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Old 09-19-2003, 01:00 PM   #1
Macallan
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Clear Grout? Epoxy?

Hi Everyone,

I'm about to do a granite tile counter top for our kitchen and I'm wondering about something. In looking at a couple of granite slab installations it appears that they use a clear epoxy to join the slabs at the installation. I assume they fill the joint, level the epoxy, and then sand/polish.

Why couldn't this method be done for granite tile?

I searched the forum and between last night and this am I've read a million threads on granite tile, but I haven't seen this come up. If the tile is laid well (no lippage!) I would think you could do a great looking slab like finish by using clear epoxy as a grout. I'd appreciate your expert advice on whether or not I'm missing something important in my thinking.

Thanks!

Mac
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:13 PM   #2
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Hi Mac


That may be a good idea you have there. Let's see if one of the stone fabricators can tell you more about the feasibility of that method.

My guess is, however, that it wouldn't be as fast as using an epoxy grout that is specifically made for this purpose (meaning grouting all the joints on tile or stone). I use Laticrete SP100 epoxy grout...if you have access to some in your area we can talk about you using it one your job.
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:21 PM   #3
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Re: Clear Grout? Epoxy?

Quote:
Originally posted by Macallan
If the tile is laid well (no lippage!) I would think you could do a great looking slab like finish by using clear epoxy as a grout. I'd appreciate your expert advice on whether or not I'm missing something important in my thinking.
I think the key here is "no lippage" and I don't think such a thing is realisitic to expect in any area of any size (well, maybe a closet could be done!). There's gonna be some. Even if you do a 100% perfect job of getting no lippage while laying the tile, as the thinset sets, there will be some lippage returning.

When I had my granite slabs laid for the kitchen counter, the installers did a remarkable job leveling the two pieces that met at a corner with a seam and then epoxied it. They simply used a razor blade to level the epoxy and remove the excess. It's perfect from front to back.
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Old 09-19-2003, 06:20 PM   #4
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It can be done using epoxy or polyester resin. working time is short and i believe it would be very time consuming. Its doable but you might be better with epoxy grout as Rob suggested
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Old 09-19-2003, 06:55 PM   #5
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Mac

Assuming it isn't hot in the room while you're grouting, you'll have about 45 minutes from the time you mix part A and part B together....more than enough time to do the entire counter with one batch of SP 100. From what Jeff said, I assume the working time of the other stuff is a lot shorter.
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Old 09-20-2003, 09:35 AM   #6
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Thanks.

It wouldn't bother me to mix small batches and just do a section at a time to deal with the working time issues.

Any advantages of polyester resin over epoxy?

Any other pitfalls folks can think of?
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Old 09-20-2003, 02:56 PM   #7
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Hi Mac,
I have done it before and it looks awsome if you do a good job on the color match and keep the mix very clear-ish. Figure a full day for a kitchen for a pro, maybe 2x that for a DIY, +1/2 day to get the hang of color mixing, everybody uses way, way too much colorant.
Rob, epoxy grout would be so much quicker if it would work, but I've never used it. Do you think you could get a fully custom matched color with almost clear finished product?
Mac , Epoxy is harder to work with and more toxic smell than polyester, but it's stronger and has an exterior rating for bonding. Grouting seams is not bonding and is very light duty in comparison, so polyester is the way to go if you're using std knife grade slab type seams.
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Old 09-20-2003, 03:03 PM   #8
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Tom

I hadn't considered the desire to color match the stone with the epoxy. With the Laticrete epoxy grout, you'd be stuck with whatever the filler powders were colorwise...although, the powders are totally inert and could be blended for a custom color. Fortunately, the color of the powder is pretty much what you will get once it it mixed with epoxy. It's not like cement grout where it is a guessing game to see if you end up with the color the sample thingy said it would be.
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Old 09-20-2003, 03:56 PM   #9
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If your arent going to use grout I would suggest mixing large batches for each counter area if not the whole thing if plan on coloring it.. Dont over do the hardener, itll weaken the resin as well as make the stuff kick very quickly. You only need 3% hardener of the volume of the mix.
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Old 09-20-2003, 03:59 PM   #10
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Thanks Guys,

Any recommendations of a specific brand of polyester resin?


Cheers,

Mac
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:18 PM   #11
Macallan
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If I may, I'd like to bump this post in hopes that someone will answer my last question, i.e. what type or brand of polyester resin do you folks recommend I use for this application.

Thanks!

Mac
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:51 PM   #12
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I don't know, Mac, but I'll bump it again.
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:52 PM   #13
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John I'm glad you did. Sorry I missed this one.
Mac, I like Wood & Stone brand Knife grade Water Clear, it works great & has a nice smooth finish. Their transparent is a few bucks cheaper but it has a yellow cast that can affect your color matching when you're going for those lightly tinted, almost clear, quartz looking colors. I also liked the Tenax Crystal for it's clearness, but it gives a coarser finish, almost like lightly sanded grout.
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:53 PM   #14
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How much spacing between tiles would be needed to use this epoxy resin method? Standard toothpick or penny spacing?
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Old 09-25-2003, 10:16 PM   #15
Macallan
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Tom,

Thanks for the advice. I've been googling and reading tech specs on different resins and sometimes more info makes it even more difficult to make a selection. Nothing like getting the word of someone who has "been there, done that"* to help make it definitive.

*Did you get the T-shirt?

Do you think the knife grade would work for the "vertical" tiles used on as a backsplash?

Any good online or other sources you'd recommend for me to order the Wood & Stone?

Any advice on methodology or technique?

Can anyone ask sooooo many question?
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