Choosing the best Grout for your shower renovation

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
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    North Vancouver, BC
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Have you EVER seen a manufacturer's "blurb" that did NOT claim the product was the best thing ever invented? Even the Yugo car claimed to have some advantages and reasons why you should buy it, (and some people actually did).
     
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  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Grout Samples

    [​IMG]

    Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium Grout - Floor

    Mapei Ultra Colour Plus Rapid Setting - Walls
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    North Vancouver, BC
    Should you use an Urethane Grout for your remodel - I say "NO"

    So a couple years later (after using it in my home) I have one very strong view of Urethane Grout. The stuff SUCKS.

    Avoid this product like the plaque. I was convinced that the product was the bomb and even tested it out. After a couple years of service the Urethane grout is horrible.

    Never ever will I use this crap again.

    JW
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  6. DougB

    DougB Member

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    So what changed your mind about urethane grout?
     
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
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    North Vancouver, BC
    Time Doug. Time.

    I tested the product back and forth and thought it rocked. Living with my kitchen counters turned me off. Years later depending on the time of day I can still see a haze in spots.

    Might be my own lack of experience with the product or maybe my batch was off, but I don't think grouting should be so hard.

    I have a few clients that had good luck with it but I'm not sold on it. Laticrete's Spectra Lock Pro is quickly becoming our goto grout and Mapei's Ultra Colour Plus our all time favourite.

    Being using some PermaColour Grout from Laticrete and it's very nice - like the Mapei product.

    Trying to ditch Mapei altogether - hate giving them any of my money but we still use the screed mortar and there grout on occasion.

     
  8. chefwong

    chefwong Member

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    District of Columbia
    Mapei M20 Plus is AMAZING though. Topcoat SLC - up to 2" thick...


    Grouting is HARD. Picking the right color is the key to any tile install. Sometimes you will need to pick a color from Mapei verus Lati. cause the color was a better color for the tile IMO. Heh. I've been down that road....and while I'm a huge Lati. fan, we used Mapei for my backsplash, cause they offered a better color match.

    Back to group. Epoxy grout has come A VERY LONG Way. It's much easier than yesteryears.

    15 years ago, I was cussing up a storm like no tomorrow. From the time of mix to the time of FINAL wash, it was 20 minutes max. Packing in 1/16" joints - oh you should have seen the Red in me.

    Re: the title thread; Choosing the best Grout for your shower renovation : I would change it to Choose the Right Grout for your Tile Project and get it right the 1st time around.

    Color is key.
    Get it wrong, change your mind....the risks on removal is too high - Nicking your tile on the edge something you don't want to happen.

    Note: With epoxy and ~wider~ joints, it's somewhat easy to remove - just heat it with a heatgun and it scrape away.
     
  9. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Best Grouts - chosen by colour

    Chef the colour angle is the most frustrating things. We recently did five sample boards just to get the colour right.

    I noticed an error in the Laticrete's packaging in the weight measurements printed of the resins when we where mixing up some small lots.

    What I like about the Spectra Lock Pro grout so much is that you can create your own colour by mixing powders. If you use a digital scale you can get these exact and recreated the colours you love.

    Mapei does have the brightest white grout out there and many people like that. If my Mapei rep had not pissed me off so bad over the whole "Lost linear drain" ordeal I would still be using it.

    Ardex did a great demonstration a couple months back at Pac Rim and showcased their new grouts. Still waiting for these grouts to make it on Canadian Soil but if they are as good as the setting material (minus the AF207 adhesive!) I'm sure they will quickly become a favourite of ours.

    I think grout colour needs to be chosen first. This is something we like to discuss with our clients.

    For example why wreck a 25year Laticrete Warranty by using Custom Grout. And vice versa. This is one reason we try and stay current with all the setting material processes so that we can install complete systems. The relationship with Schluter and Ardex is my new favourite BUT the grout is new. My Ardex rep told me by phone that in the mean time I'm good to go with Mapei's Ultra Colour Plus. So this is our approach.

    We wrapped up a job with Permacolor from Laticrete and really liked the grout but found the water ration on the bag out to lunch. Much like Ardex's water ratio on their X32.

    Grouting can be scary and nothing can screw up a project faster than a bad grout job. We never mix an entire bag but rather hit wall by wall. A digital scale and de-minerzed water two key steps for our grouting process.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  10. TeXan

    TeXan New Member

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    John,
    Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it.
     
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    John left in a huff a long time ago now. As you can tell from his posts, some things set him off (me included!).

    There are a bunch of decent one-part grouts out there now. Many of them are acrylic based and are particularly good on color consistency. In the industry, 3-years is quite awhile, and things change.

    Cement based grouts work, but require more maintenance than some of the newer ones.

    Epoxy grouts have gotten easier to use, but can be a little tougher to get in vertical cracks on a wall without slumping, and you don't really have a lot of time before things start to setup. If you don't do a good cleanup, may require some special cleaners to get the haze off the tile.
     
  12. Jughead

    Jughead New Member

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    Maybe that's the crap this customer just provided I mention in a new post of about 20 minutes ago regarding Toto toilets. The tiled floor was perfect and the grout almost messed it up. I couldn't get it off despite sponging as I went. The joints ended up too deep with all the scrubbing,
    Grouting should be the easy part and I recommend the standard water-mix type. It's always worked for me. I also don't believe grout needs to be sealed if you don't play with it too long.
    Take as an example the brick mortar on a building exterior. Back in the day they didn't have additives and it held up just fine.
    I'm talking the 18th century.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  13. standardairconditioner

    standardairconditioner HVAC'ker

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    Nov 27, 2015
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    Montreal, Canada
    And what does exterior brick mortar have anything to do with interior grout? Please clarify.

    Contractors don't like epoxy because it sets fast (30-45min work time) and tough to clean up, but it is the best.

    Educated homeowners need to specify for it, otherwise contractors won't mention it.

    If you hate cleaning mold off grout and hate re-sealing grout, go epoxy.

    If you want white grout to forever look teeth-white with zero cleaning, go Mapei Kerapoxy CQ instead of the regular Kerapoxy.

    I'm so lazy. I love my white tiles and white grout in my home that I never clean.
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    New England
    The issue with grout in a shower is the body oils, dead skin, soap scum, conditioners, etc. that you don't see on an external brick face! Plus, bright sunshine helps to dry things out and bleach things as well that doesn't happen in a shower. A grout sealer only goes so far...it's not magic, but it can help a cement based grout.
     
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