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Old 06-15-2018, 09:26 PM   #76
SemiDriven
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Got it.
Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:20 PM   #77
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Well if all goes well, the floor will be cemented tomorrow barring any unforeseen circumstances (I’m on vacation ). I decided to freehand the tile around the drain rather than cutting it. Took a while, but got it lined up nice.

I’ve got to review how to cement the drain into the opening (gotta find the instructions or look up the video). It’s a Schluter adaptor drain so I do not have any lateral play (which is fine). I’m just wondering if I have to cement right to the edge of the hole or leave a little room there so that the cement can smoosh towards the hole. I plan on having the drain a smidge below the River Rock.

The thinset should be a little thicker than when it was for applying the Kerdi. Correct?
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:38 PM   #78
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I don't recall the install instructions offhand, but definitely make the thinset thicker than for Kerdi. You want to make sure the underside of the drain grate is fully supported.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:52 PM   #79
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Thanks Lou.

The Schluter System Installation Handbook says on p. 25:

Quote:
Fill the step in the bonding flange with thin-set
mortar and back-butter the underside of the
grate to ensure full support. Place the assembly
into the mortar and install the surrounding tiles,
ensuring full coverage
Like you stated, they want full support under the drain.

Is the "step in the bonding flange" the hollow area where the grate piece fits into? If they want you to fill that whole area, that's a lot of thinset that will be oozing out when you start pressing the grate into place!
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:44 PM   #80
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Got the rocks cemented in!

But I'll be doggone...even though I rearranged around 50-stones, I can still see the lines.

Even so -- it's all good!
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:25 PM   #81
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You rock Chris, good job..
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:02 PM   #82
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Thx Chuck!

BTW...your shower project turned out awesome!
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:20 PM   #83
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Spectralock Pro Premium Grout

Going with Spectralock Pro Premium Grout.

Want to start grouting Saturday so my better-half can assist me. However that will depend if the two suppliers in town have the color I’m looking for.

Finished reading a 93-page thread started 12-years ago entitled SpectraLock - Nothing to fear. Good stuff. I jotted down a few notes along the way to refresh my memory right before applying Sprectralock.

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1. Read the directions. Again.

2. Watch the online video. Again.

3. Consider doing a test board. Does the tile need to be pre-sealed? How will the tile look after the pre-seal? How will the grout color look after it dries (did you get the right color)? How will the tile respond to a vinegar/water (or cleaning pack) after grouting the tile? 


4. What’s your room temperature? Information below is for around 70F-degrees. Adjust accordingly: Hotter temperatures = faster setting time. Cooler temperatures = longer setting time. Per Laticrete: Working time of 80-minutes at 70F-degrees. 120-minutes at 40F-degrees. 


5. First time users as well as DYI’ers: Mix only what you can spread in 20 min. time. In other words, start with a mini-unit (or break a full unit into a mini-unit). Later you can decide if you can handle a bigger mix. 


6. Working with bigger mixes are possible—stick epoxy mix bucket in ice water to slow down the chemical epoxy interaction. It’s possible to store a mixed portion in the freezer for a short amount of time. However, that’s frowned upon by Laticrete. Just saying. 


7. Mix parts A,B, and C either by hand or by drill with paddle at slow speed (old electric cake mixer—pick ‘em up cheap, for example, in rummage sales). Then quickly clean your tools in vinegar water. Then start spreading the epoxy in the grout lines using an epoxy float. 


8. Have three 5-gallon buckets staged ahead of time. 2-buckets have the water/vinegar mixture in them (see below). The 3rd bucket is available for just water or more of the water/vinegar mix. 


9. Applying epoxy is like running a marathon and a 100-yard dash at the same time! Go as quickly as you can working the epoxy into the grout lines with a epoxy grout float (or perhaps a regular grout float). You may find it easier to use the radius part of the float to channel the grout joint so that there is less grout to clean off in the 1st wash. Narrow grout joints on the wall could be done with gloved fingers followed by the float going toward the ceiling (catch any sagging). Having a hawk may be beneficial for both walls and ceilings. 

Tip: Epoxy curing involves a chemical reaction which produces heat. To dissipate the heat (thus slowing down the chemical reaction), pour and spread your mixture on the floor (or flat surface) ASAP (or as soon as your mix tools are clean). A flat surface will keep the chemical reaction from spiking so you have a bit more working time. 


10. 1st wash: Wait 20 minutes after applying epoxy to floors / countertops for 1st wash. For walls/ceilings, wait 35 minutes (watch for sagging out of joint). Use vinegar and cold water (or packets included in box). Ratio: 2-gallons of water to 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Wring most of the water from the sponge! Use circular motions with the same side of the sponge. Do not rinse the sponge until you have wiped the whole area (for larger mixes, this may be unfeasible). Use both sides of sponge for subsequent passes and change the water every 50-feet or as needed. 

Tip: If you need to retool any of the joints with epoxy, now is the time to do it. If you stuck any leftover grout in the freezer, use it for low spots, pinholes, etc. (Keep in mind that Laticrete frowns on freezing batches) 

Tip: helpful to have one person wipe and another person rinse. 

Tip: have at least 2 buckets of water/vinegar on hand before grouting. 


11. 2nd wash: After an 1 hour has passed from 1st wash, do same as above but after every pass, flip the sponge for the 2nd pass. Then rinse the sponge. Change water every 50-feet or as needed. Wipe grout lines at an angle (don’t disturb grout lines). 


12. 3rd wash: Wash immediately after 2nd wash. Water only—try hot water, wring most of the water from sponge, one pass per each side of the sponge and then rinse the sponge. Dry with micro towels or paper towels (gets rid of haze). 


13. 4th wash (if needed): Use Softscrub with bleach: scrub tile and then rinse with hot water. Wipe with microtowel or paper towels. Do this no later than 24-hours after you applied epoxy. That should get rid of any remaining haze. If the haze is still there, use a grout release product that will get the haze off. 


Wait until application and cleanings are done before starting another section. Maybe 3-4 hours before tackling another section. Areas awaiting grouting need to be dry. Also drying epoxy needs to be nearly non-pliable so that grouting adjacent areas will not interfere with existing grout. 


• Clean grout around heat sources such as light fixtures first — epoxy grout will harden faster around warmer temperatures. 


Floors: Use full recommended ratios. 

Walls / Ceilings: Consider using 10% less Part C ingredient to A & B mix. Also, you can use a little bit less A & B liquid as well (less runny). Goal: toothpaste consistency.
Note: Some people do this with success and others keep the mix the same as the floor with success. Your milage will vary. Consider using a hawk to help control spread and application. 


Pebbles/River Rock: The 1st sponge wash reveals how much rock you want to see. 

So…don’t tackle too big of an area at once! 

So…this takes time! 


• Removal of SpectraLock is easy with a heat gun. 



Unit Size Yield Parts A & B & Part C Color Powder:

Mini 0.2 US gal (0.7 l) (881 grams) Start here for DIY’ers!
A: 0.32 lb (0.14 kg) (145 grams)
B: 0.32 lb (0.14 kg) (145 grams)
C: 2.25 lb (1.0 kg) (1021 grams)

Full 0.8 US gal (3.0 l) (3,524 grams)
A: 1.28 lb (0.6 kg) (581 grams)
B: 1.28 lb (0.6 kg) (581 grams)
C: 9.0 lb (4.0 kg) (4,082 grams)

Commercial 3.2 US gal (12.0 l) (14,096 grams)
A: 4 x 1.28 lb (0.6 kg) (4 x 581 grams)
B: 4 x 1.28 lb (0.6 kg) (4 x 581 grams)
C: 4 x 9.0 lb (4.0 kg) (4 x 4,082 grams)

Mixing 1/2 mini’s (small batches; test boards, etc.)
Part A: 70 grams
Part B: 70 grams
Part C: 500 grams
• Seal (roll and paperclip edges) Part A and B packets and store in refrigerator. Label them so that teenage son doesn’t try to eat them. Part C can be stored just about anywhere since it’s coloring and sand. For testing purposes on a smaller test board, consider cutting the above ratios in half.


Per Laticrete:
Working Time: 80 Minutes
Tack Free: 4 Hours
Ready for Light Foot Traffic: 12 hours
Ready for Heavy Foot Traffic: 24 hours
Stain Resistance, Food Spills, and Household Cleaners: 7 days
Full Cure: 14 days
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:10 PM   #84
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It's good to be prepared, Chris. It is easier than it sounds in my view. Even though the washes are critical, you don't want to overdo it and wipe more grout out of the joints than necessary. Since there is so much washing involved, epoxy grouts tend to be a bit lower in the joints than cement grouts. And first-time grouters want to wash, wash, wash.

Don't start the first wash too soon either. A few extra minutes make a difference. Also, even though the epoxy might feel sticky on the tiles, it re-emulsifies if you keep rubbing. There must be some sort of ingredient in the grout that makes this possible.

As long as you don't literally walk away from the stuff for the night with excess still sitting on the tile surface, you'll be ok.

I kept my parts A & B in the fridge to inch out a few extra minutes of work time. It helped.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:55 AM   #85
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Thanks Wolfgang -- good to know!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous about using epoxy as a grout. I've used epoxy before under different circumstances and you learn what works and what doesn't. And epoxy ain't cheap!

Your comments about newbies tending to wash the tarnation out of the grouted tile got my attention. River rock seems to be one of those grey areas where you have to do a fair amount of washing but not too much!

Hey, did you use blue tape to cover your drain grate when applying epoxy? I think that will work as long as I take the tape off after the last wash.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:06 AM   #86
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For your river rocks, I'd even cut an abrasive kitchen sponge in small finger-sized pieces to use directly on the rock surfaces to get the epoxy off without disturbing the surrounding grout. (That's what I did for my 2x2 floor mosaic tile, too.)

And no, I did not use blue tape on the drain assembly. Much easier to not mess with blue tape in this application. Obviously, take the cover piece off. The rest of the drain body will be easy to clean out. Just don't use the abrasive sponge on the stainless steel as it will scratch it. And keep the test plug in there (or some sort of cloth). You really don't want the epoxy to fall into the trap.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:53 AM   #87
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Be very conservative in calculating grout coverage. Those pebble joints eat up grout. Be preferable to have to return extra than run out.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:18 PM   #88
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You can use blue tape to cover the drain, we do it on every shower. Just trim off what hangs over the edge with a utility knife. That way when you pull the tape, it's clean right to the edge of the grout.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:00 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makethatkerdistick
For your river rocks, I'd even cut an abrasive kitchen sponge in small finger-sized pieces to use directly on the rock surfaces to get the epoxy off without disturbing the surrounding grout. (That's what I did for my 2x2 floor mosaic tile, too.)
Interesting. So perhaps do a light once-over with a regular sized sponge but then switch to finger-sized sponges as to not take too much grout off. Hmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_MA
Be very conservative in calculating grout coverage. Those pebble joints eat up grout. Be preferable to have to return extra than run out.
Yep batch numbers being what they are. We’re in the process of deciding if the grout color (smoke grey) will also match our wall/ceiling tile. If so, then I’d like to buy the same batch lot of Part C. That isn’t always possible but we’ll see. I’m guessing I’ll need to double the “typical” amount needed for a 5' x 3.5' floor. So 2 full units should cover that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makethatkerdistick
And no, I did not use blue tape on the drain assembly. Much easier to not mess with blue tape in this application. Obviously, take the cover piece off. The rest of the drain body will be easy to clean out. Just don't use the abrasive sponge on the stainless steel as it will scratch it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
You can use blue tape to cover the drain, we do it on every shower. Just trim off what hangs over the edge with a utility knife. That way when you pull the tape, it's clean right to the edge of the grout.
Everyone has their way of doing it. I’m about ready to start flipping coins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by makethatkerdistick
keep the test plug in there (or some sort of cloth). You really don't want the epoxy to fall into the trap.
Amen to that!
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:29 PM   #90
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Floor’s done! Whoo-hoo!

My wife, who should win best supporting tile-assistant, was a tremendous help. Two people really makes a difference in putting down epoxy grout.

Afterwards, she made two observations:
1. The grout color is not exactly what she desired (it’s lighter).
2. She dislikes the shine (haze on tile).

Oh well…I thought it went pretty well! I do agree with her though, the color is not exactly right which may be tied in to the shiny haze still on the tiles. So, I’ll wait 20-hours or so and try Soft Scrub with a hot water rinse. However, Laticrete states that household cleaners shouldn’t be used on their grout until 7-days later. So I dunno. I might risk it and see what happens.

Observations:

1. 3.5’ x 5’ River Rock floor took 3-mini units (your milage may vary).

2. Doing one mini-unit at a time works well with River-Rock.

3. A good portion of my prep-time was separating the full unit into 4 separate mixes. I poured Part A into 4 plastic cups of approximate equal portions/weight. They were then turned upside down into 1 qt. ziplock bags to drain. Part B was a different animal. It doesn’t flow that well. So I squeezed (and squeezed) the unit bag into 4 1-qt bags of approximately equal portions/weight. Be sure to wear gloves! The sand (Part C) was easy to measure using a kitchen scale. BTW, when you’re ready to mix the whole shebang to make epoxy, start with Part B! Squeeze that into your mix container. Then pour in Part A. Mix that up. Then pop in around 75% of Part C (sand). Mix that up and then add the remaining sand. I used a 3-4” plastic putty knife to scoop the goo onto the tile followed by a grout float to spread it around.

4. Used a grout sponge (light circular motions) for the first washing. Then I immediately used a regular sponge (light circular motions) to clean it up a bit. This was followed by “finger” sponges (cut a smaller sponge into 3rds) to detail the tiles that needed further attention. Some spots needed more epoxy so I added it followed by another regular sponge wipe (light long wipes) until it looked decent. The second and third wash went well using light, long strokes. I did wait 2 1/2 hours before doing another water rinse and then used the microfiber cloth to wipe the tile dry. I did not want to disturb the grout lies until it was fairly firm. The cloth took all of the stickiness off the tiles but the shine (haze) remained.

5. Waited a total of 3-hours before starting the next section. So, including prep-time and cleanup, it took 10+ hours.

6. I actually froze a small portion of epoxy in the freezer after my first and used it on the floor along with the next batch. Worked fine. Shhh…don’t tell Laticrete. Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m inclined to not freeze anything unless it is absolutely necessary.

7. If you’re over 50-yrs old, make sure your joints—all of them—are working properly beforehand. ‘Cuz you will be using them all to work the grout into the joints! Seriously, if you have serious joint issues, think twice before attempting this.
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