The Evolution and Advanced Technologies of Grout | Tile Warehouse
The Evolution and Advanced Technologies of Grout

The right grout colour can transform the look of a space, either accenting or blending with the tile. Nowadays, there are a myriad of different grouts on the market. From cement-based and epoxy grouts to single-component and pre-mixed mortars, each serves a specific purpose. Grout lines due to technology are now much thinner which has created a move to tiled flooring in living spaces in the NZ residential sector. 

High performance grouts with more features and benefits, as well superior physical properties, have been a game changer for the tile market and with the advent of large-format tile and high-end porcelain wood-look tile dominating the designs, specifiers and homeowners are demanding a high-end grout category to accentuate these design choices.

Unlike cement grout which is porous and made from a cementitious powder mix, epoxy grout is made from epoxy resins and a filler powder. Epoxy grout is extremely durable and almost completely stain proof so a popular option for wet areas. However, regular cement grout is widespreadly used in residential and commercial projects as it can also be easily sealed (see recommended Aquamix sealant below). 

Pre-90’s Grouts were literally 2 parts sand, 1 part cement, with some oxide thrown in to colour the mix. It was about 20% porous (meaning easy to stain), brittle (prone to cracking) and quite coarse-finished, depending on the grade of sand used. All in all, our parents suffered from stained, patchy, rough, and generally hard-to-clean grout, and with the period tiles being mosaics, and maybe 200x200mm, plus quarry tiles needing 8+mm wide joints there was a LOT of grout, up to 5+% of the visible floor

Today Grouts commonly;

  • contain no sand and result in a denser, finer and smoother finish.
  • are polymer-modified which gives flexibility and lowers porosity.
  • have additives which result in more consistent drying and curing (ie: less patchiness and more strength.
  • The colourways have been much improved with more colours to match or contrast, better quality colourants, and matching silicones on offer.
  • To seal, the range of products to protect grout these days has increased with sealant of a much higher quality to the point where once applied as per manufacturer's instructions, should never have to be re-done.

Cement-based grouts cure faster to allow early traffic on the tiled assembly, finer aggregate for narrower grout joints and improved stain resistance. Epoxy grouts have been formulated to stand up to harsh environments, where high chemical-resistant was specified in the past. These industrial-grade epoxy grouts are being used in commercial kitchens, where they are exposed to hot cooking grease and strong cleaners during maintenance. Single-component grouts continue to gain acceptance because of their ease of use and high stain resistance.

Large-Format Tile (LFT)

Tiles today are trending upwards in size and many are also rectified meaning 2-3mm joints are the norm. Therefore when considering a standard size of say 600x600mm, the proportion of grout is down to under 1/3rd of a percent, or 15 times less intrusive. The benefit of rectified tiles is that they can be 'flush' grouted meaning no dirt-trap.

leaps and bounds the grout and mortar categories have made in terms of long-term sustainability, safety. From customized colors, to fast cure rates, stain resistance and antimicrobial protection, which inhibit stain-causing mold and mildew in the grout, the grout and mortar category continues to evolve to benefit both the end user and installer.

In summary, Grout has transformed itself over the past few decades resulting in a product that is easier to install and easier to clean with less cracking, staining and discolouration.

Our recommended Grout options for the ultimate result:

Construction Chemicals specialise in smooth finish, flexible coloured grouts for walls and floors. Easy clean-off, solvent-free, pool grade and hygienic, chemical and acid-resistant grouts for commercial areas as well product features including waterproof, mould and fungi-resistant properties. 

EPEGROUT ULTRA - Easy clean off, solvent-free, pool grade epoxy grout.

Coverage: 1.2kg/m² for 200mm x 200mm tiles x 6mm joint.

 

EPEGROUT TRADE - A water-based, commercial, sanded epoxy grout for joints 2mm to 10mm.

Coverage: 1.2kg/m² for 200mm x 200mm tiles x 6mm joint.

 

EPEGROUT - Water washable epoxy grout.

Coverage: 0.6kg/m² for 150mm x 150mm tiles x 3mm gap.

 

KEMGROUT FLEXIBLE - Waterproof tile grout, mould and fungi resistant.

Coverage: Wall tiles 0.5kg/m², Mosaics 1.0kg/m², Over 3mm joints 1-2kg/m², Refer to website grout calculator for other sizes.

 

KEMGROUT SANDED - Fine-finish waterproof tile grout, chemical & acid resistant.

Coverage: 1-2kg/m²

For more information on specific products in their range, CLICK HERE >>>

 

ARDEX

ARDEX FS-DD - Non-sanded cement-based, wall and floor grouting compound which is specially designed for polished porcelain to avoid scratching the surface of the tile. Available in a range of colours. ARDEX FS-DD is easy to apply and fast drying, with final cleaning able to be completed 24 hours after initial wash-off with no residue left.

  • Narrow Joint Grouting Compound for Joints 1-4mm
  • Contains ARDEX Grout Shield to combat mould growth
  • Water repellent - special hydrophobing agent
  • Dirt Resistant – Looks new for longer

 

ARDEX FG 8 - A smooth, flexible cement-based grout with improved colour integrity, ARDEX FG 8 can be used for tile joints 1mm to 8mm wide, on walls and floors. It contains ARDEX Grout Shield to combat mould growth. Improved workability helps ensure flush joints, which is most noticeable with rectified edged tiles. ARDEX FG 8 is available in a range of designer colours, and is suitable for grouting indoors and out.

  • Flexible Coloured Grout for Joints 1-8mm
  • Polymer fortified – reduces likelihood of cracking
  • Strong uniform colour - reduces efflorescence
  • Mould resistant & water repellent.

 

ARDEX EG 15 - A high-performance epoxy grout designed for situations that require strict standards of hygiene, high chemical and physical resistance. ARDEX EG 15 is exceptionally easy to clean up during application. It can be used in joints up to 15mm wide on walls and floors.

  • High-Performance Epoxy Grout
  • Suitable for areas of strict hygiene standards
  • Easy clean up
  • 3 part pack

For more information on specific products in their range, CLICK HERE >>>

 

Grout Sealer - Aquamix

An easy to use premium, no sheen, natural look, water-based sealer that resists water, oil, and acid-based contaminants. As a sealer for cement based sanded and unsanded porous grout joints for ceramic, porcelain and glass tile installations. Effective for internal and external use.

Purchase from Tile Warehouse today.

 

If you would like to discuss your project further, we can assist.

Contact one of our 31 Stores or discuss with one of our Commercial Representatives.

 

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