grout joint width


  #1  
Old 03-17-01, 04:11 PM
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We have some 5x16 tile that we'll be installing on our bathroom floor that has a weathered wood appearance, both in surface texture and coloration. We saw a "woograin" tile in a restaurant this morning and the first thing we both said was "that's exactly how we DON'T want this to look!" The tile at the restaurant looked like wood alright, but the 5 x 12 tiles with 3/8 oe 1/2" dark grout lines looked awful, IMHO.

The tile we have is a very realistic looking woodgrain -- so much so that when we first saw the display board from across the showroom, our first reaction was "when did American Tile start selling hardwood flooring?" In the display, the tiles were directly adjacent, and really did look like wood until you touched them!

My question is... how narrow can we make our grout joints on this floor? We want to make them as narrow as possible and try for the look we saw in the display, to the degree we can. We already have a bag of Custom Polyblend sanded grout that is very, very close to the color of the tiles, and the bag says it can be used for joints as narrow as 1/8". Is there any structural disadvantage in a narrower joint on a floor? Should I go narrower and switch to a non-sanded grout?

I've never seen much discussion about choosing the width of a grout joint. What would you folks recommend in this case?

Thanks!

D.

 
  #2  
Old 03-17-01, 06:13 PM
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Since the tile will be staggered when installed, and the joints won't have to line up with each other, it should be ok to go down to 1/16 for a grout joint. Anything less and the grout won't stay in the joints. This size joint will take un-sanded grout.
 
  #3  
Old 03-18-01, 02:38 PM
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Hi Dan,

Adanac is in Canada and has gotten confused by having to convert to the metric system while still having to deal with the English Standard :-)

1/16 won't leave anything for variation in the caliber of the tiles, and 1/16 is not uncommon in large floor tiles. In fact, some of them will vary by as much as an eighth (Measure some of them). I would go for a joint that will vary between 1/8 and 3/16. This will allow the use of sanded grout.

John

 
  #4  
Old 03-18-01, 06:05 PM
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Dan
John is correct...but since the tile is 5x16, and will be layed with a staggered joint(like a hardwood floor)...there isn't much if a need to worry about variation in the tile since the joints won't line up anyway. But..here's a thought..open up a few boxes and lay them on the floor without adhesive and see how they look..if they don't go together..open up the joints as John suggested.
 
  #5  
Old 03-19-01, 07:09 AM
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Both John and Adanac have good points here. Adanac is right, in that the tile will be laid in a staggered style rather than with joints meeting. John makes a good point about the possible variance in size. However, it would seem, logically, that the longer dimension would vary more than the shorter dimension -- and with the way they'll be laid, some slop in the longer dimension isn't a problem. It's the narrower sides that will be lined up, and those should be more consistent (or at least the tolerance less dramatic).

Adanac's idea of laying them out is a good one... of course, if they don't do down in the same order when I lay them...

Then there's the fact that I already have a bag of sanded grout, that makes me think a 1/8" joint might be just right...

Thanks, Gentlemen.

D.

 
  #6  
Old 03-19-01, 05:58 PM
J
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Dan, Brian,

Both you guys sound like diplomats. Makes me want to take back all the things I've said about Canadians, Brian.

Dan, you scrounger you, I know you'll use tha sack of sanded grout. I mean, anybody who uses old cement sacks and shower curtains for moisture barriers . . . .

See you down is Aussie Land, Adanac.

John
 
  #7  
Old 03-19-01, 10:17 PM
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John, I told a guy about the idea of using an old shower curtain for a vapor barrier. He tried it, but said it was too hard to get staples through it, and he gave up. After questioning for a bit, I found out that his old shower had a bypass door, not a curtain. ;>

And, btw, you're right -- I'll use that bag of sanded grout. The tile dealer will charge a restocking fee if I try to return it!

D.

 
 

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