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Rick
Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 19540
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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I about to grout my porcelain tiles. I see they have sanded

Customer Question

I about to grout my porcelain tiles. I see they have sanded and non sanded grout.
- What is the difference?
- What other things should I know before grouting?
- What specific tools will I need to complete the job?
- Once grout is done I'd like to seal it? What tools and materials will I need for it? Also, what exactly will sealing the grout do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Rick replied 6 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

You use unsanded grout if your grout lines are 1/8" or less, sanded grout if the grout lines are larger than 1/8". You need a grout float to spread the grout and work it into the lines. You also use it like a squeegee to remove the excess grout.
This is a decent one
http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-4-in-x-9-1-2-in-Gum-Rubber-Grout-Float-with-Traditional-Wooden-Handle-and-Non-Stick-Gum-Rubber-10061Q/100187695

This one is a better choice if you plan on doing more than 1 small job
http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-4-in-x-9-1-2-in-Universal-Grout-Float-with-High-Impact-Plastic-Handle-10074Q/100129767

You also need a large sponge to wash off the excess grout once you have spread it into the lines and it's had a chance to set for a few minutes.
My persona opinion ant that of all my tile setters (several different sub contractors) is that sealing grout is a waste of time and money and does little more than line the pockets of the manufacturers and vendors who sell it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

My office is 1500sqft. I'm using 18x18 porcelain tiles with 1/8 spacing. My tile guy doesnt have time to do the grout do you think this is something me a novice can handle?

Expert:  Rick replied 6 months ago.

Grouting is the easiest part of a tile installation. I'd say give it a go. There's not much that can go wrong or not be fixed if it doesn't work out. Try a small area and see how you do. 1500' is a big area to grout so it's a lot of work. If this is a floor I'd recommend you use sanded grout. The technique is pretty straight forward. You scoop a wad of grout onto the float then holding the float at about a 45 degree angle (or whatever angle is comfortable) then spread it out forcing it into the grout lines as you go. With tile that big you'd stick to the tile edges rather than spreading the grout over the entire surface. In a case like this the narrow end of the float is the better edge to use.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 months ago.

With an area this big you'd do 100 to 200' at a time at most then go back and wash off the excess that's left behind after you've scraped most of it off with the other edge of the float. You want a bit more than a damp sponge but not wet. You'll have to rinse the sponge frequently.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Yes I had the porcelain tiles installed on my concrete floor. So I should use sanded grout even though the spacing is 1/8?

Expert:  Rick replied 6 months ago.

Yes, sanded is better on a floor. At 1/8" you can go either way.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 months ago.

Do you have any more questions?

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