Grouting is inevitable in any bathroom or kitchen if you want to create beautiful and usable space. The goal here is to fill the gaps that exist in areas of contact of sanitary elements (bathtubs, sinks, toilets, etc.) with surrounding surfaces, contact neighboring elements or wall coverings (eg. tile) and places of various installations through the surface of the wall or floor. Although this may sound like a simple procedure, grouting tiles can sometimes be a problem even to a specialist so it’s good to follow some advices:
- Never assume what is in the bags for grouting.
- Read all instructions for use, no matter how sure you are with the product you bought, errors are possible.
- Be sure to check the expiry date of the product.
- Start grouting only in the adequate conditions.
- After placing the tiles they must rest for at least 24 hours, they should not be touched and you should not walk over them.
- Consider the quality of the tiles, the grout and room temperature.
- When you encounter a problem, no matter how difficult it is, seek advice from someone who is experienced with the application of the specific products.
You should consider following aspects in laying tiles before grouting: After the laying of ceramic tiles, it’s necessary to wait some time for the binder to harden, so don’t walk over them or put heavy items on them.The attractiveness and fastness of the surface depends on the care provided, as well as their afterwards maintenance.
Remove dirt from the edges of the tile. Once the tile adhesive is fully dry, you may begin sealing it. Before applying, test how things will look like. Clean ends of tile should be wetted with a wet sponge.
Floor tile grouting
The semi-liquid grout on the tile surface is applied with a rubber spatula or trowel. It’s good to remove excess material and clean the surface of the tiles with a wet sponge. After drying, wipe the entire floor smoothly with a wet sponge. You may restore luster tiles with a dry woolen cloth.
Grouting of wall or floor tiles
Push grout of a plastic consistency, in the space between the tiles using a rubber spatula. After drying, clean the tiles with a sponge (often irrigated). If the joints are too dry, they should be moistened with a wet, smooth sponge. You may restore luster tiles with a dry woolen cloth.
Straight grout lines
When the plasterisal most dry, remove excess between tiles with a trowel. Smooth junctions with ajutecloth.
Recessed grout lines
The joints are slightly inclined towards the inside of the lower edge of the junction. Hold the trowel down the vertical junction and with edge of the blade push one side of the junction. Pull the blade traversing to the other side to remove excess mortar. Shape the other junctions in the same way.
For horizontal junction, with edge of blade push the mortar on the top edge junction of approximately 3 mm. Below the junction adhere the flat wooden lath and with spatula remove the excess so that the bottom edge of the junction is slightly protruding. When the plaster is almost dry, brush to remove dust from the walls.
The main goal of the grouting is to fill the empty space and prevent water penetration into the wall or the floor,but they are often among the dirtiest surfaces in the household, which accumulate moisture and dirt. Removing impurities are very difficult, which is why we have four solutions that facilitate their cleaning.
We may use a baking powder and mix it with water and to apply the resulting mixture into the joints using an old toothbrush. It’s good to rub the surface well and leave on for 10 minutes, after which the joint should be clean.
If the joints have visible black fungus due to the large amount of moisture that accumulates there, we can use oxygen bleach to remove it. This agent is not toxic and does not damage the surface of the tile, it is necessary to bleach mixed with water at a ratio of 1:3. Pour the solution over the plate and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Then use a damp cloth to wipe the tiles and joints.
A solution of salt and boiling water in a 1:2 ratio to effectively help detoxify the joints, pour the solution on the plate and allow to dry for 20 minutes, after which the joints need to scrub brush or rough side of a sponge. After cleaning the bathrooms definitely try to dry the surface thoroughly to minimize moisture accumulated in the joints.
To reduce moisture retention and dirt on the tiles and grout, we may coat them with wax for cars, twice a year. This smoothing system will prevent water retention in the joints, which in this case slips from them. With the use of the grouting color which is resistant to mold, we can solve the accumulation of dirt in the joints for a long term.
How to repair and beautify the old and damaged joints?
This is a common problem with tiles where is greater mobility and more frequent soiling. The joints lose their basic color and look sloppy. This can be solved in two ways. The first is to scrape out the grout. In this way, there is a possibility to damage tiles so should be done very carefully, and then to do the grouting again. The second way is simpler. In specialty stores you can buy paint for joints in packaging that is designed to facilitate painting. The joints will then look like new.
Why people use the special materials for the grouting on the surfaces of natural stone?
Some grouting material can cause discoloration when it comes in contact with the natural stone. Therefore, it’s necessary to use special materials for the grouting on the surfaces of natural stone (which are generally more expensive). Masking sanitary tape can be used for the joints along the bathtub, sink and floors.