Used in construction projects around the world, grout is considered one of the most stable structural integrators possible, and it can be used quickly and conveniently in a variety of household tune-ups. But while many people know of its existence, few people know how important grout actually is to the foundation and framework of homes and buildings. Below is an explanation of why grout deserves a bit more recognition for its role in our lives:
What Exactly is It?
Though some people loosely toss around the term ‘grout’ when discussing a variety of adhesive cement-like products, it actually has a specific consistency and component structure that separates it from similar materials. Unlike mortar, grout is made and supplied in a pourable form, and is actually used to fill space instead of bonding elements together. Furthermore, while most people understand the use and application of household grout, it actually comes in several varieties.
Why Do We Use Grout?
Though many assume that grout is used to weld pieces of construction materials together, its uses are actually quite different. Instead, grout is laid between structural elements in order to help improve fire ratings for a building, to alter the nature of the acoustics for sound purposes, to change the blast resistance, and to improve the thermal mass capabilities of the property in question.
Additionally, when grout is used in household projects to fill voids between tiles or other surfaces that contain cracks, its presence can actually strengthen the components with which it bonds, as it provides a linking material that helps these pieces last longer.
The Types of Grout
Because grout has so many different applications in construction projects, it comes in several varieties that can be easily found in department stores.
Outside of this list though, there are two simple types of grout that are fairly well known, and are used often in easy household projects: cement-based grout and epoxy grout.
Cement-based grout, a porous surface that includes a small amount of sand inside its composition, is most commonly used between bathroom tiles in order to allow for the mosaic to fit correctly.
Epoxy grout, while more expensive, is used in place of cement-grout as a stronger and sturdier alternative. Furthermore, epoxy grout is considered much easier to maintain and clean, and will provide homeowners with a surface that won’t require continuous upkeep.
For those choosing to use cement-grout in their household project, experts recommend adding a sealant once it sets, as this will prevent any sort of dirt or discoloration to set into the porous and stain prone grout. Most also recommend a penetrating sealant that still breathes once fitted into the project.
Caring for Grout in a Home
Because grout is a porous surface, routine maintenance will be necessary in order to keep it sturdy and effective. Owners can use a degreasing agent alongside a steam cleaner and stiff-bristled brush when bringing out stains. On occasion, re-grouting may be necessary to keep it aesthetic and functional.