Can you choose the correct type of grout? Choosing the type of grout depends on the style, color of tile and type of material selected. Grout is used to fill in the joints between floor and wall tiles. The most common grout types are Sanded grout or Non-Sanded grout. However, there are epoxy grout, and other grout sealants to choose from. Grout can be water-resistant; however, water or other liquids will most likely penetrate the joint and reach the backing. The best thing is to always seal your grout and it is a maintenance issue to be done every 2 to 3 years.
Types of Grout: Non-Sanded Grouts
Non-sanded grout is a cement based grout normally used on smaller tile joints. It is recommended in floor and wall tiling projects with grout joints spacing between 1/16th to 1/8th inch. When non-sanded grout is used to fill wider joints, the grout could possibly crack due to the lack of bonding that the sands provide. This grout is designed for use in tile surfaces that are dry when the grout is applied. The water retentive additive allows the grout to stay moist until the cement cures properly. Unsanded grout is easier to work on vertical surfaces such as a shower wall, because it is ‘stickier’ than the sanded variety
Types of Grout: Sanded Grouts
Sanded grout is generally used for larger joints. Sanded grout types consist of a cement-based mortar that have small sand grains added to it. Adding the sand to the grout, provide a stronger grout that is normally used in joints larger than 1/8th inch. It is an excellent alternative for natural stone, marble tiles, glass and heavier tile materials. This grout should be applied to moistened tile, no puddled water in the joint, and damp cured. Depending upon the polish of the stone the sand in the grout may actually scratch it. If you decide to use sanded make sure you test it in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not scratch your finish.
Types of Grout: Epoxy Grout
Epoxy grout forms an impermeable barrier to liquids and doesn’t require additional sealing of the joint. This grout type prevents the growth of bacteria and limits the amount of cracking. Epoxy grout offers water resistant properties and it is recommended for quarry tile, ceramic, porcelain and countertops. It is ideal when the tile is exposed to large amounts of water. Depending on the brand of epoxy, you have only a limited amount of time to get everything grouted before the grout becomes stiff enough to be unworkable. The only drawback of epoxy grout would be the price. It is fairly expensive.
Types of Grout: Furan Grout
Furan grout are similar to epoxy, but are composed of polymers of fortified alcohols that are highly chemical resistant. Furan grout is used to grout brick pavers and quarry tile. The tile surfaces may be smooth, non-skid, or abrasive depending on the intended use for the floor. The tile or brick surfaces must receive a wax coating to protect them from staining prior to the installation of furan. They are used for industrial projects such as laboratories, dairies, and meat packing plants. Furan grout is only available in black. Special skills are required for proper installation.