Cement Grouts


What are the most common cement grout problems, and how can I avoid them?


The most common cement grout problems are shade variation, blotching, cracking, powdering, and efflorescence. Improper installation techniques and environmental conditions are the most common causes of these problems. Controlling the installation conditions and being consistent with product mixing, installation and cleaning go a long way in providing good, consistent results.

While some of these problems may still occur, there are fairly simple ways to avoid or deal with them. The Cement Grout Troubleshooting Guide (TDS 201) can provide some suggestions and solutions to these common problems.

The easiet way to avoid these cement grout problems is to use LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Grout for residential and light commercial installations.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE Cement Grout Troubleshooting Guide TDS 201
LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout Installation Instructions DS 685.5

What should I do when grouting very porous or rough textured stone (e.g. travertine)?


The use of a high quality grout release (e.g. STONETECH® Grout Release) or grout sealer (e.g. STONETECH Grout Sealer) is recommended. The use of these types of product will aid in the clean-up process and help prevent the tile or stone from being stained, or having the voids filled by the grout in such a way that cleaning would be very difficult. Contact the manufacturer of the grout release or sealer product for their recommendation and conduct a test area to determine suitability and acceptability.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
STONETECH® Grout Sealer DS
STONETECH Grout Release DS

How long should I wait after grouting before I can seal my grout?


LATICRETE would recommend that their cement based grouts (e.g. LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR Select Grout, LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout, LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout or LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout) cure for a minimum of 72 hours at 70°F (21°C) prior to use of a STONETECH sealer. You should always check with the manufacturer of the grout sealer to determine if the grout must cure for a longer period of time before using any particular sealing product. LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout, LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout, and LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG are epoxy based grouts, and, as such, do not require the use of a grout sealer.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG DS 030.0

Where would flexible sealant be used in place of grout?


A flexible sealant should be used where tile work abuts restraining surfaces (e.g. perimeter walls, dissimilar materials, curbs, columns, pipes, ceilings, and where changes occur in backing materials) and to honor all changes of plane, expansion, control, construction, cold, and seismic joints. Allowance for movement, using a suitable sealant product, helps prevent or minimize damage caused by structural movement and by loads placed on the structure.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® LATASILTM DS 6200.1
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ01
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ04
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ05
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ09
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ11
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ12
LATICRETE Drawing ES-EJ13

What do I need to do if I want to re-grout my existing tile installation?


Carefully remove a minimum of ½ the depth of the existing grout joint, ensuring that he remaining grout is sound and firm. The careful use of dustless grinders with a diamond-cutting blade works well for this purpose. Use caution so tiles are not damaged. If the grout joints are too narrow to accomodate a dustless grinder, it may be necessary to use a hand-held tool (e.g. grout saw, Dremel Tool, Roto-Zip, etc...). Vacuum all of the dust and grout debris from the joints, wash with clean water and allow to dry. Proceed with the grout installation using one of the following grouts:

LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG (for commercial kitchens, industrial applications and areas which will be subjected to aggressive cleanings regimens, food acids and/or high temperatures)
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR® Select
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout mixed with LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout mixed LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG DS 030.0 
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATAPOXY PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout Installation Instructions DS 685.5

Should I use a sanded or unsanded grout on marble or other soft stone?


Sanded grouts can sometimes scratch marble, other soft stone, glazed surfaces, or soft glazed tile. Conducting a small test area will confirm results and help in choosing the correct grout type to use. If an unsanded grout is specified or required, use LATICRETE® 1600 Unsanded Grout mixed with LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

Questions about Grouting with Portland Cement Based Grout



Can I use LATICRETE® 1776 Grout Enhancer with LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout or LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout?


Yes. Adding LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer to LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout or LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout will enhance the physical properties of the grout and the growth of mold and mildew into the grout. Adding the LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer will also help to intensify color and remove any concerns which minerals in the mixing water may create. As always, conduct a small test area to determine suitability and acceptability. Do not mix LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer (or any latex additive) with LATICRETE PERMACOLOR® Select or LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATAPOXY PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0

How much gauging (mixing) liquid do I add to the portland cement grouts?


For LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Grout, add 2 LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Select Color Packs to 2 – 2 1/4 quarts (1.9 to 2.1 liters) of clean, potable water and allow packs to dissolve. Blend pigment in the water until fully dispersed. Add one 25 lb. (11.3kg) bag of LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Select Base Powder to the pigmented water and mix as directed

For LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of clean, potable water with one 25 lb. (11.3kg) bag of LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout in a clean bucket.

For LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of clean, potable water, or, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer with one 25 lbs (11.3 kg) bag of LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout in a clean bucket.

For LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout, mix 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of clean, potable water, or, mix 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer with one 25 lbs (11.3 kg) bag of LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout in a clean bucket.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

When do I use a sanded grout or an unsanded grout?


Use unsanded grout (e.g. LATICRETE® 1600 Unsanded Grout) for soft marble, polished marble, other types of soft stone, some polished stone, or soft glazed tiles when the grout joint is 1/8" (3mm) or less.

Use sanded grout (e.g. LATICRETE PERMACOLOR® Select) for all other types of tile or stone or grout joints greater than 1/8" wide.

Sanded grouts can be used in grout joint widths 1/16" (1.5mm) or greater in width.

Unsanded grout can only be used in grout joint widths 1/8" (3mm) or less.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

My grout turned out to be a different color than what I expected. What can I do?


There are a variety of factors which can cause grout to appear lighter or darker than the expected color. Some of these factors include improper liquid to powder ratio when mixing the grout, washing grout too soon, using too much water to clean, improper cleaning techniques, poor lighting, variation in appearance when installed next to a tile or stone, contamination, and others...

There are two approaches which can be taken to get the desired grout color;
1. If the grout becomes the correct color when it is wet, the use of a high quality wet-look sealer (e.g. STONETECH® Enhancer) will make the grout look like it is always wet and provide the protection of a superior sealing product. The sealer may require re-application from time to time so check the sealer instructions for more information or call STONETECH Technical Services at 1.888.786.6343.

2. The grout can also be brought to the correct color, or the color changed entirely, by the use of a grout colorant. Grout colorants are topically applied coatings which seal the grout as well. The grout colorant may require re-application from time to time so check with the colorant manufacturer for more information.


Related Documents:


STONETECH® Enhancer DS
LATICRETE Grout Guide TDS 400
LATICRETE Cement Grout Troubleshooting Grout TDS 201

What tips should I keep in mind when grouting with portland cement based grouts?


1. Make sure when using multiple bags or cartons of grout, that all the batch numbers match. Slight shade variations can occur from batch to batch. If you are using grout from multiple batches, dry mix all of the grout powder prior to adding the gauging liquid.

2. Use the same grouting and cleaning techniques over the entire installation to ensure a consistent finish.

3. The final grout color is dependent on many job site conditions; including temperature, porosity of the tile, humidity, mixing ratios (powder/liquid), lighting, lippage, and installation & cleaning techniques used. Controlling the environment as much as possible and being consistent in installation and cleaning techniques helps promote consistent and satisfactory results. Keep other trades away from the grout during installation and protect installations after they have been installed.

4.Always try to verify grout color appearance by conducting a test area under actual jobsite conditions and allow to dry, prior to grouting the entire installation.

5. Grout color swatches are approximate guides to grout color and actual shade and texture of the finished grout will depend on jobsite conditions, installation techniques, lighting, and the types of tile or stone (and their color) installed.

6.Clean tile promptly after installation as stated in the data sheet for each grout product. Do not let the grout dry completely on the surface.

7. Mix the grout as stiff as possible without losing workability. Use a sharp rubber grout float to spread and pack the grout fully into the joints. Follow the specific instructions for cleaning time as stated in the product data sheet. Keep in mind that the time to cleaning can vary depending on job site conditions (e.g. porosity of tile, temperature, humidity, etc...). Use a damp sponge to clean up the grout. DO NOT USE EXCESS WATER DURING THE CLEANING PROCESS!. The use of too much water can wash out the pigments from the grout and a lighter shade can result.


Related Documents:


LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0
LATICRETE Cement Grout Troubleshooting Guide TDS 201

How can I clean up stubborn cement grout haze?


As always, it is best to make sure that the grout is properly installed and cleaned during the original installation. Cement grout haze can be difficult to remove after it has had a chance to fully dry on the surface of the tile. To remove grout haze after prior to fully curing on the tile or stone face, try using a STONETECH Stone & Tile Cleaner with a scrub pad. Conduct a test area to determine results and verify acceptability. Use caution when scrubbing polished stone or soft glazed tile as scratching may occur. If the haze is persistent, it may be necessary to use a more aggressive chemical cleaner which has been designed for the purpose. STONETECH® RESTORETM is effective at removing stubborn cement based grout haze. Contact STONETECH Technical Services at 1.888.786.6343 for more information on when and how to use STONETECH RESTORE to remove cement grout haze. Conduct a test area to determine suitability and acceptability; do not use STONETECH RESTORE on polished marble or other acid sensitive stone or surface. Follow the directions on the STONETECH cleaner data sheet or packaging, including dilution percentage, rinsing and neutralization information prior to use.

When should I start washing the tiles after spreading the grout?


Allow the grout to firm in the joints approximately 15 to 30 minutes at 70°F (21°C) . This time can vary depending on the grout used, job site conditions (e.g. porosity of tile, temperature, humidity, etc...). Check with the specific grout data sheet for more concise directions. Use a damp sponge to clean up the grout. DO NOT USE EXCESS WATER IN THE CLEANING PROCESS! The use of excess water can wash out the pigments in the grout and a lighter shade can result.


Related Documents:


STONETECH® RESTORETM DS
LATICRETE® PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
LATICRETE PERMACOLOR Grout DS 250.0
LATICRETE 1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
LATICRETE 1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0
LATICRETE 1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

I have a whitish residue on the top of my grout, what is it and how can I get rid of it?


The whitish powder or residue, which is visible on the top of some grout installations, is commonly called efflorescence. Efflorescence is actually salts, a by-product of the portland cement manufacturing process, which go into solution in the presence of water and migrate to the surface of the grout or other cementitious product.

Three conditions must occur for efflorescence to manifest; 1. There must be the presence of soluble salts (as stated earlier, soluble salts are present in portland cement products), 2. Water must be present in the concrete, mortar bed, setting materials, and/or grout (since portland cement products must be mixed with water, it is present at some point in time). The water puts the salts into solution., and, 3. Some type of force (e.g. evaporation, gravity, capillary action, etc...) must bring the solution to the surface. Eliminating any of these three conditions will help to eliminate the occurrence of efflorescence.

When the salt solution reaches the surface, the water evaporates and the salt remains on the surface where it recats with arbon dioxide in the air. The reaction changes the chemical nature of the salt and turns it into an insoluble residue that appears as a white powder on the surface of the grout. This whit epowder can be difficlut to remove at times.

To remove minor cases of efflorescence it may be necessary to conduct a wash with STONETECH® RESTORETM. However, until the salts are completely removed from the system, efflorescence can reoccur, so ongoing inspection and cleaning may be necessary. The use of LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout or LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout, epoxy based grouts, can also help to minimize or eliminate the occurrence of efflorescence.

Efflorecscence is a naturally occurring condition and is not a product defect.


Related Documents:


STONETECH® RESTORETM DS
LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
Efflorescence - Causes and Prevention TDS 159
Grout Guide TDS 400