It is not recommended to start grouting before the adhesive has completely hardened. A premature manipulation could disturb the positioning and adherence of the tiles.
Grouting is done with a rubber spatula or grouting trowel. The material should be pressed with back and forth movements to ensure that the joints are completely filled.
Wide ranges of grouting materials for ceramic tiles exist, allowing selection of the most appropriate, depending on the type of tile and environment. Most of these materials contain cement and other components which have specific functions (whitening, mould resistance, smoothness of texture, hardness, flexibility…).
There are also other materials such as epoxies, organic materials and silicon-based, which do not contain cements, and far surpasses cement-based products when it comes to certain functions. Greater care and skill will be needed when using these products.
Containing hydraulic binders, mineral fillers and organic additives, these need only be mixed with water or another liquid just before their application. They may contain colouring agents in order to obtain colour variations.
These mortars are divided into “normal” or “improved” categories according to their attributes (reduced water absorption, high scratch-resistance…).
They are prepared by adding the amount of water indicated by the manufacturer to obtain a sufficiently thick and homogeneous paste. There are products on the market for both thick and thin joints.
They can be applied to interior and exterior wall and floor coverings. They are compatible with all tile types.
These grouts are not recommended for areas which undergo frequent cleaning with aggressive products, nor in industrial food plants (kitchens, slaughter houses…) or hygienic environments (operating rooms…).
Made from synthetic resins (generally epoxies), organic additives and mineral fillers, these grouts harden caused by a chemical reaction. They are available in one or more components. They may contain pigments to provide colouring.
The main characteristics of these products include their resistance to chemical products and bacteria, their high level of adherence, very good resistance to humidity, and excellent abrasion resistance.
Their area of usage is that for areas where hygiene, chemical resistance, high scratch-resistance and excellent resistance to humidity are paramount.