One of the construction elements that really give a makeover to your house are tiles. People use tiles to beautify kitchens, bathrooms, swimming pool areas, and even dining spaces. Each of these examples has specific utilities of using tiles, but improving the looks is one common (and sometimes unexpected) outcome of using tiles in these places. Tiles are nothing but square or rectangular pieces of prefabricated building materials which are placed contiguously over a constructed surface. Since a tiled surface is not a continuous one, there is a small cavity between every pair of adjacent tiles. In order to prevent the seepage of dust, dirt, and moisture, a smooth paste caulk or mortar is placed in these cavities. This paste mortar is also called grout. When you are planning to place install some tiles yourself, you need to start by deciding which tiles to buy. Additionally, you also need to plan for making and applying the grout in the tile gaps. A common question that might come to you is ‘how much grout do I need per square metre?’. This blog is written with an aim to answer that question. But before that, a bit of background information is in order.
The usual types of grout are sanded, unsanded, epoxy and funan. Sanded grout is created using cement, sand, water and some other optional additives. This works best with tiles made of porcelain, stone, or ceramic. This type of grout is usually quite porous, and therefore absorbs moisture easily, and so can stain easily. That is why unsanded grout is sometimes used. This helps in avoiding marks and scratches. When the water is taken out of the mix, and we use epoxy resins and hardeners instead, we call it epoxy grout. This is more resistant to moisture ingress. Finally, a similar kind of grout is called furan, in which variants of furfuryl alcohols are made into polymers and used in the grout mortar, leading to this name. You can get these different types of grout, and can also choose the colour and finish as per your taste (and of course, your budget). Apart from the different choices of finish, you can also opt for sparkles or glitter, which will help your tiles stand out. The usual colours for grout are black, beige, grey or white, but the choice of colour depends on the colour and design of the tiles you are using.
The answer to the question ‘how much grout do I need per square meter’? is most easily answered by measuring the total space over which the tiles need to be applied. Assuming that the area that needs to be tiled is a rectangular or square patch, you just need the dimensions of the length and breadth in metres, and multiply them together. Correspondingly you need to measure the area of each tile. The tile dimensions would usually be in a smaller unit (like centimetre), and the principle remains the same. Multiply the length of each tile with its breadth to get its area in square centimetre inches. You need to remember that while placing tiles, you also need to install spacers between the tile lengths, and you also need to calculate the total area of the spacers.
Finally we come to the grout mortar. We are using standard dimensions here, and you need to modify the calculations accordingly in case the dimensions you are using are larger or smaller. A standard cement bag weighs 3 kg normally, and it covers an approximate area of 5 square meter if applied uniformly and without wastage. This can be then divided by the dimension of the tile space area and the spacer area using the right unit to get the correct answer to your question ‘how much grout do I need per square foot?’.