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Q & A

Problems Solved: Patio tile and grout

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Tile, stone and grout in a patio, around a pool or a decorative walkway should be inspected and maintained yearly.
Many exterior tiles are vitreous (non-porous), and resist the freeze/ thaw cycles of the outside elements which can damage the tiles. In warmer regions, soft bodied non-vitreous paver tiles are often used. These tiles are porous and will not hold up well in wet or cold climates. These unglazed tiles even in light to moderate rainfall should be sealed, as well as the tile grout, with an appropriate sealer to help prevent moisture penetration.

The original installation should have included strengthening additives to the thinset and a quality grout. If the grout appears damaged or is crumbling away in certain areas, there could be problems with the concrete base substrate or an improper grout mix may have been used.

Exterior grout most of the time will be a sanded grout mixed with water and sometimes a latex additive for flexibility and moisture resistance. Always follow the grout manufactures mixing recommendations for the application. It cannot be stressed enough that the proper ratios of dry mix to water or latex be followed as an improper mix will weaken the strength, adhesion and color consistency of the grout.

Grout removal and repair on patio tile and stone involves the same processes used for interior tile grout repair. If you are looking to change the color of the grout, the grout colorant we sell on our products page can help you achieve your goal. If you have dislodged grout and need to repair certain areas, start with a Grout Getter, model G13T, and remove the damaged grout. Next, purchase some exterior grout of the color you need and follow the grout manufacturer’s guidelines for mixing and installing.

Once your grout repair or replacement is complete on your patio tile, remember, a sealer is worth its’ weight in gold! The sealers we sell preserve your tile and grout from the harsh elements of the outdoors. Stains, minerals, mold, mildew and fluctuating temperatures can all have damaging affects on your patio tiles, so seal and protect- it’s well worth it!

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