Elements of a building move over time owing to stresses arising from various factors. These movements are most pronounced in the external areas as compared to the internal areas of the construction. External areas include external facades, swimming pools and water bodies, as well as floors like terraces, driveways, parking areas and ramps.
It is essential to accommodate for these movements in tile/stone installation areas to prevent them from pushing against each other, leading to tiles and stones de-bonding or cracking as a result of stress-related factors.
The issue of movements within buildings becomes even more challenging today, as the facial dimensions of tiles and stones being used have become much larger. As a result, the need to accommodate for facial dimension tolerance to maintain tight joints becomes more critical.
Sizes of grout joints
In order to accommodate the facial dimensions of tiles and stones used in a specific project, the actual grout joint sizes may necessarily have to vary significantly from the specified grout joint size – in some cases, by as much as three times.
For example, in the case of a tile having a total variation of 1/16” (1.5 mm) in facial dimensions, a grout joint of 3/16” (4.5 mm) may need to be provided. Under no circumstances should the grout be less than 1/16” (1.5 mm). In all cases, however, the nominal center-line of all joints needs to be straight and of even width, while providing allowance for hand-moulded or rustic tiles.
Comprehensive details of different movement joints in tile and stone installation systems can be found in the EJ 171 document of TCA guidelines.
Grout materials for efficient working of grout joints
It is always better to use flexible grout materials filled into the grout joints in water bodies and swimming pools as well as external facades and floor areas.
Single or multiple component flexible PU based grouts, silicone sealants, PU based sealants are the most efficient for tile and stone installation in these critical areas.
Some grout materials recommended by manufacturers consist of two-component cement-based grouts. With latex addition, these exhibit flexibility in grout joints.
MYK LATICRETE Offerings
MYK LATICRETE offers two cement-based grouts which are to be used with addition of latex admix.
LATICRETE® 600 series is an unsanded cementitious grout designed for joint width 1mm to 3mm, for porous & absorbent type tiles, non-vitreous clay tiles, and marble & glazed wall tiles.
LATICRETE 500 Series is a sanded cementitious grout designed for joint width of 3mm to 12mm for non-absorbent and vitreous tiles, it is suitable for interior and exterior use.
In addition, the soon to be introduced MYK LATICRETE STELLAR™ Grout is a new-age single component grout that addresses the critical areas. With its high flexibility, chemical resistance and ability to perform under water, it works efficiently to protect tile and stone installation systems in both, internal and external environments, as well as high traffic areas.
The MYK LATICRETE products can help absorb stresses caused by building movement, thereby minimizing cracks and tile de-bonding.