50 Shades: The art of specifying coloured grouts.
By Steve Ball Commercial Director Laticrete UK.
While it was reported in a similar article in last year’s Specifiers Guide that customers are being more adventurous with their choice of coloured grouts, we as the British still like to play it safe (to a degree)!
We have seen the odd splash of colour here and there, and the occasional bag of Ruby may make an appearance from the dark delves of the tile shop store room, but we still cannot get away from the Grey’s!
Tiles have (in recent years) grown in their expanse of width and length and have even threatened the wood market (and others) with technologies available to mimic other materials, but still the Grey shines through as a clear winner; not only with the A&D market, but the rest of us also! But manufacturers still strive to make the grout as appealing as we can, by offering a spectrum of choice to the customer: not with any particular hope, as trend seems to pave the direction, but to entice and assist with the creative cogs to decide ‘That Look’!
The next big fad that is the talk of the town is indoor/outdoor living. 20mm thick porcelain tiles on a patio that match the design of the kitchen floor – split apart only by the bi-folding glass doors – are now becoming more prevalent in the UK. Is it tiling or is it landscaping? The same desired effect could be achieved by either profession, but consideration needs to be taken when specifying the fixing and grouting material, because the slabs could be installed in a completely different way.
The size of the joints on a patio is generally wider than that expected on an internal application, so the grout would therefore need to be able to span the joint. What is missed, on occasion ,is that the joint isn’t just about the width but also the depth. A grout that can cover joints of 10mm is great with a standard porcelain tile, but let’s not forget that these slabs are 20mm thick, so the grout also needs to be able to compensate for this too.
In this case, the Laticrete Paverlink Jointing Sand is an ideal solution. Laticrete Paverlink is a pre-blended Resin bound single component joint filling system for the simple and rapid pointing of paved areas with joints of 6mm up to 25mm deep.
Matching material to application
Is there too much choice and do we understand what we are picking for the application we are matching the grout to? With grout being such an integral part of the finish to a tiling project, expense shouldn’t be spared when deciding what to use.
Much like the adhesive, the choice of grout doesn’t just come down to the colour. It is all about the situation and substrate we are fixing to. Internal or external, wall or floor; careful consideration needs to be taken when deciding which grout to specify.
Grout classifications (like tile adhesive classifications) are great: if you understand what they mean!
We try to keep it simple at Laticrete UK. We have three types of grout, all of which are available in 40 colours! The first is the Laticrete Permacolor Grout, which is a polymer fortified CG2-WA Grout, that conforms to ISO 13007 and EN 13888. This grout is an OPC-free grout to ensure it is efflorescence free and is suitable for wall and floor, interior or exterior, installations with grout joints from 1.5mm to 12mm. It is also reinforced with Kevlar, and offers mould-resistance, improved stain-resistance and is water repellent. These characteristics make it an ideal solution for most tile types and situations, including submerged locations.
With Laticrete being at the forefront of technology, we are also able to offer the Permacolor Select range. Laticrete Permacolor Select is an advanced high-performance cement grout that offers the industry’s first dispensable dry pigment solution designed for virtually all types of residential and commercial installations and offers optimum performance on the most demanding exterior or interior applications.
Easy to mix, grout, and clean, Permacolor Select is fast-setting and suitable for joints 1.5 to 12mm wide on floors or walls. Permacolor Select is reinforced with Kevlar making it crack-and-shrink resistant and, owing to Stonetech sealer technology incorporated into the formulation, no sealers are required.
One unit of Permacolor Select consists of a 5.5kg bag of white base which is mixed with 100g of pigment supplied in a pod. This dissolves once water is added to the mix, producing what is described as a vibrant, consistent colour, minimising efflorescence. The benefits of this for a retailer or distributor are that the white base is the only inventory stock and then as many colours as required can be offered in a very small area. For the architect and contractor, it means that any colour grout for any size project can finally be an option at affordable budgets.
The pièce de résistance is Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium grout, designed for use on ceramic tile, glass tile and stone applications, both residential and commercial. It can be used both interior and exterior on walls and floors Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium Grout is perfect for swimming pools, fountains, and other wet area applications. Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium offers excellent colour uniformity, durability, stain protection, and beautiful, full grout joints in an easy-to-use, non-sag, formula which cures to a stain-proof durable and consistent finish that is almost maintenance free!
Laticrete have also introduced a sparkling element to complement the SpectraLock Pro Premium grout range: Dazzle. The Dazzle elements come in 13 different colours, comprising of four metallic, eight fluorescent-type colours, and one amazing Glow-in-the-Dark colour!
These high-end design elements offer hundreds of different options when added to the 52 standard Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium colours and can bring an incredible finish to any tiles.
SpectraLock Dazzle is used mainly in pools, spas, bathrooms, and areas where a stand-out feature is required. This can include retail outlets, hotel receptions and nightclubs.
SpectraLock Dazzle elements even brings a safety element to bathrooms, hallways and entryway with a Glow-In-The-Dark design.
Appropriate for both walls and floors, Dazzle can enhance plain tile and stone installations with a metallic look. Adding a visual “kick” by accentuating metallic tiles, glass tiles, mosaics and natural stone.
The Dazzle component is added to the Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium grout system, which is a three-component method of a resin, hardener and coloured sand. The three-component method means that the installer is always in control of the mixing and can decide how thick the grout is applied. It is also very easy to clean off of the face of the tiles; unlike some other epoxy grouts on the market.
These bold and cheerful new colours adds even more to the designer’s creative arsenal. Specifiers can let their imaginations run wild with the limitless artistic potential offered by Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium and SpectraLock Dazzle.
Whatever the design, whatever your style, Laticrete UK has the grout to compliment the look!
For over 60 years, Laticrete has provided the technology, products and service making innovative, permanent installations and repairs for the construction market. Architecturally specified and professionally endorsed, Laticrete offers a dedication to quality that results in globally proven solutions for virtually every flooring, waterproofing and facade application.