Grout is one of the essential elements of a floor. Although we rarely notice it, it literally holds our floor together. Grout is used to anchor tiles on the sub floor and to seal the empty places between them. A good grout job means that you floors will last in top condition for years to come. A sloppy job will mean that the look will be marred and the tiles will not stay in place for long. Hence, one must take care when choosing grout.
There are a number of factors that can affect your decision — from its colour to the manufacturers of grout for floors. A little research and care in the beginning will ensure that you are not saddled with a problem later on.
Colour of the grout
Grout is available in different colours and you should pick one that goes with your overall design style. You may want white grout with white tiles for a more harmonious look. In fact, this is a popular choice when picking tiles for walls. But contrasting colours are equally good, sometimes even more striking. The grout gives the tiles a clear definition. Hence, we can use the grout when we want to highlight a layout. It can used to bring a unique arrangement into notice, such as a herringbone pattern or diamond pattern. Contrasting colour ensures that the layout is clearly visible.
Location of the tile
Tiles are used in both the floors and walls. The location of the tile will decide the type of grout we use. The most common option in floor tiling, especially when using ceramic tiles is sanded grout. For wall tiles, unsanded grout is more common. So, you may have to for two different types of grout. Very moist areas may do better with epoxy tiles, which have an inbuilt resistance to moisture. Floors that are liable to see chemical spills may do better with furan grout. So, the location of the tile has a major influence on the type of grout. There are other types of tiles, which you can learn in the next point.
Type of grout
Before you pick manufacturers of grout for floors you should understand the different types of grouts:
Sanded grout: Sanded grout is made with sand cement, water and other additives. It is preferred when working with ceramic tiles and stone tiles. The most important factor to remember here is that sanded grout is used only when the joint size is between 1/8” and 3/8” wide. It is treated to make it resistant to moisture and infestations.
Unsanded: It is used for wall tiles and in joints smaller than 1/8 in. It is also treated for moisture and infestations resistance.
Epoxy grout: This synthetic grout is made of resign and hardener. It has better resistance to moisture, stains and infestations. Although more expensive than regular grout, it is easy to maintain and very durable.
Furan grout: It contains furfuryl alcohol polymers, which give it resistance from chemicals. This is why it is most suitable for places where we fear chemical spills, such as laboratories.
Type of tile
The type of tile can also determine the grout we use to anchor it. Ceramic tiles are fairly adaptable and can work well with both sanded and unsanded. However, we must take care when we are working with soft stones that can get easily scratched, such as marble. Sanded grout, which is fairly versatile and can be used with most stone tiles are not suitable in this case. The sand can scratch the tile, damaging the marble. Unsanded tiles are a better option.
Check with the manufacturers of grout for floors if the grout has to be sealed or whether it is pre-mixed with additives to make it resistant to water and infestations. Many people prefer the sealing option. So, its best to check if the grout is pre-mixed. If it is, sealing is not necessary. Remember, this is an essential function and the grout must be treated. This prevents damage from water and microbe infestations. This applies to only sanded and unsanded grout. Epoxy grout has in-built resistance. Similarly, furan grout is also resistant to chemicals and water spills.