Getting the Grout Right

Grout is essential to ensuring a strong and reliable tile installation. And with the latest color technology, grout can add even more style to an already design-savvy space. With so many options available today, which is the right grout for the job?

In a recent Floor Covering Weekly article, Art Mintie, Sr. Director of Technical Services discusses why it's important to understand how grout works before selecting a product. 

Grout not only provides a crisp and clean appearance once a project is finished, it adds strength and aids in keeping dirt and debris from getting in your tile. It also contributes to the design of a project — acting to complement or add contrast to the finishes.

SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Epoxy Grout from LATICRETE includes SPECTRALOCK DAZZLE for an added visual affect

SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout includes SPECTRALOCK® DAZZLE™ metallic for an added visual affect.

There are three different types of grout products to choose from: Premixed grout, smooth-textured grout and epoxy and high-performance cement-based grouts. And each have their own benefits.

  • Premixed grouts help save time during installations and assure installers that they have the correct amount of water necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Smooth-textured grout can prevent cracks that happen as a result of shrinkage, and has a strong, course texture to really hold.
  • Epoxy grout and high-performance cement-based grouts do not need to be sealed. These grouts are not porous, prevent the growth of bacteria and rarely crack over time. 

While color is usually a deciding factor for grout, the most important factor to consider is location. In exterior environments where the installation is exposed to temperature extremes, contractors should choose a high-performance polymer-modified grout. The grout should have low water absorption and other performance characteristics such as freeze/thaw resistance, high compressive strength and flexibility to make it suitable for these environments.

For wet areas, epoxy and high-performance cement-based grouts are best suited for use as they are intended to be mildew-resistant and known for retaining its color well.

Epoxy grout is the most common choice for countertops due to its consistency. The material tends to be harder, chemical- and stain-resistant, and does not need to be sealed — saving contractors an extra step.

Learn more about grout products > 

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