SO WHAT IS THE STORY ABOUT GROUT?
Through Morgan we offer four basic types of grout to the industry-
- ARCHITECTURAL: For grout joints from 0.05 to 6mm.
- REGULAR: For grout joints from 6 to 15mm. Remember sanded products can scratch delicate tiles glazes.
- HEAVY SANDED: For grout joints from 6 to 20mm.
- EPOXY: For specialist commercial applications such as kitchens and now also available in contemporary architectural colours in the AQ Epoxy version.
All of our grouts are user friendly and cure to a hard & durable colourfast finish.
Grout should always be mixed with water to a heavy & thick consistency. The fresh & wet grout should then be squeegeed into clean tile joints that have recently been cleaned & washed out but are free of standing water. This ensures that any absorbent tiles or substrates do not suck the critical amount of water needed for hydration of the cement out of the fresh grout. Once the joints are full and flush, grout residues left on the tiles should be removed with a clean & wet squeegee. Depending on the glaze of the tile, when a grout film has dried on the tiles the grout installation can either be dusted clean with a cloth or given a light wash with clean water and a sponge.
Tiling is a finishing trade and grouting is the final highlight of the finish. Grout therefore needs to be applied professionally by a tradesman.
When a grout installation fails its usually because too much water has been used during the mixing and installation process.
Soft powdery grout finishes are created because the grout powder has literally been diluted with water to an almost soup like consistency. We advocate for a heavy & thick grout consistency and never recommended that the grout can be poured into the tile joints. Obviously when a grout is mostly water it will struggle to reach a hard & durable finish. Similarly, if grout is mixed to the correct consistency yet applied to a very dry tiling installation it may struggle to cure at all and also produce a soft powdery finish. These type of grout defects are usually supported by hot weather conditions and or sun exposure.
We regularly see tile joints washed out by over washing. Again, we advocate for a heavy & thick grout consistency so that the grout is less susceptible to washout.
Pinholes in the grout finish are caused by over mixing and air voids rising up within a tile joint holding a very thin grout mix. Again, we advocate for a heavy & thick grout consistency so that the grout is less susceptible to rising air voids.
Other grout related defects include patchy finishes. These are usually associated with light and dark highlights within the colour of the grout. The dark areas are where the grout has correctly hydrated but the lighter areas are usually the result of tile joints that have not been cleaned thoroughly. Alternatively some dark areas may hold excessive water in the substrate causing complete hydration of the grout.
The worst-case scenario for any grouting installation is a finish that is soft & powdery, pin holed, washed out and subsequently supporting efflorescence at its surface. This style of workmanship turns black grout into a white flaking finish.
Finally, we advocate that all grout installations are wet cured for at least 48 hours. It’s the nature of cement-based products that too much water weakens the mix and installation, but that exposure to water after installation of the grout actually increases the durability and hardness of the finish. In simple terms, its good practice to give your new tiling installation a regular light clean with a sponge or mop and fresh water.
For further details on grouting reference can be made to AS3958.1 – 2007 Section 5.7.