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Old 11-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #1
JHarbinson
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Grout Choices

Just wondering what everyone is using these days for grout. Traditional, urethane, epoxy?? I have heard mixed messages on the advantages and disadvantages of each and would love to hear from other tile setters out there.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:38 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Justin.

That's a pretty wide question that would take pages to explain the pros and cons of each in different situations.

But I'll say a couple of short things to get things started:
If I'm using a cementitious grout, I'll use Permacolor, as it's been an extremely consistent product in terms of drying to exactly to the color advertised. And if I'm using an epoxy grout, I'll use SpectraLock, as it's been a consistent and high performance product for me.

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Old 11-14-2018, 10:00 AM   #3
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It really depends on the application and the specifications (wet/dry environment, joint size, required stain resistance etc.).
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
JHarbinson
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Sorry, I realized I should have been more specific. I guess my question is more around what guys are typically using on floors, backsplashes, showers, which are my typical jobs. I’ve used standard grout a lot, and have found Custom to be the easiest to work with. Lately, I’ve had a lot of customers request urethane or epoxy grout for ease of cleaning and lack of sealing. I’ve tried Bostik a few times and found the final results to be fine, but of course the install was A TON more work.

In your guys opinions are the “high tech” grouts worth it or better to stick with tried and true?
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:28 PM   #5
Dave Gobis
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I like cement grout unless there is a reason to use something else. Stain-proof evokes images of no cleaning required. Not true, the reverse if anything.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:19 PM   #6
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I stick with Permacolor select. It has been the most consistent, and easiest to work with product for me.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:40 PM   #7
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Our sales of epoxy have grown at about the same rate as the growth in business over the last 5 years, typically it is being used where it has to be used, not because people love working with epoxy.

Where we've seen huge (huge) growth is in our ready to use grouts. Flexcolor CQ really seems to have been a game changer for most people since it's a clean as you go grout with no sealing required. I put it in my house 4 years ago and love it. Because it's an acrylic, not a urethane, it's less expensive and easier to clean. Over time it sets up as hard or harder than the urethane grouts.

We've also seen tremendous growth in Ultracolor Plus FA. It solves a lot of problems of a typical Portland cement grout with the biggest being efflorescence.

Knowing the statistics from the industry, our business results seem to be mirroring the trends in the market, a big spike of ready to use and high performance cement products, about steady on epoxy, and a decrease in Portland cement grouts.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:13 PM   #8
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I'm actually allergic to something in epoxy grout, but that isn't going to stop me from using it on my latest project. My 9 year old shower looks like the day I finished it, and that's with cleaning 2-3 times a year (plus a squeegee after every use). The cement grout we used in our first kitchen redo had to be sealed and still started to stain within months. I'm not going to miss that.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:24 PM   #9
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Mapei

I’ve heard good things about MAPEI products but sadly it seems only Lowe’s stocks the products. For me, that’s a non-starter as they only carry a few items, little selection and special orders are a joke. Are there any trade pro supply houses (I’m specifically in the SF Bay Area) that carry them?
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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Mapei’s retailer locator.

And here’s their dealer locator. Maybe it works for you, but it’s not working for me.

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Old 11-20-2018, 03:09 PM   #11
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Tonto, thanks for the heads up about our 'Find a Dealer' page, I put in a ticket to get it fixed.

Justin, I know Big D carries MAPEI in your area and certainly Daltile can order any of our products if they don't have them on the shelf. You can always give our Customer Service team a shout at 1 800 426 2734 and they can find you the closest distributor.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHarbinson
...Lowe’s....and special orders are a joke.
If Dal lets you buy from them, they’re likely to have everything you need in stock. In the off-chance you need to order from them, I can assure you that it’s nothing like ordering from a box store. It’ll be pretty simple.
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