A mortar used to fill cracks and spaces in a stone or tile installation. A cement based grout can be either sanded or non-sanded and is highly absorbent. Sanded grout is most universally used; however unsanded might be chosen for spaces of 1/8″ or less and where a smooth surface is preferred. Also, it may be preferred for installations of glass or soft stones to reduce risk of scratching the surfaces during installation. Unsanded grout is more at risk of cracking and shrinking than sanded. An epoxy based grout, used primarily with ceramic or porcelain tile installations, has a low-absorption rate and may not need sealing, is color fast, and less susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
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Grout is a often color tinted. It is applied as a thick emulsion and hardens over time, much like mortar. Tiling grout is either cement based or epoxy. Tiling grout is often used to fill the spaces between tiles or mosaics and to secure tile to its base. Although ungrouted installations do exist, most have grout between the tiles. Cement based tiling grout comes in sanded as well as unsanded. The sanded variety contains finely ground silica sand; unsanded is finer and produces a non-gritty final surface. They can be enhanced with polymers or latex. There are several tools associated with applying and removal of grout such as:
- grout saw or grout scraper a manual tool for removal of old and discolored grout.
- grout float a trowel-like tool for smoothing the surface of a grout line, typically made of rubber or soft plastic.
- grout sealer a water-based or solvent-based sealant applied over dried grout that resists water, oil, and acid-based contaminants.
- Dremel grout attachment an attachment guide used in a die grinder for faster removal of old grout than a standard grout saw.
- Pointing Trowel Used for applying grout in flagstone, and other stone works.
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