Grout and about

on 02 July, 2015

Selecting the right grout for a tiling project is as important as selecting the tile itself. With tile grouts, it’s not only ‘good looks’ that matter – it is substance.

Grouts need to look perfect, be robust, durable and suitable for the specific installation, which is why it is crucial to have the knowledge to be able to best advise your customers when selecting their products.

If the space between tiles is less than 3mm wide cement-based wall grout will provide a perfectly smooth finish that is easy to clean. A flexible wall grout is ideal for power showers.

For grouting joints of 3mm and wider a flexible cement-based floor & wall grout is best recommended. The added polymer in the formulation helps strengthen the joint and protect against any movement. Wider grout joints work great with large format tiles, especially natural stone tiles that have rougher edges.

If the tradesperson is grouting natural stone or other porous tiles, it is important to advise them to check any potential staining risk by applying grout to a small trial area. If any discolouration occurs, or removal of grout from the surface seems difficult, they should consider using protective sealer to protect the tiles from staining until after grouting is complete.

A number of anti-microbial grouts also available on the market help protect tile joints against unseen nasties that spread mould and mildew. These are ideal for application in bathrooms and kitchens where significant levels of moisture are likely, and where it’s especially important to protect against harmful bacteria, for example where food is prepared or consumed.

Dunlop’s range of anti-mould grouts are formulated with Microban technology, which works by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E-coli and black mould, which could lead to damage to the grout and an increase in the risk of infection.

In the past grout was only available in white or grey shades, which made picking the right colour for a tiling installation an easy task. Now the customer has a far wider range to choose from, giving greater scope to shape the design of their tiling project.

There are two ways to go when recommending a grout colour. If the customer wants to emphasize a particular tile pattern or accent individual tiles, recommend a grout colour that contrasts with the colour of the tile.

On the contrary, if they are looking for a more uniform aesthetic consider recommending a grout colour that matches the tile colour. This will make individual tiles blend into a larger field, helping to highlight other aspects of an area, such as soft furnishings or furniture.

Finally, remember that all tiling installations need to be finished with an appropriate sealant. Sealants ensure the tiled area continues to look great while remaining watertight, clean and hygienic. Dunlop’s Silicone Sealant comes with Microban technology, providing additional protection against mould and bacteria.

Debi Boulton is sales and marketing manager at Dunlop Adhesives.

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