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Unread 05-24-2004, 07:52 AM   #1
chris_wTX
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Grout: Sanded vs Unsanded w/ uneven grout lines

I am using standard 4" tiles on my shower wall. Unfortunately, the bottom row has a larger grout line than the rest, definitely over 1/8". I don't think it will be that noticeable, but now I'm concerned that because of this row, I should be using sanded grout instead of unsanded for the whole wall. What do you think?

Chris
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Unread 05-24-2004, 08:16 AM   #2
Mike2
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Hi Chris.

I think unsanded in a shower is the way to go, easier to keep clean. On that bottom row of tile, is the larger than 1/8" joint where the wall and floor tiles intersect. That joint you definitely want to caulk. If on the other hand the larger joint is between the first and second row of tiles, you still might be OK with unsanded providing the space isn't a 1/4" or so.
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Unread 05-24-2004, 08:20 AM   #3
chris_wTX
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Thanks Mike...

The problem line is between the first and second row and it is exactly 1/4". Sounds like I might have exceeded the tolerance for the unsanded grout. I will be using the same grout color between the 1" hex tiles on the floor as well, so maybe just sanded all around!

Thanks again for the fast reply...Chris
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Unread 05-24-2004, 08:47 AM   #4
Mike2
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Sounds like a good plan Chris. Personally I prefer the looks of a sanded grout. Take your time and make sure you work it into the 1/8" joints real good. Don't try to do too much at once, maybe just one wall at a time, 20 sq ft. or less per batch.
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Unread 05-24-2004, 11:12 AM   #5
chris_wTX
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It's a small shower, 32x80 on each wall, which falls within your recommendation nicely! I bought Custom sanded--how much is a "batch" in this case? I wasted so much mortar mixing too large of a batch.

Chris
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Unread 05-24-2004, 11:24 AM   #6
Mike2
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A little bit of that grout will go a long way with 1/8" spacing. I'd start out with 3 to 4 cups max. - adjusting quantity with next batch as necessary.
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Unread 05-24-2004, 11:50 AM   #7
chris_wTX
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Thankis very much again. I think I need to spend some quality time upfront cleaning up the spaces a bit where I might have some excess mortar. I bought a grout saw that I thought I would employ for this job.

Two additional questions:
(1) I bought Aqua Mix's Grout Haze Clean-Up product--ever used it? Any good?
(2) I have some dried mortar on my Swanstone shower base. Any idea the best product to get it off? Vinegar/Water mix?

Chris
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Unread 05-24-2004, 12:12 PM   #8
Mike2
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Have not tried the Aqua Mix clean-up product Chris so can't help you there. Personally I use the TYW Tile and Stone Cleaner. In general I believe Aqua Mix has good products so I'm betting it will work fine.

Re. the dried motar, you've got Swanstone down there which I have no experience in either. If it was tile I'd say vinegar, 50:50 or even full strength.

Wait up for someone with Swanstone experience to reply.
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Unread 05-24-2004, 01:03 PM   #9
30all
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I just finished the grouting of my 5'x5' powder room, I had 1/8" spacing on the wall and floor with some mosaic insets and mosaic trims on the top of the walls, some of the joints are wider than 1/8" and some are narrower than 1/8". that was my first tile job.

I was going to use unsanded, but John suggested me to use sanded. I got mine snow white by Custom from HD. It was easier to use than I thought. the result turned out pretty good. I also matched the unsanded same color for the mosaic trim because the gaps among the tiny mosaic are only penny thick.

my experience is that mix small batches, I mixed 3 times from a single box. and don't make the mix to dry, 'Creamy' is the word that John used in his book, it will give you more time to use up the grout before wiping them.

and get youself a margin grout float, I found it's more flexible and easier to use it to press grout into the joints on the walls.
2 cents from a diy.
-Andy
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Unread 05-24-2004, 01:24 PM   #10
chris_wTX
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Hey, thanks Andy. I'm actually just about to start the grouting. I have a 1930's house and have white/black 1" hex on the floor (comes in sheets, like the mosaic) and 4" white on the shower walls in a brick pattern to mimic subway tile, like what is in the other bath. I have a gum rubber grout float, so hopefully that will work well.

I read that I should just throw the grout mix directions out and worry more about achieving that paste-like consistency. I found this to be a good idea with the mortar and (knock on wood) the tiles are holding nicely.

After I have finished grouting the walls, I need to install the Noble membrane that just arrived this afternoon. Then I can install the floor tiles tomorrow. I'm almost giddy with excitement about the floor tiles--should be much easier than the walls.

Chris
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