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Urethane Grout Problems to Avoid

The Benefits of a Premixed Compound

Premixed urethane grout is a relatively new product to the bathroom home improvement market. It is a handily convenient grout that comes premixed in a bucket ready to use without the hassle of having to pour and mix the dusty dry ingredients of traditional cement and sand based grout with water.

Instead all you have to do is open the urethane grout bucket, fold in the sand and polyurethane resins together by stirring with a flat edge and you are ready to grout.

The benefit of using urethane grout over cement based grout is that the urethane grout produces a stronger bond between its sand particles and is color and stain resistant.

Unlike traditional cement based grout which if you add too much water to the mixture can not only reduce the strength of the grout but can also cause discoloration and mottling when the grout dries, urethane grout is premixed for you.

While urethane grout is a great product, there are several issues you should consider when using urethane grout to remodel the tile in your bathroom.

Addressing Common Issues Before Installation

1) Grout shrinkage – causes the grout to pull away from the tile which can cause moisture to penetrate into the substrate when tiling your bathroom vanity countertop, backsplash, tile walls or tile floors.

2) Tile movement – Grout separating from the tile can be caused by the tile not sticking to the substrate. One way to check to see if this is happening is to take the handle end of a butter knife and tap the ceramic tile and listen to what it sounds like.

Does it sound solid or hollow also you should dig some of the grout out and check if you can lift the tile up off the substrate.

Dealing With Curing Times

Sometimes first time renovators forget that how long your installation is allowed to cure before the grout is applied is very important. An example of this occurring would be if your tile was laid over the original MDF that is typically installed under a Formica countertop. What can happen here is that the underlayment expands when moistened from the thinset mortar.

Sometimes the tile only expands in certain places because the glue used to install the Formica has sealed the MDF, either way the tile will not seal properly because it will shrink when dry. To see substantial tile separation would almost always indicate a substrate problem causing the tile to move.

Page 1. The Benefits of a Premixed Compound

  • Bill VIncent says:

    Two other cautions when using urethanes– first, be aware that it dries quickly. Do no more than 10-15 square feet at a time, IF that. Best to do a couple of sections even smaller than that, and get a feel for how long you have.

    Secondly, one of the biggest shortfalls of urethanes is that it needs to completely cure (7-10 days) before being exposed to moisture, or you’ll have problems from it softening back up….. permanently.

    July 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

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