14 Oct
by Kennadie McDermott

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A premixed grout is the best grout for tile if you are looking for color consistency and a quicker installation. Premixed grout saves time because you can open a bucket and start grouting immediately. Additionally, every bucket is the exact same color, which allows for complete color consistency throughout your entire project. The downside to a premixed grout is the additional cost which comes from the convenience of not mixing the grout yourself and not needing to adhere a sealant afterward. The shelf life of a premixed grout, once opened, is up to two years – if the grout bucket is sealed properly after each application.

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A powder grout is the best choice if you are looking for a more cost-efficient product that still maintains quality. Powder grout comes in bags which, if stored properly, can be saved for future use. Additionally, it is less expensive than a premixed grout, which is beneficial if you are working with a large amount of tile. A powder grout cures due to a chemical reaction when water is mixed with the powder, which causes it to harden, much like a concrete. There are a couple downsides to powder grout. The first is the grout is porous therefore it is prone to stains if it not sealed after installation and every few years after. Also, since the grout is mixed for each section, there may be slight variations in the color of the grout.

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09 Sep
by Kennadie McDermott

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What is Coefficient of Friction and why is it important?

Tiles come in many finishes, the most popular two being honed and polished. Many homeowners and designers start the design process by determining what finish they would like the tile to be because they are worried about slippage. Determining what tiles have a COF suitable for your floor tile is the first step in deciding which tile you are going to select.

Definition of The Coefficient of Friction (COF): COF is the ratio of the force of friction between an object and a surface to the frictional force resisting the motion of the object. To measure the friction between a surface (tile) and an object you must first determine how much force is required to move an object horizontally across that surface. 

The higher the COF the more resistance there will be for movement. This means that a COF of .7 is more resistant to slipping than a tile with a .5 COF.

Additionally, there is a DCOF rating, which is Dynamic Coefficient of Friction. Once you are slipping, DCOF comes into play. When a floor is wet the amount of static friction has been reduced and once you are slipping you create dynamic friction. The more dynamic friction there is the slower a foot will slide across the floor.

One of our new products this year is Montac. Montac has an R11 rating and a DCOF of .62. This means that this product has enough texture to be safe for use around pools, in bathrooms, saunas or any area that gets wet frequently.

Montac

Montac is just one example of a product with a high DCOF rating. Many Surface Art products are rated for commercial and residential use.

A frequently asked question is do you have to give up polished tile for safety? Typically, a polished tile will not have a COF rating high enough to be suitable as floor tile. But do not let this discourage your dream of having a polished floor. There are many other tiles that have a shine or glaze that are suitable for floor usage to give you the polished look you are going after, while maintaining safety.

Gusto, has a double glazed deco and is also floor rated. As seen below, the deco gives a polished glaze look in random geometric patterns.

Gusto black double glazed deco

Want to know more about COF? Check out our education page here.