epoxy grout [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-28-2001, 06:27 AM
i am building a new house and i am very interested in epoxy grout for the sole reason that it is water and stain proof.
my tiler refuses to work with the stuff because it goes off quick. so i want to have a go on my own. is it really a specialist job or can a home handy man like me manage quite easily?. can you give me any tips on apllication and clean up? any help would be greatly appreciated.

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07-28-2001, 06:56 AM
We need to know a little more about the job.

How many square feet of tile?

Why the concern about water proofing?

Do you anticipate a problem with staining through out your entire home?

How many people will be assisting you, when you grout?

The product itself is a very good product. The problems you run into is, as your tiler stated, It does set up rapidly.

Hence the question, how many people assisting you?

It is a more expensive product than cement grout. So for residential uses, it is normally confined to the kitchen for stain resistance. And then normally to the counter tops.

Buying the product in larger packages is the most economical way, but unlike normal grout, you have to mix the entire container all at once. You then have to get it out of the container and start spreading it, and have at least one, if not more people coming behind you doing the clean up.

Can a home owner/handy man do a counter top by him/her self?
Yes, but we would recomend that you try a test/mock up, prior to taking on the actual install. That way you know what you are doing when you go after the actual project and don't waste a lot of money if it should get away from you.

Proceed cautiously, and ask lots of questions.


07-28-2001, 07:28 AM
I agree with Art...and would like to ask the same questions..size of area etc...if you've never done it before...it's a tough job to start on your new floors...if your tiler refuses to do it(is he a tile guy or not?) then I would call someone else who will grout with epoxy and get a price from them...

Rob Z
07-28-2001, 07:42 AM
Hi Peter

Good advice from Art and Bri. I have experience with only two brands of epoxy grout. One, I liked. The other, I hated every minute of it.

Doing a test panel to gain experience may be the best approach. Epoxy grout doesn't allow much room for error.

Let us know the answers to the questions above. We'll take it from there.


John Bridge
07-28-2001, 01:00 PM
<<if your tiler refuses to do it(is he a tile guy or not?)>>

I consider myself to be a tile guy, and I refuse to use epoxy grout, too. I suppose I could be persuaded for the right sum of money, though. :)

07-28-2001, 01:36 PM
Hi John

I hate grouting of any kind...does this mean I don't have to do it? It's part of the job discription....just like doing a mud job..if you can't do it..or refuse to do it..you're not a tile setter(i love that "shoemaker" comment from tileprof)...epoxy isn't a big deal anymore anyway...you should try some of the new stuff...if you're prepared(buckets ready,scrub pads, sponges) and have help, you can mix a unit at a time, which does about 100+ sq ft, two guys spread,when you finish spreading, one guy scrubs, the other goes behind and cleans up with a sponge.All you have to do is make sure the floor and the room are warm...don't even think about it on a cold floor..that's where you get in trouble. I've done miles of epoxy grout..and it's never been a problem if the conditions are right...if it's not...that's when you refuse. And I don't believe you refuse to do epoxy...you may talk your client out of it...but if they insisted..I'm sure you'd do it..or at least get one of your men to do it...Ha!


Bud Cline
07-28-2001, 01:52 PM
Epoxy grout is one of those things that you must have done at least once before to be able to do it for the first time. I'm with John, if the money is there then maybe again, but until then, never again.

As far as doing a sample to see how tuff it is.....do you know how much epoxy grout costs? Would you sample it on a "mock-up"? There's more waste. If you sample it on the actual floor and can't do it or don't want to do any more of it, "THEN WHAT"? Epoxy looks nothing like regular grout when cured. I wish I was as comfortable with the stuff as Bri is, but I'm not.

I had done thousands of square feet of the stuff sweatin' bullets every inch of the way before I swore off. I kept telling myself this stuff can't be this big of a pain in the butt. "IT IS".

07-28-2001, 02:00 PM
Geez Bud...you make it sound like hell...it's not that bad...I agree..if you've never done it before..don't...but I've had a lot of good luck with it...75% of the kitchen floors I do, are epoxy. Shower floors also..I think Tec works just fine most of the time...Any of you guys want to hire me as an epoxy grout consultant?

Rob Z
07-28-2001, 02:26 PM
The smallest unit of Laticrete epoxy grout costs less than $35 (full list price). If Peter really wants epoxy and wants to do it himself, I 'd say that would be a small sum to pay for practice.

Bud Cline
07-28-2001, 04:22 PM
I keep hearing epoxy grout has changed in the past few years. I certainly hope so.

It's been three or four years since I used the stuff, back then it made me postal, and that's when I said "never again".

Last week I talked to a Laticrete Rep about Latipoxy and he told me it HAD NOT changed for several years, so what's the deal? That may be just Laticrete, and unfortunately I don't know what I've used in the past but I'm sure I tried them all, out of frustration.

What is the spread rate and with what tile for $35 a pop.

I have to gain a better understanding of the stuff 'cause it ain't goin' away and I know it provides a state-of-the-art job for the customer, but boy does it "SUCK".

07-28-2001, 05:54 PM
Yep ... I hate it too, and I don't like the look of it on floors, or maybe I just do lousy grouting. I don't mind doing it for counter tops etc where the tiles are glazed and the spaces small but otherwise for floors I would charge very high in order NOT to get the job and then if I did ..... it's worth it.


07-28-2001, 08:10 PM
I DON'T DO EPOXY.....PERIOD !!! Besides being a pain..I have a bad physical reaction to it.

As far as it changing in the last few years the last epoxy I used was C-Cure and it was no easier than the epoxy of days gone by.Of course they are always trying to improve.

I agree with Harry.I don't like it on floors.Actually I don't like the way it looks at all.

Peter,epoxy is not for the unseasoned DIYer.If you're bound to have it then by all means shop around for an installer who works with it.

07-28-2001, 11:38 PM
OK..OK...I give in to the majority..EPOXY SUCKS! I don't know what I was thinking!...please forgive me.


Bud Cline
07-28-2001, 11:58 PM
Told ja.

08-01-2001, 03:52 PM
thanks to every one for your help.
answering those quetions i can tell you that the total area of grouting is as follows.
3 bathrooms at 35m2 each, floor and wall.300 x 300mm porcelin (polished)
1 floor area at 80m2 400 x 400 porcelin (unpolished)

i was planing to do the grouting all on my own if i could mix only small amounts but now i see that i have to mix a whole bag and that would be out of the question. all the tiles are unglazed porcelin with 1.5 mm joins and i have a lot of time on my hands to do the job even if it takes weeks but i would only be able to do small areas at a time because i am a shift worker and i would only have 4 hours of each day to spend doing it. the cost is not an issue at all and i am prepared to grout and clean one tile at a time if i have to. but my main reason for the epoxy is that i am told that it is impervious to staining and that dust and dirt just wipe straight off unlike cement grout which catches and holds everything. i am a bit of a fastidious person and i like to use the best products for the job.
what other options do i have ?
would a penetrating sealer on fine cementious grout do the job just as good?
when would i have to reseal?
thanks again for your replies, you guys are very helpfull!!!

Rob Z
08-01-2001, 05:32 PM

A good quality, latex modified grout, properly installed and sealed with a quality sealer will make a world of difference. We all have personal favorites, based on what's available and what has worked. I like to use Aquamix Sealer's Choice 15.


John Bridge
08-01-2001, 05:34 PM
Well Peter, that's a fairly narrow joint (1.5 mm), and unsanded grout would work. You might have to do it twice.

I mention unsanded because it's much easier to keep clean than the sanded variety (which I would use, by the way). You could seal it with grout sealer, and being the fastidious person you are, make sure you don't screw it up by spilling nasty things on it. :D

It's a good size area you're doing. You would still have to do it in increments.

Bud Cline
08-01-2001, 06:34 PM
Just when you think your finally getting a handle on a few things...............................................

Now I need a metric converter thingy table chart graph helper thing.

Daniel Sack
09-24-2006, 09:08 PM
I'm about to tackle my second ever tiling job. A mosaic glass tile shower. I'm a serious DIYer.

My first tile job was a 1" x 1" mosaic ceramic tile kitchen counter. I wanted to pay a professional to do it with epoxy grout but I could not find anyone. I decided to do it myself. I used Laticrete products and spoke with Laticrete customer support before starting. They were very helpful.

The counter came out great - if I do say so myself! It was difficult - I think -but never having tiled anything proeviously I had nothing to compare it to. The epoxy grout is indestructible and unstainable. It is now 5 years old.

I'll do it again on a kitchen counter and may even use the epoxy on my shower floor.

09-25-2006, 04:05 AM

I am in the process of grouting my bathroom walls with "Spectralock" epoxy grout and I too, am a first time user. I have about 65sf of ceramic tile to grout with about a 1/8 inch grout line. I grouted about half of it last night and will finish today. I followed the manufacturers recommendation and removed about 10% of the "part C" prior to mixing. This is suppose to help make the product easier to work with in such thin grout lines. I have tiled and grouted before using water based grouts. I found myself using my hands/fingers and pressing the grout into the joints. The consistency is almost like dough that refuses to stick together. It is hard to explain. I decided to use it because it never needs sealing and is better in wet areas such as a shower wall. If I had to do a larger project, I would think real hard about using it again.


09-25-2006, 11:20 AM
I've only used it twice. Once was a complete disaster, and the other was mildly better, but we used hot, very hot, water to clean off the excess grout. I don't think I'd ever want to see the stuff again.

Brian in San Diego
09-25-2006, 11:48 AM

If you haven't read the following thread, I would highly recommend it. http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=35153 I used Specralock in my shower and I am very pleased with the results. As mentioned by JB, the 1.5mm grout line is narrow. DonB, the originator of the above mentioned thread, has grouted 1/16" with Spectralock. The only downside to the material IMHO is the cost. It is expensive compared to regular grout. If the directions are followed, I don't think the clean up is any worse than regular grout. In fact, I found it easier to clean up, but you have to follow their recommended time table.


09-25-2006, 12:27 PM

Not sure if anyone has noticed but.......

Unless I'm missing something Peter hasn't posted to this thread since 08/01.

Daniel, however, resurrected the thread yesterday. You ok with us calling you Peter, Daniel, since it appears we need a stand in?:lol1:


05-20-2008, 05:08 AM
I have a decent sized shower floor that has the small 'river rock' tile on it (porcelin). Being the space for grout is irregular and large in some areas I am contemplating Epoxy grout. In reading your threads I can tell this is no easy task. Is there any advice from experience to say a latex addititve grout v. epoxy will get a similar result? My main concern is the mold potential under/in the grout....and to some extent the durability. Thanks!

05-20-2008, 05:48 AM
I think there is a misunderstanding here. Remember- Spectra-lock is not a true epoxy grout, as it is not speced for commercial/industrial applications. Spectra-lock is great stuff, epoxy-lite if you will, and is much easier to use than "real" epoxy. And for residential and light commercial application plenty strong. Don't be afraid.

Real epoxy is VERY nasty. I have grouted 1,000's of feet of it in industrial food manufacturing facilities, and it is a HORRIBLE thing. But if done right, bulletproof. Besides, when we did the addition on the Ben and Jerry's plant in Waterbury, we got free ice cream to take home every night.

So let's be carefulto both qualify the question and the answer- spectra-lock, and mapei's opticolor(?) are NOT epoxy grout, ask the reps point blank. Their answers are very carefully worded. But they are the next best thing.

was that clear or confusing?


05-20-2008, 11:28 AM
Hi everyone!

I am not a professional so all I can do is post my experience using Laticrete SpectraLock epoxy grout on my bathroom floor.

My tile was 12"x12" and the grout lines were 3/16" (wouldn't do this wide again but still looks good). I do agree that epoxy is more difficult to work with than cement grout but I never knew that epoxy sets more quickly if cold and my floor was rather cold when I grouted. I used a pastry type bag applicator and squeezed the stuff into my joints then pressed with the trowel, trying not to spread it all over the tile (my tile has texture and cleaning off this grout thoroughly is hard enough). I filled small areas at a time so it wouldn't set too quickly and be more difficult to work with. After waiting for the intial set up, I smoothed out the lines with a sponge and water vinegar (see below) and moved on to the next area. If you don't smooth it with a sponge and water vinegar it will look kind of gritty and rough. I suppose you can leave it like that if you don't mind the look. I used the smallest containers Laticrete made and mixed them one at a time. I actually got it at Lowes for around $20 which according to Laticrete is the same product that professional places sell for $35+. Only difference is that the "clean up solution" is not included with Lowes. Clean up solution can be made with 4 oz. white vinegar to 2 gallons of water.

Cleaning the tile is where you can screw up. Look at the tile in all angles to make sure you remove any shiny grout residue left on the tile because once it cures completely it will be there forever (unless you use some caustic acid remover or whatever). Just change your cleaning water more than recommended (we are only talking mixing vinegar with water). I didn't want to take a chance since it was my first time using epoxy. PLEASE NOTE: I would NEVER use epoxy on grout lines 1/8" or less because I think it would be too difficult for me to work with.

I will be tiling my 8' x 32' concrete covered front porch with a 13''x13'' porcelain tile that looks kind of like slate. I will be using epoxy grout for that job. However, because it is outside I am not going to try and smooth the gout lines (more effort). I think a slightly rough grout line will look OK since it is outdoors. I will press it in enough where it looks "neat" but the texture appears rough. It will be good enough for me. I will wait to grout when it is warm outside to see if the epoxy is easier to work with.

This stuff cures hard like plastic cement. I like the end results but I do agree that it is more difficult to work with and even more difficult to clean off your tile.

I suggest getting clear instructions on how to use your epoxy grout from the manufacturer and/or their web site before starting your project. It will help more than trying it uninformed.

* Don't know if my 2 cents added much to this post but I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts.* :)

02-09-2009, 07:07 AM
I know this is not recommended, but I'd like to apply epoxy grout over cement grout where the cement grout was installed too low. Does the epoxy grout stick better to old (clean) grout better than other types of grout? I know I'm supposed to remove the old grout, but I'd rather not. Thanks in advance for any ideas.