The main reason for providing a gap between the tiles is to accommodate for slight sizing differences from tile to tile that are created during the manufacturing process. The gap enables the installer to adjust the tile to compensate for these sizing differences and allow for a straight grout line. Due to the technology incorporated in the manufacturing of tile today, there is very little variation in size and therefore grout joint widths are generally much smaller than they have been in the past. Typically, the grout joints should be minimum of 1-2mm. This specification is mentioned in BS 5385-1 of 2009.
Also, tiles are subject to thermal expansion & contraction, and these small gaps prevent any possible cracking of the tiles or their detaching from the basis. Laying tiles with small gaps also prevents problems in case of mechanical damage to one of them. If the tiles were indeed laid out without joints, it would not have been possible to safely remove one of them.
Installing tiles with no grout line would reduce the space between tiles to the minimum but would not eliminate it. The remaining space would allow water to seep between bathroom wall tiles and for dust and dirt to accumulate in the gap between kitchen floor tiles. Hence, without tile joint grouting, tile fixing is half done process.
Importance of Spacers
Use of Tile Spacers are the best and easiest way to ensure that your tiles are set at the correct distance from each other and that the result is even, polished, and professional-looking.
Tile spacers allow you to keep your floor level and ensure that each tile is properly grouted with the right amount of product. If your tiles are too close together, you risk damage if they expand. They could also become dislodged or chipped. Spacers provide a more secure, durable surface.
Spacers are small cross-like or T-shaped pieces of plastic, ceramic or wood which help you to space your tiles apart in equal distances. They come in various sizes, although most commonly used spacers range in width from ¼ to 3/8 of an inch. To use spacers, you need to lay 4 tiles at a time on the work surface. You place the spacers at the corners of each tile and then push the tiles together until they can go no further. Once you complete your tile installation, you can remove the spacers and save them for a future project. Spacers can help you to accomplish a well installed and attractive tile arrangement on floors, walls or countertops in your home. At the most basic level, spacers have a pretty simple purpose: they will allow you to keep the tiles at equal distance, enabling you to space them correctly and get a symmetrical result. The importance of using tile spacers is outlined below.
- Even Grout Lines
- Uniformity of Tiles
- Enhances Style and Design
Grout is an essential part of your tile installation and choosing the right grout can make all the difference between an installation that looks and performs beautifully over time and one that rapidly deteriorates into a dangerous eye-sore.
There are several different types of grout on the market today and we’d like to tell you about three common ones used for tile and stone installations.
Grout is used as a filler for the joints between tiles once the tile you are installing has been set. Most grouts are a powdered mix of cement, lime, color pigment and sometimes sand that hardens when mixed with water and left to cure. Grouts can be divided into cementitious grouts and resin grouts. In cementitious grouts, depending on the filler size, they can be again classified as sanded and non- sanded grouts. In resinous grouts, epoxy and Furan based grouts are more famous.
Grout offers a number of valuable benefits:
- It gives your floor or wall a crisp finished appearance.
- it helps keep dirt and debris from getting in between and under your tile.
- It adds rigidity and strength to the tile installation.
CEMENT POLYMER GROUT and SUPER GROUT manufactured by ARDEX ENDURA falls in the non-sanded grout category and WIDE JOINT GROUT is the sanded cementitious grout. EPOXY GROUT manufactured by ARDEX ENDURA is hygienic, stain-resistant, 3 component epoxy resin-based grout with a high degree of resistance to chemical attack, abrasion and impact. The cured grout does not transfer stains to food products, prevents the entry of bacteria or dirt and is easily maintained in a sterile condition. EPOXY GROUT is designed for grouting glazed tiles, mosaic, vitrified and fully vitrified tiles, ceramic tiles, industrial tiles, granites, marbles & other natural stones, etc.
These products meet the requirements of EN 13888 and conform to the Global Migration Test laid by USFDA for intended use for contact with aqueous food & beverage (water based) products.
For more details, visit- https://www.ardexendura.com/products/tile-and-stone-installations/