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Grouting clay tiles, 8mm joints

Discussion in 'Tiling' started by wombleboy, 21 Sep 2016.

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  1. wombleboy

    wombleboy

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    I've just finished putting down some clay tiles on my front step ... now I need to grout them. The joint between the tiles is around 8mm (I know that's quite wide, but they are 150mm tiles, so it doesn't look out of place, and an 8mm gap ensured the tiles fitted the existing step nicely, without needing to use half tiles). I'm using keracolour, but having trouble getting a nice finish.

    The only grouting I've done in the past is ceramic bathroom tiles with a 2mm gap: it was easy to just dollop the grout on, spread it into the joints with a rubber float, then wipe the excess off, and get a nice finish.

    But with these clay tiles having a slightly textured surface I need to be more careful - otherwise it's a bugger to get the grout off the tiles faces.

    My second problem is getting a smooth finish. I've tried running a scraper (and also a Stanley knife blade) along the joints to get them smooth and flush with the tiles ... but with the tiles not being perfectly smooth this doesn't work very well. I've also tried smoothing with my finger, but the grout is too sticky for that.

    When applying sealant I often use a drop of WD40 on my finger to get a smooth finish, but not sure if that would work with grout, or end up damaging it? Any tips? The best I've managed so far is to leave the grout 30 min or so to firm up, then use a wet finger to smooth it over .... still doesn't look great though
     
  2. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Damp sponge, striking across the joint as the grout firms up!
     
  3. chappers

    chappers

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    have you sealed the tiles before grouting too.
     
  4. wombleboy

    wombleboy

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    Cheers, I've been playing around with some spare tiles, and got the hang of the damp sponge at 45 degrees. Working pretty nicely - just a matter of judging how long to wait. If the grout is still too wet the sponge ends up taking some of it out of the joint, no matter how gentle I am.

    Sealing ... no should I be?
     
  5. L95

    L95

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    Yes. Clay/Terracotta is porous and could stain from the sides. When I re sealed my old kitchen floor (cheap trav):I used FILA but when I went back to Topps for some more before doing a friends bathroom it had been changed to own branded stuff made by FILA. Bit more simple as it was called Unpolished and Polished protecter instead of all the different stones it used to be. Also dabbled with some Lithothin once and that was alright too.
     
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