Customer-Centric Innovation at the Heart of LATICRETE Mortar and Grout Products | LATICRETE Conversations
Guest blog by Mitch Hawkins, Director, Technical Services at LATICRETE
In the tile and stone industry, LATICRETE mortar and grout products are materials that are constantly being innovated with each iteration. One ongoing development in this sector includes pre-mixed grout, which is a no-mix, less mess alternative to traditional grout that aids workers in doing their jobs more efficiently. From a design perspective, grout has also seen many advancements in terms of its color capabilities and is now available in a virtually endless number of shades, delivering architectural excellence without ever compromising on performance. In terms of mortar, one standout achievement has been the ongoing development of large and heavy tile mortars. Unlike adhesive mortars of the past, new upgrades allow for more than just non-sag performance but also enhanced features such as rapid setting and lightweight characteristics.
Pre-Mixed Grouts Saves Time and Resources
Perhaps one of the most inventive grout solutions developed over the last several years has been pre-mixed grout. Driving the construction industry forward by helping installers do their jobs more effectively, pre-mixed grout saves installers time and resources thanks to faster preparation. In addition, installers no longer need to worry about meeting the exact amount of water necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Since one of the most common mistakes with traditional grout is adding in too much or too little water to the mixture, this advancement allows installers a simplified installation process by eliminating the guesswork.
Pre-mixed grout can also be less expensive when used for smaller jobs because these products can usually be purchased in small quantities. Any leftover grout can be saved and then used on other projects – significantly reducing waste. Further, some pre-mixed grouts already contain materials like latex or urethane, which can help improve adhesion and eliminate the need for sealing.
LATICRETE offers two pre-mixed grout solutions:
- LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® 1 — is the industry’s first pre-mixed, stain-proof grout with true performance that meets ANSI A118.3 5.6. This means that the grout offers superior compressive strength at 3,500 psi and boasts a fast cure rate, allowing installers to complete demanding projects in less time than ever before. Additionally, SPECTRALOCK 1 is available in a wide variety of grout colors to match any design and is safe to use because it contains no epoxy resins.
- READY-TO-USE — professional-grade, ready-to-use premixed grout that delivers superior color consistency combined with excellent stain resistance.
Endless Amount of Grout Color Choices
With any remodeling or renovation project, it’s all in the details. For tile and stone applications, users are constantly looking for ways to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their flooring with different grout options. Besides functionality, color is increasingly the number one deciding factor for homeowners or designers when choosing the look and feel of their projects.
Today's advancements in grout pigmenting options allow for more customization than ever before, giving users the ability to easily and affordably color-match grout to any color they can imagine. Using our AnyColor™ custom grout and sealant program, we can color-match any color in the BEHR®, Benjamin Moore®, Sherwin-Williams® or PANTONE® palettes! Whether going for a subtle, low contrast look with black on black, seeking a tonal balance with adjacent colors, or trying to achieve a pop of color, the plethora of grouting options available today can complement virtually any modern design.
LATICRETE recently elevated its color offerings in 2021 within our grout and sealant product lines by introducing seven new grout colors inspired by the environment. Categorized into three themes, Natural, Earthy and Coastal, these refreshed colors provide customers with a wider variety of modern options inspired by top-selling tile designs and influenced by leading architectural designers.
Large-Heavy Tile Mortars Now Come with Advanced Features
When it comes to installing large and heavy tile (LHT), a thicker adhesive bond coat is usually required to achieve proper coverage and eliminate voids under the tile while minimizing slumping of the tile. If the installation is vertical, this will require an adhesive mortar with outstanding non-sag properties. In the past, adhesive formulas were more limited in their capabilities and had to sacrifice ease-of-use and efficiency to maintain the performance level required for these difficult applications.
Thanks to LATICRETE developments, mortars for large and heavy tile have improved and now offer new advanced features, such as better bonding strength, lightweight properties and rapid setting capabilities. These quality mortars can be used on a variety of substrates for an adhesive bond that works with virtually any type of tile and stone, especially large and heavy format.
LATICRETE® TRI-LITE™ Rapid is a new high-performance tri-purpose mortar designed for large and heavy tile, thin-bed and wall installations. TRI-LITE Rapid offers rapid setting capabilities and is ready for grouting in three to four hours. It features excellent non-sag characteristics for vertical applications, bonding to many suitable substrates, and meets ANSI A118.15 while containing no respirable crystalline silica levels that exceed the OSHA action level. Due to its non-sanded lightweight formula and smooth, creamy consistency, a 27.5-pound (12.47 kg) bag provides the same coverage as a 50-pound (22.68 kg) bag of traditional mortar.
With customer-centric innovation at the center of grout and mortar evolution, each iteration of these essential flooring components has been better than the last. Grout now comes in limitless design options and is offered in easy-to-use, pre-mixed formulas that simplify the installation process and conserve resources. Adhesive mortars as well have seen a similar evolution, with the latest products providing more for large and heavy tile applications than ever before. With that said, more improvements are being developed by us every day, helping to drive the construction industry forward with efficiency and cutting-edge performance.
Learn more about our mortar and grout innovations!