New ASTM International Committee Activity Focuses on Grout and Tile Quality Control

New activity from ASTM International’s ceramic whitewares and related products committee (C21) focuses on standardizing grout and tile quality control.

Recently, the committee approved updates to an existing standard relating to terminology of surface imperfections on ceramics (F109-21). The updated standard has been expanded significantly to include recent advances in ceramic tile manufacturing and material preparation. This version also features high-resolution photographs and new types of tile defects.

“These updates will provide manufacturers, installers, distributors, and consumers with a standard visual reference to use when describing defects,” said James Neel, technical director of American Wonder Porcelain. “Many of the defects now state a possible root cause, further enhancing the value of this standard.”

The committee also began developing two additional work items. The first focuses on test methods for determining low angle light (WK76972). This work item seeks to standardize quality control practices in relation to visual defects in tiles when viewed at lower angle or backlit lighting conditions. 

The second work item involves test methods for grout retention properties of ceramic tile (WK76971). While it is acceptable for some tile products to retain grout, others should not. Standardized tests are necessary to evaluate the properties of each grout retention situation on a case-by-case basis.

According to Neel, an ASTM International member, these work items will be found most useful by tile manufacturers, installers, and floor inspectors.

The committee is seeking additional participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

Media Inquiries: Jaime Martorana, tel +1.610.832.9796;
Committee Contact: Melissa Marcinowski, tel +1.610.832.9626; 

Release #11243



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