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Unread 10-13-2020, 07:21 PM   #1
RShelton
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Grouting to the edge without silicone

Hi, I really love this forum.

I just laid some tile in my rental unit and I'm pretty happy with it, although I'll say it wasn't nearly as easy as they make it look on Youtube! I have a lot of respect for you folks.

I'm replacing a vinyl sheet that was on concrete slab, which had a terrible slope from front to back. So I leveled the floor with RapidSet and covered it with NobleSeal before installing the tile. (I apparently didn't put enough adhesive under the NobleSeal. Most of it seemed very secure but I found a few air bubbles, so rather than replace the whole thing, I just cut those sections out with a razor, thinking it's still about 95% protected. So I hope that was OK.)

This is a small bathroom, only 5x4, and the original slab was 30 years old and had no cracks. So I'm wondering if I can get away with grouting all the way to the edge, instead of using silicone. I really hate that stuff, because it's a mess to put down, and then it gets dirty and needs replacement. I know it's wrong, but given the small size of the room and the stability of the slab, do you think it will be OK?

If it matters, I'm planning to use Laticrete epoxy grout, but I'm going to hire someone because I'm afraid to mess with it.

Thanks!
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Unread 10-13-2020, 08:03 PM   #2
jadnashua
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The industry guidelines are there for a reason...it might last a long time, it might not. Depends on how flexible what it butts up against is.

Next time, consider maybe using a engineered profile at the edge to take the place of caulk. Schluter Deco would probably work https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...t=edge+profile
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Unread 10-14-2020, 08:56 PM   #3
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I'm with you 100% Robert. Caulk sux. I would grout it. I've not once use caulk in that particular area. I've never used it on wall corners either as far as that goes. And you're right, that is a small area too.

Why epoxy? You don't like cementious grout?
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Unread 10-15-2020, 05:56 AM   #4
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Don’t let the preconceptions of epoxy grout scare ya, those were with the older primitive formulations. Laticrete and Ardex make very user friendly epoxy grouts, all you gotta do is actually follow the directions, and if you want the inside scoop on tips for workability and clean-up call your local rep, tech services or ask away on here. I’m finishing up my custom job finally, we went through 15 commercial units of the spectralock crap. Textured wood floor and porcelain wall tile, handmade ceramic tight joint, glass and porcelain mosaic, and standard ceramic all simple to grout and clean-up with the stuff. Only takes allotting yourself the appropriate time/patience to respect the properties of the product.
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Unread 10-16-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
RShelton
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Many thanks for the replies! I'm relieved to hear the support for just going with the grout. Of course there's always a chance that I'll regret it (especially since I live in earthquake country), but I'll take my chances and possibly learn the hard way.

Interesting question, Jerry, because the real reason I'm going with epoxy grout is to see if I like it. I've always had cement in the past and it was fine, but it would stain over time and I wanted to see if epoxy would be better. I have Fusion Pro in my house and I don't get what people like about it. Not only does it stain every bit as easily as cement grout, but I can't even clean it because it's so soft. I can practically scratch it out with my fingernail.

Christopher, you almost convinced me to do this myself, but then I remembered that I didn't even want to do the tiling. The only reason I did it is because the person I hired wanted to start in the corner by the bathtub, and leave a narrow strip in front of the toe kick of the cabinets. So I asked him to leave and I did it myself.

I'm glad I did it, though, because I discovered something in the process of placing the tiles. I was planning to just lay them randomly, which is what I've seen everyone else do. But after I cut and placed them, I realized what a difference the orientation makes. It was just dumb luck that the patterns of the two tiles in front of the toilet ring matched so nicely, but I found a few others that matched, as well, so I began to rearrange them, almost like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. It's not perfect but the flow of the pattern is noticeably better than when I'd laid them randomly, which looked kind of disjointed. So that was my feng shui lesson that came out of this. I still have another bathroom to do, and this time I'll try to make the pattern before cutting them.
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Unread 10-16-2020, 04:45 PM   #6
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I'm just not a fan of epoxy. I've seen it erode in pools in a relatively short span of time. It's color doesn't hold up in a lot of applications in my experience. I just don't see the benefit for it, especially in your situation, when cementious grout is all you need.
And fwiw, chances are 1 in a million that you will regret it..... in my humble opinion.
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Unread 10-17-2020, 10:22 PM   #7
RShelton
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Gotcha. If epoxy turns out to be another Fusion Pro - and I won't be shocked if it does - then I'll have learned my lesson. But I have two other bathrooms to do, so I want to give it a try. I appreciate your input, though, as it does help to inform my expectations. But mostly I'm happy I'm not using caulk!

Thanks again.
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