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Unread 06-19-2003, 08:00 PM   #1
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Grouting technique

We have recently completed a bathroom (including custom shower enclosure) with walls tiled in 1/4' thick hand-made mexican tiles (6' x 3''aka "briicks"). Recommended installation is with 1/4" gaps on all sides, which we have done.

As they are wall tiles, and the gaps are greater than 1/8", we used the recommended sanded grout. Now my wife is unhappy with the rough look and feel of the grout lines, as well as worried about the increased propensity for dirt adhesions (especially in the shower). She came up with an out-of-the-box idea that I wanted to get some feedback from you guys on. What about adding a 1/8" thick layer of unsanded grout on top of the sanded grout. There is easily that depth available without the grout standing proud of the tiles. This would give the strength of the sanded grout deep, with the nice surface of the unsanded grout.

Anybody see anything good or bad about this idea? Better still, has anyone ever heard of or tried this technique?
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Unread 06-19-2003, 08:14 PM   #2
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Adding it after it's already dried may be a bad idea. First, the two colors are NEVER going to match although they are the same name. This will cause light and dark shading over your project.

I've used a mixture of sanded/unsanded before and it still shows more sand than you'd want, but may be better for you to try.

Waht you would probably be able to do is cut all the grout out and use unsanded throughout. The joints will probably shrink a lot, but using a stiffer mix and not washing the heck out of it until it's mostly dry may work for you.

You have 2 choices, either leave it and be proud, or scrape it all out and use unsanded grout.
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Unread 06-19-2003, 08:23 PM   #3
Dog paws
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Hi there

Unsanded grout in a 1/4" line may cause more problems than it's worth. The unsanded grout will shrink, leaving you with cracks running along the tile or a crack right down the middle.
I like Darths option of leaving it and being proud.
Oh yeah, if you seal it with a good quality sealer, you won't have any problem.
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Unread 06-19-2003, 09:05 PM   #4
The Ditra Kid
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I've gone over glass block joints with unsanded grout over sanded. It does fill in the area around all the grains of sand and make it somewhat smoother...but you do still see the sand..and if anything other than white grout is used , it will appear blotchy. As already suggested, it may be better to leave it alone.

“The world is a tangled up necklace of pearls"
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Unread 06-19-2003, 09:26 PM   #5
Sonnie Layne
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Conceptually I see nothing wrong with the concept, but I would either seal the existing grout, or mist the existing grout before applying the non-sanded to prevent excessive absorbtiance by the underlaying sanded grout.

I may have made up the spelling, or the words themselves. Sue me. conceptually, that is...
da' poet
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Unread 06-19-2003, 11:09 PM   #6
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If you tool the joint it will work the sand into the joint and bring out the "cream" or portland. A Masons Jointer will produce a nice smooth and compact joint.

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Unread 06-20-2003, 07:09 PM   #7
John Bridge
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Welcome aboard, Burge.

You might want to try it on a couple joints and see what it does.
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