Still playing around with sanded grout.   Did some cost comparisons based on retail prices for a standard GFRC mix: cement, sand, fiber, polymer.  Prices may vary by location but I was surprised at the results.

 

Standard GFRC mix cost is about $1.88 per sq. ft. at 1/2 inch thick.

 

Polyblend sanded grout cost is about $2.00 per sq.ft. at 1/2 inch thick.

 

 

Other factors:  GFRC mix cost did not include shipping for polymer and fiber which I buy out of state. GFRC did not include any pigment prices.  The Polyblend was the standard Grey color which cost less than the colored grouts and I did not include the cost of the fiber I added.  

 

Why am I doing this?   GFRC is basicly grout (sand and cement).   I love the idea that it is readily available and comes in many colors and the colors are consistant.  No weighing is needed and it saves time.

 

I sprayed some grout in a sample piece and there was some surface crazing visible when wet.  But it is working well as a wet cast GFRC.  

 

 

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Dave,

Did you vibe those tiles? Also is it the pic or is there actual cast shadows in the tiles? It's a cool look. I just wonder how they would hold up to foot traffic.
Dave,
I looked at the price of Polyblend which up here sells for $22.99 at HDepot. If consistency in color is your main issue you could try using the glycol based colors and adding them to the liquid portion of your formulation during production.

I get very consistent results when I do concrete overlay which is applied in several small batches to a floor. I have made GFRC as well, adding as much as 5% on cement. At higher loading you get a superplasticizing effect which for me is a good thing. The properties of the concrete seemed fine but I have no lab that can acknowledge this with real numbers.
Yes the tiles were vibrated. Those are shadows. Here is a better pic.


dustinbraudway said:
Dave,

Did you vibe those tiles? Also is it the pic or is there actual cast shadows in the tiles? It's a cool look. I just wonder how they would hold up to foot traffic.
Alright guys, I made my first fabric formed sink and I used Dave's GFRC mix. Unmolded in 18 hours. Turned out pretty good. I used two different colors, the charcoal and the tabacco brown. I will say that I had more air bubbles in the charcoal mix than I did in the tabacco. So all the charcoal parts I had to slurry.....alot. But the tabacco was smooth as a babys butt and no bugholes. I think I may have screwed up something in the charcoal mix though and thats why I had bubbles. i just wanted to see about the demolding and how tough this stuff is. So far so good......pic below
Attachments:
I like the tobacco color. The darker tiles above are tobacco.

Guido said:
Alright guys, I made my first fabric formed sink and I used Dave's GFRC mix. Unmolded in 18 hours. Turned out pretty good. I used two different colors, the charcoal and the tabacco brown. I will say that I had more air bubbles in the charcoal mix than I did in the tabacco. So all the charcoal parts I had to slurry.....alot. But the tabacco was smooth as a babys butt and no bugholes. I think I may have screwed up something in the charcoal mix though and thats why I had bubbles. i just wanted to see about the demolding and how tough this stuff is. So far so good......pic below
Dave, This is interesting. I have to make a soap niche for a bathroom and need to find a color that goes with the tile. This may be the way to go.
I cast a long piece for a bath tub sill, It was to complement some tile, nothing too structural. I used Hydroment brand sanded grout with their latex admix. I couldn't find out what % solids it has. I used it for a wet cast with some super P and a light loading of fiber. Poured it pretty wet and it turned out super smooth with no pinholes. Anyway, for certain small things, like tile or things that are not structural and if you want to save time and not have to measure and get colors to work, I think it shows some promise.
Remik, you are right, I would leave this for just another tool that you might use in certain situations. I would not try it on structural things until its strength is known.

remik said:
David,

In my opinion it is not the safe way to go. This Polyblend idea is not yet tested and you may (or may not) find yourself in a situation where everything falls apart once you start production. Use proven and tested methods. I don't know your experience with concrete or GFRC but my experience tells me that you want to limit your unknowns as much as you can in this business. What if you have to redo your samples again? You will lose time, money and energy. Leave that Polyblend thing as a side project.





David Burke said:
i'm about to make samples of polyblend pieces for a designer. i calculated a higher water content than usual.

25lbs grout=

10 lbs cement

recommended water was 2qts + trim 1 pnt.

2qts= 64 fluid ounces = 4 pounds = .4 w/c

Am I missing something?
Seems to work best as wet cast gfrc poured under vibration.

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