How to Pick the Right Tile Grout
How to Pick the Right Grout
There are several types of grouts available in the market, some of them are for very specialized types of installation, but most of them are for general use on both residential and commercial applications.
Grout usually comes in three forms, powder - to be mixed with water, a 2 or 3part chemical mixture and premixed.
The powder form is the most common type of grout, they've been around for a long time and are quite simple to use. They come in several colors and do not require a lot of experience.
Powder-based grout is usually the most affordable grouts in the market, and you can find them basically at any big box hardware store or tile store.
If you’re buying powder grout, make sure to check if the grout is sanded or unsanded. Most of the glass mosaic tile manufacturer recommends that you don’t use sanded grout as it can damage the tile surface.
Usually, the 2 or 3-part grout are epoxy based and not very DIY friendly, if that is your first grout job, try it first by installing some tile pieces in a plywood or cement board and practice with the grout before applying it to the final area.
Although more challenging for the first timers, epoxy grout has a lot of advantages. Once fully cured the grout becomes a type of plastic material that does not crack or change color easily.
Epoxy based grout are stain and mold resistant and create an additional waterproofing layer on your installation, as the grout is impervious once cured entirely.
For the first timer, DIYers, and for small projects such as a backsplash, premixed grout is the best of both worlds. The most common premixed grouts are usually a type of traditional powder-based grout already mixed for you to use or, as more recently in the market, a urethane-based grout.
Like the epoxy, the urethane-based grouts, become a type of plastic material once cured, so it does not stain or grow mold, however, different from the epoxy it's not recommended for pools or water fountains, but are suitable for almost any other application that water is involved.
Pre-mixed grouts are at the high-price spectrum, but they are easy to use and very consistent in color across multiple buckets.
Which one is the best grout?
Choose the best grout is a matter of understanding what your tile is and where you will be installing it.
If money is not a problem, there are some premixed grouts made especially for glass with some fantastic characteristics. They are easy to use and give your installation a great look and feel.
In any case, always check the manufacturer recommendation to make sure that you’re buying the right grout for your tile.
Sanded VS Unsanded
As the name says, sanded grout has silica particles in its composition. Silica is a hard material and is, mostly, what you can find on any beach or desert sand around the world.
Due to its hardness and shape of the grains, the silica on the grout can scratch the surface of the glass or metal chips, damaging your mosaic tiles forever.
That is why tile manufacturers usually recommend the use of unsanded grout
for glass mosaic tiles.