Master Industry Reference & Installation
Standard recommended grouting procedures
Standard recommended care and maintenance
Special tips for large format glass tiles
Additional tips for specialty tile installation
Frequently Asked Questions
SIMPLE GROUTING RECOMMENDATIONS

Throughout history glass tiles and mosaics have been the material of choice, at one time available only to Kings. Glass tiles and mosaics - a translation of primal elements; refined, united, and woven with aesthetic genius. The foundations are ancient and enduring, with Imperial distinction, mysticism and, even today, glass tiles and mosaics continue to reflect the accomplishments of mankind throughout the ages.

So, why can’t we get the grouting right?

Is grouting, with the desired results, truly one of the many mysteries of the universe?

I think not
Let’s walk through it.

Clean water, to wash the grout, and cheesecloth - NOT a sponge - is the recommended method of cleanup.

So why is it that we still see far more sponges, including ‘Hydrophilic’ sponges, than cloth?

My preferred cloth is Terry. I find it works exceptionally. The Terry Cloth fabric has uncut loops in its pile that pickup residues while wiping.

TYPICAL STORY

The tile installer has done a perfect layout, spending considerable effort to ensure all the cuts and angles are perfect.
The following day, the tile installer planned on having the installation grouted.
Why is it that the least experienced helper is given the grouting job?
However, in this case the helper was aware of correct grouting methods.
“Where is the cheesecloth?” asked the helper.
“Cheesecloth?” exclaimed the journeyman tile setter, “use the sponge provided!”
This new helper was adamant on the correct procedures, “I want another pail to mix the grout in, and even a third pail to have plenty of CLEAN water to wash the CHEESE-CLOTH, a supply of several square meters of cheesecloth, a new rubber grouting float, and a slow speed mixer - up to 350 RPM.”
Once the supplies where gathered, the helper only mixed a suitable amount of grout to cover an area division, where it was known that another mix would not have to be made, to join at a conspicuous area. If it were necessary to make another mix, the helper knew to accurately measure every mix, powder to water ratio, so it would be as close a match as possible.
Dry mix the ingredients when combining bags; especially, if they have sat or vibrated in the back of a vehicle while in transport.
After having wet-mixed the grout it was left to stand or “slack” for 10 - 15 minutes - this allows the chemicals to expand and for the grout to become totally wetted out.
Once this was completed, he then re-mixed the grout, ensuring the consistency was correct (consistency of butter), the shape you make it is the shape it should stay.
It was time to grout!
Floating some of the grout, the helper eased the grout into the joints to avoid scratching the glass, while only doing an area large enough for easy control, not too large and not over-reaching. Once the grout was filled into the joints, he carefully trowelled diagonally across the joints, to remove all surplus grout, while still keeping the grouting material as high in the joints as possible. The optimum is to leave only a haze to be cleaned up with damp cheesecloth.
The grout was then left for about 20-30 minutes. Moving along to the next section, the helper repeated his actions.
After the 30 minutes interval, the helper returns to softly dry polish the previous section.
The advantage of cheesecloth or Terry cloth over the sponge is obvious when you attempt to wring out all the water. With a sponge you cannot. Always, there is too much water left in the sponge. This water then puddles in the low spot or washes over the tiling and grouting, which causes discoloration, patchiness and an overall uneven appearance.
On the other hand, the cheesecloth allows the excess water to be wrung out of it. When cleaning is taking place, the loops of the cloth can actually pick up surplus grout and, instead of depositing it and excess water in an unwanted area, the cloth can then be shaken out, washed and reused.
Once the haze re-appears, this can be lightly polished off with a clean, dry piece of cloth.
NO WATER. (SEE BELOW: conclusions)
If possible, damp cure for 72 hours by covering with Kraft paper, making sure to tape down all the edges. With cleanup finished, it’s now time to leave this area for 72 hours.
(floor application)
For wall applications, lightly mist joints with spray bottle for 72 hours. A slow-damp cured grout is always the best for strength and stain resistance.

SUMMARY
Tools needed:

- 3 x 4-gallon (20 liter) pails
- Several square yards of cheesecloth or Terry cloth
- Rubber grouting float / good quality
- Slow speed mixer / even by hand is perfectly good
- 1 measuring vessel / size to compare with installation size, for the powder
- 1 smaller measuring vessel for water
- Kraft paper to cover installation (floor application)

CONCLUSION

1.
Mix grout - must be workable (butter-like consistency).
2.
Float grout and fill joints as evenly as possible
3.
Remove as much grout as possible with grout float, then with damp cheesecloth coming diagonally across installation.
4.
When haze forms, after about 30 minutes, lightly polish off with dry cheesecloth and again if necessary.
5.
Damp cover for 72 hours
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