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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
DobieFlash
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New backsplash install in 2 weeks -- looking for grout & sealer info

We have a kitchen backsplash project on order -- using Interceramic Calcutta Slate ceramic 4 1/4x4 1/4 and Oceanside Geologie Blend glass mosaic as accents. Our installer will use ProSpec unsanded grout in sable color.

My question: How to prevent stains on the grout and tile? This is a backsplash in a cooking kitchen -- the tile will be behind my sink and downdraft cooktop. I've splattered the cooktop wall with grape jam during canning, bacon grease at breakfast and assorted soup and sauce and whatever over the years! I clean up immediately but am very concerned my new grout will look terrible without protection.

I've read numerous threads in the Cleaning, Restoration & Sealing Forum -- lots of great advice there -- should we ask the installer to add something to the grout or request another grout product with stain resistance? Should we seal everything (tile and grout?) afterwards and if so, with what product?

I'm looking forward to this tile and want to ensure it remains beautiful for a very long time! Your suggestions will be much appreciated. Thank you!
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Unread 09-03-2009, 06:52 AM   #2
doitright
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Hi Sue, Welcome!

As long as your grout joints don't exceed 1/8", the Pro Spec unsanded will be fine. It is a acrylic modified grout and meet ANSI specs.

You definitely want to use a high solids sealer. Dupont Stone Tech Bulletproof, Aqua Mix Sealers Choice Gold, and Surface Treatment Technologies SB will all fill the bill. The key is not to allow the sealer to dry on the surface of the tile. Depending on the porosity of the grout, more than one coat may be necessary.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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Smile New backsplash install in 2 weeks -- looking for grout & sealer info

Thank you John! I really appreciate the product suggestions for sealer and will research all three. Am I correct in assuming we don't need to seal the tile (its ceramic) -- only the grout? I saw in some of the other threads that sealer should be applied to grout until the grout stops accepting the sealer -- according to the porosity of the grout. Is that recommended procedure for the 3 products you are suggesting?

Many thanks again for your assistance! I see you're in Mundelein -- we're in Marengo, out in the western Chicago "boonies." Almost neighbors!
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Unread 09-03-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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Hi Sue

A simple answer would be yes, but products such as Bulletproof require wet on wet applications. It's always best to follow label directions.

I'm very familiar with Marengo. I've lived there for short period of my life. It's definitely different than Metro Chicago.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Exclamation Backsplash install underway -- grout question

Our kitchen backsplash is presently being installed (looks great!). The installer is using Acrylpro Mastic. It's not a big job and they will finish the install in the next hour or so. He says they will then grout (same day) and the job will be finished.

That doesn't seem right to me -- so I pulld the spec sheet for AcrylPro off the web and it says 24 hour dry before grouting.

How important is the dry time before grouting? Do I say NO -- you come back tomorrow to grout or is it OK to grout several hours after installing the tile?

Many thanks for a fast reply!
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Unread 09-21-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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just as a heads up oceanside wants you to use thinset to set any and all of their material and to use a sanded grout. if that geologie has glass in it. it will fail with mastic and unsanded grout with oceanside has a propensity to sag and crack.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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Backsplash install underway -- grout question

Thanks David -- I found the spec sheet for Oceanside on their website. The installer didn't grout today as the glass tiles were still sliding on the mastic -- its now 5 hours later and they are still slipping around. Obviously this is because the mastic isn't the proper material to use for setting the glass tiles. . . It's frustrating -- I'm the homeowner and I have to ensure the installer uses the correct materials?!? This is unsettling!

Oceanside specs state 48 hour cure before grouting so I'm going to call the tile retailer and speak to them about the project.
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Unread 09-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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Hi Sue

David brought up some very valid points. First, for the Oceanside glass specs are very specific on the setting materials and grouts to be used with their product.

I apologize if I may have mislead you about the use of unsanded grout in your application, but you mentioned the glass tiles were to be accents. I should have pursued to asking how large an area was covered by the accents. My typical accent is usually a band or intermittent areas of just a few tiles. Shrinkage of unsanded grout is dealt with by a double application of grout while the grout is still wet. We do it with marble all the time.

Even if the installation wasn't sliding, grouting too soon over mastic can easily cause grout discoloration (shading) of the grout.

Bottom line manufacturers specs need to be followed.
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Unread 09-22-2009, 07:13 AM   #9
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Things like this make me feel terrible for the customer/homeowner. It happens all the time. I have done alot of improper installation for diplays and there are things you can and cannot get away with. Being from the retail side I really can only give the manufactures specs. I have also unfortunately seen this situation more times than are necessesary.
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Unread 09-22-2009, 09:02 AM   #10
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Backsplash install underway -- grout question

Hi John, hi David:

My sincere thanks to you both for your insight on this project! After reading Oceanside's spec sheets yesterday, I sent them an email with photos of the backsplash and specific questions, IE. use of mastic for setting, glass tiles sliding around on the mastic 5-6 hours later, use of sanded versus unsanded grout, length of cure time etc. The installer DID NOT grout immediately after setting the tile because the glass pieces were sliding around; said it needed an overnight dry.

Late Monday evening, I received a phone call from Oceanside Tech Support. David Fatula of Oceanside said that given the small areas of glass we were using, it would probably be OK but they couldn't guarantee because improprer materials were used in install. We spoke at length and I am impressed by the knowledge, honesty and integrity of this company! David offered to provide new product gratis if the installer would remove the existing tiles, clean off the mastic and reset with thinset, then grout with sanded grout. He asked for the retailers contact info and the installers contact info so Oceanside can reach out and help them understand how the product needs to be handled. He left it in our hands if we want to stay the course and let the grout be installed today or push for removing and reinstalling properly.

What a dilemma for a homeowner! Of course, we want this done right and it is irksome to say the least that as the homeowner, I'm having to do the research and "homework" for the retailer and installer!

This AM the installer returned to grout -- overnight the mastic had set on the glass tiles but several had sagged in the process. I spoke to him about the use of mastic versus thinset per Oceanside specs, ie. the glass tiles moving etc. He felt it wouldn't be any problem, we were using small amounts of glass (yes John, narrow bands to frame a cooktop and 4 1" squares in corners as accent. See photo prior to grouting.) and previous projects using mastic with glass didn't result in callbacks. I showed him the mastic material sheet saying do not use with transparent glass -- he said it wouldn't matter. ! He then called his boss who insisted everything would be fine and if a problem developed, they'd stand behind their work. I decided to let him go ahead with grout and he's doing that as I type this.

I will go to the retailer today with the Oceanside and mastic spec sheets to show them improper materials have been used on this job. I will not sign off on this job (in form of final payment) until I have a written statement saying if the mastic and or grout fail in any way the retailer/installer will replace or repair as necessary at no charge. I will ask David Fatula of Oceanside to definitely make contact with the retailer so future jobs can be properly spec'd.

I'll post again later after speaking to the retailer; will let you know if "customer satisfaction" and integrity do exist in these times.
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Unread 09-22-2009, 09:11 AM   #11
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Hi Sue

You're doing the right thing!
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Unread 09-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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hope all goes well glad i could help out.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
DobieFlash
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Grout is cracking. . .

Unfortunately, I'm back on this terrific tile forum because the grout installed late September '09 is cracking. Following up on the earlier posts, I did get in writing that if anything cracks or sags or falls apart, the company will repair their work. I had hoped to never need that letter but...

The grout is cracking and falling out where the backsplash meets the laminate countertop. See photos below. 4 months since the install and now this! I'll be going to the store where tile and install was purchased, armed with my guarantee letter, but would appreciate some professional insight in advance, I.E.

-- Why would the grout crack everywhere where it meets the laminate countertop? And, what is the proper way to correct this AND prevent it from happening again?

Many thanks in advance for advice and comments.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #14
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Welcome, Sue.

I can save you a trip. Well, unless the warranty was given you by the installer.

That store is simply gonna, correctly, direct your attention to the tile industry standards which require that particular joint to be filled with a flexible sealant rather than grout.

Your installer should have known that, too.

Tile abutting dissimilar materials always something flexible in the joint because there will always be movement there because the materials are...........dissimilar. That sort of movement cannot be prevented and, therefore, must be accommodated.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 09:55 PM   #15
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That joint should have been caulked, not grouted. It is certainly not the end of the world though...the old grout needs to be removed and then the joint gets caulked with a color-matched caulk.
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