Employing the Right Tools to Avoid Common Grouting Errors
Whether you are renovating or adding the final touches to a newly tiled bathroom, the grout you choose and how it is prepared will play a very important aesthetic and protective role in the future of your lavatory. Of equal importance are the steps that are taken to seal grout after tiling a bath floor or wall.
The more care that is taken to follow specific guidelines, the less you will eventually have to spend in the future to apply new grout. While applying this type of mortar may not be the easiest of tasks, it is by no means impossible, and any DIYer can take on the challenge with the right tools and knowledge.
In this article, we will cover key facts about this sealant, and how to avoid common errors when grouting your bathroom.
Tile Alignment is Essential
One of the very first things that you will need to ensure before applying bath grout is the accurate alignment of your tiles. Tiles that are crooked and full of unwanted ridges will not guarantee a professional look. Bathroom grout should not be seen as a corrective tile alignment solution, because this is far from the truth.
You should ensure that the tile surface is flush by passing your hands over it. Once you have done this then awkward or poorly aligned tiles should be corrected in this stage, because after applying the mortar the whole process becomes even more laborious or even impossible without having to rip out your tile and re-grout the entire spot.
Mortar is Dependent, not Independent
There are a number of bathroom tile grouts on the market, but the most important factors to take into consideration are: application, spacing, type of bath tile and mortar color. If the spacing between your tiles is less than ¼˝ then you will use what is known as unsanded grout. If, however, the seam is greater than this then you will have to use sanded grout.
Another important thing to bear in mind when selecting grout is the type of washroom tile that you are using. Some useful tips about sanded, unsanded and types of bath tile and their application can be found below:
Protection Against Moisture Penetration
- Epoxy resin grout is perfect for tiles that have a glazed surface. They are also specified for seams that are greater than ¼˝. While this type of grout may be more expensive, it is more resilient and offers better protection against water penetration. Compared to sanded and unsanded grout options, the epoxy resin grout color also lasts much longer.
- Portland Cement grout: This type comes in a sanded or unsanded form. You can also get it pre-mixed or in a powder form. Portland cement grout (the sanded form) can be used with ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles. It is also generally used by DIYers that want a selection of bathroom grout colors to choose from.
You will Need the Right Joint Filling Tools
You will not need many special tools when applying bathroom grout. The most popular tools used in bathroom tile grout are: rubber squeegee, sponge, grout float, grout sealant, grout mix (if you decide to buy pre-mix), grout powder (if you prefer to mix it yourself), mixer beater (for mixed grout), bucket (for mixed grout) and cloth are all good tools for bathroom grout restoration and application.
Work on Small Manageable Areas at a Time
The natural tendency of most homeowners is to apply bathroom grout on large areas and then make adjustments afterward. This approach is incorrect, because, oftentimes it results in more material being wasted and imperfect finishes. With that said, always apply the bathroom grout on small areas and make your corrections as you go along. This area can consist of five tiles laid either horizontally or vertically.
Sealing Your Work is Important
After you have applied the bathroom grout, then the next step is to use a sealant to ensure that the grout is water resistant. If you are already using a bathroom grout that has latex, then there is no need to use a sealant. The sealant that you use should be compatible with the bathroom grout to ensure proper adherence. The sealant should not be applied on the freshly applied grout, but only after it has dried and is properly set in or later on you may encounter unnecessary grouting repairs.