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Unread 01-12-2021, 10:03 AM   #1
kennyrboggs
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Kenny's second bathroom remodel-back from hiatus

It has been a long time, and I don't recall my prior username, but when I GC'd my last house build in 2007-8 used this forum, read john's kerdi book, and tackled all of my own tile work including a travertine master bath that I loved.

Fast forward 13 years, new wife and new house :-), and we are updating our master bath which will not be as elaborate, but getting excited about another bathroom project.

We are converting a tub/shower combo to a larger walk in shower with a straight frameless glass shower door that I may even tackle myself when the time comes.

I used the Schluter system in my last huge walk in shower on the second floor of my last home, and feel confident in it and not a lick of problems with it in 12 years. So planning to utilize the complete kerdi kit with offset drain, add a kerdi bench, and extend the pan with deck mud maybe an additional 6 inches. I am also installing a handheld shower on the wall, and a 16 inch rain shower head in the ceiling. I feel good about using the kerdi kit and system from my prior dealings and refreshing my knowledge on youtube.

But we are planning on installing 12 x 24 porcelain marble look matt tiles in the shower wall bricked or offset depending on how flat they are, and bathroom floor, mosaic accent strip on wall and in the 2 schluter niche's, 2 x 2 porcelain in a similar marble look on the shower floor, in addition to new vanity and all that stuff. I plan on using Schluter all set for the kerdi and large tile, in the shower, and maybe another thinset for large tiles on the bathroom floor, all set is readily available locally if that is a good choice.

The one item that is wearing me down is what grout to use. I would like to use something more stain resistant in the shower or possibly in the entire bathroom since walls and floor are only going to be around 280 square feet total. I have laid a couple thousand square feet of tile so far, and have gotten pretty decent at grouting with normal stuff, but never used epoxy before. The local store was pushing Mapei ultra color plus FA as an upgrade in the shower or just the shower floor, but reading a lot of issues with it being difficult to work with. I am planning on using a light to medium grey grout, and swore I would never use anything pre-mixed, but with the new advancements in the last 10 years I am thinking hard about the new Spectralock 1 in the shower or entire room unless someone can talk me out of it? I have not been sold on the other newer pre-mixes for showers with issues I have been hearing. I would like to avoid standard grout and sealing, if I can find a suitable option that is not terrible to install, and more stain resistant. I am even open to epoxy if that is the best option for maybe just the shower or just shower floor? I am just outside of the Charlotte NC area, so fairly decent access to products.

I know Spectralock 1 is pretty new, but is there anything else I should consider that is going to hold up well in a shower that would offer more benefits and not a bear to apply since I will be working by myself most likely?

Added a pic of my last bathroom I DIY'd that I loved. Not bad for my first tile bathroom ever I dont think. I am also a OCD pre-planner and detail oriented, thus why the hours of researching grout choices now is frying my brain.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 02:25 PM   #2
ss3964spd
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Welcome back, Kenny,

Afraid I can't offer any illuminating input on any of the newer pre-mixed goop, but I can whole heartedly endorse and recommend epoxy grout, specifically Spectralock Pro Premium. Used it in my recent master bathroom overhaul. While it isn't the most fun to install on walls I didn't have any challenges with clean up or color match between batches. I like that it's water proof, too, less chance of mold/mildew growth.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 03:52 PM   #3
kennyrboggs
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Thanks, I am strongly considering epoxy also. Price appears similar, but the new spectralock 1 has my interest. I can get kerapoxy locally if I go the epoxy route also, but hear better things about cleaning up the spectralock pro.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 06:24 PM   #4
Lazarus
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For quite some time now, the epoxy grouts have been considered the "gold standard" and were quite popular. Difficult to install and the gray may prove to be no problem for you. Biggest complaint I've seen is with the lighter colours.

The epoxy mix is sort of yellow and there have been complaints of the grout taking that tint...

I used to use the "Fusion Pro" grout extensively, with good results. In the last couple of years, I have switched to the Mapai "Flexcolor CQ" grout as I find it a tad more workable. Very small aggregates, it is antimicrobial. holds very true colour and is pre-sealed. Yes, it is premixed and is not cheap...but I prefer it to epoxy grout. Worth looking into and just another way to skin a cat....
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Unread Yesterday, 12:10 AM   #5
BIGPHIL
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Kenny,

Having just recently used Spectralock 1 on my own remodel, I can't recommend it enough. I don't worry much about the cost as long as the product I'm getting is worth it. It was very easy to work with and clean. Best part, grout as much or as little as you want. Just seal the tub up and get back to it when ready. I used it on smooth and also on textured porcelain and both were easy to clean. I used two wash buckets, two sponges with one side that had microfiber on it, and a doodle scrub pad (doodle scrub saw very, very little use). Microfiber was the real key to clean the remaining grout residue off of the tile. I tried a microfiber cloth as well, but found the sponge with one side with microfiber superior. I used smoke grey and chestnut brown. Both colors came out great and consistent. Smoke grey and the corresponding smoke grey Latasil silicone match the Schluter classic grey profile color nearly perfectly...just an FYI since you seem to like the Schluter stuff.
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Unread Today, 11:07 AM   #6
kennyrboggs
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Best way to match mosaic strip to remaining wall tile

Doing 3/8" porcelain 12 x 24's on shower walls with most likely a 1/2 square notch trowel, with a thin mosaic strip 1 foot wide through it. I was going to add a layer of 3/16' kerdi board then tile over which was the best option I found, but cant find any locally and shipping is expensive for 1 sheet.

Its a kerdi shower, and I could to an extra layer of thinset or back butter and let it dry, then tile, but figure that would hard tokeep level. Would 1/4inch hardi backer built out on top of the kerdi be acceptable? Or is there another trick to bring it out level with the larger tiles?
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Unread Today, 11:48 AM   #7
BIGPHIL
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Kenny,
You may see if there are any local distributors that carry Wedi building panels as another option. They are available in 1/8" and 1/4" thicknesses. You could adhere the mosaic to the panel and after it's sufficiently cured, you could then thinset the panel to the Kerdi.
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