Dealing With Cracked Grouts

May 10, 2012

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Dealing with cracked grouts is a common problem being faced by almost every homeowner these days. Cracked grout is a common issue associated with all kind of tiles, which gives a very bad look to the floor and walls.

There are many reasons for grout to crack and most of these are because of poor installation methods. One of the reasons of this can be excessive use of water or polymer additive in the grout mixture. Another reason can be excessive evaporation of water content in the grout mixture which leaves behind pinholes that lead to grout cracking.

Grout cracking can also occur if thinset is not used sufficiently during the installation of tiles. This is because, if the layer is not thick enough, it will pull away from the tile, leaving behind gaps of air under the tile, which subsequently leads to the breakage of tiles.

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Problem of grout cracking is an issue that can occur even in properly installed walls and tile floors. You can take up several measures to repair the cracked grouts, one of which is using grout caulk. Caulk is a substance that matches the color of the grout exactly and is available in the form of tube. One can squeeze the tube and apply it to the cracks to fill the gap. This method usually works on the cracks which are small in size, however, it is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the cracks.

Another option that one can opt for is to find the matching grout for the floor. It will be an easier option if one has some grout left over from the original installation. But, if this is not possible, then one should look for the same brand and color as the original installation.

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Next step is to mix the grout and apply it on the cracked area. For this, water and grout are mixed together in a bucket in proper proportion. An important thing to be kept in mind while preparing the mixture is that right quantity of water should be used in order to obtain the perfect consistency. After applying this to the crack, wipe off the excess grout present outside the grout line and leave it for drying.

In case, the grout doesn’t stick to the surface, then one should take a saw and remove the grout present between the tiles. While doing this, one should keep in mind that pressure should not be applied to the tile, else it will break. When the grout is removed, the mixture is applied to the cracked area using a sponge, which provides a uniform and clean look.

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Replacing the cracked grout can be another way of curing the cracks. It is the best way to overcome the problem of cracked grouts. Though it is an expensive procedure as compared to repairing the cracked grouts, but it ensures that the tiles will continue to serve well for a longer period of time. As a matter of fact, replacing grout will save you from the problem of re-tiling the floor and walls again.

Depending upon your requirements, you can choose to either repair the cracked grouts or replace them to solve your problem. This would definitely add beauty to the interiors and would provide a clean look.

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The basics of caulking

June 6, 2010

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Caulking refers to the process of sealing the joints and seams where movement is expected by using a high quality sealant. Although it looks like an insignificant job, caulking holds a lot of significance as far as the durability of the tiles and the sub floor is concerned. Generally, a tiling job involves grouting the tiled surface area to holds it together and to make it watertight. Further, grouting is also done to enhance the aesthetics of the tiled area. However, a homeowner has to decide on whether caulking is the better option or grouting as far as the expansion joints are concerned.

One of the most commonly used caulking material is Silicone based, and has a clear texture with a flexible and rubbery finish. This caulking substance is available in a wide variety of colors to suit the particular color theme of a room. However, in case you are planning to use the caulk in high moisture areas such as the kitchen and the bathroom you should select a caulking substance specially created for such areas. This will ensure that the caulking substance is able to withstand mold growth as well as mildew growth.

Caulk is ideally used in areas where there is a joint between two surfaces, for example between the wall and the floor. Further, caulk could also be used where two walls meet, around sinks, faucets as well as around bath tubs. It is due to the high flexibility provided by caulk that it can withstand any structural movement without cracking.

Although caulking is an integral aspect of a home renovation job, it is important to apply it properly for maximum effectiveness. Most DIY enthusiasts usually fail to either estimate the correct size of the caulking area or to set a smooth layer. This is the reason why their caulking job does not lead to a watertight joint. In order to ensure maximum effectiveness out of your caulking job you should use a high quality caulking gun to set the material along the joint.

The trick to ensuring a proper caulking job is to cut the caulking tube at the right place and at the right angle. After applying a layer of caulk you should smoothen it either by using a damp cloth or your fingertip. This step is important since any opening in the caulked area will compromise its integrity. One trick to ensure that you do not leave any gap while caulking on a wooden area is to apply a layer of paint first. The paint will clearly highlight any gaps and nail heads in the wooden surface, thereby enabling you to caulk in effectively.

Thus, we can see that caulking is important, especially for expansion joints and for areas where two surfaces meet. Not only does an effective caulking job ensures waterproofing of the joint, but provides high stability and enhanced aesthetic appeal. However, you should either take the help of an expert of should use a high quality caulking gun to ensure an effective and precisely finished caulking job.

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