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Old 04-20-2006, 10:10 PM   #16
DonB
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Frozen storage does work. Yesterday, my final batch of grout came up an inch short of completing the job. I mixed 1% of a mini unit in a little plastic bowl to finish the joint. I sealed the rest of it up and stuck it in the freezer. I broke a hunk off the frozen lump of it today to fill in a low spot. It did just fine.

PST, I imagine any tool that you'd normally use to take out cement grout will do the same job for epoxy grout.

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Old 04-20-2006, 10:14 PM   #17
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that's a new one to me.

I must admit that is a new one to me.

There you go...
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:38 AM   #18
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Nash, I am so impressed with this stuff. I've never used anything like it. It's truly a great product. I know Spectralock Pro is the latest and greatest but I don't think you should be down on Spectralock Rookie (the original). As I mentioned, Pro wasn't available to me so I got what was. Your post in the Liberry gave me even more trepidation about my choice but it was unfounded. Spectralock, even the Rookie version, is a wonderful option. It's dirt simple with benefits no other type of grout can come even close to matching.

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Old 04-24-2006, 02:23 PM   #19
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grouting next to a gap

Hi,

At the risk of revealing my cluelessness...

In the situation where you are at the edge of a floor tile field, and your grout line is not going to be surrounded by tile on all sides, and you want to keep the grout out of an expansion gap between tile&wall, how do you "dam it up" and keep it out of your gap?

Is the Spectralock thick enough to stay where you put it, or would I have to use some kind of spacer material in my gap to keep it clear of grout while it sets up?

Thanks,
Russ
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:29 PM   #20
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Just try to keep the grout out of the expansion joint as you work. Then, as you finish the initial pass, just use a margin trowel to remove any grout that got pushed into the expansion space. No big deal. If the grout you cut out didn't get contaminated with dirt, use it to grout someplace else. SpectraLock is too expensive to waste.
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:39 PM   #21
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Thanks, Jeff.

Somehow I got the impression that Spectralock is looser than it sounds like it is.

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Old 04-24-2006, 02:51 PM   #22
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Russ --

You don't have to worry about it flowing or anything like that. It really is not a problem to use at all.

And the unique thing about SpectraLock is that the color is added by dyeing the sand component -- the epoxy components are clear and there is no way the color can be washed out or diluted. Many other epoxy grouts are two epoxy components that are added to the manufacturer's regular cement-based grout. The cement basically becomes nothing but filler powder along with the color powder and sand, since there is no water for the cement to react with.
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Old 04-25-2006, 05:54 PM   #23
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Well, I'm doing my first tiling job ever and I've never grouted before. I've been reading the messages regarding SpectraLock (this thread primarily) and decided to do some research by making a test board out of some scrap tile and buying one each of the SpectraLock products (the part C is only $4 and the kit with parts A & B is $16, so the whole test only cost me $20). I did not buy an epoxy float. I had already purchased a plastic/rubber float and didn't want to spend even more for the test.

As a rookie, I'm not sure my comments are worth much of anything, but I'll throw them out there anyway.

I had no problem mixing the parts. I had some problem spreading the mixture into the grout joints, but I attribute that to lack of experience. After a little trial and error, I was able to get a method that created a smoother surface on the grout.

I followed the package instructions to the letter. I waited exactly 30 minutes before coming back to do the initial clean. That seemed to go fine... except that I could never get the surface of the tile clean. No matter how many times I cleaned the sponge and wiped the surface, there was always a little milky liquid still there. My guess is that is just normal... the bucket of water/vinegar is only perfectly clean until the first time you wring out the sponge in it. After that, the cleanest the sponge will be is whatever is in the bucket. So I continued on assuming that is normal behavior. I noticed that the surface of the grout material improved (got smoother) during this step.

I came back after another hour (per package instructions) and did final clean. Similar to the first clean, but I do believe that there was no milky residue. I'll have to do a compare vs a virgin tile later to see if the color was effected. The surface seemed to improve yet again. The grout did seem to have kinda a 'plastic' looking appearance. Now that it has been drying for over 24 hours, it doesn't look like that anymore. I think it looks normal.

I'm planning on doing a couple more tests. I want to wait until it is fully cured (it's been over 24 hours now, not sure if that's long enough) and then see how easy it is to remove either manually or with a Dremmel tool. I also plan on doing some durability tests on it by scrubbing it with Brillo pads and Comet cleanser, to see if it stains. Again though, I'm not sure how long I should let it sit before trying those tests.

I'll attach a couple pics of my test board for whatever they're worth.

Darren
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:13 PM   #24
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Darren,

That's a pretty good looking test board. If my real thing comes out looking that good, I'll be thrilled. I haven't checked for the product yet, but I have some time before the grouting starts. I used 1/8" joints and I think I read on the Laticrete site 1/8" was O.K. I'll have to double check that.

Brian
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:06 PM   #25
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Brian, Laticrete suggests you can reduce Pert C by 10% to facilitate the stuffing of smaller joints but that reduces coverage. I had no problem doing vertical lines of 1/16" with a full ration of sand.

Darren, you'll get better results with smoother joints and much easier cleanup if you don't follow the directions. No need to wait 30 minutes. Just focus on the tiles, use a light touch with a circular motion on the joints and use a lot of vinegar water. Although I've never used the recommended strength, I find that double strength works well. Other tips are directly pack the joints with a margin trowel and definitely get the epoxy float but don't waste your money on the one sold by Lowz. Get a Barwalt. Do the proper scraping with the epoxy float held perpendicular and 90% of the cleaning is done. There's very little to be accomplished with the sponge except smoothing the joints.

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Old 04-26-2006, 12:42 AM   #26
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Darren --

I believe that the instructions on the non-Pro version state that full stain resistance is not achieved until seven days after installation. So you should probably wait that long to do a fair test.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:51 AM   #27
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Thumbs up I've not commented...

I've tried to kind of let this thread go with little comment.

It's very interesting to hear experiences of the first time, DIY, and Novice users.

A couple of comments, tips & tricks.

#1. On your initial spreading be sure to mix your unit to your desired working consistancy. Our mini-units tend to be on the stiff side if you mix 100% of the colorant powder into it.

#2. There are 2 washes. You should only be concerned with removing any colorant sand and maybe 70% of the epoxy on the first wash. You will wash and wash if you try to do 100% clean on the first wash. It should go 1st wash, wait about 40 min - 1 hr final wash. On the final wash things should be clean. If your working on glass or a highly glazed tile leave the job DRY. I usually dry the tiles with a terrycloth towel. That will make sure that you don't leave any haze.

#3. The instructions were written for a 70 degree room. If it's 40 degree then it will take longer to wait before washes. I can tell it's time for the first wash when the joint is flat. Meaning that the joint doesn't look wet. It's a bit firm.

#4. It is critical that you use an epoxy grout float on a real job. Epoxy floats are designed to work like squeegees. (sp?) They will clear most of the grout off of the surface of the tile which will then make your initial clean up easier.

#5. Be sure to use the initial and final cleaning packets in you cool clean wash water. Do not use hot. If you'd like you can also use 2 cups of White Vinegar per 5 Gal. Or so.

#6. Running - SpectraLOCK Pro is good for joints from 1/16" - 1/2". You will vary the consistancy of your mixture for the job. If I need to do 1/16" on a 40 degree floor I may make it a bit looser than I would for a 1/2". IF you are on a verticle application and the SpectraLOCK looks as if it wants to run out you may have made it too thin, or the temp may be below what is required. There ARE instructions specifically about this condition and what to do to make it happy again.

#7. Durability tests. I can't wait to hear what you think there. SpectaLOCK Pro dries at 3500 PSI. Yet it remains flexiable. 1100 PSI tensile.

#8. Staining tests. You should let the grout cure for 7 days. Then what ever you spill on it needs to actually be cleaned. Most of the time this means some form of neutral PH cleaner, aggitation, and rinse.
Quote from the Data Sheet: "Maximum stain resistance is achieved in seven days at 70F (21C). Protect from exposure to acids (such as mustard, salad dressing, etc.) and strong cleaners during this period."
We do not recommend constant exposure to: Methyl Chloride or Chlorophorm. We have had success with 30 min. - 24 hr. exposure to: Mineral water, Sea water, Methanol, 10% Ethanol (wine, beer), 96% Ethanol (spirit), Isopropanol (Windex), Mek, Chloroform, Methylene Chloride, Toluene, Xylene. (Thoseare the standards for our industry. All of those will kill regular grout.

#9. Removal - First of all let me say that removal isn't as much fun as regular grout. I always try to steer people towards an eposy colorant first.
If you have to remove it use a grout grinder. Pretty much the same process as regular grout, but slower. If you are going to regrout with SpectraLOCK you only need to remove 1/2 of the joint.

In closing I'm glad that you are enjoying our stuff! Now here's a tip that will make you money.

People always ask me about cost.
Let's take a look at the numbers from this perspective.

If you were going to do a regular grout job and apply a premium body sealer you are very close to the same cost for SpectraLOCK.

The math looks like this:
Install Regular Grout = 1 mix, 1 spread, 2 cleans + WAIT 72 hours for cure time.
Apply Sealer = Shake and paint the joints. + WAIT 24 hours to dry.
REAPPLY SEALER EVERY YEAR

SpectraLOCK Pro:
Install SpectraLOCK Pro: 1 Mix, 1 spread, 2 cleans + Wait 12 hours for light foot traffic.
NEVER seal it again.

9 out of 10 home owners will go for that.

Thanks for all of your positive feed back!
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:55 AM   #28
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spectralock on travertine

Can I use spectralock on my honed and filled travertine in my shower stall? Will vinegar hurt my travertine?

Thanks,

Jon
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:01 AM   #29
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Cleaning packets.

The answer is yes - you can use it.

You need to seal the tile before you grout. (That's the same advice I'd give you for regular grout.)

As far as the vinegar - it's very dilluted. It shouldn't hurt the travs. We give you 2 cleaning agent packets with the SpectraLOCK Pro. They are even milder.

Remember it's all ways a good idea to test a small area first. I say that because there are tons of different qualities of stone. Some are very pourus.

If your planning on highly polished marbles you really need to test. Polished marbles can be etched by dang near anything - including some sealers. You have to be careful there.

Good questions!
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:38 PM   #30
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spectralock

Nash,

Thanks for the info. A few last questions. Is there a big advantage to epoxy grout in mildew resistance? I also will be grouting a bunch of 2 inch by 2 inch tumbled travertine square tiles, along with a border with a bunch of tinier squares and rectangular pieces. They have little pores which need to be filled by the grout. If I seal those small tiles first, will the grout then have trouble sticking inside those tiny holes? Do you think cleaning the grout from the tiny border (since they have so many crevices and grout lines close together) might be very difficult?

Thanks again,

Jon
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