Cement Grouts

What are the most common cement grout problems, and how can I avoid them?

The most common cement grout problems are shade variation, blotching, cracking, powdering, and efflorescence. Improper installation techniques and environmental conditions are the most common causes of these problems. Controlling the installation conditions and being consistent with product mixing, installation and cleaning go a long way in providing good, consistent results.

While some of these problems may still occur, there are fairly simple ways to avoid or deal with them. The Cement Grout Troubleshooting Guide (TDS 201) can provide some suggestions to minimize occurrence and provide solutions to these common problems.

The easiest way to avoid these cement grout problems is to use SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout residential and light commercial installations. 

Related Documents:

Cement Grout Troubleshooting Guide TDS201
SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0 
SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Grout Installation Instructions DS 681.5
SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout Installation Instructions DS 685.5

How much grout do I need for my project?


This will vary depending on the tile size, thickness of the tile and joint width. Please use the LATICRETE Project Estimator at https://laticrete.com/en/support-and-downloads/product-support/project-estimator and click on the Grout button to determine how much grout is required based on area to be grouted, size of the tile and width of the grout joint. You can also download the LATICRETE App at the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices) for a handy, easy-to-use grout coverage calculator  Just type LATICRETE into the Search bar and download the app. The LATICRETE Grout and Sealant Colors card (DS 254.3) also contains grout coverage calculations for some common tile sizes.

Please note that grout coverage is approximate and can vary based on job site conditions, actual grout joint width and depth, type of tile or stone being grouted, and installation method.


What do I need to do if I want to re-grout my existing tile installation?


Carefully remove a minimum of ½ the depth of the existing grout joint, ensuring that he remaining grout is sound and firm. The careful use of dustless grinders with a diamond-cutting blade works well for this purpose. Use caution so tiles are not damaged. If the grout joints are too narrow to accommodate a dustless grinder, it may be necessary to use a hand-held tool (e.g. grout saw, Dremel Tool, Roto-Zip, etc...). Vacuum all of the dust and grout debris from the joints, wash with clean water and allow to dry. Proceed with the grout installation using one of the following grouts:

SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Grout
SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout
PERMACOLOR® Select Grout
PERMACOLOR Grout
PERMACOLOR Select NS

Related Documents:

SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout DS 681.0
SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout DS 685.0
PERMACOLOR Select Grout DS 281.0
PERMACOLOR Grout DS 258.0
PERMACOLOR Select NS DS 116.0
SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Grout Installation Instructions DS 681.5
SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout Installation Instructions DS 685.5

Should I use a sanded or unsanded grout on marble or other soft stone?


Sanded grouts can sometimes scratch marble, other soft stone, glazed surfaces, or soft glazed tile. Conducting a small test area will confirm results and help in choosing the correct grout type to use. If an unsanded grout is specified or required, use 1600 Unsanded Grout mixed with 1776 Grout Enhancer.

Related Documents:


PERMACOLOR® Select NS DS 116.0
1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

Where would flexible sealants be used in place of grout?


Over all movement joints, control joints, cold joints, changes of plane, changes of surface type, corners, coves, room perimeters, etc... Refer to the current version of the Tile Council of North America Expansion Joint Detail EJ-171. Use LATASIL™ in these areas.

Related Documents:


LATASIL™ DS 6200.1
LATASIL 9118 Primer DS 6528.1
Why Are Expansion Joints Needed in Tile and Stone Applications? TDS252

Questions about Grouting with Portland Cement Based Grout

Can I use 1776 Grout Enhancer with 1500 Sanded Grout or 1600 Unsanded Grout?


Yes. Adding 1776 Grout Enhancer to 1500 Sanded Grout or 1600 Unsanded Grout will enhance the physical properties of the grout and control the growth of mold and mildew into the grout. Adding the 1776 Grout Enhancer will also help to intensify color and remove any concerns which minerals in the mixing water may create. As always, conduct a small test area to determine suitability and acceptability.  

Related Documents:


1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

Can I use 1776 Grout Enhancer with PERMACOLOR® Grout, PERMACOLOR Select Grout or PERMACOLOR Select NS?

No. 1776 Grout Enhancer must not be used with PERMACOLOR® Grout, PERMACOLOR Select Grout or PERMACOLOR Select NS; use water only when mixing these grouts.  Follow the directions for mixing as stated on product data sheets.

Related Documents:

PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
PERMACOLOR Grout DS 258.0
PERMACOLOR Select NS DS 116.0

How much gauging (mixing) liquid do I add to the portland cement grouts?

For PERMACOLOR® Grout, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of clean, potable water with one 25 lb. (11.3kg) bag of PERMACOLOR Grout in a clean bucket.

For PERMACOLOR Select Grout, add two PERMACOLOR Select Pigment packs (1 box) to 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of clean, potable water and allow the pigment packs to dissolve. Stir water to disperse pigment.  Add one 25 lb. (11.3 kg) bag of PERMACOLOR Select Base Powder and mix well.

For PERMACOLOR Select NS Grout, add one PERMACOLOR Select Pigment packs to 0.9 quarts (1.0 liter) of clean, potable water and allow the pigment pack to dissolve. Stir water to disperse pigment.  Add one 8 lb. (3.6 kg) bag of PERMACOLOR Select NS Base Powder and mix well.

For 1500 Sanded Grout, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of clean, potable water, or, mix 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of 1776 Grout Enhancer with one 25 lbs (11.3 kg) bag of 1500 Sanded Grout in a clean bucket.

For 1600 Unsanded Grout, mix 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of clean, potable water, or, mix 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of 1776 Grout Enhancer with one 25 lbs (11.3 kg) bag of 1600 Unsanded Grout in a clean bucket.

Adjust water accordingly to achieve proper working consistency and check the product data sheet to see if there have been any changes to mixing directions.

Related Documents:

PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
PERMACOLOR Grout DS 258.0
PERMACOLOR Select NS DS 116.0
1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

When do I use a sanded grout or an unsanded grout?

Use unsanded grout (e.g. PERMACOLOR® Select NS) for soft marble, polished marble, other types of soft stone, some polished stone, or soft glazed tiles when the grout joint is 1/8" (3mm) or less.

Use sanded grout (e.g. PERMACOLOR or PERMACOLOR Select) for all other types of tile or stone or grout joints greater from 1/16" (1.5mm) to 1/2" (12mm) wide.

Related Documents:

PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
PERMACOLOR Grout DS 258.0
PERMACOLOR Select NS DS 116.0
1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0

Are there precautions I can take when grouting very porous or rough textured stone?


Yes! The use of a high quality grout release (e.g. STONETECH Grout Release) or sealer (e.g. STONETECH Heavy Duty Sealer) on the face of the stone is recommended. The use of these types of products will aid in the clean-up process and help minimize the tile or stone from being stained, or having voids filled by the grout in such a way that cleaning would be very difficult. Conduct a test area to determine suitability and acceptability of materials and methods prior to grouting the entire area.

Related Documents:

STONETECH® Grout Release DS 213.5
STONETECH Heavy Duty Sealer DS 279.0
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Unpolished, Honed and Textured Marble MCI107
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Polished, Absorptive Granite MCI109
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Unpolished, Honed and Textured Granite MCI110
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Unpolished, Honed and Textured Limestone MCI112
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Unpolished, Honed and Textured Travertine MCI114
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Natural Slate MCI115
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Saltillo, Terra Cotta & Clay Bricks MCI118
STONETECH Maintenance & Care Concrete & Cement Bricks MCI119


How long after grouting should I wait before I can seal my cement grout?


LATICRETE would recommend that any of our cement based grouts (e.g. PERMACOLOR® Select, PERMACOLOR Select NS, PERMACOLOR Grout, 1500 Sanded Grout, and 1600 Unsanded Grout) cure for a minimum of 72 hours at 70°F; (21°C) prior to use of a STONETECH® sealer (e.g. STONETECH Heavy Duty Grout Sealer, STONETECH BulletProof® Sealer, STONETECH Heavy Duty Sealer, etc…). Please note that LATICRETE epoxy grouts (e.g. SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout, SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG) do not require the use of a sealer.

Related Documents:

STONETECH® Heavy Duty Grout Sealer DS 295.0
STONETECH Heavy Duty Sealer DS 279.0
STONETECH BulletProof® Sealer DS 282.0


What are some tips I can use when grouting with cement based grouts?


1. Make sure when using multiple bags or cartons of grout, that all of the batch numbers match. Slight shade variations can occur from batch to batch. If it is necessary to use grouts from different batches, dry mix all of the grout powder prior to adding the gauging liquid.

2. Use the same grouting and cleaning techniques over the entire installation to ensure a consistent finish.

3. The final grout color is dependent on many job site conditions; including temperature, porosity of the tile or stone, humidity, mixing ratios (powder/liquid), lighting, lippage, and installation & cleaning techniques used. Controlling the environment as much as possible and being consistent in installation and cleaning techniques helps promote consistent, satisfactory results. Keep other trades and traffic away from grout during installation and curing, and protect the installation after they have been installed.

4. Always try to verify grout color appearance by conducting a test area under actual job site conditions and allow to dry, prior to grouting the entire installation.

5. Keep in mind that grout color cards, chip clips and electronic representations are approximate guides only. The actual shade, and texture of the finished grout will depend on job site conditions, installation techniques, cleaning techniques, lighting, type and color of stone, and protection from other trades and traffic during and within 24-48 hours after installation.

6. Clean tile promptly after installation as stated on the product data sheet for the grout used. Do not let the grout dry completely on the surface!

7. Mix the grout as stiff as possible without losing the workability. Use a sharp-edged rubber grout float to spread and pack the grout fully into the joints. Follow the specific instructions for cleaning time as stated in the product data sheet. Keep in mind that the time to cleaning can vary depending on job site conditions (e.g. porosity of tile, temperature, humidity, etc…). Use a damp sponge to clean the grout. DO NOT USE EXCESS WATER DURING THE CLEANING PROCESS! The use of too much water can wash out pigment from the grout and a lighter shade can result.

Related Documents:

PERMACOLOR® Select Grout DS 281.0
PERMACOLOR Grout DS 258.0
PERMACOLOR Select NS DS 116.0
1500 Sanded Grout DS 256.0
1600 Unsanded Grout DS 258.0 
1776 Grout Enhancer DS 265.0


How can I remove stubborn cement grout haze from the face of the tile or stone?


As always, it is best to make sure that he grout is properly installed and cleaned during the original installation. Cement grout haze can be difficult to remove after it has had a chance to fully dry on the surface of the tile.

To remove grout haze after fully curing on the tile or stone face, try using STONETECH® Stone & Tile Cleaner with a scrub pad. Conduct a test area to determine results and verify acceptability of materials and methods. Use caution when scrubbing polished stone, glass or soft glazed tile as scratching may occur.

If the grout haze is persistent, it may be necessary to use a more aggressive chemical cleaner which has been designed for the purpose. STONETECH Restore® Acidic Cleaner is effective at removing stubborn cement based grout haze. Contact LATICRETE Technical Services at 1.888.786.6343 for more information on when and how to use STONETECH Restore Acidic Cleaner to remove cement grout haze. Always conduct a test area to determine suitability and acceptability of materials and methods. Protect metal surfaces from exposure to STONETECH Restore Acidic Cleaner fumes. Do not use STONETECH Restore Acidic Cleaner on polished marble or other acid sensitive stone or surfaces.


Follow the directions on the STONETECH cleaner data sheet or packaging, including dilution percentage, rinsing and neutralization information prior to use.

Related Documents:

STONETECH® Stone & Tile Cleaner DS 211.0
STONETECH Restore® Acidic Cleaner DS 216.0