Open Ended Question - Epoxy Grout Labor

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by chefwong, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    This is more of a open ended question I suppose...

    Laborwise, is Epoxy Grout that much more from a labor standpoint.
    I suppose instead of just adding water to a grout mix....you need to cut bags of part A+B and then mix with colored sand.

    Applying is the same, waiting for the joints to firm for final wash is the same.

    I suppose the only KEY factor is whether you need to seal the tile before grouting (which would add to labor), but that's the same precautions one would do any stone anyhow.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,809
    Location:
    New England
    It is critical to clean properly, otherwise, it is a real bear to clean leftover grout from the face of the tile - I'm not sure a sealer would help much...the stuff is sticky. temperature will affect the setup/cure time, so you need to keep that in mind. It tends to be a bit more runny, some people have had trouble with walls, easier on the floor. They tend to keep refining the material, and the newest stuff may have overcome some of these issues. Color match is usually quite good. I'm not sure I'd want to deal with it if it was a textured tile. There's a bunch of threads at www.johnbridge.com you can read of people's experience with it. The one that tends to get used more is Spectralock, but there are others that get discussed as well. I've heard, but not seen, that some of the lighter colors may yellow a bit when they age. this may depend on use, cleaning chemicals, or, may not be true at all...

    One person ignored the recommendations of caulking the changes of plane and the grout actually cracked the tile rather than pulling away and cracking itself.
  3. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    I have used the old Epoxy - 8-10 years ago and believe you me, I must have invented a couple of new swear words.
    This was like mixing 20 minute hot mud with Hot Water. It was a mad dash to apply, pack, tool and clean.......cursing the whole entire day ;-)

    Spectralock today was easy as pie. As a matter of fact, by the time cleaning was done, there was still some workability of the grout in the bucket....

    Cleaning to ensure no haze, but then again, even with cement, you need to clean with no haze....it's just that initial pass on stickiness and or the 2nd pass as well.

    IMO, color and porosity trumps it all !
    The ONLY reason why I can't see more people using it is cost (but cost is relative to the labor and long term maint. in my eyes) & if you are using it on a porus stone in which cement may be preferred and you are *sealing* the stone as part of good maint. practice anyways.
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,797
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Not many setters do back flips here in Vancouver when the subject of Epoxy Grout is raised.

    There are a lot of issues. One is cost and installation techniques.

    I have done a small amount epoxy grouting a few years back and used the laticrete product with the special cleaning packs. Worked great and the colour is amazing.

    [​IMG]
    Epoxy Grout from Laticrete on the floors and curb of this shower.

    On my own Kitchen project I choose Urethane Grout and it was a bitch to install. End result is outstanding.

    [​IMG]
    My potfiller and stove niche feature I made for my wife.

    [​IMG]

    Urethane grout does not yellow. Most epoxy grouts will.

    On walls expoxy grout can buldge or sag. Careful how much water is used in cleaning.

    With epoxy grouts you need to stay off the floor a good 24 + hours after or you can leave foot prints behind.

    Are they worth the effort? I think so.

    Do most people buck up? No.

    The new Mapei epoxy grout is suppose to be outstanding and my Mapei rep has promised to come and help me grout my first project. Will see how easy it is.

    In my daughter's bathroom I used Mapei's Ultra Colour. White. six months and 5 family members using the shower tub everyday and the grout looks great.

    Did I seal it. No.

    Was it easy to install. Yes

    Do I wish I used Epoxy. No

    There is a learning curve with these speciality grouts. Find a seasoned installer or practice first on a mock up.

    You do not want to destroy your new tile project because you think your a "Rock Star" installer.

    Ask your setter if he has installed epoxy grout before. Ask for refferals. Check them out.

    Good Luck Chef Wong!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  5. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Beautiful pot filler niche John ! I love the incorporation of the drain ! While my favorite part of the room in the house is the kitchen, I've yet to study different kitchen designs on pot fillers with DRAINS !

    Urethane grouts just came to my knowledgebase recently. I will have to do some homework to see what the cleaning treatment is on them. Like everything in life, it's only as good as the maintenance you put into it. One of the things would be how well or how much the urethane can take ~heat~. I have a commercial grade steam cleaner that does WONDERS for even day2day cleaning. Epoxy cannot be held too long with the heat and a *pinpoint* steam spray...but generally I am just doing a pass of steam over the tile with a wide microfiber. More homework I suppose...

    I did see a video or Urethane QL....and the video made looked so easy. Pack and then single pass wash/rinse got off alot off the face of the tile.
    I'm not sure how biased it is...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37srXjMd8FQ

    If you have not used the Spectralock, you must try. I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with the workability and cleanup.
    Granted the *stickiness* on clean passes 1 and 2 are going to be there, but it's creamy, smooth and very workable.
    I've yet to play with this stuff for a living, but I would say *tooling* of the joint is not as nice as cement.....
    Availability of the product and being able to ~cherry pick~ batch codes to have them the same is a ++++ for me as well.
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