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Unread 07-18-2021, 04:15 PM   #1
geoffhazel
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asking for grout recommedations

re-doing the bathroom and have some deco tile in 12x12 sheets. Pieces are small (strips 3/8x2" and squares 3/8x3/8). the strips and squares are random glass, stone and some laminated "pearescent" overlay. The catch is, they are different thicknesses. I tried to catch how they stick out in one of the images.

The rest of the bath is 12x24 porcelain, glossy on the walls, matte on the floor, and 2x2 in the shower area.

The walls and deco tile are 1/16" gap, and the 2x2 is 1/8.

We've been using urethane grouts for other projects lately, because they are permanently sealed.

I'd rather not use them this time because they require rather aggressive scraping on the wipe-down, and also because the say they will scratch shiny surfaces.

Old fashioned unsanded cement grout would be the one I'd be comfortable with on this project but no way we are going that route and sealing over and over.

What grouts are out there these days that behave closest to unsanded cement grout during installation, but behave like urethane and expoxy grouts when cured?
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Unread 07-18-2021, 05:26 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Geoff.

Why would the grout need to be sealed? What is the application, other than it's in a bathroom?
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Unread 07-18-2021, 06:26 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Yes, why the strong need for sealing? Especially in a bathroom.

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Unread 07-18-2021, 08:30 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Sealing grout doesn't make it more waterproof...it is designed to help make it easier to keep clean and give you an opportunity to clean up a spill so it doesn't stain. ON a typical wall, it's not a big deal.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 10:19 AM   #5
geoffhazel
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sealing?

when we did the tile in this bath before, we had trouble keeping the grout lines clean, and they tended to get mildew. I understand that either you seal the grout to keep that from happening, and reseal from time to time, or you use a newer product like urethane grout.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 10:45 AM   #6
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Again, Geoff, what is the tile application here? In the shower? Outside the shower? Where?

Is there a properly sized and used exhaust fan in this bathroom?

Sealing the grout won't keep it any cleaner in the long term. As Jim pointed out, it can help with cleanup of spills and such in the short term, but that's about the extent of the benefit.

Sealing the grout won't prevent either mold or mildew if the right conditions are present for such formations.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 12:13 PM   #7
geoffhazel
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So traditional non-sanded cement based grout is still used these days? By preference?

BTW, this IS a bath and the tile IS in the shower area, and there IS a bath fan for ventilation.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 02:55 PM   #8
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Unsanded cement-based grout is still probably your best bet for tile where you've set it with small grout joints...it is easier to get it to fill in those narrow joints than any other product from my (limited) experience.

Yes, you might want to seal it, but again, neither the grout, tile, nor caulk is considered waterproofing in a shower. On a wall, you won't be spilling something that may then need to be cleaned off quickly before it penetrates and stains something, so you may not really benefit from sealing it.

On a shower floor, just the fact there are grout joints help with traction, and smaller tile is generally required to eliminate significant lippage issues from the various sloping sections.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 04:15 PM   #9
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I agree, the unsanded will work and that it's easier to fill the joints with but when washing, it's also easy to wash the joints too low. Unsanded grout also tends to shade out worse than other grouts. I'd use Custom's Prism or Laticrete's Perma color. Both have sand but a finer sand than most sanded grouts. If your joints were very small, say 1/32, then I'd go with unsanded but your pic shows 1/16 and larger joints.
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Unread 08-15-2021, 02:42 PM   #10
geoffhazel
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teeny tile fill ins - advise needed

the deco tile we are using has 3/8" tiles in various configurations at 45 degree angle. I tried cutting them to fit so there would be a half tile at the edges, but sometimes (more than I anticipated) I wound up with less than a half tile. I didn't have time to fiddle with it when I put the tile up but now I'm going back to fill in the holes, and realize there are more of them (a few dozen at least) and they are really small. I did manage to cut one filler that's 3/8" long, and about 1/8" on the short sides. to make it "worse", there's some thinset in the "hole" so I can't just put it in, I'll either have to cut it short or pick out the thinset.

I'm hoping someone here has faced a similar situation and can advise on the best (e.g least work, most efficient) way to proceed.

the little tiny tile at the top of the deco tile right under the joint above made it intact. there's a hole to the left that's representative of many I have to patch in.
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Unread 08-15-2021, 05:16 PM   #11
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I tend to agree with Davy. Use the Prism grout and sin no more.....
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Unread 08-15-2021, 06:06 PM   #12
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Yes, we all run into small cuts like that now and then. If those small cuts are 3/8 on the long side, I'd cut them in. Dig out the hard thinset with a small screw driver or similar tool.
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Unread 08-16-2021, 06:47 AM   #13
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There’s an unsanded version of Permacolor Select (Permacolor NS). The powder is just a base, you still need to get a color pack.
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