Grout Line Width?

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In tile, stone floor tile, for example, are the grout lines more prone to crack if they are wide?
Other than aesthetics, is there any advantage of narrow over wide, or visa versa, grout lines?
--
|||||||||||||||| Nehmo Sergheyev ||||||||||||||||


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Nehmo wrote:

Depends upon what grout you use in conjuction with the width of the joint, as well as various other structural and substrate criteria...
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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 /

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Nice answer, dipshit.
Zig
On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 20:38:04 GMT, "clintonG"

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Nehmo wrote:

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.
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Nehmo wrote:

yes.
grout is harder to clean than tile. the less grout showing, the easier cleanup will be.
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You need enough grout width for it to create a strong joint...too thin and its weak, cracks out and leaks water.
Phil Scott

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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.
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Nehmo writes:

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 better.
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On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 19:33:50 +0000, Nehmo wrote:

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.
-- Keith
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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. snip
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.
Thanks
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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 I could.
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. ;-)
--
Keith

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- keith -

- Nehmo - Why would cutting for the toilet be hard? You removed the toilet, didn't you?
--
|||||||||||||||| Nehmo Sergheyev ||||||||||||||||


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On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 18:09:40 +0000, Nehmo wrote:

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 quite embarrased).
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.
--
Keith


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keith wrote:

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 ways.
R
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On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 19:45:52 -0700, RicodJour wrote:

<slap!> I never thought of that! $20 might be worth it, though accuracyisn'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. ;-)
--
Keith

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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...
-Tim
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On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 18:03:15 -0500, "Tim Fischer"

You are the perfect husband, in this case. Good job!!
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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 said.

I'd be wearing not only the marble, but the saw (still running).
--
Keith

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LOL! I should have mentioned that she's my "project partner" and is very willing to swing a hammer or do whatever it takes to help out.
-Tim
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