I was inspired by a visit to the Reed Harris Tiles blog to take a look at grout.
Karen from Reed Harris takes a look at how the grout colour can enhance the tiles and the space in general.
Elsewhere this simple grout colour simulator on the Joy of Shards mosaics site was interesting and fun, but I found the colours to be rather harsh.
For domestic projects colour may be the most important criteria for a grout, but for commercial or public enviroments, such as swimming pools or changing rooms, strength and anti-bacterial properties will be equally if not more important.
Johnson Tiles’ grouts are aimed more at architectural specifiers rather than domestic designers- the products tend to be white or grey (although ivory, sandstone and other colours are available).
For commercial projects, the suitability of the grout for certain substrates will be one of the first criteria to be checked.
Values such as the drying time and the coverage rate will be a factor for contractors- the sooner the tiles can be trafficked, the sooner the next phase of the project can commence. And for budgets and tenders, knowing the precise quantity of material required is critical, especially on a large job.
When it comes to installation, there are BS Standards for installation in different applications. For example for commercial projects, the grout lines for floors should be a minimum of 3mm and 2mm for walls, as per BS 5385.
And architects will require the accommodation of thermal movement to be designed in, along with the use of expansion joints.
For clean environments, such as hospitals, it may be preferable not to use tiles, as the grout lines provide a crack for bacteria to grow. However grouts by BAL and Dunlop incorporate micro ban, which provides some anti-bacterial properties.
Selection of these criteria are set out in Johnson Tiles suitability chart.
Tile product selector
ESI.info has a list of over 150 UK porcelain and ceramic tile products, which can be sorted, filtered and compared according to your project requirements.
A list of mosaic tiles (UK products and suppliers) is also available.
All the UK suppliers of grouts, are also included, ranging from domestic tile grouts, to commercial products and also external grouts and mortars for concrete paving and stone flags.