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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please share your grouting tips. I'm looking for ways to get it done quicker. It seems like I have to acid wash every floor I do. Is that common?
 

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Please share your grouting tips. I'm looking for ways to get it done quicker. It seems like I have to acid wash every floor I do. Is that common?
Get the right mixture almost like pancake batter, make sure your joints are cleaned scraped and dust free. Get a good spread technique going and make sure to scrape it clean. the less you have to sponge off the quicker your wipe down will go and for me the better my joints look

Now when you say acid wash please explain what the goal you are looking for that made you acid wash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I'm done grouting, I have haze on the tile and the grout dries unevenly. It looks like some of the minerals have dried on the top make light spots. Efflorescence, I believe is what it's called. I mix it like you said, a littler thicker that batter, thick enough so I don't get air bubbles, then I scrape as much off as I can before I start sponging. If I go over the whole floor again, after the first wipe down, then I can usually get it looking fine. But it takes time and I've found that scrubbing it after it's all done and dry with a mild acid is quicker. I'm just trying to see if anyone has any tips they use to make it even quicker. Grout, one wipedown, done.
 

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After you have done the first wipe, 24 hours later I always come back with a couple dry rags wipe off and vacumn the remaining grout. do another wet wipe. and then towel dry. Never had that problem.

How long are you waiting to wipe down your grout. Is it tacky or does the grout start to break and smear when you are doing your first wipe down. Maybe you are letting it set up to much ??

Is there a lot of color to the grout ?
 

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Carpe Diem
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When I'm done grouting, I have haze on the tile and the grout dries unevenly. It looks like some of the minerals have dried on the top make light spots. Efflorescence, I believe is what it's called. I mix it like you said, a littler thicker that batter, thick enough so I don't get air bubbles, then I scrape as much off as I can before I start sponging. If I go over the whole floor again, after the first wipe down, then I can usually get it looking fine. But it takes time and I've found that scrubbing it after it's all done and dry with a mild acid is quicker. I'm just trying to see if anyone has any tips they use to make it even quicker. Grout, one wipedown, done.
When cleaning cementious grout, use as little water as possible; one of the biggest causes of efflorescence. Also, the last workshop I attended, the NTCA recommended waiting 30-40 minutes before the first cleaning. For final cleaning, I've had good luck using microfiber rags instead of sponges.

Although, switching to urethane has changed all that! :thumbup:

Did I mention, QuartzLock????
 

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Paul
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Microfiber cloths are THE thing for grouting :thumbsup:
 

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Water is your enemy

Cut down on your water use.

Ring those sponges out hard and clean it only as much as need be.

Grout is a tricky subject and many a pro has struggled with this 'simple' step.

It's not simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Grouting Tips

Thanks for the tips. I think that I am not letting the grout sit long enough. I start cleaning it immediately because I'm paranoid of it drying too much. I've had too many experiences where it dried and I spent way too much time scrubbing to get it off the tile. I wring out my sponge plenty. I want it as dry as I can get it. I think I'll try letting a section sit up for a little longer next time. Now as for urethane, I must have missed that trend somehow. What is urethane grout, why is it better, where do I get it, how do I clean it?
 

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Carpe Diem
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Thanks for the tips. I think that I am not letting the grout sit long enough. I start cleaning it immediately because I'm paranoid of it drying too much. I've had too many experiences where it dried and I spent way too much time scrubbing to get it off the tile. I wring out my sponge plenty. I want it as dry as I can get it. I think I'll try letting a section sit up for a little longer next time. Now as for urethane, I must have missed that trend somehow. What is urethane grout, why is it better, where do I get it, how do I clean it?
Definitely let the grout set longer before cleaning. Use microfiber for final cleaning :thumbup:

As for urethane, I'm talking about QuartzLock made by StarQuartz.

Take a look-see:
http://www.contractortalk.com/f73/starquartz-quartzlock2-review-68020/
 

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Carpe Diem
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Bostick also makes a nice urethane now. I like Quartzlock for the most part, but not too fond of it in showers. I've seen it fail a few times in very wet applications.
Bostik stuff is made by StarQuartz:
http://www.bostik-us.com/resource-center/press-and-media-relations/press-releases/sq/default.html

As for failures in wet locations, from what I have read, those can be traced back to INSTALLER issues.

I have successfully used QuartzLock 1 in a shower. I just followed the directions. QuartzLock 2 is much simpler to install in a wet location. They've made it more goof-proof. Still, read the directions!
 

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Another option other than urethane is Epoxy.

I have been using Laticrete spectralock grout for about 4-5 years.

Once you know how to use it, it is extremely user friendly. It has 80 min working time and very rarely do you ever have to throw any out because you ran out of time. Grout, wait, Initial wash with sponge, wait, final wash with rag (will definatley try the micro-fibre, thanks for the tip!)

Unless you do a poor job in the initial or final wash, you are done.

Epoxy has about the same absorption rate as porcelain tile <0.5%

You do not get colour variations like cement based grouts and it is harder to "overwash" compared to cement grouts, meaning, you actually want a "more damp - not dripping" sponge when using epoxy.

I will admit I have never used any other manufacturers epoxy, but, I have heard that they are no where near as "user friendly" compared to Laticrete.

On all our jobs we use Spectralock. It is really not even an option to use anything else.
 

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Quick Tip: Before you put any grout on the floor, use a damp sponge across tiles immediately before grouting. It will keep grout from setting up to quickly on top of the tiles. Worked well on our last job of 900 sq ft of tile to grout. And it actually was on the bag.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I'd be careful adding any additional water when using cementious grout. What worked for you may lead someone else to trouble.

Cementious grout is best with as little water as possible. :thumbsup:
 

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I think Bostick's must be based on Quartzlock 2. Looks like that one is definitely easier to use. My distributors still aren't carrying anything but original Quartzlock for some reason. I'd like to try the glass product as well. I'm about to use Spectralock for the first time myself. Most of my bathroom is done in Quartzlock but the shower will get Spectralock. Antique White matches up perfectly between the two companies. Mapei also make a product just like Spectralock now, called Opticolor. Those are the only two I know of that are all that user friendly.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I think Bostick's must be based on Quartzlock 2. Looks like that one is definitely easier to use. My distributors still aren't carrying anything but original Quartzlock for some reason. I'd like to try the glass product as well. I'm about to use Spectralock for the first time myself. Most of my bathroom is done in Quartzlock but the shower will get Spectralock. Antique White matches up perfectly between the two companies. Mapei also make a product just like Spectralock now, called Opticolor. Those are the only two I know of that are all that user friendly.
I'm moments away from using StarGlass. That's urethane grout specifically designed for use with glass and metal tile. The grout is translucent. Pretty neat stuff. I've used it before and LOVED the outcome.

Later today, I'll be wrist-deep in some Opticolor!

gideond, I bet your supplier is just trying to get rid of old stock. If you have a Daltile nearby, they carry QL2 and StarGlass.

EDIT: I ended up using StarGlass instead of the Opticolor.
 

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First, the amount of water in the grout mix should be equal to what the manufacturer recommends. Angus has it right. Cement products work as intended only with proper water-cement ratio.

This is the one-wipe method I've been using for years:

-While grouting, use the side of the float to cut excess grout from tile surface.

-Wait until the grout has set enough before starting with a sponge clean-up. That time will depend on the environmental conditions. I don't begin clean-up until the grout has had a chance to settle in and starts setting, but don't wait until the grout crusts over on the tile. With experience, you'll better know the best time to start cleaning.

-Use minimal water to clean. If you water drips off the sponge or is sitting on the tiles - your sponge is too wet.

-Use circular motion with sponge to loosen hardened material crusting on tiles. I usually have another sponge with the scrubber side for removing grout on the tile itself if it is setting quick. Continue until most of the grout color and sand is cleaned up.

-Rinse and wring sponge, make soft, very slow, straight passes, moving the sponge in one direction only, then turn sponge over using a clean section and make a parallel pass, then rinse, wring, and repeat. Sponge should be as dry as possible, as mentioned above, and work about 10SF at a time. If this step isn't mind numbing, then you are going too fast. Also, if you are dragging color (you'll see it behind the sponge on your pass) your passes are too long.

-Once the surface is dry (no more than 20-minutes), then buff any lingering haze with a soft cloth. The grout haze is a cement product and it will continue to harden over time thus increasing the difficulty of removing it. So, you are better off trying to remove it the same day you grout
 
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