When joints crack after an installation what is the cause?
Most grout line cracks are due to inadequate floor underlayment. They can also be due to using too much liquid in the grout mixture, and this can cause grout shrinkage. These types of cracks are mostly very thin and either directly in the middle of the grout line or following one of the sides of the tile.

In most cases, the main cause of cracks is the support capacity of the substrate. A floor must not bend in excess of 1/360 of its span under the weight of inert or moving objects. The purpose of grout lines is to absorb this type of stress, which fails if the floor is inadequately structured to meet the industry requirements for ceramic tile.

The Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada offers four preferred methods for floor structures in their 2000 - 09300 Specification Guide for Ceramic Tile Installation. We recommend reviewing these details to see if the floor conforms to these industry standards.

The most common structural irregularities that contribute to cracking in floor assemblies are:

  • Only using a single layer of plywood;
  • Using weak boards (such as Luan, pressed wood, etc.) as an underlayment;
  • Spacing studs further than 16" at the center;
  • Using inferior grade plywood (spruce, pine, etc.). Only exterior-grade plywood is recommended;
  • Leaving too little space between sheets of exterior-grade plywood (1/4'' should be kept).

Certain customers say: "I have never had a problem with 3/8'' plywood or regular grade plywood".
Unfortunately, this is generally true, but it is not because there are no immediate problems that they will not arise in the future. Most failures occur between 3 to 10 years after the tile has been installed.

What does the TTMAC recommend as the perfect plywood substrate?
The TTMAC recommends two wood panels interwinded 5/8'' thick exterior-grade panels of plywood installed on joists with 16'' spacing at the center. A 1/4'' joint must be left between the panels, around pipes, conducts, columns, borders and the bottom of walls in order to allow some floor movement. The panels can be screwed in place every 6'' at the perimeter and 8'' for the remainder in all directions.


Which size of notch trowel should I use for my tile or stone installation?
First of all, indoor & horizontal tile installations should achieve a minimum coverage of 80% of the back of the tile's surface, and for outdoor & vertical installations, a minimum of 95% is recommended. Back-buttering the tile or stone will help achieve a greater coverage percentage.

Using an organic adhesive (mastic)
For wall tiles up to 8" x 8" (200 mm x 200 mm) - use a 3/16" V-notch trowel.

Using a thin set mortar
For all tiles (wall or floor) up to 4"x 4" (100 mm x 100 mm) - use a 1/4" x 1/4" (6 mm x 6 mm) square-notch trowel.

For all tiles (wall or floor) up to 16"x 16" (400 mm x 400 mm) - use a 1/4"x 3/8" (6 mm x 9 mm) square-notch trowel.

For all tiles (wall or floor) greater than 16"x 16" (400 mm x 400mm) - use a 1/2" x 1/2" (12 mm x 12 mm) square-notch trowel.


How do I ensure a perfect installation with a sanded or unsanded grout?
Reading all instructions before grouting is the key. Make sure to respect the amount of liquid recommended by the manufacturer,  avoid cleaning your grout line with too much water before sealing the grout. This will allow you to avoid efflorescence. Please contact our customer service.

What is the difference between a sanded and unsanded grout?
Sand is obviously the major difference, but more importantly is where it is used. Marble, among others, should be installed using unsanded grout to avoid scratching the tile surface. Using the right grout for a specific size of grout line is also very important. Unsanded grout is recommended for grout lines from 1/16" to 1/8" while sanded grout is recommended for grout lines from 1/8" to1/2".

How much sanded or unsanded grout do I need for my project?
The amount of required grout depends on the tile size as well as the depth and width of the grout line. A PROFIX grout coverage calculator is available on our website at the bottom of each PROFIX grout product page.

What is efflorescence phenomenon?
Efflorescence occurs when the salt found in ciment migrates to the surface of a porous material that is drying. This creates a powdery, whitish film on the affected area. This is a natural phenomenon. However, be advised that PROFIX has done everything they can to handle this problem with the help of different chemical compounds. If you do face this problem, it is preferable to use a phosphoric or sulphuric acid solution, such as (POLYKLEEN 9006 or POLYKLEEN CRETE) to clean the salt residues. After cleaning a surface with an acid solution, it is important to carefully rinse with clean water.

Is sealing the grout lines necessary?
Grout lines are porous if they remain untreated. It is therefore highly recommended to use a sealer in order to protect them against dirt, calcium, wine, mustard, etc. Having your grout lines sealed will also make them easier to clean.

Will water-based epoxy be less effective in a shower because it is water-based?
Absolutely not! The hardener just contains no solvent because it is diluted in water instead.  Water-based epoxy makes cleaning during installation much easier. However, once the mixture is dry, the formula is just as effective when in contact with water and chemicals than any other 100% epoxy grout on the market.

Is it true that epoxy's pot life varies according to the temperature?
You should be advised that temperature dose have an effect on any epoxy system. At high temperatures, epoxy grout becomes more liquid and pot life is shorter. At first view, the product looks great because it is still liquid and malleable, but actually, the product is too liquid to be installed on a verticalsurface or a ceiling and cleaning will be much more difficult. Here is what you can do to prevent this situation:

  • If the epoxy is applied at higher temperatures (25-30 C), use the whole 5 kg kit within 45 minutes.

  • Use fans when the temperature is high.

  • Epoxy grout pot life :

    30 C = 45 minutes
    22 C = 70 minutes
    18 C = 80 minutes

What are VOCs?
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. In concrete terms, they are solvents that escape when certain chemical materials come in contact with each other, as is the case with epoxies. These gases are not necessarily harmful but once they are put in contact with nitrogen oxide, the primary component of "smog", they are considered to have an effect on the ozone layer, and this is why VOC emissions have to be controlled. By proposing a water-based epoxy we are attempting to do our part in eliminating the use of solvents. 

I still have grout residue on my tile. Why and what should I do?
This is often due to cleaning after a grout installation. We recommend using a high density sponge for best results. The sponge should be rinsed often. You may use a neutral pH detergent and water with a scrub pad within the first 24 hours. If there is still epoxy grout residue on your tile, use  the POLYKLEEN OXY.

How much time is needed for epoxy grout to cure?
The complete curing process takes approximately 14 days. However, normal traffic is fine after 24 hours. In the case of shower installation, we recommend waiting at least 72 hours after grouting before using.

Can we use POLY 400 outside?
The unsanded version (POLY400 U) is 100% made of silicone and can be used both for indoor or outdoor installations.


Could we install the IMPER waterproofing membrane, outdoors?
The IMPER system can be used indoors for showers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, commercial kitchens and outdoors. However, an installation outdoors must be done at a minimum temperature. Please, consult the technical data sheet for more details.

Do standards exist regarding sound impact?
Yes. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends an FIIC rating of 55 for medium-range and luxury condominiums. It should be noted that the CMHC requirements represent the most severe criteria in North America.

What dose FIIC mean?
It is an acronym for Field Impact Insulation Class and is not to be confused with the FSTC standard for airborne sound transmissions. As a matter of fact, it should be noted that a concrete slab alone greatly surpasses the FSTC standard.

And what exactly a FIIC mean?
Simply put, it is a single-number rating. The higher the number is, the better the sound impact control.


Is sealing the grout lines necessary?
Grout lines are porous if they remain untreated. It is therefore highly recommended to use a sealer in order to protect them against dirt, calcium, wine, mustard, etc. Having your grout lines sealed will also make them easier to clean.

Which kind of sealer should I use for natural stone?
There is a wide range of natural stone sealers, each with their own features to address all types of natural stone.

Should we seal natural stone before grouting?
Yes, it is strongly recommended to seal natural stone before grouting. It will protect the stone against sanded, unsanded, or epoxy-grout, as well as from mortar stains.


A film of epoxy grout haze is covering the tile surface. How can I remove it?
You may use a neutral pH detergent and water with a scrub pad within the first 24 hours of the initial installation. After this period of time, epoxy haze must be removed using POLYKLEEN OXY epoxy grout remover.

Which cleaner should I use to clean my grout lines?
POLYKLEEN 9006 cleaner gives very good results when comes time to clean your grout lines. However, this is an acid-based product. Carefully read the instructions before using.

Is there a cleaner I can used that will not remove the sealer on my tile?
POLYKLEEN FLOR is a pH neutral cleaner that will not remove the sealer you applied on your tiles and will effectively clean sealed surfaces.