Grout requires the use of water to form a bond and water is of course H2O.
It is the presence of hydrogen that functions as the catalyst for the
chemical reaction the forms the bond. Too much water; cracked grout. Too
little water; cracked grout. Too wide of a grout line; cracked grout.
Control of the hydrogen bonding process is easily compromised.
It helps to go to college and learn physics but it can be much less
expensive if you simply read and follow the manufacturer's specifications
and use the grout recommended for your design requirements.
<%= Clinton Gallagher
METROmilwaukee (sm) "A Regional Information Service"
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://metromilwaukee.com /
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com /
In short yes. Just like all cement products. Unsanded is good for up to
about 1/8" anything bigger you need sanded. The more water that's mixed
will cause it to shrink more just like cement. Most of the better grout
is a latex fortified. If not, latex can be added to reduce the amount of
water needed. The spacing is really about aesthetics. The smaller the
tile the better it looks with smaller lines. Up to 1/4" is the norm but
I have laid 18x18 travertine with 1/2" lines and it looked good grouted.
Another main factor is the underlayment. If it moves even 1/16" lines
may show cracks.
It also depends on tile size. A larger tile or tile whose width varies
slightly (hand made etc) needs a wider grout line. For example, if you
have a 12" or 18" tile with 1/16" grout line it does give much room to
adjust your grout lines or to compensate for width variations.
The only purpose of grout lines is to take up and fit the irregularities of
tile size, floor flatness, and installer skill. The smaller the better.
The grout itself is an inferior flooring material, and the less of it, the
Grout width is a personal/aesthetic thing. If the floor is going to flex
enough to the grout to crack, the tile will eventually too. With 12" tile
I like a 1/4" grout line. I'm doing a bunch now, in fact.
Not really, though it *may* be easier down the line to cut wider grout out
to replace it. I wouldn't consider this to be a magor advantage though.
The big thing is to make sure the substrate that you're mounting the tile
to is stiff enough.
If the floor is going to flex
enough to the grout to crack, the tile will eventually too. With 12"
I like a 1/4" grout line. I'm doing a bunch now, in fact.
In the areas with tile, will have 3/4" T&G exterior grade plywood,
glued and screwed down to manufactured joists consisting of 2x4
connected with a metal web with web being 12" high. In the areas with
tile - will attach 3/4" OSB UNDER the 3/4" plywood with screws and glue
to reinforce the floor to keep it from flexing under the tile. Is the
latter necessary - will a 24" span between manufactured web joists flex
too much. Don't want to go to the expense of putting down a double
thickness of decking everywhere. Maybe simpler -easier but it would
cost a lot more.
On Sat, 10 Sep 2005 06:57:25 -0700, butch burton wrote:
Disclaimer: I'm a homeowner, not a pro...
I think that may flex too much. The specs for tile call for
at least 1-1/4" subfloor (on 16" joist centers, I think). My house has
3/4" plywood over 2x8's 16" O.C. Where I tile, I add 1/2" Hardi-Backer
across the beams (not aligned with the ply). That is put down in thinset
and screwed every 8". I also use the thinset that's designed to allow a
little flex (FlexBond is the brand name, IIRC) for mounting the tile. It's
expensive, but not nearly as much as a cracked tile. I also shimmed and
glued under the subfloor, where possible, to try to eliminate any movement
My downstairs bathroom and laundry seem to be OK after a year. I'm now
doing the foyer coat-closet and upstairs 1/2 bath. Finished the
harti-backer yesterday and cut all the tiles (toilet is a PITA). Today is
tile day. Fun, fun, fun. ;-)
Of course! It's still sitting next to the computer. ;-)
It sounds like you've been here, so I hope I don't seem like a fool,
but floor tile is *HARD*. I had no problem cuttign a 4" hole in wall tile
for a dryer vent in the laundry with a RotoZip, circle cutter, and carbide
bit. The floor tile just laughed at that setup (and the carbide bit got
So... The only way I managed to cut the holes for the toilets (this is
the second of three bathrooms) was the "death of a thousand cuts", with
the wet saw and nippers. At least the upstairs bathroom hole went through
four tiles. The downstairs was 90% in one tile. While this isn't
impossible, it is a PITA.
You could bring a difficult piece like that to a stained glass place.
They have diamond bandsaws with extremely thin blades. They can do
scroll work in the tile if you'd like. They might charge you $20, but
it's worth it if you don't have the tools or inclination to do it other
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 19:45:52 -0700, RicodJour wrote:
<slap!> I never thought of that! $20 might be worth it, though accuracy
isn't all that important in this application. I'll keep that in mind
though! I have one more to go, perhaps next spring after the thaw. ;-)
Not sure how your layout lined up, but typically you have enough slop (the
hole is a lot smaller than the toilet above) that you can just use some
straight lines and approximate it.
Even the "nibble away with a wet saw" shouldn't have taken too long, if you
have a halfway decent wet saw (my cheapo Harbor Freight one does this sort
of thing with no problem). The hardest cut I've seen was getting 1/2"
marble trimmed around the radius-edge of the tub in our old house. I laid
out the cut and let my wife do it <grin>. She's a lot more detail-oriented
than me, and took probably a thousand trips down to the garage, nibbed off a
little, came up, test-fit it, repeat ad-infitim...
On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 18:03:15 -0500, Tim Fischer wrote:
Sure, there is slop, but as a non-professional I don't know how much. The
flange is 7" diameter, so there is no way the toilet base is less than
that. Is it 8"? 12"? Where does it really sit? Where is the weight?
I wanted the hole as small as possible and centered on, well, the hole.
It's a cheapo BORG one, that I've had for five years or so. I've seen the
HF unit on line and would have bought that (cheaper, larger, and legs).
This is a MK-Diamond unit that cost me about $250. It works fine, but to
cut the toilet hole still takes the better part of an hour. The
downstairs one longer, since it was 90% in one tile. More cuts, fewer
angles (broke the first attempt). The circular blade doesn't cut
verticallly, either. Back-cutting... Not impossible, just a PITA, as I
I'd be wearing not only the marble, but the saw (still running).
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