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Unread 07-31-2021, 01:51 AM   #1
Davery
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Epoxy Grout

I am in the planning stage of a 48 X 48 shower and was wondering about using epoxy grout. I have tentatively decided to use the Kerdi system (which I have used before) but am concerned about mold and mildew. Would an epoxy grout be better than a cement grout in preventing mold and mildew?
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Unread 07-31-2021, 07:37 AM   #2
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Epoxy grout is great but mold can grow on any grout. The key is keeping the shower clean and good ventilation.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 08:23 AM   #3
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I understand, but would mold has less of a chance to grow on epoxy grout rather than cement grout?
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Unread 07-31-2021, 08:38 AM   #4
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Don, mold doesn't actually grow on the grout at all, it grows on whatever organic food source material it finds on the grout if the temperature and humidity are suitable for such growth. As Davy points out above, proper maintenance is key to mold prevention. One aspect of that is to have, and to use, a properly sized exhaust fan in the bathroom.

I, for one, do not see the advantage to using epoxy grout in a shower, but some folks do.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 09:06 AM   #5
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I appreciate the reply. Epoxy grout advertises itself as waterproof, as such I guess I assumed less water (humidity) in the grout would mean less mold. This would be a shower that will see alot of use by teens, what would be the simplest way to keep the shower clean? I am also looking into a separate fan in the shower.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 10:01 AM   #6
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Yes, the epoxy grout itself is waterproof. The installation of the grout, not so much. Any moisture that gets behind the grout (there will be some) will have approximately zero opportunity to evaporate back through the tiled surface. Will that be a problem? I dunno. Entirely your choice, of course.

You could use the John Bridge method and have the teens wipe down the shower with a towel after each use. All I can say to that is, "Good luck."

A properly sized exhaust fan on a timer is still your best defense when it comes to humidity control in a bathroom. And required use, of course.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 12:45 PM   #7
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So then would it best to use epoxy grout without Kerdi? Theoretically, this would give any moisture that gets under the grout to dry out.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 01:19 PM   #8
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You could do that so long as you use a properly installed moisture barrier behind the CBU wallboard.

But, again, why not just use a cementitious grout if you choose to use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane?

Or use your epoxy grout if that's what you prefer. I just don't see much advantage, especially for the added cost. Others do.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 01:48 PM   #9
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I have used epoxy grout in the two showers I built. I like it. CX has a valid point about the inability to dry for what is below the tile. I would not do it for a traditional liner and mud bed shower. However, in a surface membrane application I think the amount of water below the tile is fairly limited, provided you have full thinset coverage.
I like that mold does not grow into the epoxy grout. I have had problems with regular cement grout and mold stains that were so far inside the grout that I could not completely clean them, especially with light-colored grout.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang
I would not do it for a traditional liner and mud bed shower.
And I would have the opposite opinion; I would think the epoxy a safer option in a traditional shower with a moisture containment membrane behind the wallboard. I would not recommend it for a shower floor in any case. But that's what makes horse races, non?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 03:55 PM   #11
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This has nothing to do with epoxy grout but a surface applied membrane on a shower floor will hold the moisture directly under the tiles. If the shower isn't used, the water will eventually dry out. Some folks think the shower floor on surface membrane showers will dry out between uses but that's not what I've found. And this is why a lot of the white marble shower floors turn dark, the moisture is still in the stone.

A properly installed mud bed will allow the moisture to sink into the mud away from the tiles and on towards the weep holes. But, it has to be done correctly, a mud bed that isn't as porous as dry pack (concrete for example) will hold water too causing problems.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 07:35 PM   #12
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Wolfgang - Why wouldn't you use an epoxy grout with a tradition mud bed?

We haven't picked the tile yet, but it will be a porcelain tile so the only moisture entry ways would be the grout lines. I have used the kerdi system with a pre-formed pan before in another house and really liked how easy it was. The only issue is the very small bathroom did not get proper ventilation and the pan got moldy with frequent use. I remedied this by replacing the doors with a curtain and placing a small fan on a timer outside the shower.

The new bathroom is much larger and has proper ventilation, but still want to do everything I can to prevent mold and mildew.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 08:53 PM   #13
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Post #6.
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Unread 07-31-2021, 10:34 PM   #14
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Post #6.....and consider a humidistat switch for that exhaust fan.
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Unread 08-01-2021, 10:50 AM   #15
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For what it's worth, Don, I also used epoxy grout in my master bathroom, based on the same logic stated above; it's water proof so mold can't grow in it. Also used porcelain tile which absorbs less moisture than non porcelain ceramic tile. Exhaust fan directly above shower area, activated by a push button timer. The last mold/mildew preventative measure, and likely the most effective, is that the shower gets squeegeed after each use. Bar soap has been banned.

Shower has been in use for nearly 2 years and I've had to clean it only 3 or 4 times, mostly a bit of mildew on the floor. There are some nooks and crannies, mostly around the corner bench, that mold appears on but, like the floor, once cleaned it doesn't show up again for months.

But that's with diligent adults using it. Teens may not be as fastidious. Unless they're the ones required to clean it.
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