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non-porous tile grout

an end to unsightly bathroom misery
  [vote for,

Newly tiled bathrooms look nice for about four weeks and then that strange black flecking inevitably appears on the white grout between the tiles. Anti-fungal grouts already exist and they don't inhibit the black flecks (because, I believe, it is actually a bacterium). Anti-biotic grouts wouldn't work either because resistance would set in too quickly.

Instead I propose a grout containing tiny plastic pellets. Once the grout is dry, you play a blow torch over it and the heat melts the plastic and forms an impervious seal over the top of the grout. this should be smooth enough to inhibit baterial growth and tough enough to allow easy cleaning - just like the tiles themselves.

Unacceptable responses to this idea include: 1. use black grout 2. remove black flecks with bleach (doesn't work)

gravelpit, Jun 18 2002

I think what you need is a latex grout... http://www.cwikship...hip/tile.grout.html
this is the best link I can find so far. best for mosaic work too. [po, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

For Quarterbaker http://www.integrit...tings.com/howto.htm
Tile refinishing - spray on coating. Probably would solve the black flecks problem too. If you like your grout lines that same color as your tile. [half, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Color Fast Easy-Clean Tile, Stone & Grout Sealant http://www.colorfas...roducts/sealers.htm
"...a clear, deep penetrating sealer that forms an invisible, protective barrier against dirt, grease, oil, stains, food & mildew." [phoenix, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

SafeCoat Grout Sealer http://www.healthyh...ations&ProductID=69
"...a clear, moisture resistant sealer for porous tile grout and other cement surfaces." [phoenix, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Google search for +grout +sealant http://www.google.c...&btnG=Google+Search
The other 5,400 hits. [phoenix, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Ad for a fitness club http://www.fitnessw...es/amenity0498.html
Mentions a non-porous epoxy grout. [phoenix, Jun 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Epoxy grout description http://www.tilenet....yle/chap06/pg3.html
"...typically used when resistance to water and stains is required. " [Chance, Jun 21 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       I agree with bliss, it sounds good, but I have no idea whether it would work or not. In the absence of non-porous grout, why not just go over your existing grouting with a grouting pen? They look like a wee tipp-ex pen and make your grouting lovely and white again.
salachair, Jun 18 2002

       Wouldn't it be easier to apply a thin coat of silicon sealant over your existing grout?
waugsqueke, Jun 18 2002

       I don't understand the logic of having tiles at all. Far better to have some kind of plastic panelling with a textured finish, or a plastic membrane applied directly to the wall. I can only assume people use tiles and grout because they like the way it looks, black bits and all.
pottedstu, Jun 18 2002

       Blissmiss: Yeah, but what a way to go .... lead me to it.
8th of 7, Jun 18 2002

       pottedstu -- I agree with your sentiment, really. I've laid a lot of tile, and I think the whole shebang could be improved. I'm thinking of that spray-on truck bed liner stuff. It's waterproof, scuff-proof, scratch-resistant, etc., etc. Plus, it is already black. Would look kinda cool, too.
quarterbaker, Jun 18 2002

       pastry for you - for some reason the black things are particularly bad in our shower and half the tiles have just fallen off because the grouting cracked and let water in behind them. why dont people just use normal sealant? why cant they lay the tiles closely in the first place?
chud, Jun 18 2002

       1. Use black grout.
2. Remove black flecks with non-bleach substance.
3. See links.
phoenix, Jun 18 2002

       Further "one huge wall sized tile" line: make wall of one large cultured marble slab made with tile outlines and "grout" lines pressed onto the surface. I'm sure an enterprising CM outfit could fashion such a slab.   

       More thoughts on my dream bath later.
reensure, Jun 19 2002

       [blissmiss] Just calling 'em like I see 'em. I'm sorry if I dealt a blow to your dream of a non-porous grout.   

       As far as the bodies go, you could take some grout sealer and give them a coat. They'll last longer that way.
phoenix, Jun 19 2002

       Blissmiss, reensure: If you stick tile-effect vinyl cushion flooring to the wall, it looks very good. It hides irregualrities in an uneven wall. It's completely sealed and a hygenic, wipe-down surface. It does not attract condensation. It is a good insulator. It is easy to align and get vertical.   

       I have used this technique on two bathrooms and the results have been excellent.
8th of 7, Jun 19 2002

       :-) Happy 4th, 8th!
reensure, Jun 20 2002

       //Or just one huge wall sized tile, if tile it must be //   

       Weight and maneuverability are the two biggest reasons for lots of small tiles instead of one big one. A person can easily carry a dozen four-inch tiles at a time. A truck and crane may be needed for a marble slab or single wall-sized tile.   

       [pottedstu]: Glazed ceramic tile presents a more durable surface than plastics and fiberglass resins. It will withstand repreated use of abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals. The tiles will never discolor. Plastics and fiberglass will scuff, scratch, and discolor with age.   

       [gravelpit]: Remember that the grout has to be able to bond securely to the glazed ceramic tile. If it breaks loose too easily, then you get water seeping through the cracks and mold growing inside the wall. Not to mention falling tiles when enough grout breaks loose. I'm not sure heat-setting plastics is a good way to ensure a secure bond, because the tiles will expand and contract during heating and cooling. Also rapid, uneven heating could cause a tile to shatter.
BigBrother, Jun 22 2002


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