Grouting today - need specific mixing help...

orcascoveMay 18, 2008

Hi everyone, I am going to try and use grout for the very first time on a concrete birdbath I have put glass globs in. the birdbath will be used, so I have purchased interior/exterior smoke grey sanded grout, and the grout enhancer to go with it. But I have a few questions. The grout is a 10 lbs box, and calls for the 26oz enhancer to mix all of it. I am not sure I need that much grout... How do I mix it in smaller portions correctly? I have read lots of your posts this morning, and all I can see anyone using is water, not the enhancer. Should I forget the enhancer and mix with plain water only? Will using only water require some kind of sealer afterward instead? Everyone says oatmeal consistancy.. but I don't eat or fix oatmeal, so is there a actual formula to use? Something like 1 cup powder to 1/2 enhancer etc??? And I see that black grout is a little different to work with, should I be concerned about the grey? My house is empty, no family around and I really wanted to do this today, but now I'm not sure how to start. Thanks for any/all help.

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No concerns on grey at all. Enhancer is an admix, lots of people use and recommend admix especially for outdoor projects.

forget the measurements, add the enhancer very slowly (about an oz at a time) and stir until completely mixed through for each oz. You are trying for a consistancy between peanut butter and pancake batter. Wet enough that its creamy but dry enough that it sticks to your stir stick when turned up side down. Then let it slake for 10 min and mix it well again before starting to grout.

if you get too wet you can add more grout, just add everything in small amts and mix real well before adding more - believe me it's soooo easy to over wet

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:35AM
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nicethyme - thanks for answering, peanut butter and pancake batter I get. LOL!!! I guess theres no reason not to try this now. I'm glad my family is gone.. LOL!!! they will all think I'm nuts playing in grey mud. thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Yep just like NT say's no measuring cup needed!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:42PM
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Ok, the grout is done. And I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially since this is my first try at it. Now I just have to give it a few days to cure, and the birds can have it back.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 6:23PM
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GOOD JOB!!! Looks Great! How fun is that!! You'll be mosaicing Everything now!!! ha!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:07AM
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there ya go! that looks great. nothing to it huh?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:28AM
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Wow, that turned out sooooo pretty! I bet those globs will be all sparkly and blingy out in the sun! Great job!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 2:22AM
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Thanks everyone, I'm sure now that I have done this one I will be looking for something else to grout. I have a bowling ball I did over the winter, that I left ungrouted. Wasn't sure If it would look right, and now I'm kind of partial to it without any. But perhaps I will make another one to use some grey grout with. Maybe river pebbles... see now look what youve' all done.. another grout junkie.. LOL!!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 8:56AM
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That turned out great Orca!! Yes we have ourselves another mosaic junkie!! LOL.

IT sure is fun, now that you've started you are going to see all kinds of possibilities!! Everything will look good to you for a project.

Keep us posted and send pix. Good job

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Ok so the grout is still looking good. It doesn't seem to need any filling in.. How do I keep it that way? If I put water in the birdbath do I need to be worried the grout will soften back up? Is there a special sealer I should use or does the fact that I used the enhancer make it ok to HOLD water.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:35PM
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Very cool birdbath, and super for a first project. I can't help you with the enhancer/sealer question, and am in fact going to watch this one as I am about to work on a birdbath myself for the first time (not first mosaic, just first mosaic that needs to be waterproof! Well, except for my bathroom counter, and I epoxied that.) I'm just using thinset for adhesive and grout both, but I might learn something useful anyway! Thanks for bringing it up!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:16PM
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Seal it. I use Tile Lab - HD & Lowes have it - it's expensive but lasts a while. I had no problems with mine but I haven't been mosaicing that long. It says for lots of water use to seal twice. This spring I resealed everything but just one seal as I didn't want to take any chances.

There is a marine seal Calam uses but I can't find it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 11:48PM
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Posted by nicethyme (My Page) on Tue, May 20, 08 at 19:22

there have been various questions about this and whether sealants actually poison the water for birds. in so far as needing it to make the piece water proof, thats not required since cementious products are naturally hydrophobic and grout is cementious. So no it won't rehydrate as long as it is properly cured before wetting.
I hope that helps...
(copied from my other post asking for help)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:42AM
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(I added the above response copied from another so that I could now ask the following.... )

nicethyme says as long as it's properly cured, I don't have to worry. How long is properly cured? Are we talking days or weeks befoer I can put water in it for the birds?

Here is a link that might be useful: other post: Do I need to seal grout in a birdbath?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:47AM
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W/this small project, if it were mine, I'd seal it the next day - when the grout is dry. As soon as it's thoroughly dry, wait a day, then fill-er-up w/water. I'm not advising - just telling you what works for me. When I gave "Shea's Birdbath" the second coat of concrete, I filled it w/water two days afterwards, and it held water until I emptied it - probably close to a week. IMO, sealing it doesn't make it waterproof. I DO use the Tile Lab for most of my mosaics to give my grouts a glossy look, but I've been told by tile guys it is not a water-proofer - it just ensures against stains. There's my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:52AM
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