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answers, tile/grout

updated wed 31 may 00


Kelly Averill Savino on mon 29 may 00

Thanks to all who took the time to help with my sanded grout/commercial and handmade tile dilemma. For Andrea and anyone contemplating a similar project I'm reprinting the solutions I got. I wasn't sure if crediting the authors would violate privacy so I took the names out - was that necessary?
here goes:

You can mask the commercial tiles and use the sanded grout. Or you can make addditional stoneware pieces or nip the commercial to fill the larger spaces so your grout spaces ar an equal 1/8" and use non-sandedgrout. good luck!

Hi Kelly,
I made ^6 accent tiles for our new house. The installers had no problem with
my slightly irregular tiles. There has been little to no grout cracking. I have tiles in the kitchen, foyer and bathroom. I hate to say it but you may be getting a "line" from the installer who doesn't want to take the time
to make extra cuts in the commercial tiles.
If you want some photos let me know and I'll forward them to you.
Good luck with your project.


I've installed many a tile- almost always use sanded grout. I don't know what is meant by the tiles not standing up to the sanded grout. Scratching? Never seen it happen. Perhaps the issue is the distance between the normal
bathroom tile, which is very minimal, and it can be just a bit tedious to get the sanded grout even. My suggestion to you is to use your own spacers rather than rely on the little self-spacing tabs on the sides of many 4x4"
bathroom wall tiles. This will give you plenty of room between the tiles for your sanded grout, and may also look better with your inserted tilework which will have much more space between tiles than the 1/8" that those
self-spacers provide.


I don't know for sure, but I believe you may be able to find tougher store tiles. Maybe not at the outlet you visited, though. A higher fired
commercial tile with adequate glazing should take the sanded grout just as well as your homemade tiles.


I think I'd be leery anyway of using commercial tile that is too soft to stand up to sanded grout. Perhaps if you stick to a commercial
tile that is ok for floor tile, they should have the abrasion resistance you need to be able to use the sanded grout. I don't use commercial tile, but the sanded grout mixed with the grout additive instead
of water has worked well for our garden benches that often have irregular shaped tile and varied grout line thickness.


Can't answer your question but what about making some smaller mosaic type tiles as well to fill in around the shapes you want and square them out without actually making your shapes square?

Thanks again everybody for the help, with this and the kiln questions! Kelly
"Love many. Trust few. Always paddle your own canoe."

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