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Old 06-17-2018, 06:41 PM   #1
tbb
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grout - sanded vs nonsanded - joint width

I am grouting wall tile and something is not running according to expectations.
I have started grouting small areas to give myself time to "learn" while doing something new.
I'm not learning or missing something entirely.

The substrate I am currently working over now is 1/2" cement backer board.
- But it will transition to WP membrane in the tub surround where I have not worked yet.
The tile is Daltile; Rittenhouse Square, ceramic, 3x6 subway tile.
It was set with 1/16" spacers.
- Less than 1/8" ... using Polyblend non-sanded grout (?)

Try as I might I can not pack enough grout into the joints to fill them. As the grout drys it is shrinking up creating gaps.
- I understand the point of sanded grout is to reduce shrinkage and fill wider joints.

The obvious issue is that the edge profile of the subway tile is not square but stepped back so the joint at the back is 1/16" and 1/8" at the front.

Qs:
- Was I supposed to set this tile butted together to get a narrow joint?
-- I'm glad I did not use 1/8" spacers.
- Should I be substantially wetting the joints to slow down the grout drying?
-- Misting has not shown promise.
- Do I just go get sanded grout and not worry about the 1/16" crevice at the back?

Thank you
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:39 PM   #2
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Did you measure your water amount and follow all mixing directions? How long did you wait before wiping? It sounds like too much water in your mix, or too much cleaning with a sponge that's too wet before the grout had time to set up.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:14 AM   #3
tbb
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Mixed non-sanded grout consistency?

Since I have been mixing smaller quantities than a full bag maybe my proportions are off. I do not have the skill level to apply a full box and clean the excess in 30 minutes.

How would you describe the consistency of mixed non-sanded grout?
- mouse
- yogurt
- pudding
- icing
- ?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:52 AM   #4
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Mousse, yogurt and pudding do not describe it. It should not pour out of the container

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Old 06-30-2018, 11:39 AM   #5
tbb
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Mixed non-sanded grout consistency?

I suppose it will depend on what your experience is with yogurt and pudding.
What I have been mixing does not pour.

I increased the amount of grout a small amount so that after the mix slacks it is like creamy peanut butter ... and that being mixed TJs creamy PB somewhere between kept in the cabinet and the refrigerator.

I also changed my technique and after pulling over the joints I press the grout in joint by joint with a plastic spackling knife. This has been the best result yet but I still get voids.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:00 PM   #6
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If I remember correctly, those tiles have a continuous lug along the back edge of the tiles. Yes, you could have set the tiles lug to lug, which would have given you a 1/16 joint.

Many of the newer sanded grouts can be used with 1/16 joints. The sand is very fine and would probably give you less trouble.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #7
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Thomas.

1) What tool are you using for a grout float?
2) Is the edge of the float: rock hard, firm, or soft?
3) When you are grouting, is the float running: parallel, perpendicular, or on a diagonal to the joints?

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