Friday, August 21, 2009

Grouted Out Already

First, THANK YOU to everyone for all of the fantastic comments and other feedback on whether the bathroom floor grout should be black or white. A few of you have even offered an in-between option based on what you’ve done: gray. This has been really helpful.

The majority of you said black is the way to go and I have to agree. Especially after reading and seeing specific examples where the grout color sample and the grout didn’t end up the same shade. In almost every case, it ended up lighter than expected. So, I’ll error on the side of darkness.

By now, you’ve got to be sick of hearing me grouse about grout. Even I’m sick of hearing me on this topic. But, give me just a bit more forbearance. I promise it will be worth it.

I also want to say thank you to a guy named Bill Vincent. I discovered Bill, a veteran floor-tiler of three decades, on iVillage’s Garden Web site in this thread. I’ve learned more about grout from this thread than from just about anything else I’ve read on the topic – combined.

I found this thread while searching for information on SpectraLock and Mapei, two brands of grout carried by Lowe’s. Both have kitchen and bath colors we could use. While you can read the whole thread if you want or need to (and I’d advise this if ceramic/porcelain tiling is in your future and you’re as unfamiliar with it as I am), here are some of the highlights for me:

· (This one actually came from a DIFFERENT Bill V. thread) “For all intents and purposes, there are two kinds of grout – Portland cement-based and epoxy. The Portland cement-based grouts are the conventional grouts that have been around for millenniums. Although in the last few decades they’ve been modified with latex and other polymers to make them stronger and more resistant to mold and mildew, they’re basically the very same grouts that have been used since Greek and Roman days. … Most epoxy grouts use a much finer sand and therefore can be used in any size grout. They’re much easier to use, practically stainproof and also extremely expensive. … my own opinion is that for most residential installations, epoxy grout is bigtime overkill. The ONLY times I'll recommend epoxy grout is first, if you're installing a tile countertop, and two, if you have animals in the house that either aren't housebroken, or are prone to accidents. In either of those cases, epoxy might be worth the money.”

· “The ONLY thing that determines which grout should be used is the joint size. Not the glaze. Not aesthetics. Not the material. … Anything under 1/8-inch takes unsanded grout. Anything 1/8-inch or bigger, you use sanded grout.”

· However, there’s a very important caveat to Bullet Point No. 2 and it’s a good thing I kept reading and researching to find it because it directly applies to the bathroom. It’s another gem o’wisdom courtesy of Bill V: “Ceramic mosaics get grouted with sanded grout. Period.”

· Why? Here’s Bill’s answer: “Unsanded grout will tend to shrink too much and leave pinholes, so for any kind of mosaic, be it ceramic, glass or stone, I’ll always use sanded grout.”

Here are a few other links regarding grout that I found helpful:

The Tile Doctor
DIY Advice.com

3 comments:

Ty'sMommy said...

I'm so glad you decided! I just looked at a post on another blog I follow and look:
http://nomnomnstuff.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/sugar-coating-it/

NV said...

Ty'sMom -- D*mn, girl. What a catch. That's some eye you've got.

THANK YOU! That made me feel a lot more secure in my decision. There is it -- right in front of me. Nice!

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