What is the most common cause of tile grout issues?

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It’s that Simple

Thank you for visiting “It’s That Simple” with Paul & Kiesel. This is just one article as part of a series I have developed to answer contractors’ questions about products and installation methods.

Why do we have Grout issues?

Traditionally, grout was simply made of sand, cement, and lime and was almost always grey. White grout was made with white cement. When I started setting tile in the industry 33 years ago, we also had about 20 colors of grout that had dye in it to achieve the desired colors. Life was simple. We set mostly ceramic tile over an absorbing substrate and we didn’t have many problems.

Fast forward to today, and cementitious grout has been experiencing many issues such as shading, powdering, efflorescence, mold, and the list goes on. So why do we have these problems now? It’s simple. Moisture.

Todays tiles are mostly porcelain and porcelain doesn’t absorb water like ceramic does. Not only that, but most of our substrates are either impervious to moisture or we treat surfaces with waterproofing membrane to control moisture. That means the moisture in your thin-set isn’t being absorbed from below or above. The only place that moisture can escape is through your grout joints. In addition, thin set now takes much longer to dry because the tiles are much bigger than they were 30 years ago. In some cases, it could take 3 weeks or more for the thin-set to dry thoroughly. So with today’s tile setting, moisture is slowly being released through the grout joints and it is causing the grout colors to dry at different rates which changes the way the dye reacts to the moisture. Efflorescence is a white, powdery salt that is a byproduct of moisture escaping through the grout joint and coming to rest on the surface.
For many years the grout industry has been trying to deal with this problem by introducing new products. Urethane, epoxy, and other non-cementitious products solve some of the problems of cementitious grout but they are more difficult to install, they tend to leave grout haze which is difficult to remove, the installer must work smaller areas because the grout dries much faster, and the joints are left lower in the joint than most customers like.
So what is the solution? Kiesel Servopearl Royal. Kiesel developed this cementitious grout with today’s tile setting and tile setters in mind. It does almost everything an epoxy or urethane grout does but without all the problems. It is a stain resistant, mold and mildew resistant, household chemical resistant, easy to use grout that can be used in tight joints or wide joints, indoors or out, walls or floors, chlorine based pools, ponds, or fountains, can be pressure washed, and contains absolutely nothing that can cause grout haze.

How has Kiesel achieved this? Simple. No dyes! All colors are achieved using natural ingredients or benign chemicals.

It’s That Simple!

– Paul


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