Whatever paving material you use for your garden terrace, you’ll need to fill the joints to keep the construction nice and strong. Read more about the different grouts, which type is most suitable for your terrace and how to apply each type of grout.
Four grouts: which one should you choose?
You can grout a terrace for three reasons: for the beauty, for the strength of the construction and to prevent weeds between the tiles. Choosing grout depends on many factors like the paving types, your personal preference and the width of the grout.
- Soft broom
- Garden hose with a nebulizer
- Piping bag for cement
- Putty knife
- Vibratory plate
- Work gloves
Grouting a terrace with sand
Sand is the most commonly used grout for a paver terrace. Grouting with sand has several advantages: it is cheap, easy to apply and gives the terrace a natural look. However, sand is less suitable for wide joints because it washes out in heavy rain. And, it is also not the best solution if you want to keep your terrace weed-free. A few tips for grouting with sand:
- Use fine white sand for the best result.
- Grouting with sand requires a water-permeable surface. Sand will wash away quickly if the terrace lays on a concrete surface.
- Sprinkle the sand over the terrace and sweep it into the joints with a broom.
- To properly fill and compact the joints, you can use a (rented) vibration plate.
Grouting a terrace with cement
You can use cement to fill wider joints. It cannot wash away and is an effective remedy for weeds between the tiles or pavers. Cement joints can crack and tear due to the effect of the substrate, so this method requires a well-stabilized foundation, for example, a concrete substrate.
Applying cement in the joints can be done in two ways. On very smooth tiles or pavers, you can pour liquid cement into the cracks and then scrub away what you have spilt. The cement will adhere to structured or porous surface tiles in such a way that it cannot be cleaned, or only with the greatest of effort. In these cases, use a cement piping bag to manually fill the joints with moderately dry grout and a putty knife to press down and brush off excess cement.
Grouting a terrace with epoxy grout
You can spray an epoxy grout in the joints just like cement. Unlike cement, epoxy does not absorb water and cannot crack or crumble during frost. It is also more resistant to chemical cleaning or the high-pressure cleaner.
Epoxy is available in different colours and is the preferred grout for sleek, modern terraces.
Grouting a terrace with polymer sand
You can use polymer sand to fill joints that are too large for sand (2 mm to 1.5 cm). It provides a joint that is both solid and flexible and gives weeds no chance to grow. If you rely purely on functional properties, this is the best grout for your terrace. When applying polymer sand, proceed as follows:
- Sweep the sand into the joints.
- Preferably vibrate with a vibrating plate.
- Remove the sand from the tiles. If you have a leaf blower, use it for this. You can also do it with a broom, but be careful not to sweep sand from the joints.
- Wet the terrace well and allow the polymer sand to dry. After 24 hours, the joints should be durable and impermeable to weeds.