It is often asked what the purpose of grout actually is. Grout is used to fill the spaces in-between tiles. So if we get rid of the spaces in between the tiles, does that mean we don’t need grout? Not quite. The spaces are there to help make up for the slight size variation that is inherent in all tile sizes. The greater the variation in size of the tile, the larger the grout joint you will want to use to help minimise the look of unequally sized tiles. So we now know that grout is there for a reason but it can also be used to dramatically change the look of your tiles. The more grout lines, the greater the impact they will have on the overall appearance.
Let’s get specific. There are three main types of grout:
Un-sanded Grout – a fine, cement based grout for narrow joints 3mm and below. This is the most common type of grout used internally around the home for all types of wall and floor installations. Mapei Ultracolor Plus is a fast setting and drying, high performance, anti-efflorescence grout which is polymer modified. Ultracolor is also water-repellent with DropEffect® and antimold with BioBlock® technology.
Sanded Grout – a coarser, cement based grout for larger joints 3mm and above. The addition of sand to the grout mixture helps increase bulk and also prevents shrinkage. This type of grout is commonly used in outdoor applications such as paving. Keracolor GG is a premium grade, pre-blended, polymer-modified, sanded Portland-cement tile grout that requires only the addition of water for mixing.
Epoxy Grout – typically a two-part mixture consisting of a resin and hardener, epoxy grout is used where chemical resistance is required such as commercial kitchens. Mapei Kerapoxy is a two-component acid-resistant epoxy grout which can also be used as an adhesive.