Thursday, October 1, 2009

Precautions With Grout

By Heppo Lamaze

Grout is a type of binding material that is commonly used with tiled floors, walls and another surface. It is called mortar because it is used to fill in joints, partitions and holes inside the cement work without using any form of displacement, removal, replacement or destruction of the current and surrounding area. Grout is also used in most art and crafts projects, especially those that involve the use of stone and tiles. If grout is applied properly using the proper amount of water versus the grout mixture, you can bet that your grout can last you for years or even a lifetime.

Several mishaps can occur if the grout has been mixed too much with water however. Some installers make this small mistake which could often cost you thousands in regrouting costs. Grout, when mixed to the right consistency, should not run like water. It should act like putty. The grout mixture should stick to whatever you use for mixing and should not be runny like pancake batter.

To minimize these sort of happenings, some manufacturers have made pre-mixed grout available. These mixes include latex and acrylic modifiers that enable them to bond and stick a whole lot more. Including these compounds into the grout mix, grout wasting has been minimized over the years.

If the mixture is too runny, add more powdered grout until you can stabilize the mixture into a putty consistency. But this process should only be done in the first mixing. Never, ever do this when you're applying the grout already. If you change the mix while you're applying the grout onto the tiles and the floor, it would be the same as sabotage. Initial mixing sets the grout's strength, should you, for example, add more water because the grout is hardening already, that would be the same as personally destroying the grout.

Tempering is key too. It adds additional strength to your grout, but it also can drain it away if one is not careful. Keep the grout moist while it is curing by using a mister or a humidifier. Grout installation is critical in all stages and require utmost attention and detail. Focus is key to keeping your grout strong.

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