Ceramic and natural stone tiles are aesthetically pleasing and highly functional surfaces. These tiles can be a manufactured product such as ceramic, porcelain, metal and glass or a stone product that is quarried out of the ground and processed. Both products offer a durable surface generally used for covering floors, walls, showers, back splashes and countertops.
Grouting materials are used in conjunction with these tile products to enhance their beauty. Today, many manufacturers produce over thirty different colors of grout to complement almost any design requirement. Functionally, grout also fills the space between the tiles which helps to accommodate size and thickness variations in ungauged stone as well as out of square tile (wedging). The original purpose of grout was to fill the joints making them hygienic while protecting the tile’s edges from damage during use.
The purpose of this certification is to validate the knowledge and skills required to successfully mix, apply, tool and detail three grouting materials (A118.3, A118.6 and A118.7). These grouts can normally be used with many types of tile and dimension stone, but the key aspect is to know and understand which grout product can be successfully used with the tile or stone selected for the project.
This curriculum prepares and tests the installer’s ability to grout the following: narrow joints in ceramic wall tile with an unsanded A118.6 grout, pressed floor tile with a sanded A118.7 grout, thin brick with a sanded A118.6 grout and quarry tile with matching base using an A118.3 grout. Also included in this evaluation is the proper preparation and installation of expansion and perimeter movement accommodation joints in both floor and wall tile.