally, relief is here for this long suffering Black & Decker.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 01:57 PM   #80
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For mixing small batches of grout, I commonly use a smaller version of the same "ribbon" mixer I use for thinset mortars, Russ, and generally mix in one-gallon paint cans with the top rim cut out. Either the plastic or metal cans. And usually with that little mixer chucked in a cordless drill.
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Unread 01-05-2022, 10:18 AM   #81
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That makes sense thanks for the tips, I'll see if they have such a contrivance at the local Ace.
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Unread 01-05-2022, 05:20 PM   #82
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I equipped myself and mixed a 2.5lb batch of Permacolor. The bag says 25lbs:2liters so I used .2liters. I'd describe the texture as damp sand, tried to capture it in a photo. I applied the grout with my float, scraped the excess off in diagonal sweeps then waited approx 30min per the instructions. At that time it looked like the second to last pic. Then I wrung out the sponge best I could, wiped once per side until tile looked like it did in the last pic. I used light pressure but nonetheless the face of the tile was damp/wet at the end.

So far so good? Now waiting 3h per the instructions for final clean.
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Unread 01-05-2022, 05:47 PM   #83
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First of all, your sponge will likely work better after using it a while. I hate breaking in a new sponge. I like to use a circling motion at first to get the joints smooth. Then wipe a final swipe with the sponge.

You can check the grout to see if it's ready to clean up by touching it. I like it to firm up in the joint a little before sponging. But, you may have to rush it if it's hard to get off the tiles. It's something we have to figure out on every job. Some tiles absorb the moisture out of the grout more than others and a lot depends on the grout we happen to be using and weather conditions.

It looks like you're on your way. You might have to do a final clean up sooner than 3 hours. Touch the grout and see if it has set up any after 1 hour, it probably has. You don't want to wait 3 hours if the grout haze is hard to remove. In that case, wash it sooner.
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Unread 01-05-2022, 05:53 PM   #84
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Thanks for the quick advice I appreciate it. What would be the test as to whether it’s ready for a final clean? Light finger pressure does not distort the joint?
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Unread 01-05-2022, 06:05 PM   #85
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Just barely touch it with your finger. You'll be able to tell if it has firmed up any. If you wash it when it's too wet, it'll be easy to wash the joints too low.

For the final clean up, the grout should firm up enough that the sponge doesn't smear grout over on top of the tiles.
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Unread 01-06-2022, 04:50 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
I hate breaking in a new sponge.
Really?! I like a brand new one and will use it till it gets real absorbant then I will start using it for the daily operations. I always thought it worked better with a new one since they won't hold water when they are new
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Unread 01-06-2022, 12:44 PM   #87
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Well I'm happy with the results but the timing of the cleaning left me somewhat confused, still a work in progress.

At 30 min I was able to do a very very light wash to shape the grout. Lots of haze on the tile.

1h - the joint would smear with light sponge pressure

2h - same

3h - better but still needed to be careful not to drag the joint.

All this is at ~65deg ambient and damp CT winter, slab probably a lot colder. I wrung the sponge as best I could each time but nonetheless some water gets on the joint. Perhaps I kept wetting the joint and it kept taking longer to cure?

This morning I could give it a much more aggressive clean but still could feel some grit coming off the joints with my finger and didn't want to get too aggressive. Nonetheless I like how it looks and I'm sure I'll get better as I go.
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Unread 01-06-2022, 06:45 PM   #88
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At least now you know not to mess with the final wash till the 3rd hour.

If you aren't, when you give it that final wipe, go long ways with the tiles.

If too much haze is left behind, you can give it a vinegar wash.
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Unread 01-06-2022, 07:39 PM   #89
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I'm having a hard time getting a significant amount of the grout off the tiles immediately after I apply it. This is the best I can do, I'm really leaning into my float (Marshaltown as pictured) and going at a high angle but it just wants to drag/smear not come off. I don't usually go looking for better tools when skills are usually 99% of the problem but wonder if a softer or harder float may help?
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Unread 01-06-2022, 11:42 PM   #90
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I’d wipe the surface of the tiles with a barely damp sponge immediately before spreading the grout. It’ll help your float “squeegee” off the excess after you’ve packed it in the joints.

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