In almost every tiling project, you will need grout. Apart from filling the spaces between tiles, grout also helps create a better finish while protecting the tiles and surfaces beneath from water damage.
If you thought that the only decision you had to make was when choosing a suitable floor or wall tile, you’re in for some shock.
There are many types of grouts, each with its pros and cons. Today’s post will focus on one of the most popular types of grouts, the premixed option, and the problems it’s most susceptible to.
But First, Let’s Define What is Premixed Grout?
Premixed grout is a ready-to-use grout that can be used to fill joints that are as small as 1/16 inches.
Premixed grout is a popular option because it’s easy to use, you are guaranteed to achieve uniform color consistency, it is resistant to stains, and chemicals and the best part is that you can use it directly from the container. There is no need to mix it with water or any liquid.
As great as premixed grout may seem from the above-mentioned features, it’s far from perfect. Here is a list of some problems you can expect when using premixed grout.
10 Common Premixed Grout Problems
1. It is Expensive When Used for Large Jobs
Even though premixed grout offers many impressive benefits, one of the problems most people often face is the cost of buying it in bulk.
Premixed grout is more cost-effective when used on smaller tiling projects. However, if you are working on a significant area, you will pay much more than buying dry grout and mixing it yourself.
2. It Doesn’t Have a Long Shelf-Life Like Other Grouts
Compared to dry grout, premixed grout has a limited shelf life of less than a year. When you buy premixed grout in bulk, you need to use it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the ingredients will expire, which would be a loss on your part.
3. It Doesn’t Give you the Freedom to Play Around with Ingredients
One of its main selling points is that premixed grout can be used straight out of the pail. But it comes at a price. Since the ingredients are already premixed, you can’t create a custom color or consistency.
This may be problematic for expert tilers because premixed grout doesn’t allow you to play around with the ingredients and customize your grout.
4. Sanded Versions of Premixed Grout Can Scratch Glass or Polished Tiles
Another significant problem often associated with premixed grout is that the sanded type can scratch polished or glass tiles during installation.
Therefore, if you plan on installing such types of tiles, you are better off using other types of grouts, especially the unsanded options.
5. Some Premixed Grouts Soften When Exposed to High Heat and Humidity
Certain types of premixed grout soften when exposed to high humidity and heat. Such options should never be used in steam showers because they will wear out quickly.
If you have decided to use premixed grout, you need to evaluate the area you intend to install it. This will help you avoid durability problems.
6. Urethane Premixed Grouts Shouldn’t Be Used Outdoors
Another problem associated with premixed grout, especially urethane, is that it shouldn’t be used outdoors. When this type of grout is exposed to the sun, it tends to turn yellow. That can significantly interfere with the aesthetics of your tiles.
7. It’s Not the Easiest Grout to Work With
There have been some complaints that premixed sanded grout isn’t the easiest to work with. The sand makes it difficult to spread, and when it’s time to clean up, prepare to use a lot of effort.
8. Premixed Grout Doesn’t Look Natural
Even though aesthetics is personal, I must highlight that some people don’t like how premixed grout looks. They find it to have a more artificial look. Therefore, if you prefer a more natural look, you should go for cement grout.
9. It’s Super Difficult to Clean Up
If you have been installing tile for a while, then you know the best way to clean up grout is by using a wet sponge. It’s only in rare cases when you may need a scrub pad.
Some formulas of premixed grout are super tricky to clean up. These premixed grouts don’t come off with a wet sponge. They require a wire brush and a significant amount of elbow grease.
10. Some Premixed Grout Colors Don’ Match
This isn’t a problem that affects all premixed grouts. However, you can find it in some brands, such as Menards. Assuming you had installed a particular premixed grout and then buy another bucket to install later, the color may not match.
When shopping for premixed grout, be very careful about certain brands. A little research can help you identify the pros and cons of each premixed grout brand.
What Do People Think of Premixed Grout?
Now that we have mentioned some of the common premixed grout problems, we need to look into what people think of this product.
If you go through various tile forums, you will notice that most people don’t have a positive perception of premixed grout, especially the sanded kind.
There are several complaints made against this type of grout. Some claim it’s difficult to work with. Others lament about how the consistency is too thick.
If you were considering using premixed grout, you need to know that it doesn’t have the best reputation.
Are There Any Advantages of Using Premixed Grout?
It would be unfair to only lean to premixed grout problems and not mention some of its advantages. There are certain areas where premixed stands out from other options. For instance;
• Premixed grout doesn’t need any preparation or mixing. You can use it straight from the container. This isn’t only convenient, but it also saves you a lot of time and resources. Because it’s premixed, you don’t have to worry about getting an incorrect ratio or consistency.
• In some premixed grouts, you will find urethane or latex. These two ensure your premixed grout adheres well to tiles and doesn’t need to be sealed.
• Another perk of premixed grout is that every bucket has the same color. Therefore, you are assured of a uniform grout finish throughout your entire project.
• When used in the right conditions, premixed grouts are highly durable. The reason behind that is that they absorb very little water and adhere well to the tiles and substrates beneath.
Which Alternatives are Better than Premixed Grout?
Having gone through some of the common premixed grout problems, it doesn’t come as a surprise that you may be interested in other alternatives.
The good news is that many types of grouts can perform much better than premixed. Examples include;
• Cement-based grout – This grout is cheaper than premixed and is available only as an un-sanded option. You can, therefore, use it without worrying about scratching your glass tiles. Cement grout is also effortless to apply.
• Two-part epoxy grout – As the name suggests, these are two resins combined to create a strong chemical, water, and stain-resistant bond. Instead of premixed grout, this is the best type to use on steam showers.