The grout has several basic functions: it eliminates minor defects in the edges of the tile, prevents the formation of mold on the surface, protects the joints from moisture. This material gives the flooring a finished look, emphasizes the texture of ceramic tiles. Our article and video on grouting of floor tiles will help to consider the process in more detail.
Types of grout
Grouts enter building stores in buckets or bags as a dry mix. This material is dissolved with water to a paste before filling the joints. The main component of the grout is considered a resin or cement binder, so the compositions differ in technical characteristics and scope.
Cement grout is made on the basis of a cement-sand mixture or Portland cement. The first material is designed to fill large joints up to 5 millimeters thick. These are cheap products of different grain sizes, its structure depends on the fraction of sand. Such a mixture does not differ in high indicators of durability, it crumbles during cleaning and can be destroyed as a result of prolonged exposure to water. Another disadvantage of the material is the impossibility of using it on a glazed surface, because small grains of sand can scratch the coating.
Portland cement based grout with special additives is a plastic mortar with sufficient setting time. The composition is designed to fill seams with a thickness of 3-5 mm. To obtain the finished solution, water or liquid latex is added to the powder. The latter material helps to improve the hydrophobic qualities of the grout. The solution is easy to apply, fills the seams well, can be used on tiles with a glazed surface.
The main advantages of cement compounds are:
- affordable price;
- ease of application;
- ease of removal of the old layer if necessary.
Of the main shortcomings of the material, it is necessary to point to insufficient moisture resistance and poor resistance to cracking, the minimum color palette.
Two-component resin grout has slightly different characteristics. To prepare the dry mixture is mixed with a hardener. The main binder here is epoxy or furan resin. In contrast to the analogue, the epoxy solution has high moisture resistance and resistance to chemicals.
The joints between the tiles filled with this grout are easier to clean from dirt, do not absorb water and do not exfoliate, they keep their original appearance longer. The color palette of resin solutions is much richer than that of cement.
The advantages of the material include:
- resistance to sudden changes in temperature;
- high indicators of wear resistance;
- long preservation of color;
The main disadvantages are the complexity of the application and the high cost.
Calculation of material consumption
All manufacturers indicate on the package the amount of grout to cover 1m2 of floor area, but these are only approximate indicators. They depend on the thickness and width of the seam, as well as the professional qualities of the master. Calculations can be carried out independently using the following formula.
Д * К = g / m2, where Д = (Дп + Шп) / Дп * Шп = m / m2, К = Шш * Гш * Ов, where
D is the length of the seam;
K is the material consumption in grams;
DP - the length of the tile;
Шп - tile width;
Шш - seam width;
GS - the depth of the seam;
Ov - grout weight.
Consider a specific example for laying floor tiles with dimensions of 20 * 20 centimeters with a material thickness of 4 millimeters. In this case, the optimal width of the seam will be at the level of 2 millimeters. The sum of the length and width is divided by the product of these sizes and we get 20 + 20/20 * 20 = 0.1. Next, we multiply the resulting value by a factor of 1.6, as well as by a tile thickness of 4 millimeters and a thickness a seam - 2 millimeters t - 0.1 * 2 * 4 * 1.6 = 1.3 kilograms, which corresponds to the material consumption given in table. Such a calculation does not give 100% accuracy, so another 5-10% is added to the obtained value.
Before preparing the solution, the dry mixture is kept for 1-2 hours at room temperature. The mixing process consists of several operations:
- mixing raw materials;
- keeping the mixture;
After mixing, the solution should remain moderately moist so that the material can fill the joints well and not crack. After insisting for 10 minutes, the solution will become dense. To loosen, a little water is added to the composition and mixed again.
Ready to use grout should be held uphill and not leak out of the bucket. After preparing the mixture, the tile surface is cleaned of glue particles. After this, grout into the joints. It should be noted that ordinary grout is mixed with water or latex additives, the polymer dry mix should be in contact only with water. The proportions of liquid and raw materials are combined according to the instructions on the package.
Before mixing the grout, 75% of the required amount of water is poured into the container and the dry component is added. After the mixing procedure, the remaining water is poured and the consistency of the solution is checked. The work is carried out using a construction trowel or electric drill with a whisk. After mixing, the grout should stand for 10 minutes, after which it is mixed again.
The technology for grouting tiles begins with preparatory work. Deepenings need to be cleared of dust and dirt that will improve their adhesion in relation to solution. It is also necessary to get pieces of mortar from the seams. This is best done with a narrow and sharp wooden object. It is necessary to work with such a device with special care so as not to disturb the newly laid tile.
Some builders cover the crosses installed between the tiles, but this is not recommended. In such places the grout will be laid in a thin layer, has a color that is distinguishable from the standard. Tile filling with a solution is carried out not less than 5-7 days after the device is installed.
Application and Tamping
Before grouting, the joints must be moistened with water for better adhesion of the mortar to the surface. A thin paint brush is used to apply the liquid. If it is necessary to fill the seams in the bathroom or the bathroom, then work can be started the very next day after the installation of flooring. In these rooms, tenants always move, they can introduce dirt into the gaps between the tiles.
After removing residual glue and dust, the joints are coated with antifungal agents. To apply the grout you will need a rubber spatula and other materials:
- container with warm and clean water;
- stiff sponge;
- the cable is slightly less than the width of the seam.
Paste from the tray into a small container for ease of work. The solution is filled with a spatula, pressed and pushed into the seam. The best result can be achieved by using minimal portions of pasta. Properly mixed and tamped grout will be dense and elastic. The remnants of the grout must be removed with a sharp metal spatula, which is moved to the side or down in the direction perpendicular to the seam. Excess mixture is returned to the tank. Stains on the tile are washed off half an hour after processing.
The joints between the tiles should dry well before the final treatment. Already 20 minutes after application, the solution becomes plastic. At this moment, the formation and alignment of the gaps.
Processing of tile joints after grouting begins with washing off the remnants of the mortar from the surface. To do this, dip a rag or rag in a bucket of water, after which they are squeezed well. When processing grouting with a rag with high humidity, a certain percentage of water is absorbed into the solution. Excessive moisture can cause age spots on the seams, they stand out against the general background, giving the surface an ugly appearance.
A hard sponge moistened in water is moved along the gap between the tiles. Its hard surface removes the protruding edge of the solution. A rag is used to remove pasta from a tile. Such work must be carried out some time after the suturing, until the solution has dried up. After processing a small surface of the seam, the sponge is buried in a bucket of warm water and rinsed. This is due to the fact that paste may remain on the foam, which, when moving along the seam, will damage the surface.
Stitching clearances can be omitted. Such a procedure is necessary for the formation of smooth flat seams without pits and depressions. To carry out such work, you will need a cable length of 15-20 centimeters. Before working, this part is washed in water and wiped with a rag so that the wire does not leave dirty spots on the grout.
The cable needs to be slightly pressed with a finger into the solution and held from corner to corner of the tile. Residues that have come out are removed with a damp sponge. If the paste is not evenly leveled, it is carried out again. In places of hollows and pits, a small amount of fresh solution is laid, it is pressed in and left to dry.
Tips & Tricks
After grouting the tile joints on the floor, you need to learn how to properly care for the coating. First of all, keep your room clean, which will prevent mold and mildew. Seams are cleaned of contaminants at least once every two months. For this, a soap solution is used. Disinfect seams with bleach, bleach with soda. It is most convenient to carry out work with a toothbrush or steam cleaner.
Do not throw out the remaining mixture, it can be useful for sealing joints in other rooms. When a fungus appears, the old solution is removed and the surface is impregnated with an antiseptic, then a new solution is applied.
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