Polyblend grout is a brand of cement-based grout that's fortified with polymer. Why does that matter? Polymer makes your grout hard and durable to keep it from cracking, shrinking or showing signs of wear. Polyblend is designed for use almost anywhere indoors or outdoors, including pools and other situations where the grout is submerged. Just like other brands of grout, Polyblend comes in both sanded and unsanded versions and in many different colors, so you can get the type of grout you need with a little extra strength.
Grout Mixing Process
Mixing the grout is an important step. You don't want to add too much water because it weakens the grout. Always follow the Polyblend grout mixing ratio on the package as the ratios may slightly vary by product. For example, the sanded grout calls for 1.89 liters of water for 25 pounds of grout, while the non-sanded variety calls for 3.5 liters of water for 25 pounds of grout. Start with a little less water and add more slowly as needed to avoid making the grout too thin. An ideal consistency is that of peanut butter.
If your job requires more than one package of Polyblend grout, mix all of the dry powder together first. That helps you get a consistent color as there can be slight variations from one package to the next. Mix the grout with a trowel, stirring it until all of the powder gets incorporated to get a smooth consistency with no lumps. Rolling your bucket can help you get all of the dry powder from the sides and bottom. Once you get your grout mixed to the correct consistency, you need to let it rest for 10 minutes. This process is called slaking. Give it one more stir, then you're ready to grout.
Start working right away to get your job done before the grout hardens. It's a good idea to stir the grout occasionally to keep it from drying. Never add extra water if the grout starts to get hard. The extra water weakens the grout.
Dip your grout float into the Polyblend grout to load it up. Swipe the float across the tile joints on the diagonal while holding the float at a 45-degree angle. This helps the grout go into the lines without pulling it back out or digging into it. Make sure all of the grout lines are full of grout completely. You can go back over the lines with the float to remove excess grout if necessary.
It's important to remove the grout from your tiles before it sets. You can use your tile float to remove grout carefully from the tiles once you're done grouting. Be careful not to pull out grout from the joints. Once the excess is gone and the grout starts to harden after 20 to 30 minutes, use a damp sponge to wipe the tile in a diagonal motion. Rinse out your sponge frequently. It may take some time to get all the grout off. And the grout will leave behind a haze, which you can wipe away later with a towel.
You can also use your sponge to shape the grout lines. Run the sponge along the grout lines to smooth them. You can press your finger gently into the sponge to help get an even grout line. Just don't press so hard that you squish too much grout out of the joints.
Grout Cure Time
Now, you have to wait for the grout to dry. Grout drying time depends largely on the temperature and humidity in the area. Cooler areas tend to make the grout drying process slow down, so you may have to wait longer before it's completely set. Dry, warm areas tend to make the grout dry quickly. A general rule of thumb is to let the grout sit at least 24 hours for it to fully cure. If you use Polyblend grout outdoors, the manufacturer recommends misting it periodically using cool water for the first three days. You also need to exterior grout from rain and snow for at least seven days. The grout needs temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 72 hours of grout cure time outdoors to set up properly.
Sealing the Grout
Since Polyblend grout is cement-based, it's a good idea to seal it after it cures. Cement grout is porous, which means water, grease and other things can soak into it and stain or damage the grout. Wait at least 48 to 72 hours after grouting to apply the sealer. A pH-neutral water-based penetrating sealer is recommended for Polyblend grout. You can use a sponge, applicator brush or applicator bottle with a rolling wheel top to apply the sealer to the grout lines. If you get any sealer on the tile, wipe it off right away to keep it from drying onto the surface.
Following the Polyblend grout instructions precisely helps you get the best results possible. That helps you get durable, lasting grout lines no matter what you're tiling.
Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.