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Jaybird6654
03-08-2007, 05:37 AM
What are the benefits of using epoxy grout? Would using it in a shower be ok?

Thanks,
Jay

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ddmoit
03-08-2007, 05:51 AM
The only one I am familiar with is SpectraLock.

There are two major benefits. It never needs to be sealed. It has better color uniformity because there are no pigments. The color is achieved by the sand.

Epoxy grouts have a bad reputation for being hard to apply. I've never grouted before, so I can't fairly compare my SpectraLock experience to any Portland cement based grouting experience. It didn't seem hard to me though.

The biggest drawback is the cost. I don't know how long I have to live to recoup the costs by avoiding the cost and labor of sealing. :gerg:

From all the grout threads I've seen here recently, it's starting to seem like it's unreasonable to expect color uniformity from regular grout.

Lastly, there is a huge SpectraLock thread, packed with information. Get a beverage and a comfortable chair:

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=35153&highlight=spectalock

brente
03-08-2007, 07:17 AM
jay, for an indoor shower you don't need epoxy grout. epoxy grout must be mixed up as one entire batch, its spendy, must be applied rapidly, and you just don't need it. i use it for countertops mostly, because of its stain resistance. also, i've used it for outdoor countertops and bars because it seems to hold up better to freezing conditions. a cement-grout will suit you well and save you cash.

nforcer2
03-08-2007, 07:46 AM
SpectraLOCK has an 80 minute working time so not sure how rapidly it has to be applied. it really comes down to what you are looking for from a grout. if you want a low water absorption rate, (.5%) color consistancy, reduced risk of mold and mildew, and never having to seal your grout at a higher INITIAL cost, use epoxy. if you want a grout that has a high water absorption rate (7%) requires sealing, runs the risk of shade variations and is much higher maintenance...use a portland cement based grout. you know what you want to spend and what your expectations are.

sandbagger
03-08-2007, 10:12 PM
IMHO Spectralock is perfect for showers as well as countertops. I just did mine and it was very easy to use - and it was my first wall job.

Porclain/ceramic tile + Spectralock = one very low maintenance shower. :D

Hamilton
03-08-2007, 10:24 PM
Hi Jay.
Epoxy grouts provide you with less maintenance in a shower. Trouble
is that you really need to caulk the corners of a shower vs using the epoxy
to fill the plane changes, vertical and horizontal. The epoxy bond is too
strong for these joints to allow any expansion and contraction.... and caulking
tends to mildew after a period of time, not as much in the vertical corners
as the joint where the walls meet the floor.

Rob Z
03-08-2007, 10:42 PM
Jay

If you can get Latisil silicone caulk by Laticrete, you won't have any problems with mildew or otherwise. We have used 100's of tubes of Latisil over the past few years, and for the jobs where we have been back for more work-the Latisil still looks great.

Ditto for the jobs we have grouted with SP100 and Spectralock.

ddmoit
03-08-2007, 10:44 PM
Rob, I'm going to be using some Latisil in the next day or two. Any tips beyond regular caulking tips that I need to know?

Rob Z
03-08-2007, 10:52 PM
Hi Dan,

Latisil has a different consistency from the silicones you might be used to working with (such as the GE Kitchen and Bath, etc). I think it works easily, seams a little less sticky, and tools well.

I use mineral spirits, and am sure to tool it very quickly. It seems to skin over pretty fast, so if you find an area you don't like you will need to scrape it out and start over (rather than trying to add more on and blend it in).

The rule of thumb for any caulking work, and especially silicone, is to cut the tip 1/2 the size you think it should be, and gun in 1/2 what you think you should. And you'll still probably end up with too much caulk. :D

Clean the area with mineral spirits, and push or pull the gun as appropriate to fill the gap. As mentioned above, if you decide you need more in an area, it might be better to wait until the line has firmed up before adding more onto it. Depending on temp and humidity, you can go over it and add more 30 minutes later. Latisil sticks well to itself.

Rob Z
03-08-2007, 10:54 PM
Also: check the expiration date. Latisil has a short shelf life compared to the acid curing caulks, and my experience has been that once it gets close to that date there is a good chance the stuff is bad. Once it's gone, it's gone, and can't be coaxed into working. :sick:

Hamilton
03-08-2007, 10:55 PM
Ill have to try Latisil Rob. Sounds like good stuff. Do you know if it
is anything like pittsburg cornings glass block sealant? Stuff doesnt
smell like normal silicone, kinda leathery smelling and has a longer
working and cure time.

Rob Z
03-08-2007, 11:04 PM
Hey Jack,

I don't know anything about the Pittsburg Corning stuff. I'll take a sniff :twitch: of the Latisil next week to see if it smells leathery. :) Can you get Laticrete products out near you?

Another nice thing is that there are quite a few colors of latisil that match the grout colors. :nod:

sandbagger
03-08-2007, 11:04 PM
Rob - weren't you the one who suggested denatured alcohol to wet your finger for tooling? That's what I used recently and it worked well.

Dan - if you've got a long run don't try to do it all at once. Like Rob said, Latisil sticks to itself. I even went back a couple of days later and filled in some low spots. A little practice and I was able to blend the "patches" so you can't see them.

I also confess to 'cheating' on occasion. This won't work for everything, but where it did I got some very nice joints. It's from Homax

ddmoit
03-08-2007, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the tips, guys. I've been dreading the task, but I feel like I'm ready to give it a go now.

SBower
03-08-2007, 11:55 PM
I know this was about the benefits but has anyone had problems with white epoxy grout yellowing? I was warned that it would if it was exposed to sunlight but as it was going in a dark bathroom with only one window I wasn't worried. Four years later I have to tell you that it is YELLOW! I had a shower done in white subway tile/white grout. Maybe this is no longer an issue?

sandbagger
03-09-2007, 01:11 AM
was it SpectraLock? If it was 4 yrs then there is a good chance you used the old version. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if it's still an issue - just that they've changed the epoxy.

spain29
03-09-2007, 12:29 PM
It was stated above that:

"If you want a low water absorption rate, (.5%) color consistancy, reduced risk of mold and mildew, and never having to seal your grout at a higher INITIAL cost, use epoxy. if you want a grout that has a high water absorption rate (7%) requires sealing, runs the risk of shade variations and is much higher maintenance...use a portland cement based grout. you know what you want to spend and what your expectations are."

Why would you want low water absorption rate vs. high water absorption rate? What do you want for walls around a bath?

jdm
03-11-2007, 07:04 PM
You wouldn't want the higher water absorption rate just as you wouldn't want shade variations or the need to seal the grout. However you might be willing to accept these properties in return for somewhat easier installation and significantly lower cost. The choice is yours.