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-   -   Qs for pros- spectralock vs grout bullnose, how to transition wood to this tile (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=128196)

Dun Wright 10-25-2019 09:32 AM

Qs for pros- spectralock vs grout bullnose, how to transition wood to this tile
Hey guys! Few questions for the pros

1. I am using spectralock pro epoxy grout on a 3x6 subway tile shower surround, over hardibacker/Redguard. I know some people even use spectralock in corners but I'm not that brave. Can I get away with using spectralock on the front (most visible) edge of the tiny 3/4" bull nose pieces and then caulk the flat portion? For example, I have a window and shower niche with the small bullnose pieces. Can I epoxy grout the parts on same plane as shower walls and then caulk the recessed side or do both sides of the tiny bullnose pieces need to be caulked?

2. Spectralock pro is sanded but the matching sanded caulk says for 1/8" and up. I'm using the New Olean subways that have the built in spacers for 1/16" lines. Can I just force sanded caulk in the change of plane lines or do I need to use their unsanded caulking? That might look odd.

3. How would you transition 1950s hardwood 1 1/2 oak to the below half octagon black/white tile? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...RGXT0C7C&psc=1

The bathroom (tile side) is going to be 3/8" of an inch higher than the wood floor (already did everything to minimize height including using ditra) and the door opens inward (IE: not much room to transition, but also not a very high transition).
Thanks in advance!

Carbidetooth 10-25-2019 10:25 AM

1. Not sure I understand all that. I'd grout everything but the tile to window frame junction, where I'd silicone. If using a sill material like quartz, I'd silicone most, if not all, of its perimeter.

2. I might open the vertical corner joints a smidgen when setting and use Sanded Silicone.

3. Dealer's choice. Matching wood ramp on wood side, or metal transition on tile. Plan well, the visual transition best under middle of shut door, not stops. More than likely I'd go with wood ramp.

Tool Guy - Kg 10-25-2019 10:27 AM

Is your tile a glazed ceramic product? Or is it a stone product? I’m guessing it’s ceramic and smooth. In which case I would ask you: do you really want to use a rough sanded grout for this application?


Dun Wright 10-25-2019 10:33 AM

Carbidetooth- Thanks for the reply!

re: 1- Sorry for the bad description. I'm wondering what to do (epoxy grout or caulk) at the outside shower niche corners and the outside window corners. I used 3/4" bullnose edges. That is technically a change of plane, right? I know I need caulking where the window meets the tile, and in all corners, right? But what about the bullnose pieces? Where do those get caulking/epoxy grout?

Thanks again!

Dun Wright 10-25-2019 10:35 AM

Tool guy- Yes, it is the gloss white American Olean 3x6 subway tiles. They appear ceramic. I really want to use an epoxy grout and have read great things about Spectralock Pro. Spectralock pro only comes in sanded but you can leave 10% sand out for smaller joints.

Am I overlooking something here? Is this epoxy grout a poor choice for my gloss white tiles?

Thanks again.

ss3964spd 10-25-2019 10:43 AM

FWIW, Bob, I've done two niches now utilizing bull noses and grouted the entirety of both with Spectralock. One was done at least 12 years ago and the other just recently. No problem with either.

Carbidetooth 10-25-2019 10:52 AM

Technically it is a change of plane. In practice, though, I'm not sure anyone here would caulk them. I would grout and not have a worry.

I've seen those AO tiles or similar done with both sanded and unsanded. If using the lugs as spacers, I almost always recommend unsanded. I just think it looks better, but that might because of all the old installations I've seen.

In general: silicone in vertical back to end joints and tub to tile joints. Anything intersecting painted surface acrylic caulk. I'm outside norm a little in that I grout transitions from tile to painted surface in many cases, as long as they're not huge.

Dun Wright 10-25-2019 03:28 PM

Thanks! That makes sense.

What about where the shower niche inside parts? Would you also just grout where the sides meet the back and where the sides meet the top and bottom of the niche?

Same for the window opening sides in the shower? Where the top of the opening meets the side walls of the window opening?

Thanks again!

ss3964spd 10-25-2019 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by Bob
What about where the shower niche inside parts? Would you also just grout where the sides meet the back and where the sides meet the top and bottom of the niche?

I would, and did, for both of mine.

The window might be a different story due to the temp differentials. A photo of the window and surrounding area might help folks visualize what you have going on there.

Tool Guy - Kg 10-25-2019 04:39 PM

Warning! 2 cents of design opinion coming up...

From a design standpoint, I’m not crazy about mixing a rough texture of epoxy with shiny-smooth tiles with factory rounded edges.

You certainly can leave out 10% of the ‘colored sand’, but working the stuff into 1/16” joints is going to be something of a chore. And I also would forewarn you that you might not like not being able to feather and taper the edge of the epoxy like you can with unsanded grout. So, you might not like the somewhat uneven grout as it interfaces to the factory rounded edges.

If you really, really want epoxy, it would be worth making a mock up and grouting it before committing to the whole shower. Just an idea.


Dun Wright 10-26-2019 10:32 AM

Thanks guys! I actually like the sanded look with subway. It looks more "authentic" to me but its just preference.

One more question!

Should I use Latisil Silicone in the corners and at tub or should I use their siliconized acrylic sanded grout? I see a lot of people say they used "silicone" but I'm not sure if they mean that literally or if they are using the matching sanded caulk.


edit- GEEZZZEEE.... I just watched "Home RenoVision DIY" on how to apply epoxy grout. What a hack! I hope the 30K people that watched that don't follow his advice. Ouch

Cracked grout with moving tiles? No problem! Epoxy grout it all together!
Leaky shower floor? No problem! Epoxy grout makes a floor waterproof!
Oh yeah, and lets poor a freaking bottle of dish soap on the floor before putting the epoxy down so its easier to clean.... I feel like this guy is going to cause a lot of people problems down the road or make a lot of people hate professionals...haha. I can see it now.. "My contractor tried to rip me off! He told me I should completely remove and replace my leaking shower floor and THEN he told me we had to rip out and replace all those squeaking/moving tiles in kitchen. The "pro" on Home Renovision said $100 of grout will fix it all. That tile guy was trying to rip me off!"

Tool Guy - Kg 10-26-2019 12:33 PM

100% silicone is far superior to any of those ‘siliconized latex’ caulks because it’s superior flexibility, bonding strength, and longevity. This is what I use 100% of the tile for tile-to-tile caulking.

ColorRite offers real silicone (their ColorSil product) with a regular shiny finish, a matte finish, and even a ‘sanded’ texture to it. Be prepared for a price tag many times that of a $5 tube...but it’s an excellent product that lasts.


Dun Wright 10-27-2019 06:44 PM

Excuse my ignorance... Is there key or chart that helps you color match their silicone caulks to Laticrete grout colors or do you just have to find a local seller and see what looks closest?

Tool Guy - Kg 10-27-2019 07:09 PM

Just order the same color in Laticrete’s Latisil. If you prefer using ColorSil that you could get with a sanded texture, just call up ColorRite and tell them which Laticrete color you’re using. They’ve already done the homework and have a cross reference chart to tell you what color you need.


cx 10-27-2019 07:09 PM

When all else fails, Bob, you can just tell the folks at ColorRite the product name and number of the Laticrete grout in question and they'll send you a match in whatever texture you like. In my experience with them, it will match.

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