If you are working on a grouting project, getting the right mix is so important. If the grout isn’t mixed correctly, it will be too weak or stiff to hold the tiles. There are certain myths people tend to believe about mixing grout, but this article will set the record straight.
Temperature Doesn’t’ Matter for Mixing Grout
Temperature plays a role in how quickly the mixture will cure. If you use hot water, or if the temperature in the room is hot when you mix, the grout will cure more quickly than a cold mixture. While you may think this is a good thing, the heat will also reduce the time you are able to work with your mixture.
For the ideal medium, mix grout at the temperature recommended on the package.
Adding Water Will Extend Your Working Time
You may notice your grout starting to get stiff after working with it for a while. It may seem like if you just add water, it will loosen up so you can work with it longer.
Unfortunately, the added water will weaken the grout causing cracks and color inconsistency. If your grout is becoming too stiff to work with, your best option is to mix it or whip up a new batch.
Use a Drill to Grout Mixing with Water
A drill can be used to mix grout. However, it will also cause friction which adds heat.
If you mix at a low speed of under 350 RPM, the grout will stay at a reasonable temperature. Higher speeds will generate heat and reduce your work time.
Lifting and Lowering the Paddle During Mixing is Not a Problem
You may not pay attention to how the paddle or drill goes up and down while you mix grout, but it’s important to keep your hand at a consistent level. Not doing so will cause air to get into the mixture which will show up as pinholes once the grout cures.
It Doesn’t Matter if I Leave My Bag of Grout Open
Leaving your bag of grout open will expose it to humidity. This causes the cement in the grout to hydrate so it will not cure properly.
I Don’t Need Grout Additives
If you are grouting exterior or commercial areas, you may be using a grout that calls for additives. They cost more so you may be tempted to forgo them. However, they are meant to improve the grout’s performance in high traffic areas and extreme temperatures. They will protect your grout, so it lasts longer.
Slaking Grout is a Waste of Time
Most manufacturer directions will recommend you let grout sit, or slake, after it’s been mixed. Don’t skip this step thinking it’s a waste of time. It will enhance the performance of the grout.
The grout will feel stiffer after slaking, but don’t’ add water. Remix it to loosen it up instead.
When it comes to grout, getting the right mix is everything. Now that we’ve dispelled common myths, you should be ready to get a good start on your project. Here’s to getting the optimal performance out of your grout.
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