Choosing the Correct Grout for Your Project
Grout products are numerous and varied – so how do you choose the best grout for your project?
All grout has the same job, but not all grout has the same way of doing it. Grout is ideal for bonding, such as sticking tiles to walls, and also filling in gaps. On a large scale, it is ideal for precision filling, securing of machinery, and anchoring of posts and bolts.
Where there used to be a limited range of construction-grade grout products available, these days the range can be overwhelming. There are various combinations of additives, compounds, and chemical elements that affect grout behaviour, and this is what you need to take into account when choosing a grout for your project.
The type of grout you need will depend on the project you’re working on. For example, if you are working on an exterior project, it’s important to ensure that your grout is weatherproof – otherwise temperature changes will just cause more cracks and holes over time.
Similarly, if you’re using grout to stick tiles to your bathroom wall, it’s essential to use a waterproof grout – and ideally one with mould protection, too. The damp environment of a bathroom is a breeding ground for mould, and a special bathroom grout will help to seal against the spread.
Floor tiles, however, will need yet another different version of grout. It’s really important to make sure floor tiles are laid level, and this can be achieved with hard-wearing grout that won’t shift over time as people walk on it. Floor tile grout needs to stand up to a lot of use: grout lines are often wider than those on vertical walls, to provide traction when walking across tiles.
For larger construction projects such as bolt-fixing and bedding in of machinery, the grout used needs to have a good flow, be very strong, and be shrinkage-compensated to ensure continued performance.
As well as finding the right grout type for your project, remember you also need to find a suitable sealant. Some direct applicators, such as roller balls, take a while to complete a project but are highly accurate. Spray sealants are much quicker – but leave a lot more cleaning behind afterwards.
Sealant is essential for preventing stains on your tile grout, and also from stopping moisture from seeping into the cement. This is essential in a construction project, as moisture can lead to cracks and instability in the grout – which can risk the safety of the machinery, fences, or steel bars being anchored in.
You won’t need sealant for an epoxy grout though – it’s already stain-resistant and waterproof.
We’ve come up with our top picks of grouts that you can use for a wide range of products. If you’re seeking something of quality that’s easy to use, try one of these:
Conbextra GP doesn’t segregate, and it’s a highly flowable grout. The mix of chemical additives, fillers, and different cements mean you can pour or use a trowel depending on what you need. The chloride-free grout is high strength and doesn’t shrink, making it ideal for tiling floors and large areas. In fact, it’s so strong that it conforms to BS EN 1504-3 Class R4 and BS EN 1504-6 regulations for the anchoring of reinforcing steel bar.
A premixed grout ideal for a wide range of home and construction projects, Five Star Grout can be used in large volumes with great economy. Perfect for construction where a hardy grout is required to bed-in static machinery, fill voids, or fixing anchor bolt, Five Star is known for its special mix including a unique carbon element which contributes to the versatility, dimensional stability, and non-shrink behaviour of this cementitious product.
A truly general purpose grout, SikaGrout 111 GP is an easy-to-use powder that comes already mixed and is ideal for everything from filling voids to anchoring stanchion plates or bolt fixings. This is a multi-purpose grout which can be used for interior or exterior projects, this shrinkage-compensated powder mix works in a range of large and small scale construction environments.
If you need more help and advice about using grout for your latest project, including how to choose the best grout product, get in touch with our helpful team at Resapol today.