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Old 02-25-2014, 06:33 PM   #16
TheMaxwellInn
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Mapei FlexColor CQ

A few weeks back I posted about my issues with a couple grouts (TEC PowerGrout & FusionPro) that ended up scratching the tiles on our new bathroom installs. (Disclaimer: one of the grouts stated it may scratch surfaces, and it sure did...) We're using a 3x6 Florida Tile in high glaze with a few different style of 1" accent squares in glass.

Shower looks great, until you look close... (Product is TEC PowerGrout)
Those reflections are the flash on the tile... glaze city!
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We were pretty disappointed with this, and then tried FusionPro on a test board, and got similar results. I got in touch with Mapei and ended up trying out their new FlexColor CQ... it turns out they've got a product that performs like sanded, but is safe for "soft" materials because of their quartz coated technology.

I was seriously blown away by this product. We own a small inn, 17 rooms, and I don't really have time to be resealing grout, replacing grout, or dealing with water issues. Every day that I'm working on a room is a day we can't rent it... it costs money!

The FlexColor CQ comes with a sponge in a poly bag, and a poly (plastic) barrier between the two. Maybe it was the altitude, but the poly barrier in my tubs had come loose, and there was grout on the sponge bag... no big deal, wiped it off and back into the tub and set the sponge aside.

We used it on a test board first... just a few of the tiles, no accent line (they're glass) - because if it doesn't scratch the tile, it won't scratch the glass. Applied it per instructions - EASY.

Product went on super easy... it's light, almost airy, spreads without much effort. Stir up the bucket first, for even consistency. Instructions say to dampen the tiles before application, I agree with this 100%, but don't go crazy. You don't want excess moisture in the seams, as it will run out after the first wipe down. It applies like most, first application, 45% float pass, 90% float pass. Wait 5-10mins, wipe with a damp (no excess moisture, wring it out GOOD) sponge. If you've got too much water, it runs out of your seams (may not be an issue, but we've gone staggered subway, so it would run onto the tile below in streaks). I had the right moisture/sponge application figured out after the first 1/3 of the bath job.

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After the successful completion of the test bed, we used it in a shower/bath. FlexColor CQ performed absolutely beautifully. Best of all, no scratches!
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I hope this helps anyone out there looking to use a premixed grout, especially on delicate surfaces. If anyone has questions, I'd be happy to answer. Before any flack is thrown about grout lines and tile layout, we're not professionals. (Second Disclaimer: I'm not a professional )
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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Maybe worth your time if you're interested in the FlexColor CQ...

My experience with FlexColor CQ
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:45 PM   #18
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Got my grout today. Thank you Mapei.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:10 PM   #19
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Since we have a general thread about that product, Peter, I'll combine your comments here.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:13 PM   #20
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Definately looks promising.

Maybe microfiber work better for last pass on cleanup for this product also? Have recently found some microfiber cloths with foam center. Cleans the surface spotless
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #21
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Just a reminder that if you're an installer and interested in getting a free bucket of Flexcolor CQ, send me your name, address and email address by PM and we'll get some heading your way.

Pete, thanks for your feedback on how the product worked for you, I'm glad it worked for the glossy tiles. The bathroom pics look great!

We've tried a variety of cleanup methods including microfiber as the last pass, it doesn't hurt anything but really wasn't all that necessary. As long as you get on it fairly quickly it cleans pretty easily, especially compared to epoxies and even other 'ready to use' grouts on the market.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:35 PM   #22
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Question When will this be generally available and are the colors the same?

Hi Dan,
I am a DIY'er and am wondering if this grout is available to the general public yet? I have ordered Mapei Ultracolor grout before from a little local tile shop. Would I be able to get this new Flexcolor CQ from them? Are the colors available different than your standard colors on your regular color chart? (I am having trouble finding just the right shade, so I am hoping you might have some new ones that might work better, or at least a white that might work better for me.)

Just wondering, too, if this grout has been tested for long-term durability.

Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:23 PM   #23
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Brad, Have you used it yet. Just curious about the performance.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:27 PM   #24
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What is CQ competing with, Fusion or Trucolor?
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Tile
What is CQ competing with, Fusion or Trucolor?
I can attest that it is significantly "lighter" in consistency than Fusion (and plenty of other benefits that go along with that), but haven't tried Trucolor personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun2Learn
Hi Dan,
I am a DIY'er and am wondering if this grout is available to the general public yet? I have ordered Mapei Ultracolor grout before from a little local tile shop. Would I be able to get this new Flexcolor CQ from them? Are the colors available different than your standard colors on your regular color chart? (I am having trouble finding just the right shade, so I am hoping you might have some new ones that might work better, or at least a white that might work better for me.)

Just wondering, too, if this grout has been tested for long-term durability.

Thanks.
Alabaster and Biscuit are in supply now, but it will take a while for distributors to get sku's added to their systems and be able to order. The other colors are being produced in quantity in the coming weeks/month. Your little local tile shop gets its products (most likely) from a distributor/warehouse nearby. That entity needs to add the product to their assortment, and then your local tile shop can order the product from them, most likely. It'd be rare for a tile shop to cover the overhead or quantities of a product that varies so greatly (colors/makes). Call and talk to the tile shop - and push them to contact their wholesaler/supplier to add it to the assortment.

As far as long term testing, I'll let Dan speak to that, as I would just assume it is. Mapei really seems to do their research when it comes to product compatibilities and performance.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:38 PM   #26
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Have not tried it yet. Was going to use it on a project then I received the alabaster color. Need to find a job where I can use alabaster color.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:46 PM   #27
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Peter, are you sure you don't work for Mapei or maybe a realitive?
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:42 AM   #28
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After reading the spec sheet they dont recomend this product for steam showers or submerged applications. Long term on shower floors has me worried.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:41 AM   #29
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Lots of good points here. Flexcolor is being produced in 26 colors, all of which will be available when it is launched later this month. When the official launch occurs, the color selections will be available online or through our app. Color cards specific to Flexcolor CQ will also be available but getting them into the hands of every distributor and dealer is a slower process.

Steam showers and pools are much harsher environments than intermittent applications like showers. Every manufacturer has to contend with how far to push a new product when making recommendations. MAPEI tends to be pretty conservative with our recommendations so if it's stated on the data sheet, we have a very high confidence level that the product will perform in that application.

It's not really my place point out all of the competitive products in the marketplace, there are many grouts that claim to be ready to go out of the pail. We have gone through hundreds of formula revisions so that ours doesn't require mixing, doesn't have a harsh odor, cleans more easily that others, and hardens throughout the grout joint, not just at the surface. You should find Flexcolor CQ to be very competitive with any other products on the market that are one component, ready to use grouts.

Pete is by no means reimbursed by MAPEI in any way except with being sent some free product to try. I appreciate very much that it worked well at the Maxwell Inn and I'm hoping to convert a few more of you into passionate Flexcolor CQ fans! We have ordered in the rest of the samples which should be here this week, we will be assembling the remaining kits and then shipping them out within the next 10 days. If you have requested one and don't have it by the 20th of March, please let me know. If you have not requested one but would like to do so, just drop me a Private Message with your contact info.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lump
Peter, are you sure you don't work for Mapei or maybe a realitive?
I graduated in 2004 from Mizzou, worked at Best Buy from Hourly to General Manager over the next seven years. Quit Best Buy to buy and now operate a small Inn in Colorado. Absolutely no connection to Mapei in any way, other than using the product.

I just really have been impressed with the product after trying a couple other products that were billed to provide similar results - and failed. Certainly you can understand when you own a small business and a product fails to meet your expectations - or worse - costs you time and money (damaged tile)... in that case, the same passion comes through when a product mitigates that letdown and exceeds on every level. Couple that with pretty incredible customer support, and I have been really impressed all around.

Hope that makes sense.
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Last edited by TheMaxwellInn; 03-04-2014 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Didn't finish a sentence... losing my mind one shower at a time.
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