Grouting might be the last step but it’s an important step for any tiling job, and you have choices!
By choosing the correct grout for your particular job you will not only be happy with your tile project once its installed but also down the road. There are 3 commonly used types of grouts to choose from, cement, urethane & epoxy. These grouts are offered from several manufactures that offer hundreds of colors to match your new tile. But what type should you use and why?
Powder form cement grouts, mix with water & comes in both sanded or un-sanded. The water retentive additive allows the grout to stay moist until the cement cures properly, once cured it hard as.. concrete Sanded grout is used for larger grout joints on floors and other projects & unsanded grout is easier to work with on walls, and small joints. Caulking is also available in most grout line colors.
Pros – Cost effective, largest amount of color choices, easy to work with, durable.
Cons – Sealer must be applied periodically and after install to protect from staining & water penetration into joints, cracking or crumbling, discoloration or non uniform coloring due to inaccurate mixing or calcium deposits from the water itself. Only one use, left overs can not be stored.
Premixed, flexible, water based grouts that don’t ever need to be sealed. Urethane grouts gives you the ultimate color accuracy, stain protection and crack resistance due to its built in flexibility. Unlike Cement grouts, Urethane grouts have only a sanded version (the only type currently available) it can be used on joints as narrow as 1/16.
Pros – No sealing ever required, perfect color constancy, no cracking, specialty glass and metallic colors, green product containing recycled content. No waist, save all unused grout for your next project.
Cons – Drys quickly must apply in small quantities at a time, can leave a haze over tiles that will need to be removed with suppliers formulation. One of the most expensive grouts on the market. Tiles that need to be sealed must be sealed before grouting to prevent stains. Please see install instructions before use.
Most commonly used as commercial grout, epoxy is ideal for outside applications or extreme conditions, commercial kitchens with worries of grease or any other application where you might other wise have concerns about water penetration, fading, staining or cracking. Epoxy grouts biggest advantage is it’s stain and chemical resistance, making it ideal for someone who doesn’t want the maintenance of cement grout.
Pros – Wont stain, no sealing required, mold and mildew resistant, water resistant.
Cons – Very quick drying time, harder to clean up, burning or skin irritations, can sag on vertical surfaces, haze can be left behind.