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Healthy Homemade Grout

Healthy Homemade Grout

Try this age-old tiling technique. It is easy to do, can be a really fun family project, the results looks beautiful and leaves no noxious odor. The additives in commercial, ready-made tile settings can outgas for years. Additives found in these premixed settings include quick drying materials, petroleum, epoxy and fungicides.

With this old-fashioned technique, tiles can be attached to bathtub frames, stovetops, and around sinks, by setting them into a mudbed, followed by a grout to fill in the gaps between the tiles.

Mudset (also called thickset or mudbed) is spread out over underboards and tile board, then smoothed out. The tiles are then set into the mudset, followed by the grout.

Natural iron oxide pigments are available and these can be added to match tile color.

Step One
Making a Mudset (50 pounds covers about 75 square feet)
3 parts sand
1 part Portland cement
Water
Natural earth pigment (optional)

Combine the sand and Portland cement in a tub. Slowly add water, stirring as you go, until the texture is like thick sludge. Add the pigment bit by bit, until the desired color is reached. Lay the mudset.

Step Two
Making a Grout
The ratio of Portland cement to sand ranges between 1:1 and 1:3. depending on how much space there is between tiles. More sand is used for wider gaps.

Portland cement
Sand
Water
Natural earth pigment

Combine the Portland cement and sand in a tub. Slowly add water, stirring as you go, until the texture is like thick sludge. Add the pigment bit by bit, until the desired color has been reached.

Step Three
Damp-cure grout to avoid chemical dryers. I like to damp-cure tile by wetting my fingers and rubbing them up and down the grooves. Do this whenever you think of it over the ten days following laying the tile. For large areas, use a spray bottle.

Read more: Crafts & Design, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

5 comments

+ add your own
10:24AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

I was hoping that this would be a truly "GREEN" alternative, not one that uses portland cement, which has its own hazards to humans in its use and to the environment in its production :-(

9:17AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thanks.

9:21AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

...you didn't explain what portland cement is.

12:41AM PST on Mar 11, 2010

thankyou

2:28AM PST on Jan 14, 2010

Interesting!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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