FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Why does my grout look lighter or darker than the color I selected?
It is normal for the color of the grout to change in the 1st three (1-3) days. The grout is still drying and the coloration may appear different than the final result. It is important to maintain a consistent temperature and to control moisture during the first 72 hours for maximum color control.
2. How do I clean my cement-based grout?
On new installations, sealing the grout joints is an optional step that can help keep them clean. Sealing greatly improves the resistance of the grout to staining and discoloration and reduces overall maintenance. Sealing of cement based grouts should not be done until the grout has cured for 28 days and the color and hardness of the grout are satisfactory.
3. How do I calculate the amount of material that is needed to complete a project?
Go to the Reference Tools & Services tab. Click on Material Calculator. Fill in the project specifications. Click the Calculate Now button. Your material requirements will appear on the screen.
4. Has epoxy grout changed recently?
Yes, there’s a new generation of user-friendly epoxy grouts that the ambitious DIYer can handle. C-Cure’s Epoxy Grout is easier than ever to install and is tough, waterproof and stain resistant, just the thing for kitchen floors, showers, and other high maintenance spots.
5. If I get an "epoxy haze" on the face of the tile, how do I remove it?
Sometimes you need a really strong cleaner for tough jobs. We recommend C-Cure CITRUS CLEANER 988 to help remove epoxy haze when used within 24 hours. These products will not harm grout, tile or stone surfaces and have no strong fumes or odors.
6. When should I use a non-sanded versus a sanded grout?
The width of the joint determines whether the grout should be sanded or non-sanded. Non-sanded should be used for tiny narrow joints (width up to 1/8") and polished surfaces or delicate glazed tiles. Use SUPREME 925 or MP NONSANDED 923 for these installations. Fine sanded grout should be used in joint widths 1/8" to 1/2". Use AR GROUT SANDED 922, MP SANDED 924, or CUREPERFECT 930 for these installations. PAVERMIX 928 should be used on joint widths 1/2" or greater.
7. When should I use a latex/polymer modified mortar versus a standard dry set mortar?
Latex/polymer modified mortars are better materials for bonding ceramic tiles and stone in most circumstances. The following are several conditions where latex/polymer modified mortars are required:
* Bonding to exterior-grade plywood.
* Bonding to tiles which have less than 3% absorption.
* Bonding to substrates with little or no porosity.
* Exterior applications.
* High traffic areas.
8. Why are "Latex" or "Polymer" modified products more expensive?
Latex/polymer additives significantly improve bond strengths (up to 2X the bonding strength) and freeze-thaw stability; they also reduce absorption. Latexes/polymers provide more adhesion to a variety of surfaces. Since the adhesion is what keeps the tiles bonded and grouts in place and down, this is not a good area to consider cutting costs.
9. When should I use a white mortar versus a gray mortar?
White mortar should be used when installing marble or natural stone with a translucent body. A good test is to hold the tile up to the light and check for the visibility of shadowing of a dark object through the unit. White mortar should also be used when grouting a very tight joint (1/16"-1/4") with a light colored grout. White mortar eliminates the possibility of excess gray mortar showing through a light colored grout. All of C-Cure’s tile setting mortars are available with a color choice of white or gray.
10. Can I install over lightweight gypsum and/or radiant tube concrete?
C-Cure can now recommend tile installations directly over certain gypsum-based underlayments. However, these new installation methods require special surface preparation in conjunction with applications utilizing C-Cure’s UNIFLEX 916, ULTRACURE 971 or PRORED 963. UNIFLEX 916 Elastomeric Dry Set Mortar, ULTRACURE 971 Elastomeric Waterproofing Membrane or ProRed Waterproofing Membrane 963 produce tenacious bonds to these high compressive strength gypsum underlayments and provide anti-fracture protection for the tile installation. For more information, consult Technical Bulletin #104.
11. What is the proper method of installing ceramic tile over gypsum residue?
Gypsum residue should never have tile bonded to it. Only certain, specific and high compression strength gypsum mortar beds can receive tile when specialized products and surface preparation are used.
12. What can cause splotchy, whitish uneven grout color?
13. What is efflorescence?
White mineral deposits that can form after the grout has been installed. A combination of circumstances causes efflorescence:
1. Soluble salts present in the joint material or setting bed.
2. Moisture or water must be present in either the setting bed or joint material to dissolve the salts and carry them to the surface
3. Evaporation, hydrostatic pressure or some similar force will cause the water-salt solution to migrate to the surface.
14. How do I remove efflorescence?
Some efflorescence can be removed merely by using a stiff bristle brush and clean water, followed by a clean water flushing or rinsing. A low concentration acid wash should be used on any remaining efflorescence. Pre-soak the surface with clean water prior to the application of the acid wash. This will keep the acid washing action on the surface where it belongs and thus protect the joint from acid damage. Scrub the surface with a bristle brush as long as the acid is active and then thoroughly rinse to remove the acid.
15. What is an adequate time frame after grouting to apply a sealer?
Some sealer companies recommend 3-7 days. C-Cure recommends allowing the grout to cure 28 days or more prior to sealing. Sealing a grout too soon can effect the hardness of the grout and often create an unwanted/uncorrectable color change due to trapping of moisture beneath the sealer. If you seal the grout too soon, you accept all responsibility for the grout on the job. If sealing the grout cannot be postponed, the customer should be certain they are happy with the grout color and conditions. An inconspicuous area should be tested prior to sealing the entire job.
16. What preparation is required when there is moisture in the slab?
Excessive moisture or wetness (12%) of a slab reflects under ground water leakage or moisture barrier damage that must be repaired at a construction/foundation level. Tile can be installed on a slab with dampness of (12%). The cement products used will remain damp; they do not form a waterproof barrier. Yet, no break-down or deterioration of the finished floor will occur since the performance of cement products is not effected by contact or submersion in water.
17. What is the proper method of installing over minor cracks in a slab?
UNIFLEX 916 or ULTRACURE 971 have elastomeric or stretchable properties to suppress seasonal opening and closing (1/16) of cracks that often damage/split ceramic tiles or natural stones set with conventional setting mortars. This excludes cracks or joints in slabs that move in a hinge, stair-step, twist/cant or relieve building movement (i.e. expansion joint, saw-cut joint, control joint, etc).
18. What causes tiles to buckle?
Wood, concrete, metal and all structures expand and contract due to changes in temperature. This is also true for ceramic tile, grouts and mortars. Expansion joints must pass through the tilework on the substrates and additional expansion joint layout will be required at proper intervals for the tile or natural stonework. Expansion joints relieve expansive and contraction movement in interior and exterior applications. Please reference TCA detail EJ-171 in the TCA Handbook. If the architect, designer, tile layout specifier or tile layer omits these joints, the result is massive tile bond failure and/or unsightly upheaval, buckling and cracked tile surfaces.
19. What is the proper material for installing ceramic tile over exterior grade plywood?
C-Cure has several single component, polymer-modified mortars for bonding to exterior-grade plywood. These materials have an EGP (Exterior Grade Plywood) designation on the literature and on the packaging. We highly recommend PRO M-FLEX STRATA 914 for this purpose. This flexible EGP mortar provides 48% higher flexural strength than conventional mortars. Special attention should be given to the directions for proper spacing of the plywood and perimeter expansion joints on installations over exterior grade plywood. See EJ171 in TCA Handbook for detailed specifications.
20. Can I install over lightweight gypsum and/or radiant tube concrete?
C-Cure can now recommend tile installations directly over certain gypsum-based underlayments. However, these new installation methods require special surface preparation in conjunction with applications utilizing C-Cure’s UNIFLEX 916, ULTRACURE 971 or PRORED 963. UNIFLEX 916 Elastomeric Dry Set Mortar, ULTRACURE 971 Elastomeric Waterproofing Membrane or ProRed Waterproofing Membrane 963 produce tenacious bonds to these high compressive strength gypsum underlayments and provide anti-fracture protection for the tile installation. For more information consult our Technical Bulletins, under Surface Preparation, "Gypsum Cement Floor Underlayments".