Tile Grout: Know Its Functions & Types
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Flooring is one of the most important choice and decisions you make when it comes to decorating your home, as it adds beauty and charm to every room. Tiles are the most commonly used material for flooring as they are very durable and available at cheaper price as compared to natural stones like granite, marble, etc. When installing tiles, two materials hold the tiles together: tile adhesive & tile grout. Tile adhesive forms the bed for fixing tiles, while tile grout fills the gaps in between the tiles.
A grout is any viscous, packable material that can be used to fill the space between two elements for bonding them or to create a water-tight seal. Grouting of tile is the last process when installing tiles. Here we have tried to discuss about tile grout and its various types, which a homeowner should know.
Courtesy - 123rf
Functions of a Tile Grout:
- Tile grout fills the spaces in between the tiles and provides finished look of floor or wall.
- It also holds the tiles in position and maintains the integrity of whole flooring.
- Tile grout acts as a waterproofing agent. In case of water leakage through slab, tile grout decelerates the penetration of water.
- It does not allow dust particle to settle in the seams of tiles, thus prevents growth of bacteria.
- In case when the slab below the flooring is perfectly watertight and if grout is not applied, the percolating water will ultimately uplift the tiles, as water does not have any other escape route. Thus tile grout is required for waterproofing the floor.
- As tile grout is available in different colours and shades to match with the colours, figures and shades of the tile, so it provides better aesthetic look to the floor.
Types of Tile Grout:
Each tiling project requires a different type of grout. There are mainly two types of tile grout available in the market, which are as follows:
01. Cementitious Grout:
This is the most common type of tile grout used for grouting. Cementitious grout is mixture of cement, water and other additives and pigments. Cementitious grout is porous, thus there are chances of staining. It is recommended to apply sealant over cementitious grout to increase its life. They are classified into two major types:
(a) Sanded Grout:
- As the name suggests, sanded grout is cement based grout which contains fine sand. It is mostly used for filling wider grout lines which have width of 3.0 mm or more. It is relatively less expensive than unsanded grout. It is excellent grout for natural stones like marble, granite, and such heavier tile materials. Roff Rainbow Tile Mate (RTM) Wide Additive by Roff, LATICRETE 500 by MYKLaticrete, Sika-Tilogrout by Sika, SmartCare Tile Grout – Cement Based by Asian paints, etc. are popular sanded grouts used in India.
(b) Unsanded Grout:
- Unsanded grout does not contain sand, but instead additives are added into it. They are best for thinner grout lines of width 1.5 mm to 3.0 mm. It is also easy to apply unsanded grout in wall tiles as it is in a relatively solid form as compared to sanded grout. If this grout is used to fill wider cracks, it may crack as the bonding provided by sand is not there. Roff Rainbow Tile Mate (RTM) by Roff, LATICRETE 600 by MYKLaticrete, etc. are popular unsanded grouts used in India.
Also Read: 18 Different Types of Flooring Materials
02. Epoxy Grout:
Epoxy grout has gained popularity nowadays. Epoxy grout forms an impermeable layer for water to penetrate beneath the grout; hence it can be effectively used for wet areas such as bathrooms. It offers water resistant properties and is generally used for ceramic, vitrified, porcelain, quarry tiles. They also have resistance to chemicals and greases, so they are widely used in industrial floorings. They are difficult to work with and require expertise for application. Epoxy grout has high durability and is recommended for high traffic areas. It is more expensive grout as compared to cementitious grout. Roff Rainbow Tile Mate (RTM) Epoxy Grout by Roff, LATAPOXY SP100 by MYKLaticrete, Sika-Epoxy Tilogrout by Sika, SmartCare Tile Grout – Epoxy Based by Asian paints, etc. are popular brands for epoxy grout in India.
Tile grout is available in a variety of colours, thus tile grout which matches your tile or gives a decorative look must be bought.
The popular manufacturers of tile grout in India are: