Choosing the best Grout for your shower renovation

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

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    North Vancouver, BC
    Q: Which is the best grout for your bathroom renovation?

    A: It depends on so many things...

    This new SKU from StarQuartz looks very promising. I have to say that nothing gives me more stress than finishing up a beautiful shower and bathroom renovation project and having to "Grout It". So many things can go wrong and so many factors come into play. I have had the chance to use, pass judgement and "Play With" many different ones from Custom, Mapei, Laticrete and a few others and to date have not tried StarQuartz QuartzLock II.

    Who out there has tried this new Grout?

    The StarQuartz product is different from the others as it is a urethane product. No Epoxy. No Portland.

    What do you men and women out there think?

    I'm told that this new urethan product has;

    -no allergic reactions possible
    -more stain resistant
    -better compression strength
    -more color consistency (no mixing so no user error possible)
    -easier clean up
    -workable time of 4 hours

    I hate passing judgement on products until I have tried them in my "Lab" aka my wife's Laundry Room. I think I will track down some of this Urethan Grout from StarQuartz and put it to the test.

    Here is a link. Any insights would be welcome.

    I found this video online tonight.


    I have not found an equal to date to Laticrete's SpectraLock Pro - but as it seems I have not tried them all.



    UPDATE: Stay away from Urethane Grouts - they are not worth the effort and after two years of living with the poor quality I wish I never used it.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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).
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    North Vancouver, BC
    Online Grouting Advice - Product Selection

    Great Point HJ. I try not to listen to manufactures and listen to the industries top people.

    Have you seen this new Star Quartz grout in action?

    This grout from Laticrete I love. The problem is that all these companies have different supply channels and often one company is not available in your town that I can get in my town. To truly pass judgement I believe you need to have tried and worked with all products...

    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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

    So a couple years later 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.

  5. DougB

    DougB Member

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

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    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.

  7. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    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.
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    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
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