So, you've finally taken the plunge and purchased the dream tiles you've been eyeing out for months. That's great! Cue the realization that you actually know sweet-diddly-squat when it comes to tiling and grouting the bespoke tiles you just splurged your salary on and you have yourself a problem. Well not quite...
We sat down with Tiles of Ezra founder and director, Georgia, to pick her brain on everything we need to know when it comes to grouting.
1. Zellige tiles are obviously a form of art. Do you have any advice on grout choice? We would hate to do anything to the detriment of these bespoke tiles.
My advice is to let the mosaic truly shine, not the grout. Zellige tiles are so beautiful and should be the hero in every space; draw focus to the tiles rather than the grout. I always choose, and always recommend choosing grout colors that are a tonal match to the tile or a tone lighter. Leave the grout spaces thin to not draw attention away from the zellige tiles.
2. Dark grout to hide stains and dirt - yes or no?
When the grout is darker than the tile, it tends to look dirty. Choosing the right grout for your tiles is the way to go. As long as you maintain your tile and grout consistently, your grout will remain cleaner for longer and dirty grout should not be a problem.
3. Tile spacers and zellige?
Generally speaking, we believe that zellige tiles shine when there are minimal grout lines. Traditionally speaking, grout space is really minor - anywhere between 1- 3mm thick - however, we have recently played around and experimented with grout spacing. We created some really unique and exciting patterns by using 5 - 10 mm grout lines. So I would say this comes down to personal preference and the look and aesthetic you are striving for.
4. Is there a general rule of thumb with how wide your grout space should be when using zellige/cement/terazzo/stone etc?
There are no hard rules, it is completely dependent on the overall look and feel that the end-user wants.
The same tile with smaller grout spaces vs the same with larger grout spaces can have a completely different outcome. There is no wrong or right, just a preference to the end-user.
5. Which grout brand is your go-to?
Right now, we consistently use Ardex but we recently discovered KERAKOLL an italian bround that is Eco focused, they have created a formula that is eco-friendly, and a naturally breathable alternative, there colour range is also Incredible!!
6. Anything specific to look out for when grouting?
It's really important when installing unglazed tiles that they are sealed prior to grout, the reason being that the sealant prevents grout from adhering or soaking into the surface of the tiles.
This also allows the tiler to properly remove all grout from the surface of the tile. With zellige and mosaics, the beauty of the product is in its inconsistency, invariable nature, tone, and imperfections. When grouting Moroccan mosaics I've never been one to be fixated on ensuring the grout is removed from the surface of the tile. In fact, I actually quite like the grout not being completely removed from corners. I feel it adds to the overall result of the install - something I personally love.
7. Is it possible to regrout old floor tiling?
It is possible but not recommended. Re-grouting tiles is not always an easy job. It involves removing existing grout to create space for new grout in order for the new grout to be thick enough and adhere properly. This is why it's important to choose wisely when grouting.
Do you have any other questions when it comes to grout? Let us know in the comments below!