Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
You might be accustomed to using grout in your bathroom and countertops. If you're wondering if you can also use it to fill in the gaps between your concrete pavers, you've come to the right page. That's what we'll talk about today. We asked our experts about this and here's what they say.
Yes, you can use grout on your outdoor pavers. It will effectively hold together the interlocking joints of your concrete pavers and seal the openings from water, moisture, dirt, and other unwanted particles.
Keep reading so we can tell you more about grouting your outdoor pavers and how to go about this task. We'll also talk about which grout type is best for outdoor use. We'll also share other ways to fill in the gaps in between your pavers. Let's get down to business.
Grouting outdoor pavers
Concrete pavers are formed by interlocking different pieces together to create different patterns and styles that'll truly make your outdoor area stand out.
Interlocking is also an important aspect of why pavers are flexible. It allows them to adjust according to the movement of the ground that's why there's minimal shrinkage and cracking.
Interlocking also makes concrete pavers easy to maintain and repair. If ever there are damaged areas, you just need to remove the pieces and replace them. They'll fit like a puzzle, no need to replace the whole pavement.
However, when you have interlocking joints and not a whole slab, you will notice that there are gaps in between. These gaps can be weak links.
Aside from the fact that they aren't nice to look at, these are areas where unwanted particles can settle and creep into your pavers until they cause damage and destroy your hardscape.
That is why it is important to fill in those gaps in the interlocking joints. One of the products used to seal those openings in your concrete pavers is grout.
Grout is used to connect joints, seal openings, and fill voids in between adjacent paving materials. It is made of a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Sometimes, it is also mixed with fine gravel to fill in larger spaces.
As grout locks in the materials together, it gives it a finished look while preventing water, moisture, dirt, and other unwanted particles from entering and destroying the installed structure.
Think of grout as a glue that joins the different pavers together. As they do so, they also provide a water-resistant seal to the entire surface so that it can endure different environmental conditions.
How do you grout outdoor paving?
There are two ways to do this. You can use a grout bag to apply the product to the joints and openings. It is like a pastry bag that bakers use to put the icing on the cake. This process ensures a precise and clean way of doing this task which also gives it a more professional look after it's done.
The second option is to use a brush as you fill the spaces with the semi-dry grout. This is messier but it'll give you more coverage so the job is done faster. The brush should have stiff bristles so that it's easier to transfer the grout in between pavers.
Choose between the two methods and prepare the materials needed. Then, proceed to clean and seal your concrete pavers to make sure that the grout won't leave any unsightly stains on the surface.
Grout Bag Method
- Pour the grout into the bag.
- Cut the tip of the grout bag to size, around half an inch will do.
- Direct the tip on the joints.
- Let it dry.
You have to be quick in applying the grout so that it doesn't dry inside the bag. It'll be harder to squeeze it out of the tip once it changes its consistency.
- Prepare the grout by mixing it with some water until you reach a semi-dry consistency.
- Sweep the grout towards the joints.
- Remove any excess.
- Allow it to dry completely.
It's important to schedule this task on a sunny day so that the grout will dry faster. It's better to enclose the outdoor area in the meantime until the grout dries completely. This might take one to three days depending on the weather and the type of grout that you chose.
Always check the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations regarding the application of their product so that you can get the best results.
What grout is good for outside?
There are different types of grout as you would realize when you go shopping for one. These are the five types that you'll find on the market.
This is used for joints or openings that are less than 1/8 inch wide.
Finely sanded grout
The addition of sand makes it ideal for use in joints that are between 1/8 and 3/8 inches wide.
This is also sanded grout but it uses coarse instead of fine sand. It is used to fill wider gaps up to 1/2-inch in size.
This is made of epoxy resin and hardener. It is tough and has great water absorption and chemical resistance so it is best used in areas that are constantly exposed to water and other chemicals.
This is suitable to use in various applications both indoors and outdoors and any width of joints.
Most of these grout types are good to use outdoors but the most common choices are cement grout and epoxy grout.
Cement grout is mainly preferred because of its affordability. However, some experts discourage the use of this grout type especially outdoors because this product is porous. This means it will absorb moisture along with dirt and grime. When this happens, the grout and the pavers will become weaker and break easily.
Epoxy grout is growing in popularity because of its durability and water resistance. It also offers the best aesthetic value compared to all the other grout types. This grout type resists fading so the color will last for a long time. It also stands up well to extreme weather conditions that your outdoor area is constantly exposed to.
What to use to fill in between pavers?
If you're looking for other products to use in filling the gaps in between your concrete pavers, experts recommend that you use sand instead.
Sand, specifically polymeric sand, will outlast and outperform grout. It has excellent binding power. It will effectively lock the concrete pavers in their position.
This happens when you mix the sand with water. Polymers are activated that cause the various components in your pavement to harden and interlock successfully.
Once sand hardens, it stays in place for a long time. It won't be washed away by rain or even a pressure washer. This means that you won't have to spend on its maintenance and repair as what will happen when you use grout which you have to reapply every after three years or so.
You can use grout for your concrete pavers and apply it using the grout bag or brush method. This will fill in the gaps and seal them to protect them against unwanted elements.
However, if you're looking for the best option, you'll be better off using sand because of its great binding power and durability.
If you want to read more about pavers, you may visit the following links: