Can I use any color of concrete pigment for my tile grout and how to do I figure out how much pigment I need?
Yes, concrete pigment regardless of color can be used in any grout, plaster, mortar or stucco mixture. Depending on the type of grout you’re using for the project – white or gray, sand or non-sanded, the color can vary somewhat from the color chart which is based on actual concrete. We always recommend sample test with material to make sure you get the color you’re looking for.
Calculating to match colors on the color charts can be difficult because grout manufacturers rarely include the accurate weights or percentages for the contents. Typically, a bag of grout will contain around 23-26% cement and/or lime. Cement and lime are really the only ingredients that matter when calculating for pigment load. Sand can sometimes affect the color outcome on lighter colors but pre-application samples will uncover any issues in advance.
If you plan to use our project calculators to determine how much pigment will be needed for the project, use the custom batch calculator option. Based on the total weight of the bag, calculate the approximate weight of cement/lime in your grout. For example, a 60 lb. bag of grout (white or gray) will contain around 15 lbs. of cement. If the product you’re working with happens to have an exact weight listed on the bag, use that instead. The custom batch calculator requires the weight of cement and a pound rating. You’ll find that information on each color chip on pigment color charts and will be a number ranging from .5 – 5 lbs.
Once you’ve entered both numbers into the calculator, select calculate. The calculator can be used for any project size large of small but if you’re working on sample tests, you may need to convert the output from pounds to something more manageable like ounces or grams. Before you order, make sure to calculate for your total number of bags as well as your batch size so you’ll know how much pigment to order as well as how much you’ll be using for every batch.
Grout regardless of where it is in the home should be sealed. Attempting to clean grout after the fact can often lead to discoloration and damage. DCI Penetrating Lithium Sealer Hardener is great product for protecting grout because it is a one-time only application that penetrates the grout leaving a matte natural finish. The sealer is easy to use, water based, has no odor and is applied using a foam roller.