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Tips On Grouting Tile
- Do not mix by hand as this leads to very inconsistant color and strength.
- Use a five gallon plastic bucket, drill motor with right angle handle, slurry mixer bit, clean water
- Add water and start the mixer to agitate water
- Add dry grout gradually to mixing water until correct mix wetness
- Good rule of thumb - the mix should be wet enough to flow, but not soupy. You should be able to make a groove across the grout surface with your finger and the grout SLOWLY flows back to fill in the groove.
Applying Into Grout Joints:
- Prior to mixing grout, coat tile faces with Aldon "Grout Easy" and let dry. If you see that a coating exists, that is enough "Grout Easy".
- Dump some grout on a comfortably small work area. 3' x 3' is a good start.
- Using a soft rubber or sponge bottom float tilted up a bit, push grout around to fill the joints.
- Come at the joints at a 45 degree angle from two directions with the float pushing grout to pack into the joints.
- Use a large, damp masonry or tile setting sponge to remove grout from tile face and even out grout joints to the desired depth. Keep cleaning the sponge.
- Final cleanup with more clean water and the sponge. Grout should be dry enough within a few minutes to not be dragged out and onto the tile face. This step also removes the remaining "Grout Easy" and any final grout scum.
What Causes Color Problems With Grout?
- Organic pigments (i.e. carbon black) will fade from ultra violet. Iron oxide pigments are stable.
- Too much water can create shrinkage cracks, low density, less strength, efflorescence, extended drying time. The last two can create the appearance of lighter color (washed out looking).
- Too much water can leave a slick finish which reflects light differently than the normal finish. This can sometimes happen when grout guns are used and the mix is made wetter to pump through the gun.
- Too much wet clean up can wash out pigment and create efflorescence. Aldon "Grout Easy" prevents this problem.
- Cleaning up too soon can pull grout out. Delayed cleanup can cause lighter colors.
- A smoother finish looks lighter than a rougher finish due to light reflection. A sponge finishes smoother, a towel finishes rougher.
- Overly moist curing conditions can create lighter colors.
- Speed of water leaving (evaporation) can affect color. Breathable kraft paper covering new grout seems to work best to slow down and control drying without creating too much moisture.
- The speed that the tile absorbs water from the grout can affect the resulting color.
- A glazed tile with more glaze on two opposing ends than on the other two opposing ends (from the manufacturing process) can absorb water differently and cause different color effects. The same is true of a cut edge.
- Aldon "Same Day Sealer" can be used while grout is still damp from installing. This sealer, in addition to providing immediate protection to new grout, will act like a curing compound and tend to slow down water evaporation - resulting in stronger grout.
Same Day Sealer