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Old 02-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
cajtar
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Mapei vs. Laticrete epoxy grouts

Hi pros, I thought if anyone would know the answer to this it would be you guys. I'm looking for guidance from the people who have actually used this stuff, not just tech service or salesmen.

PS: if this is the wrong place for this Q please feel free to move the thread...

I have a 12x12 granite tile application (Santa Cecilia) w/ 1/16" grout lines. This goes on a kitchen counter top. I'd like to use epoxy grout for the obvious advantages of sealing, staining etc. I'm considering Laticrete SpectraLock or Mapei Kerapoxy.

1/ Have you guys stuffed either of these into joints < 1/16" wide (say 1/32")?
2/ should the stone be pre-sealed, for a granite it is fairly porous?
3/ I have a chair-rail on the edge that is 2.5" tall, 12" long with a 1/5" thick full bullnose at the top, any tricks for stuffing the grout all the way in there (it's narrow and deep!)? Here's the link so you can see the profile... http://www.emser.com/showroom/granit...an_og_cor.html
4/ anyone used Mapei Kerapoxy? How does it compare to the favorable reviews on this site for SpectraLock?

Thanks in advance for the guidance.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Thats a tight joint for epoxy. I would think out of the two the Spectralock would be your best chance of getting grout within the joints. With Spectralock you add the filler powder (Part C) but in Kerapoxy it is already mixed.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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Laticrete is my weapon of choice

Todd:
I am not a pro but have been using Spectra Lock on many tile projects this past year. First, definitely seal the granite. I did an entire bathroom floor with Terragreen Ceramic tile (made of recycled ceramic) which is more porous than many tiles. My first area was not sealed and scrubbing off the grout (even with vinegar wash) made me cry! All other jobs I have sealed first and clean up was much easier.
I am not familiar with Kerapoxy but I know that Laticrete worked on my "adjusted" 1/8" grout lines quite well and I had no problem getting it in lines that were not much more than cracks. Laticrete permits you to lighten up on how much colorant powder you add to thin it out for smaller lines. I think there was an old thread on this site that talked about diluting it. I never found a need to dilute the color.
One last thought: Spectra Lock is not recommended for glass tile setting due to lack of flexibility causing stress and cracking. You may want to see if this is a concern for granite. My countertop project is glass and sadly I had to use sanded grout without the wonderful plus of stain protection per my glass tile tech people's advice.
Hope this helps,
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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I have used Kerapoxy in 1/16 and 1/32 joints. No problem as long as you don't use black.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
No problem as long as you don't use black.
Geeez, Matt, that could apply to any grout question.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:09 AM   #6
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True ... I've never used black Kerapoxy, but I know that Mapei specs an 1/8th inch joint or greater for the black stuff. Also, just to be more clear, I've used it in 1/32 joints ... BUT ... Mapei specs a minimum joint of 1/16th.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:29 AM   #7
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Matt, where'd you get those 1/32nd spacers? Or do you just lay a piece of dental floss between the tiles?


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Old 02-03-2009, 01:10 AM   #8
cajtar
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thanks guys for the replies.

Summary so far:
-SLock or K-poxy seem both like reasonable options, although I keep hearing more from the SLock camp...
-seal the tile before grouting


Any tips from stuffing grout into the chair rail? Use a margin trowel? Tape the bottom and back to prevent spillout? Use a grout bag?

PS: dental floss - good one Gueuze! I prefer Debi's (ahem) "adjusted" descriptor
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
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Grouting chair rail- use your finger.


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Old 02-03-2009, 07:06 AM   #10
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Todd,

I have found a body filler applicator works well for getting Spectralock into small joints and hard to fit an epoxy float places.

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Old 02-03-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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Hi Todd,

We leave out some of the Spectralock powder when grouting tight joints. It should be fine for the tight joints you have to do. We also grout chairrail and other profiles like it by using a worn out and soft float that will conform to the shape of the trim. We seal all stone before grouting. I haven't used Mapei epoxy so I can't compare for you.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gueuzeman

Matt, where'd you get those 1/32nd spacers? Or do you just lay a piece of dental floss between the tiles?
I use all of my maxed out credit cards.

Seriously though ... I've used 1/32 joints on chair rail and a few vanity top installations ... combination of eyesight and wedges. I have been using Raimondi spacers (NICE!), but I can't find 1/16th spacer that I like. I can't find Raimondi ones, Barwalts are too thick, and both Superiors / QEP are too short and soft.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
but I can't find 1/16th spacer that I like
Have you looked into glazier shims?

Tavy makes 1/32, 1/16, 3/32
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:23 PM   #14
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Hmmm, never heard of the Tavy 1/32. At Depot?

Midwest has 1/16 horshoes-
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:26 PM   #15
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We use both brands , and I think the spetra lock is easier to use. justin
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