Tec XT or Prism Grout? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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11-26-2008, 06:22 PM
I was talking to a distributor today about the tec xt grout and he was saying everyone that is using loves it. I have heard many of you on here say you liked it.

Has anyone used both Tec Accucolor XT grout and Custom's Prism? Just curious how they compare. I would like to get more consistent with the products I use and have just tried more tec thinsets and have been happy with them.

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irish tileguy in michigan
11-26-2008, 06:43 PM
I love the xt grout and have been "using" for about 2 years now and we use it on about 80-90% of our installs.A little bit more pricey than regular grout but ive never had a problem selling it to a customer.
Not familier with the prism so i cant say anything about it, just im not a fan of customs products.

11-26-2008, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback. You seem to be saying what most are saying about the xt. I think it is like 30 a bag so it is double the cost but that isn't that bad since most my jobs only need a few bags.

How do you feel the stain resistance is? Any need to still seal it?

irish tileguy in michigan
11-26-2008, 07:02 PM
From what i remember the guy in the store i buy it from said you can seal it but they consider that total overkill.
We used it in two restrooms in a bar in Detroit nearly a year ago ( and yes i frequent this establisment) on both walls and floors in sanded and unsanded and it looks like the day it was put in ,

11-26-2008, 07:04 PM
Bryan, tried xt when it first came out, had some shading issues, as quite a few around here have had also, have not used it since. Prism has been on and off the market to much for me to have any confidence. You should try laticrete permacolor, which you can read about in a previos thread. good stuff. I know Laticrete put it through a couple of years R&D before release, unlike some other companys that throw there unproven products to us guinee pigs :tongue:

irish tileguy in michigan
11-26-2008, 07:16 PM
Like John said about the xt having shade differences is true but i think its the way its mixed and following directions.We had it happen once and i put it down to a different way of mixing , we now mix it with the same drill and paddle "everytime" no matter how small an amount we need .
Still stand behind it 100%.
I have also heard great things about the permacolour, just waiting to use it.

11-26-2008, 07:18 PM
We used it in two restrooms in a bar in Detroit nearly a year ago ( and yes i frequent this establisment) on both walls and floors in sanded and unsanded and it looks like the day it was put in Now that's a good recommendation. :)Prism has been on and off the market to much for me to have any confidence.Prism was pulled off the market only once, John. It came back as a completely different product. Haven't heard any complaints about the new Prism. We (couple of us who tested it here at TYW) had some problems installing the stuff, but the color was never an issue. Just takes a different touch to put it on. Haven't heard much about folks using it, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.

11-26-2008, 07:18 PM
I use the XT on all homeowners and never had a problem selling it. Like the sanded but the unsanded locks up quick. Never had a color issue but it must be mixed correctly.
I've always had good luck with Custom's products but I have yet to even see a bag of Prism. Noone around here stocks it including Dal tile.

11-26-2008, 07:31 PM
I use XT as much as I can. I think the workability is great, and I've never had a "shading" issue, but I have heard about it.

On a personal note, I replaced all the grout on my floors with XT after we had a house fire. I have 2 greyhounds, 5 cats and a potbellied pig, not to mention a 4 year old. Not a day goes by that a dog isn't bleeding (greyhounds have thin coats) a cat isn't barfing, or the pig isn't rooting around with a dirty snout. They abuse every part of the floor and the grout scrubs right back to sandstone beige everytime. I'm a big fan. :)

11-26-2008, 07:41 PM
Tilejoe- what about the 4 year old?


11-26-2008, 07:47 PM
My 4 year old son likes to use markers and crayons on all surfaces, and sometimes I wonder if he ever gets any food in his mouth. :)

John Bridge
11-26-2008, 08:04 PM
I've not used the others, but I think Prism is a good one. :)


11-26-2008, 08:19 PM
The dist. I talked to didn't mention any shading issues but I have had so many shading issues with customs regular grout I hate to use it now. I used prism once and didn't have any issues with it but I don't think it is stocked here either. They can get it next day usually but that doesn't always work for me.

I may give the XT a try and I will have to look into the laticrete stuff, not sure who carries their stuff in my area. To be honest, I have never seen it any place.

11-26-2008, 08:35 PM
I used the Prism once and didn't like it much. my local distributor sells both Custom & TEC.

I like the TEC grouts better then Customs but also like the Custom grout.

the Accucolor XT doesn't need sealing a TEC rep told us down here. using the Accucolor now on a college project I have going on now and it's great to clean up, colors are good and consistant to me. the XT you need to put a little effort into it and don't spread too far ahead. :D

11-26-2008, 09:19 PM
When you say not to get too far ahead when grouting, what are we talking here? I can usually spread out 70-100 feet at a time. I work alone and usually don't have much trouble with this amount. How is the bucket life if you mix up a whole bag at a time? I found the Prism to have a great bucket life.

My next job is a travertine job and I may try it. I will seal the travertine first but I am guessing the travertine will pull the water from the grout pretty quick and it will set off quick.

11-26-2008, 09:35 PM
Having just dealt with one of the most pickiest customers I have dealt with in years and using XT grout and some shading issues initially, and talking directly with Tec support, I think I can give some important insight into the XT grout issues.

Grout must and should be mixed in proper ratios to water Ratio of 2.25 qts of water per 25lb bag XT or(2.78 lbs of XT grout per cup of water).

Cleanup should be done after about 20 minutes of setup time and should be done with very little water and only once. (hence shading problems start)

TEC suggest not to go over grout more then once with a sponge. BUT I do a second cleanup with a damp towel followed with a dry towel.

Shading issues arise when grout dries. (actually residue from cleaning water on grout surface)

Final cleanup TEC suggests using "Like New" cleaner and only after 7-10 days curing, pretty extreme in my view as that cleaner is pretty strong. I suggest just waiting 7 days and then go back with small scrub brush and water with some white vinegar to clean up the residue on grout left behind from first initial cleaning. Let dry and will notice that the shading has evened out.

If you want to seal XT you have to use a solvent based sealer such as TEC's Ensealant SB. Very expensive sealer BTW. With some experimentation I saw no increase in richness in grout color after using the Ensealant SB. That would be just a waste of time and money in MHO.

With XT you should plan in charging a little bit more for the extra trips for final cleanup, cleanup that you would normally do the first day on regular portland cement grouts. But that is largely a factor with your pickiest customers or your own perfection expectations.

Biggest selling point on XT is that you never need to seal it. But if problems arise on effloresence or shading then TEC will suggest the most expensive and time consuming methods of correcting the problems.

Do I dislike XT grout? Not really, but do believe it should be properly understood before using it.

11-26-2008, 09:40 PM

In my case in the picky customer I had an unglazed 12" highly textured porcelain tile with XT black (Raven) grout. I could only spread out 3rd bag mixes (measured and weighed). Each mix from mixing to first cleanup took 2 hrs each with 3/16" grout joints.

I am doing another job with 13" glazed porcelain and 1/4" joints and mix 2/3rds bag measured and weighed and from start to finish like before each took me 2 hours. Color is Light Choclate XT.

Glaze tile is much easier to clean up but leaves more water on the tile surface that you need to remove and not let settle into the joints.

Cleanup is the same procedure as in my intial post above.

11-26-2008, 10:32 PM
You sure about the 4.25 QUARTS? That seems like a lot of water. Could that maybe be pints? If my memory serves me right, the prism wants 4-6 pints.

I will most likely be using a fairly light color so hopefully that will mean less noticeable shading problems.

What did you use to weigh your grout?

11-26-2008, 10:52 PM

Your right about the water and quarts. (As my Ukrainian wife would say "stupid English system" as she love metrics.)

The real ratio is 9 cups per 25lbs. 9 cups = 4.5 pints. XT calls for 4 to 4.5 pints or 2 to 2.25 Qts if I recall exactly. I prefer the wetter side to that ratio for ease of spreading.

BTW the bucket life was about 30-45 minutes for ease of spreadability.

As to measuring volumn that was easy.

Measuring weight Initially I normally pour the entire bag into a 4 gallon bucket with lid and dry mix by tumbling the bucket around. I use an inexpensive 10lb adjustable scale you can purchase probably at any hardware or kitchen utensil store. I zero out the needle after setting a small container on it, start adding grout to come out to 8.33 lbs for each 3rd unit I seperate it out for. (I have several small old C-Cure epoxy containers with lids that work perfectly for this application.)

11-26-2008, 11:06 PM
When you say not to get too far ahead when grouting, what are we talking here? I can usually spread out 70-100 feet at a time.if you spread too much and dont get it up it leaves a skin type residual on the tile that's a beeach to get off without more water and rubbing, which is not a good thing with this grout.

11-27-2008, 06:13 AM
With normal TEC grout your supposed to wait 20-30 minutes before washing. My local rep said no more than 10-15 with XT.
Dry mix first if using less than a full bag.
Mix exactly.
I do full bags and get about 1/2 down before washing. Then I rewhip the remainder. I eyeball 1/2 bags in two seperate buckets. I have a giant plastic measuring cup I got at the grocery store. Does a full quart.
If you've ever mixed normal TEC grout the correct way (not loose) and you mix XT; the XT is actually easier to spread.
Use very little water during cleanup, but I wash like normal (swirl/ two passes), DO NOT second wash. I've dry buffed even that cheap slate from HD with the XT and no problem getting haze off. Very little to begin with.
Stone does seem to lock it up quicker. I stopped using XT on stone only because I don't like sealing beforehand; only after. Not because it set the XT up too quick.
As far as Prism goes, I like Custom; I would like to try the Prism; yet they seem to be trying real hard to not make it available. Otherwise I would try it.

11-27-2008, 08:22 AM
why use a stain resistant BLACK GROUT? that don't make no sense! :topicoff:

irish tileguy in michigan
11-27-2008, 10:27 AM
even wth black grout there are things that can bleach down the colour like animals urine ect , its just not dirt that stains.