Grout is generally a mixture of water, cement, and sand; it is simply one of the last and most important steps to completing your project. It is used to fill voids and seal joints between tiles. Choosing the type of grout and color can make or break the installation. We recommend using a calcium aluminate cement-based formula. Using this type of grout offers consistent color with no shading regardless of tile type, temperature, or humidity. And it will not effloresce. The rapid setting formula results in high early strength and dense joints for the highest stain resistance in grout joints up to 1/2". A unique blend of lightweight recycled glass and fine aggregate sand allows for a smooth consistency that is easy to spread and clean.
Different grout colors paired with same tiles can dramatically change the look of the finished installation. Grout is intended to be a functional component of the tile installation, not necessarily a designer option. Proper expectations must be set during design and selection with customers.
Grout stain (or colorant) is an easy-to-use, ready-to-use, low-cost way to give tiles a new or restored look without any invasive measures of replacing tiles or the pain-staking process of re-grouting. Grout stain can be water-based or solvent, and come in a various formulations: acrylic, polymer-modified, urethane, epoxy. Seals and protects.
Easy application, clean-up and maintenance
Allows grout to be changed to any color
Restores the look of the tile floor
Durable and highly resistant to wear, UV and chemicals
Seals to protect against most stains
Simplifies ongoing cleaning
Available in an array of designer colors
Creates a uniform color
Interior or exterior application
Expected wear up to 15 years
Sealers, repellents, impregnators, protectants - whatever is used to describe them - can provide fantastic long-term benefits for tile and stone installations to help meet the needs of challenging environments, specific applications, and customer expectations.
Sealers come in many forms and types, but by their nature, fall into 1 of 2 categories: penetrating/impregnating or surface/topical. This is determined by whether or not they leave a coating on the surface of the material being sealed. The various sealers may or may not change the appearance of the tile or stone and can be water- or solvent-based. Sealers that are solvent-based, may have odors and fumes that can require special precautions and steps for safe usage.
While sealers have been used for decades with great success, much confusion and misunderstanding still exists about their purpose and function. Providing and managing realistic expectations is essential to ensuring their proper use and ultimate success. Here are some of the key aspects of sealers:
Sealers offer stain resistance, they are not stainproof.
Not all sealers perform the same on all materials (Cost is usually a good indicator of performance), but it’s essential to read the label thoroughly.
Lowers maintenance, but not maintenance-free.
Proper routine or periodic maintenance is key to performance and longevity.
Active ingredients, or solids, bond and fill in the gaps, or pores, to penetrate the surface. What doesn’t penetrate the surface gets wiped away.
Shown under powerful magnification penetrating sealers contain various sealing molecules that penetrate and bond to the surface.
You should allow your new ceramic tile and grout to dry/cure for at least 72 hours after installation before any type of maintenance occurs.
Cleaning your new floor with a damp mop once a week is the best thing you can do to maintain your ceramic floor.
A simple sweeping or vacuuming of your tile floor prior to mopping will remove any loose dust or debris. Do not use brooms or other mopping devices that have been treated with dust collecting sprays, oils, or other contaminants.
Make sure that any cleanser you have chosen is compatible with grout cleaning (the level of soiling will determine the use of a neutral PH or alkaline cleaner) and will not stain or adversely affect the grout. Acid-based cleaners should NEVER be used on grout.
Heavy traffic areas should be mopped more often.
Detergents or soaps are discouraged because they may dull the surface, and leave residues or streaks.
When cleaning, the entire area should be cleaned or scrubbed with the neutral PH cleansing solution, through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge, or non-metallic brush.
The entire flooring area should then be rinsed with clean water to neutralize and remove any residual cleaning solution.
Cleaning unglazed or rough textured tiles should be done on a routine basis.
Remember: Routine cleaners should never contain acids, as these chemicals can damage and discolor the grout or the surface of stone or tile.
Always thoroughly rinse the flooring surface after cleaning, using clean water, to avoid any residue build-up or deposits. A second rinsing with clean water may be needed if any cleaning solution still remains on the surface of the floor.
Finally, and very importantly, a light buffing can help remove water deposits or residues left behind by water and cleaners.