Installation mortars have greatly evolved since the last 20 years. As such, any given manufacture has a considerable number of mortar categories for any given tile type or application. There are also different quality categories for each mortar type and not all mortars are compatible with all substrate preparations.
In addition, most tile retailers are very competent at selling tiles but are less prone to provide professional advice for surface preparation, installation materials, floor and waterproofing membranes and installation methods and standards. Moreover, some retailers voluntarily restraint their offer of installation products in order to limit their inventory and operating costs. Regardless, tile retailers have no responsibility for tile failures as it is always the tile installer responsibility to certify the substrate preparation and installation materials.
We consider installations mortars as a key element in the installation system. Thus, throughout the years we have developed an extensive experience working with Mapei installations mortars. As such, today we only work with specialized mortars and grouts systems from Mapei – They are a worldwide leader in the field, who also has a local production, research and development and onsite support.
Standard grouts are made of portland cement, but the additives incorporated in grouts make them more color consistent and durable than their predecessors. Whether unsanded or sanded, regular grouts could be further enhanced by mixing them with additives instead of water. This makes them more water repellent ,stain resistant and easier to maintain. There are also ultra-performant grouts, specially formulated to be used in wet areas and in outdoor installations. These grouts are efflorescence free, color consistent and enhanced to help repel water and dirt.
Ultimately, there is epoxy grout. Unfortunately, it is not environment friendly as it is purely solvent based, however, it is totally color consistent and stain resistant. We mainly use epoxy grouts with certain types of glass mosaics and in showers applications, but it could be used in any type of installation provided the tile is not porous and abrasive sensitive. Although, epoxy grouts are waterproof, they could not replace a waterproofing membrane – they simply are not commercialized as such. Small cavities could form during the installation, micro grout cracks could also appear under structural movement and therefore water could infiltrate.