Grout colour matching made easy
Picking out the correct colour grout for your tile installation is a choice which will ultimately affect the visual appeal of your home. TAL has started to produce new 5kg grout bags which feature a see-through window. This little feature simplified the grout picking process for the tiling contractor and even for the end user.
These new plastic bags are also much more durable as they will not rip or tear on site – in addition to this, they now feature a flap which has three finger holes, making the bags easier to carry and move around.
TAL’s top grout related questions to guide DIY tilers:
Where are the tiles being laid?
- High-traffic areas (kitchens, passages and entrance halls) as well as areas which are frequently exposed to moisture (such as a shower) will always require water-resistant, flexible grout. Water in a cementitious grout mix, such as TAL Wall & Floor Grout, should be replaced with TAL Bond, a latex additive, which will improve water resistance, flexibility and the lasting bond strength of the grout. When you make use of a latex additive is instead of water, the grout colour will darken slightly in the cured state – this is something keep in mind when selecting the grout colour. The latex additives improve on the grout’s water resistance, but take note that it does not make the installation waterproof.
- Areas which will ultimately be exposed to a lot of water (balconies, for example) must be waterproofed before tiling commences. Porous tiles can be sealed to aid in water permeation into the tile installation.Areas such as the lounge, dining room and bedrooms can be tiled using a cementitious grout and water mix without the addition of a latex additive.
- Compare grout samples against the tiles in the area where your tiles will be installed.
- For a uniform look, pick a colour which compliments the tiles – this will also make your floor appear even. Picking a contrasting grout colour, will give the floor a checkered appearance, which creates design interest. While it is not necessary for the grout colour to match the tiles precisely, make sure you choose a colour which is at least in the same range.
- Avoid using white or light coloured grout for floor applications. Light coloured grout will discolour after a while and any dirt which accumulates in the grout joints shows up more against light coloured grout as opposed to darker coloured grout that hides dirt.
- TAL has a handy Grout Calculator on its website which helps you determine how much grout you’ll need. Find it under the DIY tab.
- Read the packaging instructions. Important information regarding water to powder mix ratios, application steps, drying time and cleaning are included in these instructions – one of the favourite features on the new grout blags.
- For best results, test the grout on a sample tile, this will confirm that there is no staining caused by the grout being absorbed through the glaze or into the body of the tile.
- When applying grout to soft glazed tiles, highly polished tiles or glass tiles, work carefully to ensure that you don’t scratch the tile’s surface.
- Unsealed cementitious grout ends up being porous and easily shows signs of dirt and discolouration from everyday use and cleaning.
- You can use TAL Grout Sealer to seal the top layer of grout and minimises discolouration. Grout joints should be clean and free from dust and dirt as any stains not removed will be sealed into the grout. Allow the sealer to dry for 24 hours in ‘wet’ areas and 2 – 3 hours for other areas. TAL Grout Sealer is specially designed to seal grout joints, both in the green and cured states. The sealer’s residual film dries clear on glazed tiles and does not discolour the grout or tiles.
- To clean floors, remove surface dust by sweeping or vacuuming the area. Mix TAL Rapidclean with water to the desired dilution and use a mop or micro fibre floor mop to deep clean the surface. As with any cleaning process, regularly change the cleaning solution water to prevent dirt from being redistributed over the tiles and grout and give the area a rinse afterwards with clean water to remove residual chemicals or dirt, and then allow the surface to dry completely before using it. TAL Rapidclean is a water-based neutral cleaning agent that removes dirt and grime from tiles. The gentle citrus-based streak-free formula leaves all surfaces looking and smelling clean and lemon-fresh.
TAL products are available from major tile merchants and home improvement retailers.
Contact the TAL Technical Advisory Service on 0860 000 (TAL) 825 for on-the-job support, visit www.tal.co.za for more information on TAL’s product range or visit the TAL Talk blog where you’ll find handy tips to guide you when tiling all areas of the home.
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