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Unread 07-19-2010, 05:11 AM   #1
zootjeff
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Epoxy Grout Advice

Hi,

I'm doing a major shower remodel, I tried to embed pictures, but I can't post links so I'll attach them.. Please see attachments.. I still have the threshold and the bottom row to tile, but you get the idea..

I have about 200 sq/ft of tile to grout when I'm ready. I'm thinking I want to do the Epoxy Spectralock grout. I've done it before on entryways and by the fireplace so I know what I'm up against.

I'm looking for some tips and insight from people who have done showers before with epoxy grout.

I have 2/2 tiles on the floor and 12/12 tiles everywhere else. All 1/8 lines.


I'm trying to get comfortable with various aspects of the job so any advice would be good and welcomed. I started with this thread and I'm a little way into it at this point: johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=35153

So here are some questions, please use the numbers when replying if you can..


1. I'm thinking of buying a full unit, it says it covers ~160 sq feet, is this realistic for my situation of mostly 12/12 tiles?

2. Can I work the whole full unit in 80 minutes?

3. Do people have luck splitting it up into smaller portions? How do you work the portions?

4. I have glass tiles in the middle, has anyone ever had glass tiles scratch from epoxy grout?

5. Looks like they include first and second wash packets. How do these compare to vinegar washes?

6. I have AC so I'm tempted to put the house at 60 degrees to do this job. Anyone had luck with that?

7. I'm thinking of getting the full units (and a mini unit or two) online at "tilestoreoneline" I can get a full unit AB for 44.99 shipped, the full C powder for 17.99 shipped, and two mini units for ~50 bucks. Is this the best deal around?

8. Are there any tricks to prevent sag when doing walls, or with 1/8 is this a non issue?

9. Do people recommend reducing the sand mix in my case to get a easier mix?

10. What would be the recommended plan of attack on this job (see pictures), do I do the walls or floor first? one floor before the other?

11. What should I do near the drain, should I pull the grate off, leave it on, tape it, etc..

12. What brand of cleanup cloth do people like the best and where is the best place to get it?

13. I noticed when I used epoxy on my fireplace, it sealed the brick to the pad, I re-grouted cement grout because it cracked and we didn't really like the color. Will I be OK just using epoxy grout in the corners and between the wall and floor because of this bonding property of epoxy grout, or should I still consider colored silicone?


Thanks for all your insight!
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Last edited by zootjeff; 07-19-2010 at 05:29 AM.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
bbcamp
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I thought I edited your thread to light up the link you tried to post.

1) I bought 8 mini units for my backsplash project. A bit less square footage than your shower project, but I have 4" tiles, so more grout per square foot. Paid more that the equivilent of a full unit, but I could mix a single unit at a time with no measuring and no waste. I found that by the time I finished a mini unit, it was time to clean the grout where I started, and by the time I got to the end, it was time to clean there, too. It worked well for me, probably because I had so many small areas to grout, and was working by myself.

2) I wouldn't even try. The stuff starts to set up in less time than that.

3) Get an accurate digital postal scale and make all measurements by weight. Note that each part should be weighed first, then take proportions based on the batch size you want. Or buy mini units and mix a whole mini at once.

4) No personal experience. However, most find the sand in Spectralok will not scratch the glass. Do a test first. If it scratches your glass, mask these tiles with painter's tape.

5) I dunno. They may be slightly better, but the vinegar works well, and the wash packs don't work any less well.

6) No, but it sounds like a good idea.

7) I dunno. Consider the shipping and that you may need more to finish, especially if there is more waste than you figured. Buying mini units at Lowes allowed me to return the extra unit I ended up with. I special ordered all mine at once and specified that they have the same dye lot number, so I didn't worry about color matching.

8) Probably an non-issue. I had slightly wider lines and used about 10% more powder than the standard mix. It may not have been necessary, but since I did every batch the same way, I dunno if it made any difference. I did have some grout pull out as I spread it, but it took a pass or 2 with the float to put it back.

9) Yes, for small joints. Smaller than 1/8". I think the mix is pretty much optimized for a 1/8" joint as-is.

10) Gravity will not be your friend. Cover the floor and start with the walls, starting from the bottom; do the floor last.

11) Leave the grate on and mask it with a couple of layers of tape.

12) The sponges that come with the kits work well. So do microfiber cloths. Whichever you use, buy extra and plan to throw them away as they become gummy, which they will no matter how diligent you are about washing them in vinegar water.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
bbcamp
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OK, stop editing your post so I can keep up!

13) Caulk all changed in plane. Epoxy grout will not flex enough, and is stronger than many tile, so any movement may result in broken tile, not craked grout.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 05:46 AM   #4
zootjeff
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Thanks for the quick reply.. You did edit my post to light up the link, but then I had question 13 and vbulletin didn't want me to post the link so I was confused... So I noticed it was lit up and un-lit it again. That was kinda funny, It told me I can't post links when I didn't actually post one because my post was edited.. :-) Gotta love rules to fight the bots.. Maybe turn on the validate the email address before allowing posting links feature.. Even that can be be defeated though..
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Unread 07-19-2010, 05:54 AM   #5
zootjeff
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Regarding 7: Did you have to pay more to do the special order since it was an already stocked item? Can you see the lot# from the box?

Oh, and do you do anything special when going from the grout line of one box to the grout line of the next? Do you try to butt fit or taper down when using multiple pales? Do you try to put the end of the grout line anywhere special?


Do you need to worry about getting it all done in one day? Can you let it cure with a line in the middle of the tile and then come back the next day?
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Unread 07-19-2010, 06:06 AM   #6
bbcamp
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Nothing special about the special order. They understood the purpose was to ensure identical lot numbers, and that this was normally an in-stock item. When I placed the order, there wasn't enough of the same lot number on the shelf. The staffer, and his manager, who were helping me was actually very helpful in getting me not only the grout, but the tile in the same lot number. Your milage may vary, though.

I worked up to a corner or other visible demarcation before stopping for the day. Spectralok will easily blend with a previous day's work. You can easily stop at a groutline, clean the edge up, then grout against the edge the next day or week without any visible sign. Your shower has plenty of places to stop, so that should never be an issue for you, one way or another.

I took 2 days to grout my backsplash. OK, I'm a wuss. I quit when I get tired. I also needed to get the kitchen back in service for dinner. I get hungry, too. On a serious note: do plan on quitting before you get so tired that you are willing to skimp on the clean-up. Epoxy grout haze is not a fun thing to deal with.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 08:03 AM   #7
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Hi Jeff,

I'm not a pro, but I have done two showers using spectralock. My last shower had a tile border just like yours made of glass tile. The spectralock did not scratch it. Also, I was using the white subway tile from HD that has the very small grout joint. This caused alot of falling grout. I took very firm cardboard about 5 inches wide and taped it under the area I was grouting (like a shelf) so that the grout that fell off the wall didn't land in my tub making a huge mess. Then when I was up fairly high in the shower (especially in the glass tile area) I could easily swipe up the grout that was falling out and reuse becuase it was up high with me and not on the floor. really made it much less messy. I only used the mini units and I could barely get through those (although with a bigger tile you would move faster).
Good luck.
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Unread 09-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
zootjeff
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Grouting a Wall?

What is the best way to grout a wall? The post about the cardboard to catch what falls was a great suggestion.. What about getting it from the bucket to the wall? Should I use the finger method or the trowel method?

Seems like a frosting applicator or a empty caulk tube would be the ideal way to do it..

This place sells reusable poly caulk tubes.. Think I should try it?
http://www.rotdoctor.com/products/accessories.html

http://www.mcmaster.com/#7579a44/=8qggvt this also is an option..

Also found this for Quart size:
http://www.conservepoxy.com/catalog.htm



Then you'd just go over it with the float to get it even..
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Unread 09-07-2010, 07:44 AM   #9
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You can use a margin float and a drywall taping pan (to catch the drops) when grouting walls.

I would probably use 3 minis of SpectraLock rather the the full unit. If you were doing a floor the full unit makes sense as your helper can wash while you are grouting. I'm 6'1" 220 lbs and unless she's really cute, I don't want another person in the shower with me

YMMV
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Unread 09-07-2010, 09:23 AM   #10
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zootjeff
What is the best way to grout a wall?
mix it in a bucket and use a float.
for your walls it might be good to use a "hawk" to hold and catch the excess that falls.

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Unread 09-07-2010, 09:49 AM   #11
Lazarus
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Recently did an epoxy shower, didn't have a hawk handy, so I used a plastic dustpan to catch the grout. Worked quite well....
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Unread 09-07-2010, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
mix it in a bucket and use a float.
for your walls it might be good to use a "hawk" to hold and catch the excess that falls.
Brian, I don't understand that picture. I am getting ready to use Spectralock and that picture looks like you are putting a complete finish on the wall (sort of like plastering) with no tiles or grout lines.

What am I missing? Is this a new use for Spectralock? I am going to use the minis like you did. May cost a little more but I don't want to rush if I have a lot of grout.

I understand the dropping grout idea, but that picture has me confused.

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Unread 09-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #13
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Bill~ He's not showing a grouting job.....he's showing how a "hawk" can be used. For grouting, you can load up the hawk to get the grout up near the job....and use it to catch the stuff that falls down.... make sense?
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Unread 09-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #14
ceramictec
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Quote:
He's not showing a grouting job.....he's showing how a "hawk" can be use


sorry I couldn't find a guy using epoxy grout with a hawk and tile like yours

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Unread 09-07-2010, 05:22 PM   #15
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Dense



Understood!

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