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Unread 05-22-2018, 10:35 AM   #1
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Epoxy Grout experts

Greetings, Pros. I am at the grouting stage of a master-shower redo. Large format tile on walls and floor, with a 12" mosaic stripe through the middle. I am close to calling uncle, and asking a Pro to finish for me.

I used Epoxy grout in a recent kitchen remodel...it came out great, but required a lot of effort to clean grout off the glass tiles. I didn't keep up with cleaning during the grout job because I got scared off by the "too much water during curing will ruin the sealing effectiveness" and let grout dry. I used a razor blade to scrape grout off each tile. It worked great, and the job looks beautiful.

Fast forward to bathroom, I am, again, using epoxy grout. The porcelain tile I am using is not glass-smooth, so the razor blade trick doesn't work. I spent 15 minutes grouting, maybe 5 tiles...the grout had time to setup before I was able to clean. Now I have spent hours trying to get grout off these tiles. I'm going bald trying (nothing wrong with going bald, but just sayin)

As I see it, I have two options:
1) Continue on my own..."learning to do it right" and going much slower to ensure I clean as I go. Would appreciate a few tips on using Epoxy from those with experience.
2) Hiring out the grout to a contractor that's familiar with using Epoxy. I fear this would be too small a job to interest anyone. But, I've saved a ton of money doing the other work myself, that I am willing to entertain bids.

One idea I had is to take painter's tape, and tape all tile surfaces except 1/16th around each joint. Easy enough on the large-format tiles...but the mosaic?? That could be time consuming.

I am in the Metro-Detroit area (Canton)...the shower is 4'x6'x7' and a "drying area" 5x5x8' outside the shower. The grout is Bostik.

Any recommendations or interest in grouting. I can certainly post pictures when I get home tonight

Last edited by iJeffG; 05-22-2018 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Added clarifying statement on grout manufacturer
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Unread 05-22-2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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If you're needing to get cured epoxy off use a heat gun to soften it first.
Use a good grout float and try to work clean.
Pick up some epoxy grout haze remover.
Mix small batches.
Jack of most trades, master of none...
Ryan McKee
McKee Construction & Custom Tile
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Unread 05-22-2018, 04:40 PM   #3
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If you're spending 15 minutes to grout five tiles, you're taking waaaay too much time. Also, if you have a fan blowing in there, or the room is too hot, those both work against you.

The top ten reasons to procrastinate:

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Unread 05-22-2018, 04:44 PM   #4
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What grout u using? Also, tell us your grouting procedure. Maybe you're missing something important. What's the temp where your grouting? Warmer temps speed epoxy cure times dramatically.

You don't want to work any slower, but do need to mix smaller batches. A helper could make the difference too. They could wring sponges, get water, etc.

"the road to hell is paved with osb, mastic, pre-mixed latex 'grout' or 'thinset', "
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Unread 05-22-2018, 08:04 PM   #5
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I don't understand what grout you are using? Is it an epoxy or a urethane?

Bostik make's a lot of urethanes. If that's what you have then pre-wet the surface, grout for 2 minutes tops, and clean. Use very little water throughout this whole process and ring the sponges out good. Also, they have a cleaner called "Blaze" that works well.

If it's an epoxy then get the product out of the container and grout as much as you can. During clean-use a lot of water. Use a white scrub pad and basically just follow the instructions. I would have some epoxy grout cleaner on hand during the process.

It's important to know what product you are using because the method to install and clean is very different.
Jim Upton

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Unread 05-23-2018, 10:09 AM   #6
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Additional Details

Thanks for the responses. Here is more detail

The grout is Bostik TrueColor RapidCure. Premixed Urethane. Not Epoxy...so this could be why I'm so confused. I've had epoxy on the brain since we bought the stuff.

Strike One: It was warm on the day I grouted.
Strike Two: I did have a fan running, but it was 10 feet away.

Ball One: I did not pre-wet the tile. (This is what I was thinking my biggest mistake was). Bad Referee, so maybe it was strike three

I have a heat gun, which I will try when I get home...do I have to worry about overheating/cracking the tile if doing this?

My process was...messy. I'm starting with the walls. My first attempt was to put about 1 cup of grout into a grout-bag. However, no matter how hard I squeezed/twisted I got nothing out.

I emptied the bag, and grabbed the rubber float. From there, I tried to press grout into joints using a rubber float. I followed that with the vertical float/wiping across joints at an angle did the diagonal wipe across the joints, doing multiple directions to ensure I filled voids.

I didn't track the time...but I'm sure I was working with grout out-of-the-pail for at least 15 minutes. Remembering back to my kitchen project...where I was told too much water early in the setting process will compromise the self-sealing properties of the grout, I did wipe tiles with a very wrung-out spong...and in hind site, this looks to have smeared more than "cleaned".

I do have "Blaze", but that has proved worthless.
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