What Is Marble Gum Grouting? How To Make Your HDB Tiles Prettier & More Durable

15 April 2024 | BY

We list the basics you need to know about marble gum grouting so you can achieve that sleek marble finish.

Cleaning the floor is a foregone conclusion associated with basic home maintenance, though this doesn’t mean it’s easy at all. In fact, the porcelain tiles that BTO flats come with are lined with grout, which makes cleaning more of a chore than it already is. 

Image credit: The Floor Polishing Co.    

In a bid to make the floor cleaning process easier, some homeowners have resorted to looking for alternative forms of flooring, with marble gum grout being one of the more popular options. Below, we’ve outlined what marble gum grouting your floor entails and what to expect.

What is marble gum grouting?

marble gum grouting processImage credit: The Floor Polishing Co.

Marble gum grouting is a process in which grout and floor tiles are levelled to the same height, before being polished to a lustrous and uniform finish. This creates a glossy marble-like look. Additionally, the polished look doesn’t last forever: repolishing must be done every 4 years.

What are the benefits of marble gum grouting? 

Marble gum adds a mirror-like sheen to your floor tiles that makes your home look infinitely more expensive, allowing you to impress any visitors you welcome into your home.

Aside from the enhanced aesthetic appeal, the process also reduces maintenance—sanding the grout and floor tiles makes the floor a homogenous texture and level, preventing the grout from trapping spills and dirt that you have to scrub through.

Additionally, marble gum grouting also increases the durability of your flooring, reducing the chances of chipping and cracking due to the added layer of protection from the marble gum glue.

How to check for bad workmanship

marble gum equipmentImage credit: @koh.nichiwa

As with any home renovation work, there are some steps that must be taken to check for bad workmanship. The most commonly touted disadvantage of marble gum grouting is the structural damage that comes from bad workmanship. In an instagram post, homeowner @koh.nichiwa shared some defects that occurred as a result of the process.

She stresses that homeowners should take many photos of key areas in their home before the contractors begin renovation work: this will act as proof of any damage.

In @koh.nichiwa’s case, her diligence in taking photos was rewarded, as the photos provided a before and after comparison, painting a clear picture of the contractors’ culpability. She also advises potential adopters of marble gum grouting to check on the finished work as soon as possible as bad workmanship must be addressed right away.

What do you need to look out for with marble gum grouting?

Unfortunately, extra scrutiny is required to inspect defects in the actual marble gum floor, and there’s no shortcut to checking the condition of the end result throughout the entire home. Some common issues to look out for include hollow grout that results from popped air bubbles in the marble gum, or some areas lacking polish entirely due to the contractors’ oversight. 

It’s important to note that only unglazed homogenous tiles are applicable to marble gum grouting, and that the marble gum glue will match the original colour of the tiles. If your tiles are light coloured, keep in mind the pesky yellowing that may occur.

Finally, homeowners should consider how much money they’re willing to spend. Most homeowners will typically marble gum grout their living room vicinity, which will cost around $800-$1,300 depending on the size of their home.

Is it worth marble gum grouting your HDB?

In rare cases that homeowners aren’t struck with bad workmanship, there is still a sunk cost associated with marble gum grouting. Aside from the initial cost of the process, one must keep in mind that the tiles must be repolished every 4 years to maintain its polished effect. 

marble gum grout before and afterImage credit: Reno Hoot

Ultimately, the worth of the process can only be determined by each individual, though homeowners who seek to make floor cleaning easier will find the process more lucrative.

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Cover image adapted from: Design Hub, @nicnacked

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