Peel and Stick vinyl tiles are gaining popularity because of how easy they are to work with, especially for DIYers. They enable them to create a ceramic, or stone, look without spending a lot of money. Since regular ceramic tiles require grouting, there has always been a discussion on whether to grout groutable vinyl tiles. We have explained why it’s still necessary, and the best type of grout for vinyl tiles.
Do you have to grout groutable vinyl tile?
Grouting groutable vinyl tiles are not necessary since they are designed to be waterproof. Also, if they have butt joints, you can butt them together very tightly. But to be on the safer side, grouting the tiles would be the better option. Below are some of the reasons why;
- Grouting seals the spaces between the tiles. This makes it easier to clean and prevents litter, dust, or other materials from filling those spaces.
- It gives your floor a beautiful look, similar to that you get from ceramic tiles. It also keeps the floor looking new and clean.
- It keeps the molds out – Even though vinyl tiles are waterproof, they could leak water through their joints, leading to the growth of molds. Grout prevents water from reaching the floor. In some states, you must grout the tiles due to the high levels of humidity.
- Grout also makes the vinyl tiles more rigid. Even though the peel-and-stick tiles have an adhesive that keeps them firm on the floor, grout will maintain compactness between the tiles, and prevent the edges from being damaged.
How do you grout groutable vinyl tiles?
You can apply grout immediately after installing your vinyl tiles. For grouting, you need the following tools;
- Premixed grout
- A grout float or trowel
- Tile spacers
- Square-edged sponge
- Non-scratch scrub-pad
- Ammonia-based cleaner
For those applying without grout, you can butt the tiles together. But for grout application, you need to use spacers between the tiles. The spacers allow you to leave a 1/16 or 1/8 inch gap where you’ll apply the grout. Use two spacers between each tile to maintain a uniform space in all of the tiles.
First, remove the spacers, and then press the tiles to make sure they have bonded with the floor. You can roll with a kitchen rolling pin to ensure there is a strong bond. Some people have also used a dog to apply gentle pressure on the tiles to make sure the tiles bond together. If the tiles are loose, they may cause the grout to crack.
Using the grout float, apply grout at the joints. Then at a 45 degrees angle, remove excess grout to make sure the grout in the joints flushes with the tiles. Rinse the sponge in water often and wipe the residual grout on the tiles.
Since it dries quickly, wait for at least 24 hours before walking on the floor. It’s also important to check the grout’s instructions. Some types require less than 10m hours before you can start cleaning. Spray the ammonia-based cleaner on the tiles, and scrub with the white scrub-pad. This should remove any remaining residual. Wipe with a wet sponge, and your floor will be good to go.
What kind of grout do you use for vinyl tile?
You can use two main types of grouts with vinyl tiles, cement grouts, and epoxy grout. Cement models come either as sanded or unsanded.
- Sanded grout – Sand is added to the mixture to prevent joint shrinkage and to increase the density of the grout. It also prevents cracking when the grout shrinks. Whether to use this type or not depends on the size of your joints. It works great for 1/8-joints or larger.
- Unsanded grout – it is finer, has no sand particles, making it ideal for smaller joints and tiles on a vertical wall. You can also consider using unsanded grout if the vinyl tiles are delicate. This is because the sand particles may damage the tiles.
Cement grout is the most common. It is made by mixing water and cement powder. The particles, which are often in different sizes, fill the spaces between the tiles. Some of the grout models have polymer additives that make them more waterproof. Cement grout takes too much time to apply, and it also takes too long to dry.
When using vinyl tiles, cement grout is not a good idea since it may crack or even damage the tiles during the application process. It is also very porous, developing cracks that fill up with dirt making the floor hard to clean. The pores may also allow water to leak to the slab, leading to the growth of moulds.
Epoxy is made from 2-part resins (resins and hardeners), silica fillers, and pigments. Unlike cement grout, which requires polymer additives to make it waterproof, epoxy grout is naturally waterproof and relatively more durable. Many people are hesitant to work with epoxy grout since it’s costly and can be overwhelming for a beginner.
For instance, it sets very first. So, if you mix grout for a vast area, some may go to waste. Just mix a little at a time. You should also clean it thoroughly since it may leave a haze that makes the floor less appealing. It also gives the floor a plastic look. Overall, it achieves better results than regular grout. It’s also flexible enough to prevent cracking.
Groutable vinyl tiles have made the tiling process more manageable since they are light, cheaper, and durable. Some types are more expensive, but you can still change the look in your rooms at a relatively lower cost. There has always been confusion about whether to grout, but we are glad to clear that up.
As much as you can choose not to, grouting is better since it seals the joints, keeps the room beautiful, and holds the tiles in place. Regular grout may still work, but epoxy grout is more flexible and more durable.