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Old 09-13-2017, 08:51 AM   #1
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Laticrete Spectralock w/Tumbled Marble

Greetings All,

I'm currently working on a bathroom remodel and shower construction that represents only my second tile-setting job. I've done as much online studying as I can and things are proceeding mostly according to plan (though slower than I'd hoped).

I will soon be finishing up setting the tile in the shower and had some questions about grout. I know that grout is ultimately permeable and I've done what should be required to account for water getting through the tiles and grout (Hardibacker, Laticrete Pre-Sloped Pan, and several coats of Hydro-Ban), but would still like to aim to minimize how much water gets back there. To that end (and for its stain-resistance), I was thinking of using Laticrete's Spectralock Pro Premium grout.

I hear mixed things about epoxy grouts in general, but my biggest concern is on the tumbled marble shower floor. I was planning to do a few coats of Laticrete's "Bullet-Proof" sealer before grouting, but I'm wondering if as a rank amateur I'm likely to run into problems with irremovable haze from the epoxy given the porous nature and rough surface of the tile. Thanks in advance for any advice along this front. Pictures of the floor and walls are attached for reference - in case that helps.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:05 AM   #2
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Welcome, Jay.

You're likely gonna have problems with that marble on your shower floor regardless the type of grout you use, but the epoxy grout is more likely to exacerbate the problems by limiting the ability of the floor to dry at all between uses.

Type marble shower into the Advanced Search feature and ask for Titles. You'll find lots of reading that would probably have resulted in your not using that marble on your shower floor. I understand that ship has already sailed, but you don't wanna make the situation any worse if you can help it, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Old 09-13-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I hadn't noticed any of the marble issue posts before I set the tile and the tile shop's website indicated the tiles I chose as suitable for shower pan. So it goes, I guess. . .

So if I understand what I'm reading correctly, the marble will definitely allow some moisture absorption and rather than sealing the grout lines and surface, I should try to allow a place for the moisture to escape and run out the weep holes, so I should WANT the grout lines to be somewhat more porous?

Just want to make sure I'm understanding what I'm seeing correctly. If that's the case, then I guess standard sanded grout is the way I'll be headed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #4
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I found that I had to do multiple washes with healthy elbow grease to get all traces of epoxy haze completely off. After going through the cleaning packs they give you in your epoxy kit I mixed up more cleaner of my own cleaning solution with water and white vinegar. I also used a fairly aggressive scrub sponge. This however was on porcelain tile, not natural stone. With natural stone you have to be very careful about abrasion and acidic etching. That might be a question for a Laticrete tech on how to best deal with haze on natural stone.

One thing is for sure. You want to do this is scrubbing and cleaning hours not days after setting the grout. I believe Laticrete calls for final cleaning 1 hour after setting the grout. The longer you wait the harder it is for residue removal. Also you want to use cold water because lower temperatures slow the chemical reaction of the epoxy hardening.

BTW did you flood test your hydro ban shower pan after waterproofing?
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:22 AM   #5
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Jay - light colored marble has a tendency to pull in pigment. SPECTRALOCK epoxy grout can be used, however we strongly recommend doing a test on a test area to see what happens as sometimes stone will pull resins into the sides of the tile and you'll end up with a mess that only can be resolved with a jackhammer.

In our opinion, we'd probably go with PERMACOLOR Select grout instead. It's stain resistant (no grout is stain proof) and has a low absorption rate.

As the guys said above, grout cannot provide waterproofing. However what you do behind the grout is what is important i.e. HYDRO BAN.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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Sharon: Thanks for the recommendation. I think based on what I've heard, I'll take your advice and skip the Spectralock, opting for the Permacolor instead. Given the price tag of the Spectralock, mixing up a batch just for testing seems a bit pricey.

ZZZK: Thanks also for your info on your experience. No, I didn't do a flood test (like an idiot) because I laid down the floor tile before understanding the magnitude of the importance of such. So it goes. I did at least recognize the importance of waterproofing, however, so I checked all the corners well, gobbed in Hydro-Ban and left plenty of cure time between coats, so fingers crossed. The pan itself was pre-waterproofed from Laticrete and in good condition, so I feel pretty good there and I also lapped about 4" onto it when waterproofing the walls. My understanding is the flood-testing now would be largely useless because I couldn't differentiate between a leak and water absorption into the thinset, etc.
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