Jason Pettinato Tile
CALL 916.600.2009
Sacramento Area
license 799114
Tile Design Ideas
Grout and Common Issues

1.) Why is my grout cracking?
Grout cracks are not all created equal and don't happen for the same reasons. The most common reasons why I see grout cracking is due to expansion and contraction. This could just be temperature changes causing minor movement. Grout is not flexible so once there is movement, the grout cannot "adjust" or absorb the difference leaving a grout crack.
If there is significant movement such as a concrete slab crack more than 1/8" inch, A unprotected tile will lose that battle and will crack. There really needs to be a crack isolation membrane and the proper thinset used in order to increase the chance of a cracked tile.

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  • 2.O What kind of grout is best for my project?
    Let's start with the basics. Grout joints 1/8" and smaller need "unsanded" grout. Anything bigger needs "sanded" grout. Never use sanded grout on highly polished marble because it will scratch the surface which will be a total pain to restore and very costly! The two most common versions of grout are "modified" and "unmodified". Modified grout has an latex additive that increases the workability especially during hot weather seasons. Just water is used to mix so it's pretty straight forward. Unmodified grout can also be mixed with just water but also can accept a latex or acrylic additive. I prefer modified grout and have had great results.

    3.) Which kind of sealer should I use?
    I keep it simple here. If one bottle of sealer costs $10 and another one costs $30 I ask myself why? Well, knowing from experience in using several brands and types of sealers, I have learned to stay away from the "cheap stuff". They just don't perform and last as long. I like to use an "impregnator" type. This simply means that the sealer will sink below the surface and fill up all the small pores of the grout. I stay away from "topical" sealers or ones that change the surface appearance as once they start to peel...you have a nightmare on your hands.

    4.) How do I pick out a grout color that will look good with my new tile?
    It is a general practice to select a grout to "blend" with the ceramic tile. Years ago the big thing was a "contrast" look that made the grout really stand out but that has seem to have gone to the wayside. I like to take a few tile samples and put your grout sample chart between the tiles where the grout joint would be. If your still not sure about your selection, you can buy the grout you think will match and do a little test area. Make sure and let it dry completely as it will lighten up as the water evaporates.

    5.) Should I not use tile because grout is impossible to keep clean?
    No! Read my tip How To Clean Grout and try it for yourself. If you seal your grout once it's clean, you will no longer ask yourself this question because you were educated by a ceramictilepro!

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